Music is the universal language: Help White Center Heights Elementary students speak it – with ukuleles!

May 21st, 2014 Tracy Posted in Arts, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off

That video is part of a brand-new crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising money to get ukuleles for students at White Center Heights Elementary School – watch it to get their thanks in advance, and then go here to contribute.

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Video: ‘Winter Fire’ greets winter’s first night at Greenbridge Plaza

December 21st, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news 2 Comments »

As previewed here last night, “Winter Fire” reigned in the reign right after nightfall at Greenbridge Plaza, about seven hours after winter’s official arrival (9:11 our time this morning).

P.S. In nearby Highland Park, a fire performance is also usually part of the “Not So Silent Night” New Year’s Eve parade, which starts from and finishes at HP Improvement Club headquarters – 6:30 pm December 31st.

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Live music tonight at Company Bar in downtown White Center

November 24th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

Live music tonight (Sunday, November 24) at Company Bar! Word comes from Matt Weiner, who’s playing there 7-10 pm with the Casey MacGill Trio (actually a quartet, Matt explains, with reedist Skerik Skerik). You might also know Matt as co-owner of Caffé Delia, whose new standalone home next to Proletariat Pizza is currently undergoing renovation work before the coffee shop reopens in the not-too-distant future. Matt reports that Company will have a dinner special, too, so make a night of it! (Company is at 9608 16th SW.)

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White Center, West Seattle artists collaborate with Burien filmmaker on ‘Ghostlight’

October 19th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

By Maggie Nicholson
Special to White Center Now

Burien filmmaker Jeff Ferrell‘s latest project has just come to fruition.

Ghostlight,” a horror film set in a historic theater, is the collaborative effort of local area actors, sound directors, and supervisors, including collaborators from White Center and West Seattle. Filming has been in progress since 2012, and the premiere run is under way.

The Historic Everett Theatre, where the movie was filmed, is the oldest active theater west of the Rocky Mountains. The theater has served as an opera house, vaudeville theater, stop-motion cinema and arts venue. In 1923, a fire devastated the interior and caused a partial collapse to the front wall. It was rebuilt in 1924, and reopened with 1,200 seats. When you step inside, the high walls slope to meet with a dome ceiling, interrupted by balconies whose railings flush with engravings.

“When you walk in,” says local filmmaker Jeff Ferrell. “You can feel its history.”

The street of the town where the theater is located gives no acknowledgment of such a past. The theater is nestled between an Irish sports bar and a bank. Ferrell first encountered the Everett Theatre while working on a 1920’s-styled music video with his friend David Stedman. When Ferrell learned the theater was said to be haunted, he asked to spend the night there alone. He packed a bag, a camera, and a guitar.

“I brought my guitar to play songs on stage for the ghosts,” says Ferrell, his wry-black eyes undulating with amusement.

Ferrell’s movie “Ghostlight” was filmed along similar premises to his actual experience that night in the Everett Theatre: main character, Andrew, spends the night alone in an allegedly haunted theater, in order to receive a large sum of money.

Ferrell says that while the movie is fictional, there are many internal reflections of real events: some which occurred during his own stay within the historic walls, and some which occurred during the filming itself.

Once during production, Ferrell decided to stay overnight. The drive home was long, and the hour was late. Ferrell says he slept on a couch in the dressing room. Stirring, he awoke to see a woman slowly walking down the stairs into the room. Ferrell urged himself up. As his slumber-ridden eyes grew to focus, he realized the woman was not a woman, but a small girl. Once she had fully entered the room, he could see only the top of her head poking out from behind the couch.

Another incident was recorded on camera and discovered while reviewing footage. A scene is disturbed by a black shadow, which moves distinctly back and forth through the frame six times.

In the end, Ferrell decided to keep the mysterious shadow in the movie, deeming it one of the “happy accidents” that often accompany filming. The shadow occurs when Andrew is alone on stage reciting Shakespeare. Ferrell says for artistic creation to be successful, creators must be ready to change their plans when inspiration strikes.

In the movie, the ghosts in Everett Theatre are decidedly negative; Ferrell assures me that the true presence in the theater is positive.

Most contributors involved in the production of Ghostlight are local to this metro area: Jeff Ferrell, producer, writer and director from Burien; star Brian Sutherland plays Andrew; West Seattle star Lisa Coronado plays Andrew’s wife Mira; Jim Charleston, production supervisor from Burien; Jason Alberts, sound director in Ballard; and Russell Hodgkinson, who plays the caretaker, lives in White Center.

Ferrell says he couldn’t have been happier with the final product. Credit, he says, goes to the cast and crew.

“It’s very important to have a team of collaborators who all want to contribute to the realization of the same dream,” says Ferrell.

Ferrell says he’s been drawn to the dark side of life since childhood. He and his grandmother spent many nights watching classic horror movies together.

“I don’t know how many people in the world can say their grandma introduced them to horror movies,” laughs Ferrell. “I think everyone is attracted to ghost stories because they address the universal fear and wonder of death. It’s an ancient human desire we have. We like to tell stories and we like to be scared.”

