Northwest Arts Review

KPBX: Thursday 12:30-1:00 p.m. | KSFC Thursday 3:30-4:00 p.m.

Northwest Arts Review brings together local arts segments that air throughout the week, as well as new content and interviews related to local music, theater, literature, film, and visual arts. 

Ways to Connect

This time around on NWAR, we again focus on visual arts, with guests Gina Freuen, co-founder of the Little Spokane Artist Studio Tour, and Ginger Oakes, owner of the Go Art Center on the South Hill. Both have stories to tell of art and artists in challenging times. Nathan Weinbender reviews a new film set in the art world, and the Spokane String Quartet provides the music.

This week, we focus on visual arts, catching up on the health of the local art scene with Spokane Arts Executive Director Melissa Huggins and previewing another innovative Art on the Go event happening this weekend with organizer Morgan Walters. Dan Webster checks in with a film review and we enjoy a bit of poetry, courtesy of frequent SPR guest, Mike Aleman. Our music is from a visit by the Pan Pacific wind ensemble last January.

Vanessa Veselka. She is the author of the novel Zazen, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for debut fiction. Her new novel is The Great Offshore Grounds, a sweeping story of a family drama tackling social status, death, love, femininity, American greed and mythology, the current state of the US healthcare system, sky-high rents, and the struggle to get by.

This week, String Orchestra of the Rockies Artistic Director Maria Larionoff joins us with the good news about the orchestra’s new season, which starts this weekend with live performances in Missoula. Chris Maccini introduces us to author Vanessa Vaselka and her new novel, The Great Offshore Grounds. Nathan Weinbender drops by with his take on a new Netflix offering, Project Power, and we’ll enjoy a bit of flute and piano music from our performance studio archive, played by Jennifer Slaughter and Melody Puller

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This week, conversations with Spokane Poet Laureate Chris Cook and Inland Northwest Opera General Director Dawn Wolski, both key figures at the intersection of pandemic and the arts. Dan Webster offers his take on a documentary that explores the winning-is-everything mindset of contemporary politics, and we get some soothing sounds from our studio courtesy of guitarist Jacob Johnson.

This week, NWAR features Jim Tevenan's monthly long-distance chat with Spokane Symphony Orchestra Music Director

James Lowe in Scotland, blended with music from Mexican-American enclaves in southern Idaho along with details from Idaho folk and traditional arts director, Steven Hatcher. Also, we’ll meet Ginger Ewing, Executive Director and CoFounder of Spokane's Terrain arts organization, including information about their current show/auction, “Art in the Time of Quarantine.”

This week, we mix conversations from the present with music from the first months of this program. Chris Maccini talks with Spokane tribe member and glass artist, Shawn Brigman, I’ll contribute a chat with emerging area artist, DJ Moon, and Denny Carman drops by to tell about his newest drive-by art project. Music includes sounds from the African children’s choir from their 2018 visit to KPBX.

On this week's Northwest Arts Review, visual art takes the spotlight as we contemplate a virtual art on the Green, learn about a new weekly pop-up art market in Spokane, and discover a brand new piece of downtown public art. Also in the mix, a couple of features from 2018 as we celebrate the program’s second birthday.

On this week's Northwest Arts Review, a conversation with the Idaho Arts Commission's Director of Folk and Traditional Arts, Steven Hatcher, also Chris Maccini lets us know about a special virtual event mounted by Auntie's Bookstore this weekend, we'll hear a musical tribute on the 100th birthday anniversary of a legendary Spokane teacher, Margie May Ott, and Nathan Weinbender lets us know about a pair of new films that paint a less than ideal portrait of 1950s America.

This week, Chris Maccini introduces us to Carter Hudson, another NPR Tiny Desk Contest entrant from the Inland Northwest, also we meet the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra Music Director-elect, Norman Huynh

, and hear a Dan Webster movie review. Music in and out is from a Bozeman Symphony Orchestra concert conducted by Norman Huynh last December.

Last week, we brought you the story of Coeur d’Alene musician Jackson Roltgen and his submission to this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest. This week, Spokane Public Radio’s Chris Maccini talks with another young musician, this time from Spokane, who also submitted a video for the national contest.

Watch Carter Hudson's full YouTube video submission here.

This week, one of long-time leaders of the Inland Northwest arts community, Karen Mobley, pays a visit to talk about her newest creation, a book of poetry. Also, Chris Maccini introduces us to a regional singer-songwriter who took the plunge and entered NPR’s country-wide Tiny Desk Concert competition, and Dan Webster offers his take on a new movie. Music today is a bit of ragtime piano from the Methow Valley’s Bill Hottell.


The Tiny Desk Concert has become a mainstay of  internet music. Intimate concerts from well known and obscure musicians performing at Bob Boilen’s desk at NPR headquarters. And for the past several years, NPR has opened up the Tiny Desk Contest, asking musicians from around the country to submit videos performing at their own tiny desks. This year, one of those entrants was Jackson Roltgen, a musician from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, who talked with SPR's Chris Maccini.

 

Watch Jackson's full YouTube video here.

Today, we meet the host of a program new to KPBX, but familiar to KSFC listeners. Her name is Sarah Aronson, and her program, The Write Question, which now follows NWAR each Thursday afternoon on KPBX. Also, Spokane Symphony Music Director James Lowe reports from his home in Edinborough, Scotland, updating us on his hopes and trepidations as the Symphony plans it next steps. And Dan Webster will be by with a film review. Our music going in is courtesy of Ludwig Van Beethoven, by way of the Spokane String Quartet.  

