Arts & Culture

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nominations for Spokane's 2015 Urban Design Awards open

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 2:15 PM

The 108-year-old SIERR building renovated by McKinstry won an Urban Design Award in 2013. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The 108-year-old SIERR building renovated by McKinstry won an Urban Design Award in 2013.

Calling all urban designers: submissions are now open for the 2015 Spokane Mayor’s Urban Design Awards. 

The awards, which began in 2007 and take place every other year, celebrate the architecture, urban and landscape design which, Mayor David Condon says, help shape the Spokane experience.

“Spokane is defined in part by how it is experienced through its many varying lenses and attractive features that include beautiful architecture, historical buildings, plazas, parks and landscapes,” Condon said in a press release. “The Urban Design Awards encourage and recognize the talents of those who add to this sense of identity and place by sharing their creativity in the public places we all enjoy.”

This year’s awards are also unique in the partnership between the City of Spokane and Spokane Arts, to facilitate further awareness and knowledge of how excellent design and city planning make Spokane even more, to steal from the motto, “near perfect.”

As for the award-giving process, the call for entries is open until midnight August 14 on, which includes a 15-point summary of design qualities sought.

Winners from the last time the awards were given, in 2013, include the SIERR/McKinstry building, the new Westview Elementary, the SFCC Music Building renovation, and the Fountain Cafe at Riverfront Park. 

The submissions are first assessed by the City’s Design Review Board which recommends entries to the Mayor’s office, which will present the awards in late October at the closing party for the second annual Create Spokane Arts Month.

In need of some inspiration on what calls for good urban design in Spokane? Look no further than the current issue's cover story, on the Lilac City's rich architectural history. 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Harry Connick Jr. got an eyeful of Spokane during his visit Monday

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 4:32 PM

Wow! The pride of NOLA was in rare form in Spokane Monday night. Not only was Harry Connick Jr. letting ’er rip with his nine-piece band, but he had the audience in stitches with his banter.

First, the music: The highlights were definitely the New Orleans tunes on the set list, putting his soulful piano playing center stage. He ran through a couple crooner numbers early — “The Way You Look Tonight” and Sinatra’s “More” — but you could tell he was just clearing his throat. The audience also got a sneak peek at three cuts from his soon-to-released new album — the first, “Tryin’ To Matter,” a riff on some offhand wisdom from his Dolphin Tale co-star Kris Kristofferson. Along the way, he played the trumpet, the organ and even the acoustic guitar. The guy is ridiculously talented, and the show was a rare treat in front of a rowdy, almost-full INB Center.

The show also had the feel of an impromptu summer camp, as he paraded a series of teens — his kids, friends’ kids, tour staff kids — up on stage. Heck, he even brought young Washingtonian Daniel Seavey from Vancouver with him, one of the youngest contestants ever on American Idol. After America chose someone else, Connick struck up a friendship with Seavey and he joined him Monday night, singing the old Marvin Gaye/James Taylor song, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” Even Martina McBride and her band wanted in on the Harry Connick Summer Camp and were in the audience, on a stopover between Santa Barbara and Helena. (Hey Martina, why no Spokane gig?)

But the very best part was hearing about his experiences in good, old Spokane. Let’s just say, he got a pretty accurate tour — but not the one the Chamber of Commerce types might have scheduled.

The morning of the show, he and his buddy Tucker decided to go golfing; they asked the driver to find a Starbucks. Instead, he took them to a local coffee hut. “You know about this?” Connick asked the audience. “They ain’t wearin’ no clothes in there!” When he blurted out to the baristas, “Where’s your all’s clothes?” one of them turned on him and snapped, “It’s a lingerie espresso stand!” Duh! “I’m from New Orleans, and we ain’t got nothin’ like that,” he added.

But the punchline? Tucker, you see, is one of his friend’s kids, along for the summer tour/camp. He’s 15 years old and he got a big old eyeful of Spokane in all its glory.

Continue reading »

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Inland Northwest filmmakers crowd-funding piece on area's extremist, racist history

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Filmmakers often touch on history for inspiration for a fictional narrative, but seldom do they get to be as hands-on with that history as husband-and-wife filmmakers Andrew Davis and Jennifer Montgomery got over the July 4th holiday when they visited Spokane from their Los Angeles home. 