I was lucky enough to view the movie pre-screening, and I can’t recommend it enough: it is cohesive, horrific, emotional and aptly-directed. The movie runs through tonight at the Tin Theatre in Burien. Then, there is a special Halloween viewing at the theater that both inspired the movie and served as a set: the Everett Theatre. This showing of the film is a fundraiser. Profits go to the Everett Theatre to help it stay on its ancient feet.

Screening Dates and Addresses for ‘Ghostlight':

Tonight at the Tin Theater, Burien
923 SW 152nd St.

October 21, 2013, at the Grand Illusion Cinema, Seattle
1403 NE 50th St.

October 24-25, 2013, at the Clinton Street Theater, Portland
2522 SE Clinton Street, Portland

October 31, 2013, at the Historic Everett Theater, Everett, WA:
2911 Colby Ave

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Video: Bellydancing at August’s RatCity ArtCity event

August 11th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

Thanks to Dina Lydia for the video! She recorded two tribal bellydancers you might recognize from West Seattle’s legendary Troupe Hipnotica, dancing outside Aaron’s Bicycle Repair during last Thursday’s August 2013 edition of RatCity ArtCity. This month’s theme was again live performance/art, and the dancers were a lively example.

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Cultivate’s third annual Open Microphone event in White Center tonight

July 26th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, Music, White Center news Comments Off

Happening tonight at Greenbridge Plaza! Here’s the announcement:

This Friday, July 26th, Cultivate will be hosting our 3rd annual Outdoor White Center Open Mic.

The open mic will be a joint effort by Cultivate, The White Center CDA, The YES Foundation and Dub Sea Coffee and other community members. It’s an open mic but more of a concert feel with established local artist showcasing their talents for the White Center Community.

It’s a fun free event for families to enjoy in our wonderful community of White Center. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase local talent and celebrate the community of White Center.

The event will be on July 26th at 7 pm, Greenbridge Plaza – 9010 8th Ave SW.

For more info, here’s the Facebook event page.

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RatCity ArtCity seeking live performers for August festival

July 18th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

From RatCity ArtCity, which brought live painters to White Center businesses and streets one week ago tonight:

We are hosting another Live Performance Extravaganza in White Center! We place artists all over the streets of White Center to perform for the public during this 3-hour festival.

Looking for:

Dancers-Dance Troupes

Painters-Live Artists

Spoken Word Artists that can perform without a microphone

Poi Dancers


Plate Spinners

Interpretive Dancers
One Man Bands


Any other live performer you can think of!

The festival takes place on Thursday, August 8th from 6-9pm

Please send a description and any links to your work you may have to be considered to

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RatCity ArtCity, July edition: Painting the town

July 12th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

Among the lineup of artists who were painting live during Thursday night’s RatCity ArtCity walk – Shannon Kringen, a local legend if you’ve been in the area for more than a few years. Her long history as an artist includes 15 years as star of her own cable TV show. Now she’s focused on off-screen creation. We stopped by to see her appearing as featured artist at Zippy’s Giant Burgers.

Kringen was one of more than half a dozen artists participating in this edition of the monthly art walk.

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Hey, painters! Make art ‘live’ this Thursday night in downtown WC

July 8th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

From RatCity ArtCity, looking ahead to Thursday night’s art walk:

We are hosting another Live Painting Extravaganza in White Center! Each artist is placed in front of one of the participating art walk businesses. Our goal is to fill the streets with awesome, delicious art making.

In the past- 3/4 of all artists that participated, sold the pieces they were working on. No commission is taken by RatCity ArtCity.

We only have 3 spots left to be filled and the event is right around the corner–so respond quickly to be considered. The event takes place from 6-9pm THIS Thursday,July 11th.

Please send a link to your website or 3 images to be considered.


RatCity ArtCity

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Trusted Advocates’ next storytelling event on Friday

June 16th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

From the WCN inbox, news of the next storytelling session presented by Trusted Advocates:

Friday, June 21st 2013

At The White Center Community Cultural Center
9421 18th Ave SW – Hillborn Room

6:00 pm Light meal from presenter’s culture/heritage

6:30 pm Storytelling Program
– followed by Q/A segment

Our Special Guest this month:

Six years ago Marcelas Owens & his Grandmother Gina, claimed the healthcare spot-light at the greatest personal cost. Tiffany Owens, (Marcelas’ mother) was constantly ill & unable to work, therefore lost her health coverage. Her plight, as like many hard working Americans who hover at the edge of financial obscurity became the message that brought the face of discrepancies in healthcare to the foreground. Marcelas was 8 years old when his reality struck and ever since then he’s continued his mothers work. His voice & story has taken him from Olympia to Washington DC. Come hear their continued & combined efforts to fight for healthcare for all.

