FALL ARTS: Culture Events


Among 50 libraries across the U.S., Gonzaga University's Foley Library was selected to host this traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., that explores how Americans in the 1930s and '40s responded to reports of Nazism and Jewish genocide. On display through early October, "Americans and the Holocaust" is on the library's third floor and is free and open to the public. Using primary sources, the exhibit challenges long-held assumptions that most U.S. citizens at the time either didn't know what was happening to Europe's Jewish population or did little to help. Check the Foley Library website for hours and special events tied to the exhibit. Gonzaga University Foley Library, hours vary, free, gonzaga.edu/foley-library (CS)

SEPT. 24

It takes a lot of people to ensure that a region's arts scene is alive, well and — most of all — flourishing. Each fall, Spokane Arts, the city's nonprofit arts booster, sets aside an evening to celebrate the arts and honor those who are making lasting contributions to the region's diverse artistic identity. By opening the nominations to the public, locals also get a say in who's recognized, whether that's a respected organization or one individual making waves in one of the awards' four categories: leadership, collaboration, imagination and inclusion. All are invited to come find out who wins, and to celebrate at a joyful reception with music, poetry, dance and more. Lucky You Lounge, 7 pm, $25, ages 21+, spokanearts.org (CS)

OCT. 15

It's always heartening to see just how much humor transcends our conventional notions of borders that allegedly separate cultures. Comedian Vir Das is proof positive of this. He was born in India, raised in Nigeria and went to college in Illinois before starting a standup career in India, then transitioning to acting in Bollywood and, finally, carving out a niche on American TV as an actor and comedian (including five Netflix comedy specials). Basically, Das finds a way to succeed and be funny wherever he happens to be while never losing touch with his Indian roots (even if he's using them for joke fodder). Bing Crosby Theater, 7 pm, $42, bingcrosbytheater.com (SS)

OCT. 20

When one digs into events of the past, it's not uncommon to discover dirty, dark secrets that those long gone from this world probably hoped would, well, stay dead with them. While the grittier doings of the Amasa B. Campbell family, whose opulent home has long been a living history museum at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture campus, may not be as salacious as, say, a modern true crime series, it's still intriguing enough to warrant sharing. This special one-night tour series unveils some of the stranger actions of the mining magnate family and their connections, from persistent rumors to true misfortune. (Take note that tickets are only available in person, and tour spots are limited, so you should arrive by 5 pm to save a spot.) The MAC, tours from 6-6:45 pm, $4-$6, northwestmuseum.org (CS)

OCT. 20, NOV. 17, DEC. 15

Spokane Public Library's monthly late-night talk show is back, baby! Resuming in the newly reopened and remodeled Central Library, in the third floor space now named nxyxyetk Hall, Lilac City Live! is a lively and often laugh-out-loud program hosted by local musician and humorous personality Ryan Dean Tucker, who's also the library's video education specialist. Featured guests each month range from writers to musicians and artists to chefs, and are usually announced a few weeks before each iteration. For October's show, local paranormal investigator Amanda Paulson is set to chat with Tucker, with other "spooky season" guests expected to join the lineup as of this writing. Central Library, free, 8 pm, all ages, spokanelibrary.org (CS)

OCT. 21-23

There's nothing quite like watching tiny smiling faces singing and dancing along with their favorite Disney characters. That opportunity usually only comes once a year when Disney On Ice skates into town. This particular edition of Disney On Ice invites audiences on a road trip to iconic Disney destinations. Go into the show with an open mind, maybe you'll heal your inner child and have just as much, or more, fun as the little one standing next to you. Spokane Arena, Fri at 7 pm, Sat at 11:30 am, 3 and 7 pm, Sun at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm; $20-$100, spokanearena.com (MP)

OCT. 28-30

Admit it, you're a nerd at heart. We've all got a little nerd in us, and it's time to let it all out. SpoCon is Spokane's premier science fiction and fantasy convention, and the 2022 lineup certainly doesn't disappoint, featuring award-winning fantasy writers and horror TV show prop designers. The convention always includes a plethora of vendors, exciting panels, themed dances and multiple costume contests for attendees of any age. Get out there and geek out. Historic Davenport Hotel, times vary, $45, spocon.org (MP)

NOV. 4, 11, 18, 25

While movie trailers are designed to give viewers fragments of the story to grab their attention, do they give enough plot information for viewers to determine if the movie will be a blockbuster hit or a waste of money? That's what the Blue Door Theatre is testing in its new show, for which actors create an improvised version of a movie based solely on the trailer and nothing else. With the show rated for general audiences, it's the perfect Friday night activity for all ages. The Blue Door Theatre, 7:30 pm, $8, all ages, bluedoortheatre.com (SSa)