It was a homecoming of sorts — Davis is from Spokane, Montgomery from Colville — and the two made their way to the now-defunct Shadows Motel on North Division, where they found shards of the old sign among the weeds and litter. See?
Davis and Montgomery visiting the old site of the Shadows Motel. - ANDREW DAVIS
  • Andrew Davis
  • Davis and Montgomery visiting the old site of the Shadows Motel.

The significance of the spot? The motel serves as the setting for their short film The Shadows, a period piece set in the '90s about two brothers who are leaders of a white supremacist group vying with each other for control as they try to create a racist homeland in the Pacific Northwest. The motel was reportedly a hangout for members of the violent Christian Identity movement, and there were rumors of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh showing up there in the period just before his crime. 

The script was inspired by things the couple heard when they were growing up in the area, and The Shadows is actually a prologue to a full-length feature film about modern extremism and racism in America. 

"Both of us in different ways had heard certain stories and been somewhat connected to the subject matter since we were kids," Davis said via phone from Los Angeles. "The past few years we've been more specifically researching the subject."

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bill Maher headed to Spokane for a show at The Fox

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 1:35 PM


Considering his early and vocal encouragement of legalizing cannabis, it might be a little surprising that Bill Maher hasn't made it to Spokane lately, but that will change when the provocative comedian drops by the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on Oct. 17. 

Probably best known as the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher and the controversially dismissed former host of Politically Incorrect, Maher specializes in biting political humor when he takes the stage, and with combining guest panels on his talk show that inevitably, and often hilariously, clash. He's received 34 Emmy nominations for his talk shows, and three others for his standup specials. His 2008 feature-film documentary skewering religions around the world, Religulous, got some positive reviews. His feature-film debut, D.C. Cab, did not, but it did give Mr. T something to do after Rocky III

Here's a recent monologue from Real Time
Tickets for Maher go on sale Wednesday, July 15, at 10 am. Tickets are $69, $58, $49 and $39, and are available at the Martin Woldson Theater website or by calling 509-624-1200.

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Nominate locals doing good for the Inlander's philanthropy issue

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 11:16 AM

Each year for the past five years, the Inlander's annual Give Guide has recognized outstanding members of our community who are working tirelessly to make the Inland Northwest a better place for all of us. The time has once again arrived for us to seek nominations from you, our readers, of people you're aware of who are doing just this. 


After poring over nominations, we'll pick three individuals to recognize in the issue (out Aug. 28), each of whom will also receive a monetary award called the Peirone Prize, intended to thank them for their selfless efforts and to help them further their philanthropic goals.

We know people of all ages are working hard to make the Inland Northwest a better place, but in part to encourage young people to get involved in giving back, we focus on recognizing people around or under age 35. 

So, do you know anyone who's working tirelessly to give back? Nonprofit sectors to consider: animals, arts, community, social justice, wellness/nutrition, youth, education and the environment. 

If you'd like to submit a nomination, we need to have it no later than Thursday, July 30. Send us the person's name, age, and a few sentences or paragraphs on why you think they deserve to be recognized. Also make sure to let us know how to contact you in case we have questions. Send nominations to [email protected]

For inspiration, here's the list of recipients we've honored since this issue began back in 2010:

Randy Ramos, Spokane Tribal College recruiter and life-skills coach at the Healing Lodge
Kate Burke, the Lands Council director of development, founder of the Spokane Edible Tree Project
Jeni Riplinger-Hegsted, program director of St. Vincent de Paul's Art on the Edge

Keirsten Lyons, service to armed forces at the Eastern Washington Chapter of the Red Cross
Keith Kelley, case manager at Gonzaga University, small business owner
Virla Spencer, outreach coordinator at the Center for Justice

Kat Hall, conservation programs director at the Lands Council
Jamie Borgan, program director at New Leaf Bakery
Mary Charbonneau, director of fundraising/outreach at Washington Basset Rescue

Brent and Amy Hendricks, co-founders of Global Neighborhood
Korrine Kreilkamp, founder of Community Roots
Bart Mihailovich, coordinator at the Waterkeeper Alliance and former Spokane Riverkeeper

Taylor Weech, Inlander columnist and radio host at KYRS-FM
Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council President
Emily Paulson, Campus Kitchen coordinator at Gonzaga University

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Who wants to be Spokane's second-ever Poet Laureate? The nomination process is open

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Are you a poet who knows it? Then you might want to apply to be Spokane's second-ever Poet Laureate. 

