Turn up the heat on your lunch break tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 27. Join timba band Pedrito Vargas y Su Grupo Ashé on the City Hall plaza for a free outdoor concert, noon to 1:30 p.m. This scorching hot 11-piece band combines Cuban music, salsa, funk, jazz, rock and hip-hop. We’ll provide a dance floor, so bring your dancing shoes! Check out upcoming Seattle Presents concerts here.
Bill Ivey, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts and director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, addressed more than 1,100 of the nation’s arts leaders at the opening session of the 2009 Americans for the Arts annual convention in Seattle in June. The Office was the local host of the convention, titled Renewable Resources: Arts in Sustainable Communities.
Ivey discussed the position of the arts in a challenged economy while highlighting potential opportunities for the arts in the Obama administration. Ivey is the author of Arts, Inc. How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights.
Artist John Grade began installing a temporary sculpture at the Bitter Lake Reservoir this week. The sculpture—titled Mantle—evokes the image of a water tower. It will gradually take shape over the course of several weeks. In September, the artwork’s wooden frames will cradle a spherical cloud-like form. Grade is creating the cloud with a corn-based polymer. The “cloud” will gradually biodegrade when exposed to rain and ultimately disappear. Over the course of about six months, viewers will see the temporary installation change, offering a means of framing and examining the role water plays in our urban lives. Mantle will be on view through January 2010 at the North Seattle reservoir, near the intersection of North 138th Street and Linden Avenue North.
Grades temporary project is part of Water Calling—a series of short films and temporary public art projects designed to get Seattleites thinking about environmental stewardship and urban watersheds. The projects were commissioned with Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds and managed by this Office.
How do we ensure that urban revitalization benefits both the arts and artists? Join Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and the Cascade Land Conservancy for a free panel discussion that will explore the intersection of art, culture and the environment, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27 at Olympic Sculpture Park’s PACCAR Pavilion.
The Office is a sponsor of the conversation, titled Art and Sustainable Cities: A Dialogue, which is part of SAM’s Pivotal Perspectives: Conversations on Art and Culture.
American political journalist Michael Kinsley will moderate the conversation featuring panelists D.K. Pan and NKO, co-founders of the Free Sheep Foundation; Randy Engstrom, founding director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and vice-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission; public artist Buster Simpson and Beth Takekawa, executive director of the Wing Luke Asian Museum.