Today, two positive and I think uplifting conversations: we meet Diane Sherman, a Spokane artist who merges yoga, journaling, painting and drawing into her work, teaching, and way of living. We’ll also check in with cellist and director of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival Kevin Krentz, whose creativity has been more than stretched in these difficult times. Music is from the 2017 Methow Valley Music Festival.

This Week's NWAR takes us to Coeur d'Alene's Art on the Green, a traditional event available only virtually this year. We'll also hear from a young musician on the rise, violinist Yvette Kraft, back from a successful time at the Grumiaux Festival in Belgium. And we check in with David LaFever of the Methow Valley Interpretive Center. The Center recently received one of the federal government's CARES grants.

As we continue our series on how arts organizations are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, we hear from Mike Ferrians, manager of Dayton's iconic Liberty Theatre, and from Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre's Artistic Associate Chuck Etheridge. Dan Webster offers his take on the film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and we'll hear music from Kevin Brown, host of KPBX's Front Porch Bluegrass.

These days, we're all adapting to COVID-19 realities, artists and arts entities included. Two stories of change and adaptation are featured on this week's NWAR: A tale of a unique way of keeping visual art alive in the Spokane area that seems to be morphing into a new tradition called Art on the Go, and the story of a philosophical approach to the cancellation of a popular music festival that springs from a musical metaphor--the Grand Pause.

This week on Northwest Arts Review we'll learn about how two significant arts organizations are both coping with current pandemic realities and planning for an uncertain future as we hear from Blair Williams from Coeur d'Alene's The Art Spirit Gallery and Emily Paris-Martin from the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra. Also, we'll have a chance to learn a bit about the connection of art and Native American culture from Terry Cross, Founding Executive Director and current Senior Advisor of the National Indian Child Welfare Association.

On this edition of Northwest Arts Review, we again hear from Spokane Symphony Music Director James Lowe who has been quite busy producing podcasts and playlists to keep the SSO, its musicians and its music in the public consciousness during this time of live performance deprivation. We also welcome musician and educator Dan Keberle for music and conversation honoring the memory of his brother David, whose visits with the Spokane Jazz Orchestra as featured clarinetist are fondly remembered by many Spokanites.

Today, three different aspects of and approaches to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis from three different perspectives, that of a major regional museum director, the general director of a regional opera company, and a local artist who has organized a unique way for artists to display their work in these days of gallery closures. Sebastian Bach’s music is featured today, as recorded here at KPBX by Yulia Gorenman and Melody Puller.

Our Northwest Arts Review focus continues on the COVID-19's effect on regional arts, this time with the especially insightful thoughts of Kristina Ploeger, Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Washington University. Dan Webster drops by to offer more visual diversions to salve your cabin fever, and we hear from the Spokane String Quartet as well, part of our celebration of the national Public Radio Music Day.

Our focus this week remains on the COVID-19’s disruptive effects on the arts at all levels and in all dimensions. We’ll spend time with Methow Valley artist and art teacher Erik Brooks and Spokane Symphony Music Director James Lowe. Dan Webster drops by to share another visual diversion for this homebound time, and we’ll hear from Nathaniel de la Cruz, another of the CdA Symphony Young Artist winners.  

We focus again today on the continuing COVID-19 crisis and its effect on the regional arts community, hearing from Spokane Arts Executive Director Mellissa Huggins, and pianist and Sandpoint Conservatory teacher Melody Puller. Dan Webster offers a promising small screen viewing suggestion, and we’ll hear from another of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artist winners, soprano Melinda Wagstaff, recorded in our KPBX studio.   

It’s a challenging time, as the threat of COVID-19 hangs over all of us and makes for an especially trying situation for our regional arts community. But we continue to celebrate art and artists on NWAR, today starting with a conversation about a unique performance art form with one of its practitioners, Becca Osburn. We’ll also share the first of four in-studio performances by exceptional young musicians who are winners in this year's Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition.

This week on Northwest Arts Review, a mix of poetry, music and dance, plus a movie review. Poet Brooke Matson talks with Chris Macinni about her newly published collection of work and Gonzaga dance professor Suzanne Oestersmith chats with Verne Windham about the state of dance programs in the university setting, Jim Tevenan's guest is Dr. Jody Graves, who brings her great musicality and enthusiasm to a discussion of the upcoming Spokane jazz Orchestra celebration of George Gershwin's music. And we have a film review from Nathan Weinbender.

Brooke Matson is a poet and book artist in Spokane, Washington, where she is the executive director of Spark Central, a non-profit dedicated to igniting creativity, innovation, and imagination. Eight years of teaching and mentoring at-risk youth deepened her study of physical science and the psychological effects of violence and loss. 

Matson's second collection of poetry, In Accelerated Silence, was selected by Mark Doty as winner of the Jake Adam York Prize and has just been published by Milkweed Editions. 

On this installment of NWAR, we’ll hear from Spokane native Marshall Peterson who, after many years away, returned, ultimately to found an art gallery in the West Central neighborhood of the city. Also, a song from the musical Cabaret is on tap, courtesy of Spokane Civic Theatre. We'll ponder the question: Is it still a tribute band if some members are descended from the original crew? And we’ll again quiz an orchestra conductor about the route he took to the podium. Music on the way in is from keyboardist Bogdan Ota, whose work has been featured on both The Piano Bench and NWAR.

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