Are you not a poet and you know it, but you know some amazing writers? Then be sure to let them know. 

The Spokane Arts Commission opened up the nominations process this week for the Spokane Poet Laureate position that will work with the group in "promoting and supporting an appreciation of literary arts throughout the greater Spokane community," according to the commission's call for nominees. 

Thom Caraway is the first Spokane Poet Laureate, and the Whitworth University lecturer's two-year term began in 2013 and will come to an end in October. He told the Inlander at the time that his goal was to champion the Lilac City's burgeoning poetry scene, and judging by the various active spoken-word and poetry-slam events regularly happening around town, he's had some success. Poetry is certainly a vibrant part of this literary hotbed we have here in the Inland Northwest. 

"For the poets in the area, the goal is to highlight and showcase them in a way that raises the public's awareness of what's going on around them," Caraway told the Inlander at the beginning of his term. 

The requirements for the job aren't huge hurdles — other than having a masterful way with words. You must be a resident of the greater Spokane community. You must be an established poet. And you have to send a resume and four-to-six poems not exceeding 10 pages in total to the Spokane Arts Commission to be considered.

The gig comes with a $2,000 stipend, and some expectations, like making three public presentations each year, presenting original works at those events, serving as an advisor to the commission and providing reading recommendations that will be promoted by the Spokane Arts Commission. 

Nominations will be accepted through September 11, and you can submit applications and learn all the pertinent details right here
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Friday, June 26, 2015

Interactive chalk mural 900 Horses on display through the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 2:17 PM

The 900 Horses mural on display at the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place outside of City Hall - ERIN ROBINSON
  • Erin Robinson
  • The 900 Horses mural on display at the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place outside of City Hall

If you haven't checked it out yet, 900 Horses, an interactive chalk mural located right in the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place in front of City Hall, is still on display throughout the weekend. 

The mural is a commemoration for the horrific mass slaughtering of horses in in 1858 by Colonel George Wright. Wright ordered U.S. Army Troops to slaughter anywhere between 800 and 1,000 horses to intimidate the local indigenous tribes. 
Pick up liquid chalk and brushes from the tent to fill in one of the 900 stenciled horses.
  • Pick up liquid chalk and brushes from the tent to fill in one of the 900 stenciled horses.

Now, 157 years later, Seattle artist Ryan Feddersen has created an interactive art project to encourage the public to take a second look at the social and cultural historic events of the local community. Fedderson has traced 900 horses on the ground in the plaza with the intention that the public will fill them in. Those interested in participating in the community mural can visit the white tent next to the plaza to pick up liquid chalk and brushes to paint a horse of their own. 

The mural will be on display through Sunday, so stop by when you can. It could be there for a few more weeks, but any sort of rain could wash it away! 
Community members paint their own horses as part of the mural.
  • Community members paint their own horses as part of the mural.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Coeur d'Alene Casino hosts the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 2:16 PM

A shot from the 2012 Keeping the Homefires Burning event - SEVENTH GENERATION FUND
  • Seventh Generation Fund
  • A shot from the 2012 Keeping the Homefires Burning event

The Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort and Hotel is hosting the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples this Thursday, Friday and Saturday for an event called Keeping the Homefires Burning.

The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is an organization that was founded in 1977 during the cultural, social, and political renaissance era of the time. Executive Director Tia Oros Peters says that the organization came "out of a dream and a vision," and includes chiefs, clan mothers, youth and community activists who work to respond to the needs of grassroots indigenous communities.

The organization focuses its efforts on cultural revitalization, leadership innovation, community-based support and pure learning. Peters says that it is through these foundations that the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is able to transcend geography and boarders to promote learning and growth. 

Now in its 20th year, Keeping the Homefires Burning is three-day event that consists of educational sessions and speeches from a variety of indigenous leaders and panels throughout the Native community. Peters says the theme for the event this year is "Building Native Assets," and topics will include "strong identity, devotion to community and family, openness to meet others and building a future for everybody."

Group sessions from speakers, as well as board members of the Seventh Generation Fund, will focus on a variety of topics ranging from Native hip-hop, to culturally relevant healing strategies, to community empowerment.

