Arts & Culture

Friday, August 26, 2016

Z Nation crew shooting around Spokane, including in Inlander's backyard

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 12:16 PM

A group of Z-Nation actors hop on a cart for a ride down to a shooting location near the Spokane River.
  • A group of Z-Nation actors hop on a cart for a ride down to a shooting location near the Spokane River.

On Thursday, the cast and crew behind Syfy's hit zombie series Z Nation assembled in Kendall Yards to shoot a scene for the show's upcoming third season. The Inlander managed to sneak a peek at the set and grab some details on the scene in question.

Several trucks had parked in the barren, dirt-covered area on Summit Parkway just off Monroe, and crew members went about their duties as carts carried people and equipment to and from the shooting locations. Filming occurred on either side of the Spokane River. Fully-costumed cast members sauntered about in ragged clothing, carrying realistic-looking firearms and in many cases sporting elaborate makeup jobs (though no zombies were present).

Marc Dahlstrom, one of the show's producers, chatted with us about the scene, which is intended for inclusion in the thirteenth episode of the show's third season.

"It's a scene that's taking place kind of under the Monroe Street Bridge," Dahlstrom says. "There's that circle roundabout overlook to the Falls, and we've made it basically an encampment where our heroes and some other guys trying to save the world have gathered to plot the next step on what they need to do to save mankind and kill all the zombies."

Much of the main cast assembled on-set for the scene, including Keith Allan, who plays the virus-immune Alvin Murphy, and Kellita Smith, the actress behind protagonist Roberta Warren.

Z Nation's third season premieres on Syfy on September 16. Keep an eye out for filming around downtown today. And check below for more of the photos we snapped on and around the set.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Submissions for Terrain 9 are open; artists have one week left to submit

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 4:12 PM

If you've been following the local arts organization Terrain since its beginning, it's sort of wild to realize that it's already just shy of its 10th anniversary — that milestone comes next year.

Growing to become one of the most widely-attended local arts events of the year, Terrain again hosts its annual, one-night-only arts and music showcase on the first Friday of October; this year that's Oct. 7.

Many of us fondly remember past inceptions of Terrain. The line to get inside the free event always seems to wrap around the block at some point in the night. Arts supporters of all ages are willing to wait to view the innovative local art, and to see and hear live music, poetry and other performances through the night.

But before art can deck the walls and the bands can take the stage, creative folks across the region need to get their last-minute submissions in to be considered for the juried show.

Submissions are due by midnight on August 31 — that's one week from today. All the requirements and details you need to know to be included in this year's showcase can be found online, right here.

Then, to celebrate the closing of submissions for Terrain 9, the Observatory bar in downtown Spokane is hosting a special event Aug. 31, starting at 8 pm. On the lineup are local bands Von the Baptist and Outercourse, with special guests Pastel Felt from L.A.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Spokane Arts director Laura Becker to leave the citywide arts nonprofit this fall

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 2:09 PM

Outgoing Spokane Arts director Laura Becker, in a photo illustration from the Inlander's 2015 Fall Arts issue. - KRISTEN BLACK / CHRIS BOVEY
  • Kristen Black / Chris Bovey
  • Outgoing Spokane Arts director Laura Becker, in a photo illustration from the Inlander's 2015 Fall Arts issue.

After a little more than a year and a half at the helm of the city's nonprofit arts fund/commission, Spokane Arts executive director Laura Becker is leaving her role there later this fall.

In a recent email letter to the organization's supporters, the Spokane native expressed sincere appreciation for the opportunity to lead the organization since the start of 2015, and being able to contribute to the growth of the local arts community, which has been building positive momentum for several years now.

Becker has accepted a position as cultural affairs supervisor for the City of Santa Monica, California. In her resignation announcement, she writes:
There were several factors informing my decision to move on. First, my partner is wrapping up his time here in Spokane and is moving back to his home state of California. This is a move that I have delayed for as long as possible but ultimately, I needed to consider this relocation a reality for us. In addition, I have been offered and have accepted an incredible opportunity to serve as the Cultural Affairs Supervisor to the City of Santa Monica’s public art program, a role for which my background and experience make me an ideal candidate.