NOV. 12 & 13

Folk music has been around for... well, ever. It's learned mostly through hearing rather than reading, which is what makes it so special. The Fall Folk Festival is the event of the year for all who enjoy the sweet sounds of the banjo. Wander throughout the halls long enough, and you might just stumble upon your new favorite folk artist or a workshop to attend. Along with the eight stages of constantly rotating folk bands and dancers, local vendors will sell their wares and spread the good word about folk music and culture to all who lend a listening ear. Spokane Community College, Sat from 11 am-8 pm, Sun from 11 am-5 pm, free, spokanefolkfestival.org (MP)

NOV. 14 & 15

How many other live performances require the issuance of an audience advisory? Cool, right? What started as late '80s performance art on the streets of lower Manhattan by three quirky dudes, Blue Man Group has morphed into an epic stage production involving a complex and fast-paced narrative with sound, lights, fantastical instruments, screen images and occasionally splashing paint. The only constant in their repertoire is the Blue Men themselves: Dressed in black, all visible skin painted blue, they do not speak. So even if you saw them previously, expect all new full-sensory shenanigans when they come to Spokane. First Interstate Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 pm, $45-$90, firstinterstatecenter.org (CAS)

NOV. 19

Join Gonzaga dance students at their annual Dance Presents! event, which highlights the dance and artistry of nationally renowned professional dance companies. This year, they welcome Utah's most established contemporary dance institution, the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. The night also features a performance from the Gonzaga University Repertory Dance Company and is the perfect way to support the arts with friends and family. Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm, $15, all ages, gonzaga.edu (SSa)

NOV. 25

While Jay Leno is best known for his time hosting the Tonight Show, he's making a return to the spotlight and his stand-up comedy roots with his all-new comedy tour that's stopping in Spokane. Not only is Leno performing new material that he's curated and perfected during his time off air, he's also bringing back the trivia game "You Bet Your Life" to his set. Whether you're a lifelong fan or just getting into his comedy, it's bound to be a hilarious and memorable night for everyone. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 7:30 pm, $58-$128, foxtheaterspokane.org (SSa)

DEC. 2-JAN. 1

Remember the incredibly cool Chinese Lantern Festival at Riverfront Park back in 2015? A slightly scaled back and more holiday-themed version is returning this year when the Northwest Winterfest takes over the Spokane County fairgrounds. Transitioning from being the outdoor, drive-through event of 2021, this year's Winterfest is all inside (where it's warm!), and features dozens of highly detailed, lighted lantern displays, from Santa to cute woodland animals and decorated evergreens, plus more. There are also food vendors, games and other activities to enjoy. Details are still coming together, but mark your calendars now for this fun, family-friendly multicultural experience. Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, $12-$17 (kids 10 and under free), Fri from 5-8 pm, Sat from 4-8 pm, Sun from 3-6 pm, northwestwinterfest.com (CS)

DEC. 1-4

The Nutcracker is a staple of the holiday season, so when it comes to town for four days each year, it's an experience you don't want to pass up. Not only does the ballet include live music from the Spokane Symphony, it includes the dazzling performances from State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, and the local youth dancers from Spokane who join them on stage each year. No matter how many times you've seen The Nutcracker in Spokane, the sets, costumes and talent of all of the performers remain as memorable and inspiring as ever. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, times vary, $25-$99, all ages, spokanesymphony.org (SSa)

DEC. 17

Spokane is an art city, and it's all thanks to the incredible local artists that stick around and present their hard work to us year after year. BrrrZAAR is the one-stop shop for all things local art, but it might take you a few hours to see it all. The market takes place on all three levels of River Park Square, making it the largest art market in Spokane. Not only will patrons find thousands of locally made items, but the event also includes live music and activities for all ages. River Park Square, 10 am-8 pm, free to shop, terrainspokane.com (MP)

DEC. 29-31

While some stand-up comedians use high energy or gimmicks to hook an audience, Sam Morril is content to hang back and let his joke writing do the talking. His calm, raspy, almost deadpan delivery draws an audience in without desperately grasping to get their attention. His new Netflix special Same Time Tomorrow captures the fluidity of his humor. He can hit humorous insights on modern events and politics in such a matter-of-fact way (rather than try to be a provocateur) and then swiftly move onto another topic, craft hilarious bits from his own life and relationships, and do crowd work that actually pops. Whether pointing out the stupidity of moral statement shirts, the similarities between the Catholic Church and Amazon, or why slow drivers make him suspicious about Nazism, there's always a new humorous spin around the corner. Laughing in the New Year with Morril sounds like a pretty good way to wind down 2022. Spokane Comedy Club, Thu at 7:30 pm, Fri at 7:30 and 10:30 pm; Sat at 5, 7:30 and 10:30 pm; $25-$50, spokanecomedyclub.com (SS) ♦