by Kirby Lindsay, posted 15 June 2012
The Fremont Arts Council (FAC) held its regularly scheduled monthly committee-of-the-whole (COW) meeting on June 12, 2012 – despite the sustained racket coming from all corners of the workshop, The Powerhouse, where the meeting was held.
The din of power drills, staple guns, and excited chatter was welcomed, as 56 registered ensembles (a possible record number) prepare costumes, floats and banners for the Solstice Parade coming up quickly on Saturday, June 16th at Noon.
While many of the meeting participants itched to get back to their own preparations, the parade took up most of the discussion. Yet, the participants also clearly acknowledged that they had interests in this organization beyond the coming parade.
Jessica Vets, of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, wanted to remind FAC-ers that she will be available this weekend during the Fremont Street Fair (happening simultaneously with the parade – and produced by the Chamber.) She also promoted a first-time ever Friday night at the Fair. On June 15th, Fair organizers will have a beer garden and live music on the northern U-Park lot at Phinney Ave N & N 35th Street from 4p – 11p.
That Friday night the FAC will hold its Moonlight Float Move, as parade participants (and any willing volunteers) shift the finished floats from The Powerhouse to 3rd Ave NW & NW 36th St – along N 35th St. Vets pointed out that, this year, the float movers will have an audience.
Vets also promoted the Fremont Fair After Party at High Dive, on Sunday, June 17th at 8p. FAC Board Member Peter Toms followed up with promotion of the Solstice Parade After Party on Saturday, June 16th, at 8p at OmCulture. There will be music and fellowship, and a chance to see video from the 2012 parade!
Finally, Vets mentioned that the Wallingford Neighborhood Association currently seeks applications for a new Executive Director. The amazing and nearly-indispensable Janet Stillman will retire following the Wallingford Kiddies Parade on July 7th. For more information on how to apply for this part-time, paid position contact Vets at email@example.com
Another announcements was made for the ‘Slightly Spicy Dinner Theater’ show at Backdoor @ Roxy’s, on July 8th, and produced by former FAC Board Member David Roman. This three-course meal is served interspersed with three mischievous theater pieces intended to spice up your Sunday night. Tickets cost $50 for dinner and one drink (21+) and can be purchased now at Brown Paper Tickets.
Looking Forward To Luminata
Launched on the agenda, Toms reminded everyone of the upcoming Luminata Lantern Walk on Friday, September 21st. Luminata will be the next FAC project after the Solstice, and he does not want it lost in the summer shuffle. Organizers have received a grant for this year’s celebration of the Fall Equinox, and homemade lights, and will have money available for some artists.
Longing For Signal Box Art
Vets then reported on a recent meeting held among representatives of the Chamber and the Fremont Neighborhood Council, and FAC President Rodman Miller, along with representatives from Urban ArtWorks. ArtWorks has gained a solid reputation as an organization empowering at-risk youth through art projects, especially large scale murals.
Over the last two years, they’ve branched out into a program of painting signal boxes (the grey metal cabinets that squat – often covered in graffiti – on one corner of every lighted intersection.) At an approximate cost of $1,000 per box, the program has successfully put art on boxes in Capitol Hill, SODO, the Downtown Seattle West Edge and, soon, Belltown. In each case, ArtWorks has tried to work with the community, and local property owners and businesses, to decorate the boxes – preferably using neighborhood artists.
At the meeting, the suggestion of painting Fremont signal boxes was warmly welcomed – particularly because the boxes have, so far, incurred very little graffiti. However, a local coordinator/curator would be needed to lead an effort in Fremont – to place a call for artists, find funding (with a lot of help,) and coordinate with Urban ArtWorks. Vets stated that anyone interested could contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Loss Of Aurora Bridge Mural
Also on the agenda was the questionable future of the Aurora Bridge Mural. The artist, Patrick Gabriel, has stated that he wants to ask the city to paint out the mural as it no longer reflects his best work due to weathering, graffiti and community restoration efforts, and its continued appearance on-line under his name has damaged his reputation.
FAC COW meeting attendees were stunned to hear this news, and they spoke of their understanding that the mural belonged to this community. Gabriel has waited to hear from the FAC about this, after sending correspondence in March, but he has now ceased discussions with all Fremont community representatives, although he remains in contact with the City of Seattle. Hopefully, everyone agreed, the City will contact the community when given orders to paint it out.
Oh, Yea, And The Parade
Solstice Parade Communications Manager Tessa Hulls observed that, “the parade is very soon.” This year, the Parade will end at Gas Works Park where there will be more celebrations. The FAC will have a music stage and beer gardens, like last year, but also the ‘We The People Power’ festival will take place from 1p – 7p. Hulls felt coordination among the organizers of these activities was going well.
The biggest concern, four days before the parade, was the lack of volunteers for the Green Hat ensemble. This ensemble literally collects money from the audience during the parade – ‘passing the hat’, get it? As the primary funding source for the Solstice Parade (although on-line donations can be made at http://myfremont.org/) the lack of these vital volunteers, Hulls admitted, kept her up at night.
Hulls also reported on the meeting she attended of the naked cyclists, as they discussed the rules of the road (no looping or entering the parade.) While the FAC welcome the painted cyclists to ride before the parade, cyclists pose safety hazards when they weave among costumed parade participants, stilt walkers and children. Toms observed that of the 700 cyclists that reportedly road in 2011, not all were with this primary group. Hulls had plans to create signage – and use a bullhorn – to, hopefully, convey the rules to all cyclists.
The COW also discussed staging, and taking down, of the parade, before an abrupt adjournment as everyone scattered back to their parade prep projects. To find out more about the Parade, and the FAC, visit the website – or attend the next COW meeting, which will be the second Tuesday in July (the 10th) at the Powerhouse, starting at 7:10 sharp. Everyone is always welcome.
- FAC Highlight Reel: Help Fund A Parade
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 14, 2012
- FAC Highlight Reel: What Else Is There?
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 17, 2011
- ‘What Are You Doing For The Solstice Parade?’
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 8, 2012
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.