Looking forward, I must prioritize my family and manage my professional life with greater balance – this position and a move closer to my family are a clear path for me. I have great love for Spokane and am honored to have led this organization for as long as I have and with so many accomplishments to account. I am immensely hopeful that Spokane Arts will attract an extremely qualified and passionate leader who can continue the work that we have all contributed to this organization’s young life. Given this decision, I have heavily considered plans for a sound and harmonious organizational transition. 
Becker was hired in fall 2014 to take on the role as Spokane Arts' executive director after the departure of its first leader, Shannon Halberstadt, who left after just a year to relocate back to Seattle with her husband. Becker brought years of experience to her role with Spokane Arts, having worked in administrative positions for several Seattle arts groups since 2001.

During her tenure at Spokane Arts, Becker helped bring in thousands of dollars of grant funds, assisted with the implementation of numerous public art projects like the downtown Mobile Murals project and the traffic signal-box art, and continued to grow October's Spokane Arts Month, along with many other initiatives. 

Until a new director is hired, starting on Sept. 23 Spokane Arts will be led by interim director Ellen Picken, who currently serves as its program manager. Karen Mobley's duties as public art program contractor will also expand, along with those of other staff members.

A search committee for Becker's replacement has been formed, and the job posting for Spokane Arts next executive director is posted online.
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Steve Martin and Martin Short hit the INB for one wild and crazy night

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 11:11 AM

It's going to be funny.
  • It's going to be funny.

Calling it An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life, comedians Martin Short and Steve Martin are set to perform on the INB Performing Arts Center stage October 20. And fans of Martin's original stand-up are in for a treat as the show features stand-up — not that it will be the same as the old days, of course (see below) — along with music, film and stories between the two famed actor/comedians. 

The Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy-winning bluegrass band Martin frequently lends his banjo talents to, will also be on hand. 

The pair, now 66 and 70 respectively, have known one other for years. working on multiple films together including the Father of the Bride movies and ¡Three Amigos! Most recently Martin co-wrote a Broadway musical with Edie Brickell called Bright Star, and Short worked on Maya & Marty, a summer variety show with Maya Rudolf.

Tickets for October's show go on sale next Friday and start at a whopping $85. Those wanting to get up close and personal with the comedy legends can spend as much as $350. And going against what the show's title might suggest, it's doubtful you'll forget this evening any time soon. 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is just enough to keep fans going

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 1:30 PM

WARNING: An extreme amount of spoilers are contained in the following blog. If you do not wish to know the major plot points of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, or any other Potter story for that matter, please do not continue reading. If, however, you have recently completed the new book, which came out Saturday night at midnight, and potentially care a little too much about these books, please read on.

Is J.K. Rowling out to steal our hard-earned money? Absolutely. And yet for another taste of the Harry Potter world I'd give over all of my galleons. With the hard-bound script of the two-part play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is currently sold out on London's West End until next summer, fans get a glimpse at the future of the Boy Who Lived, beginning  where book seven's too-happy epilogue left off. 

Here playwright Jack Thorne takes the new story, written partly by Rowling, and crafts a piece of theater full of humor, sorrow and ultimately redemption (as we knew it must). That isn't to say there aren't some disturbing elements — Albus as Ron kissing his own aunt; Delphi, a young woman, preying upon teenage boys; and, of course, the idea that Bellatrix and sweet Voldy got it on — but I'm glad the tone is darker here.

Albus Severus Potter is a kid who isn't anything like his father or cool older brother James. He's a Slytherin, the worst thing you could be in a family full of Gryffindors. He's angry and feels alone. When his famous father says he wishes he wasn't his son, the scene is heartbreaking. The one bright spot on Albus' life is the wonderful son of Draco Malfoy, Scorpius. 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Spokane Civic Theatre welcomes new artistic director

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 2:40 PM

New artistic director of the Spokane Civic Theatre, Lenny Bart.
  • New artistic director of the Spokane Civic Theatre, Lenny Bart.
With the departure of its former executive artistic director Keith Dixon earlier this year, the Spokane Civic Theatre immediately began a nationwide search for a replacement. 

