& & by Mike Corrigan & & & &

In case you haven't noticed, the folks at the Downtown Spokane Partnership have been sponsoring a little something they call Live After 5 this summer, a once-a-month, post-workday celebration of the arts in Spokane featuring live music and an artwalk through downtown galleries. It's an all-out effort to encourage folks to come out and experience what downtown has to offer in the evening.

"I'm from Seattle," says event spokesperson Rian Rosa. "And I don't remember anything like this over there. That's what's so neat about it. It's unique to Spokane, something with a hometown feel that the whole community can come down and experience. Something that involves the whole city."

The next installment of this free event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24, from 5-9 pm. This time around, in addition to all the music and art, the streets of downtown (including the infamous Riverside Strip) will be flooded with Detroit muscle -- hot rods, baby.

Maybe it's the blazing sun bouncing off all those enameled fenders and chrome headers, or the way the heat causes the soft tops to come down, but summertime and rods seem to go hand-in-hand.

In connection with the impending National Street Rod Nationals at the Spokane Fairgrounds on Aug. 25-27, Riverside from Post to Howard will be blocked off for the fifth annual Scholarship Car Show. Though the event at the Fairgrounds features only pre-1949 vehicles, at the Live after 5 show (if last year was any indication) it's anything goes. Yup, expect to see some '60s muscle cars and maybe even a few modern classics in the mix.

"It was real popular last year," says Rosa. "And this year, Hot Rod Deluxe will be performing on the back of a flatbed truck. Kind of fits doesn't it?"

The musical diversions take place not only on that flatbed and at the main stage on Wall but in and around the various participating galleries. On the main stage, Misspent Youth and Spokane's funk-rock ambassadors Delbert will perform starting at 5 pm. Other local entertainers on deck to lay some mood on the troops include Working Spliffs at the Children's Museum, Branded Heart at Colburn's Gallery, Sidhe at the Hotel Lusso, the Trailer Park Girls at the Flour Mill and Canned Music at the Lorinda Knight Gallery.

"Obviously, we're trying to get people to come to the main stage," says Rosa. "But our goal is to get everybody to go to all the locations."

Live After 5 is Thursday, Aug. 24, at 5 pm in locations throughout downtown Spokane. Misspent Youth and Delbert will perform at the main stage on Wall Street, area galleries are open late for the artwalk and the hot rod show is on Riverside. Free. Call: 456-0580.

American Inheritance: Unpacking World War II @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 23
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