Keeping the Homefires Burning hopes to bring between 150-170 participants from throughout the Inland Northwest, as well as from across the country to learn more about indigenous communities and engage in dialogue. 
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Two MAC exhibits close this weekend, but new art is on the way

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM

Pastels owned by Spokane artist Sheila Evans, featured in The Artist's Palette: Through the Lens of Dean Davis. - DEAN DAVIS
  • Dean Davis
  • Pastels owned by Spokane artist Sheila Evans, featured in The Artist's Palette: Through the Lens of Dean Davis.

This Sunday, June 28, two exhibits currently on display at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture are coming to a close. But, the museum has a few new exhibits on the schedule for the rest of the year, featuring art from near and far.  

One of the two closing exhibits is Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates. Comprised of 50 artworks including paintings, photographs, sculptures and films by 25 Emirati artists, this exhibit is a reflection of how the United Arab Emirates has approached economic development over the last 40 years, while also maintaining its people's tradition and heritage. Director of Museum Experience at the MAC, John Andrew Moredo-Burch says the exhibit is only being featured in a handful of U.S. cities. After its run in Spokane, Past Forward make two more stops before returning to Dubai.

Also closing after a seven-month run is The Artist's Palette: Through the Lens of Dean Davis. For the collection, the Spokane-based photographer captured the palettes of two dozen artists, all who have a connection to the Inland Northwest. Some photos are displayed alongside a piece of art by the featured artist to show the connection between the palette and the finished piece. 

Though two exhibits are closing, there will be new art filling the two gallery spaces soon. Moredo-Burch says replacing one of the current exhibits will be works from Saranac Art Projects, a local, non-profit artist cooperative that brings together artists and curators in the Inland Northwest. The new exhibit is set to open on July 24, running through the middle of September.

Following that, the MAC welcomes the Spokane Watercolor Society from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29 for a juried show that is open to all watercolor artists. 

And from Nov. 14 to Feb. 7, 2016, New York artist Sean Kenney's exhibit, Nature Connects, comes to the MAC. Nature Connects is a series of works made from Lego toys. Kenney's art includes portraits, home decor and sculptures, all made from the tiny, plastic pieces.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Window Dressing art installations are coming to the Ridpath

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 2:07 PM

Artist John deRoulet's artwork was featured at Window Dressing's first site this spring. - WINDOW DRESSING
  • Window Dressing
  • Artist John deRoulet's artwork was featured at Window Dressing's first site this spring.

Plans to turn one of downtown Spokane's largest eyesores — the long-vacant Ridpath Hotel — into an urban apartment complex are ever so slowly chugging toward reality. But a project of this scope is going to take time, and until it's underway the Ridpath block will continue to showcase graffiti, broken and boarded-up windows and other unpleasantries related to its vacancy. However, a new effort to make the scene around the hotel more inviting and less unsightly should change this unwelcome atmosphere sooner than expected.

Window Dressing, an local project that puts creative displays and art installations into empty downtown storefronts, is partnering with the Downtown Spokane Partnership and local sponsors to host installations at the Ridpath and the Ridpath Motor Inn starting in September. A call for artist proposals was issued today, offering a $500 stipend to artists whose installations are chosen for each of five designated sites (one includes the skywalk between the two buildings). Submissions are due on August 2 at midnight, and a tentative opening reception for the project is set for September's First Friday event. The full timeline and information for interested artists is listed here.

Window Dressing's first storefront display was revealed last January, at 1011 W. First, in the Music City Building where Terrain was held for many years before moving to its new home last fall. Other artists' projects have since rotated in and out of that spot, and Window Dressing also has hosted installations at a second site, 702 W. Main, near River Park Square. The most recent project there was tied to Get Lit! in April, but now that the spot at the corner of Main and Wall is going to become an Urban Outfitters store, that space won't host any more projects. 

Part of Window Dressing's Get Lit! project on West Main involved local author Sharma Shields reading from her book while sitting inside the installation. - PATRICK KENDRICK/WINDOW DRESSING
  • Patrick Kendrick/Window Dressing
  • Part of Window Dressing's Get Lit! project on West Main involved local author Sharma Shields reading from her book while sitting inside the installation.

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