Now, just as the community theater ramps up for its 2016-17 season beginning next month, the Civic also welcomes its new artistic director, Lenny Bart. He'll arrive in Spokane on Sept. 9, just in time for the Civic's 70th Anniversary Gala happening on opening night of the upcoming season, which kicks off with a performance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on the main stage, running through Oct. 9.

In a press release announcing Bart's arrival to the Spokane Civic team, interim Artistic Director Jack Phillips says: "He brings a wealth of experience in guiding theaters very similar to us. I know he'll work well with new CEO Mike Shannon and will quickly get to know the hundreds of wonderful volunteers that work here."

Before coming to the Civic, Bart served as executive director for Arts Quincy/Quincy Society of Fine Arts of Quincy, Illinois. Prior to that, he spent three seasons as executive director of the Quincy Community Theatre. His resume also includes a long list of work with many other respected theater organizations in New Jersey and New York. 

In the role of artistic director, Bart will work alongside Civic CEO Shannon in a new dual-leadership model for the organization. Under this structure, Shannon is responsible for leading business and development responsibilities for the theater, freeing Bart to focus primarily on creative duties and performances.
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Creative nonprofits INK Artspace, Spark Center merge to become Spark Central

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 4:45 PM

The Kendall Yards learning center now bears Spark Central's new logo, which pays homage to our region's rail heritage. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • The Kendall Yards learning center now bears Spark Central's new logo, which pays homage to our region's rail heritage.

Today was the big reveal.

The creative hub located in the heart of Kendall Yards — on the edge of both downtown Spokane and the West Central neighborhood — that was formerly home to two learning-centric entities, Spark Center and INK Artspace, is now home to just one: Spark Central.

The marriage of the two growing organizations brings both of their similarly aligned arts, literary and education missions under one umbrella. The new Spark Central name not only maintains the community's nickname of "Spark" for the actual venue, but the replacement of "Center" with "Central" is an appropriate nod to its home in the West Central neighborhood, which its programs and resources seek to serve. A new logo of train tracks fading into a sunburst on the horizon also pays homage to the Inland Northwest's rail town history. 

"Spark Central's mission, which is sort of a merging of the other two, is to ignite the creativity, innovation and imagination necessary for people to forge the path to their best future," explains the nonprofit's Executive Director Brooke Matson. 

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FILM REVIEW: The Innocents a heady exploration of faith, fact

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

A nun frantically seeks medical help for a fellow sister in The Innocents
  • A nun frantically seeks medical help for a fellow sister in The Innocents

During the opening scene of The Innocents, a group of nuns recite their morning prayers. The camera pans slowly, delicately, to show their faces, simultaneously framing the abbey's arches in striking, patterned fashion. A woman's tortured howl echoes through the hall. Most of the nuns ignore the disruption, but one seems agitated. She neglects to bow at the prayer's end as all the others do.

This scene sets the stage for the film to follow with a brand of concise effectiveness that's rarely witnessed. Despite a total absence of dialogue, it immediately establishes the conflict that anchors the film: the internal clash of religious beliefs with the horrors of reality. 

Soon after the opening sequence, viewers are introduced to Mathilda (Lou de Laage), a French Red Cross doctor working relief in post-World War II Poland. One night, Mathilda reluctantly follows a desperate summons to an abbey, where she finds a nun on the verge of giving birth. Mathilda learns that the nunnery has been ravaged by rape, swept through by a company of Soviet soldiers in the aftermath of the war, leaving many of the nuns pregnant. The abbess (Agata Kulesza) worries that if the Polish Red Cross is notified of the nunnery's state, their violation of religious protocol will be reported, and the abbey will be shut down. Thus, Mathilda finds herself the sole caretaker able to save the nuns' lives while allowing them to salvage their faith. 

