Heart of the Arts -- Forgive us for sounding like a great big press release, but please, listen to the following: This weekend, Coeur d'Alene is the culture vulture's place to be as three different cultural events take over the city, not least of which is the 36th annual Art on the Green Festival on the North Idaho College campus. Artists from all over the Northwest exhibit here -- more than 140 at last count -- and you'd be hard pressed to find a better spread of pottery, watercolor, handpainted tiles, jewelry, photography, handmade hats, fiber arts and more. Go on, find a better festival. We dare you. We double dog dare you.
Where were we? Oh yeah, Art on the Green rocks. In addition to eyeing all the pretty, sparkly things on display, feast your ears on not one but two stages of live music, including Arnie Carruthers, the Coeur d'Alene Youth Orchestra, Melefluent, Paul Grove, Sylvia Lazo, Rouge, the Paul Peress Trio with Ruthie Ristick, Laura Love (see story page 29) and Los Erendiras, an all-female mariachi outfit from San Antonio. The Clothesline Booth is a great place where you can pick up original artwork - from emerging artists and well-known regional "art names" - priced in the easy-on-the-checkbook $5-$50 range. And finally, be sure to take the shuttle downtown for the Taste of the Coeur d'Alenes and the always popular Coeur d'Alene Street Fair.
Rubber Ducky -- Looking for another way to support the arts this weekend? Consider the Ducky Derby Dollar Dinner, a benefit for Artist Trust, a nonprofit organization that regularly awards grants and fellowships to working artists in Washington state. Attendees at the dinner can buy tickets for reflexology, fortune telling, the wheel of fortune and yoga demos; even better, they can wager on the rubber duckies which will be slowly bobbing, floating and sort-of-racing down the river to the finish line. The event also includes a classic car show, live music, and great eats from David's Pizza, Real Soda and more. The Ducky Derby Dollar Dinner takes place at the "Smith Country Manor," 15221 N. Shady Slope Rd., on Saturday, July 31, from 3-8 pm. Call 624-8566.
Short Shorts -- There's short fiction and then there's the kind that you can read from start to finish in the time it takes to yawn and mutter, "I'm bored." Certain times - i.e., summer - call for a certain kind of literature, and thus it was that our first-ever 101-Word Fiction Contest was born. From now through Aug. 18, we're accepting your heartbreakingly small works of staggering genius and publishing the best ones in the Aug. 26 issue of The Inlander.
As for our other literary competition -- the mighty Short Fiction Contest - have no fear. It'll be back this winter as always.