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

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.

Today we’ll hear from Dean Cameron, publisher of a regional magazine celebrating the full spectrum of the arts, also enjoy a performance by Derrick Parker, one of areas most compelling singers, and learn a bit about this year’s Spokane International Film Festival from Dan Webster. Music on the way in and out today is taken from American composer Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, played by the Attacca String Quartet, in Spokane this week as part of Northwest BachFest.

Good afternoon, and welcome to SPR’s Northwest Arts Review, a half hour exploring the people, places and events forming the rich arts tapestry we enjoy here in the Inland Northwest, and our wider intermountain Northwest region. Today we’ll hear a young Spokane artist’s fascinating and quite different back story, also celebrate an expansion of our SPR artistic outreach, and check Nathan Weinbender’s response to a new Netflix documentary.

photo by Grace June (2019)

Erin Pringle is the author of a novel, Hezada! I Miss You (forthcoming Awst Press, 2020) and two short story collections, The Whole World at Once (West Virginia University Press/Vandalia Press 2017) and The Floating Order (Two Ravens Press, 2009). She has written three chapbooks: "How The Sun Burns Among Hills of Rock and Pebble" (The Head and The Hand Press, Philadelphia/2015); "The Lightning Tree" (Underground Voices, 2015); and "The Wandering House" (Awst Press, Austin/2016).

Keelin Elizabeth Photography


  Many high schoolers compete in sports, and others square off in debate or knowledge bowl. But each year, the Downtown Spokane Public Library and Spokane Arts host a more unusual competition for high school students.

Cameron McGill is a poet, educator, and musician living in Moscow, ID. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Sonora Review, RHINO, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Meridians, will be published on February 1 by Willow Springs Books. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho and teaches at Washington State University, where he serves as poetry editor of Blood Orange Review and co-director of the Visiting Writer Series. His work lives at cameronmcgill.com.

Misty and Hope Shipman-Ellingburg are indigenous writers and producers from Spokane. Enrolled members of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, they began writing and producing for film in 2015. Through the last four years, they have honed their skills, co-writing and producing two short films, BLOODHOUND and PIXEL. Their SAGA award will support production of their new film, TIGER LILY IS MY LITTLE SISTER, which wants to answer the question: “What does a modern Salish story look like?” as they address themes surrounding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.


Brian Deemy from Spokane Tintype Studio has recieved a Spokane Arts Grant Award, which will allow him to offer classes here in spokane where students and subjects will be able to step through a time capsule, sit in front of a 115 year old camera, and see their image reflected in a process dating back to the Civil War.

Chris Maccini

For nearly ten years, Spokane Youth Ballet (SYB) has provided performance opportunities to dance students in the Spokane area by producing professional-level ballets starring local dancers. With SAGA support, SYB will be expanding its mission of promoting the art of dance by taking ballet into local schools.

Two young, emerging artists, going by the noms d'art of Gemma Lou and Implicit Imagery, came to our SPR studio for a conversation about their art, their inspirations and their aspirations. Here is part of that conversation, along with samples of their work.

Beginning Monday, January 13, 2020 and showing monthly through Monday, June 8, The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture -hosts a series of award-winning independent documentary films at the Magic Lantern in downtown Spokane. All films begin at 7PM and are followed by a discussion or panel with the audience and special guests. Tickets are $8.

With support from SAGA, Scablands Books will publish a graphic novel, Baby Speaks Salish, by local writer Emma Noyes. Proceeds will go to the Salish School of Spokane, which is dedicated to keeping the interior Salish languages alive in the face of ongoing colonialism.

Christopher Boucher is the author of the widely praised novels Golden Delicious and How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive. Boucher teaches literature and writing at Boston college and is editor the literary magazine Post Road. He was in Spokane as part of Eastern Washington University Visiting Writers Series.


November is National Native American Heritage Month, and the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library is featuring an exhibit by local photographer Robert Charloe which showcases decades of his work exploring the experience of American Indians in the northwest and beyond.

Dean Davis

Christopher Howell is the author of twelve collections of poetry including Love’s Last Number, Gaze, and most recently, The Grief of a Happy Life, just released by University of Washington Press. Howell has received numerous awards including the Washington State Governor’s Award, the Washington State Book Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and three Pushcart Prizes. Locally, he is known as a faculty member in Eastern Washington University’s Master of Fine Arts program as well as director of Willow Springs Books and Lynx House Press.