Of course, the task proves hardly simple. Mathilda is met at every turn with resistance. Some nuns are terrified to let the doctor examine their bodies, fearing eternal damnation if they break their sacred oaths. It's difficult not to groan at their stubbornness at points; Mathilda's atheistic insistence that the nuns' dire need for medical treatment trumps all potential religious consequence certainly seems the side that viewers are more likely to take in the ideological conflict. 

But The Innocents is careful to temper its portrayal of the situation so as not to come across as condemning religion. Each of its complex, nuanced characters adds a unique wrinkle. For instance, the tragically devout abbess, who boasts probably more shades of grey than anyone else in the film, is a fascinating personality, and viewers will likely find themselves forced to reevaluate their opinions of her over the narrative's course as her motivations are unveiled.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spokane Arts wants your nominations for the 2016 Arts Awards

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 3:44 PM


Know any outstanding artists, arts supporters, arts educators or volunteers in Spokane's creative community? Chances are, many of you out there do, and now is the time to nominate them to be recognized for their work.

The 2016 Spokane Arts Awards honors outstanding community members' contributions to our regional creative economy and culture. Four award categories — leadership, collaboration, imagination and inclusion — will be presented during the 2016 Create Spokane Costume Ball at the Washington Cracker Co. Building on the evening of November 5.

Though the presentation of the 2016 Spokane Arts Awards won't happen until later this fall, nominations are needed by an August 15 deadline, less than a month from now.

Who to nominate? Besides artists, arts supporters, educators and the like, also consider arts-centric businesses, organizations, donors and even neighborhoods, "... or any other entity which you feel deserves recognition. Emerging or established, young or old, on the edge or in the center — we welcome any nomination that celebrates the wealth of participation in Spokane's arts ecosystem," the call for nominations says.

Find the nomination form here, and also know that you can submit more than one person or organization for consideration. For inspiration and ideas, here's our story on last year's Arts Awards winners.

Also, if you own a local business, gallery or other arts-supporting locale, don't forget that August 15 is also the deadline to apply to be a participating location on the Fall Art Tour, happening Oct. 7-9.  Find out more about that opportunity here.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Out and about in Riverfront Park with Spokane's Pokémon Go players

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Tyler Zoesch and Daniel Moreno set an in-game lure to attract Pokémon Go characters to an area of Riverfront Park. - ANDRA MOYE
  • Andra Moye
  • Tyler Zoesch and Daniel Moreno set an in-game lure to attract Pokémon Go characters to an area of Riverfront Park.

By now, you've seen them everywhere: Kids and adults of all ages, slowly meandering through the parks and neighborhoods, heads down and eyes glued to their phones. Every so often, they stop — smartphone raised as if capturing an image of some ghostly presence, unseen to observers' eyes.

Add one more Pokémon to the Pokédex. 

Since launching just a week ago, the augmented reality app Pokémon GO has taken hold of our collective attention, spurring myriad media analyses, think pieces, subreddits, Facebook groups and filling your social media feed with friends' reactions — excitement for finally catching the elusive Pikachu, as well as incredulity that the game is seemingly everywhere (it actually is).

A PokeStop near the Post Street Bridge in downtown Spokane provides free, in-game resources like Poke Balls (needed to catch Pokemon) and Poke Eggs.
  • A PokeStop near the Post Street Bridge in downtown Spokane provides free, in-game resources like Poke Balls (needed to catch Pokemon) and Poke Eggs.
For the uninitiated, Pokémon GO uses a Google Maps overlay to create a reality-rooted game world, in which actual landmarks, businesses and other places become map points that serve as in-game locations, where players must physically travel to "collect" Pokémon, level up their characters and find in-game resources. Your phone's GPS system then locates you inside the game world so you know where to find these map points. Also, it's free to download and play on Android and iOS devices.

Whether you're on board or not, the game has truly ignited the pop culture world. So earlier today, several of us here at the Inlander decided to get out and meet some of the local players getting into the game, while also catching a few Pokés of our own. We headed to Riverfront Park, a hotbed for players eager to nab the other-dimensional Pokémon who pop up along its paved paths with regularity. 

First, we run into Tony Mowatt, who's been playing the game for the past several days, logging between 8-9 hours, he estimates.

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