Gordon S. Jackson, is the author of the new novel, Never Say Moist at Wyndover College. Jackson taught journalism at Whitworth University for more than 30 years. He grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era, encountering the sensorship that subsequently promted him to promote free expression in the classroom and in his writing. Never Say Moist at Wyndover College is Jackson’s fourteenth book, and his second novel. 

orphanwisdom.com

Stephen Jenkinson is an activist, teacher, author, social worker, farmer, and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School. He is also the host of A Night of Grief & Mystery, a musical, poetic, ceremonial evening which he describes as “devoted to the ragged mysteries of being human.” The tour will be in Spokane on Wednesday, November 13th, 7 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater. Jenkinson joined Chris Maccini via phone to talk about his work and upcoming performance.

Dean Davis

Spokane Arts announced earlier this month that Spokane’s next Poet Laureate will be Chris Cook. Cook and outgoing Poet Laureate, Mark Anderson, talk with SPR's Chris Maccini.

TEDx Spokane will take place on Saturday, October 26th, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane. This year's event will feature educators, authors, poets, morticians, community advocates, non-profit administrators, and more. 

Event founder Jaime Tender talked with SPR's Chris Maccini about the origins of the event, and two of this year's performers, Spokane Poet Laureate Mark Anderson, and musician Karli Ingersoll gave a preview of their TED Talks.

Tickets and details about the event can be found at TEDxSpokane.com.

Kathryn Smith's new chapbook, Chosen Companions of the Goblin, won the 2018 Open Country Chapbook Contest. It is inspired by the real-life story of the Fox Sisters, who claimed to be spiritual mediums and helped spark the spiritualist movment in 19th century America. 

She will be hosting a release party for the book, on Friday, October 25, 7 p.m. at the Woman's Club of Spokane, 1428 W 9th Ave.

Writers in the Community (WITC) is a not-for-profit internship project that sends MFA students from Eastern Washington University to volunteer as creative writing teachers in placements as varied as hospitals, correctional facilities, halfway houses, community non-profits, as well as public, private, or alternative schools, and other locations throughout the Spokane area.

Their Spokane Arts Grant Award will fund a creative writing contest for high school students. For more information about Writers in the Community and the creative writing contest, email witc@ewu.edu.

Nicholas Decaro is an artist, student at Whitworth University, and founder of Apostrophe Spokane Art Collective which exhibits LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and women artists from six local universities. Apostrophe Spokane is the recipient of a Spokane Arts Grant Award for their upcoming second annual exhibit of curated student artwork. 

The exhibition will run from April 3 to 12, 2020 with work by student artists from Whitworth University, Spokane Falls Community College, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, North Idaho College, and Washington State University. More information about Apostrophe Spokane can be found on their Facebook page

SPR | Chris Maccini

 


Now in its twelfth year, Terrain has become a signature arts event for the Inland Northwest. This year’s annual showcase will feature close to 300 artists, musicians, and performers on display at the Jensen Byrd Building in Spokane’s University District.

 


Fall is a busy season for art in the Inland Northwest. This weekend, a unique arts festival will invite the public into working artists’ studios.

The Little Spokane River Valley is home to popular parks, golf courses, small farms, and suburban developments. Driving through, you might not notice the many artist studios, but this Saturday, September 28, five studios in this neighborhood will open their doors to the public, showcasing forty artists from around the Northwest.

Jeff Alessandrelli and Hajara Quinn are two Portland-based poets who came through Spokane on their way to the Montana Book Festival earlier this month. They stopped in to the SPR studio to talk with Chris Maccini about their new books and their Montana Book Festival panel titled "Is This Surreal or For Real?"

Harper Quinn is the author of Coolth (Big Lucks Books, 2018). She received her MFA from Cornell University in 2014, and her work has been supported by Literary Arts and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Poems can be found in Gramma Daily, Gulf Coast, The Volta and Sixth Finch. She lives in Portland, OR where she works as the Program Director at the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

Rebekah Crane is the author of several critically acclaimed young adult novels, including The Infinite Pieces of UsThe Upside of Falling Down, and The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. She is a former high school English teacher who found a passion for writing young adult fiction while studying secondary English education at Ohio University. She is a yoga instructor and the mother of two girls. After living and teaching in six different cities, Rebekah finally settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to write novels and work on screenplays. She now spends her days tucked behind a laptop at seventy-five hundred feet, where the altitude only enhances the writing experience.

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