Marcelas Owens has now graduated from Madrona Middle School. Gina Owens; who is a continued Grassroots Leader/Lobbyist for Washington CAN and has been a member of the Joint Policy Advisory Committee at Seattle Housing Authority-Joint Policy Advisory Committee. Before her daughter’s passing, Gina had already advocated for Healthcare Reforms. She continues her efforts alongside her grandson.


Questions: Nancy Calos-Nakano 206.795.0833 or

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Tonight: RatCity ArtCity Film Festival!

June 13th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

They asked for short films – they got ‘em – and tonight, you can see them! The RatCity ArtCity Film Festival is happening, 6-9 pm, at Herban Legends (9619 16th SW) – full lineup on their website.

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Lineup’s out for Thursday night’s RatCity ArtCity art walk

May 8th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

Tomorrow’s the night – 6-9 pm … here are the places you can go!

Big Al Brewing (9832 14th Ave SW)
Chris Doelling: Acrylic on Panel

Chris does mostly ‘vaguely landscape or organic abstracts’. Her work is wrought with depth and contrast found in the work pulls people in for a more prolific eye journey.

Center Studio (9611 16th Ave SW)
Jennifer Forland Lately: Installation

“Lately, I’ve been working on very small art – jewelry. For this project, I am really excited about creating something on a large scale, installation style. My current job at an eco-friendly remodeling company inspired me to use mostly repurposed materials for the project, something I’ve always done to a point because of budget, but now want to do with more intention. I’m inspired by people who evoke feeling with their art – whimsy, nostalgia, longing. This project has made me think a lot about creation (science, religion or art) and whether the process is ever finished. I am intrigued by the time it takes to recreate nature (using man-made materials) and the level of success actually achieved in the attempt.”

Company (9608 16th Ave SW)

Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th Ave SW)

Full Tilt (9629 16th Avenue SW)
Simon Campbell

Simon first adopted photography as his creative outlet of choice. He has been taking photographs for 20 years, after receiving a cheap 35mm point and shoot camera in his early teens. Ever since then he has been developing an eye for things artistic; color, light and balance. Other than art classes at senior school in his native England, he didn’t pick up the paintbrush again until 2005 into his mid-twenties.

Already experienced in photographic composition a steady stream of collages, mixed media, and paintings emerged. Influenced by many genres of visual arts, from classic photography to modern contemporary painting, he paints in sporadic bursts and can never tell when a painting is going to be finished or exactly how its going to look…..he just kinda flows with it.

Travel Photography has remained a creative spark. He would still consider himself just as much a photographer as a painter, his work can be found at

Full Tilt will also be featuring a musical set by Jody Mckane (solo acoustic) and the band Ache (guitars, cello and singing).

GnuOrganics (9988 15th Ave SW, Ste G)
Always supporting multiple artists:

Brent Holland
Morgan Smalley – no web presence
Kelly Sorbel
Devin Norris – no web presence

and holding over is:

Guy Lindenmuth

Herban Legends (9169 16th Ave SW)
Joseph Brooks – Painting, Drawing, Coloring

I love the process of making stuff with my hands. I really like creating a new style or a new way of working with materials that I normally wouldn’t use for a certain application. I make things I guess because it is my way of understanding this life. As long as I can remember I was always drawing. There is nothing like the way I feel after finishing something new. Some times the feeling is more prominent than others but it always makes me feel good, like I left something of me behind. It’s more than esthetics, because even pieces I don’t like as much still have something of myself in them.

King County Sheriff’s Office (9609 16 Av SW)
Daffodil paintings by Ms. Sager’s Roxhill Elementary 1st Graders

Luso Food & Wine (9614 16th Ave SW)

Mago Signs (10032 16th Ave SW)

Meanders (9635 16th Ave SW)

Proletariat Pizza/ Caffe Delia (9622-A 16th Ave SW)
Art from the personal collection of Mike and Stefanie Albaeck

Salvadorean Bakery (1719 SW Roxbury St)

Zippy’s Giant Burgers (9614 14th Ave SW)
Mike Mullins:
Mike Mullins is a Seattle artist whose love of pop culture and graffiti is combined in his work. He has worked in many mediums but his current obsession is recycling old records by putting monsters and pop culture icons on them. Everyone from Frankenstein, to Darth Vader, to Mr T, and Jack Skellington is represented in his work. You can view and purchase his work at

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It’s the reel deal: Make a (short) movie, send it to the RatCity ArtCity Film Festival!

April 19th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news 8 Comments »

Tell your tale as a 10-minute-or-less movie, and you might make it into the RatCity ArtCity Film Festival this summer. Here’s the announcement:

In June 2011, White Center curated its first Short Film Festival. Three twenty-minute programs covering a wide range of subjects were hosted by Southgate Roller Rink, Full Tilt, and Big Al Brewing.

We are again calling for submissions for the June 2013 Festival!

This is a one-night festival, held on June 13th in White Center. White Center is located between Seattle and Burien in unincorporated King County. It is a place with a lot of character and characters, where RAT is technically an acronym – but embraced as a mascot. RatCity ArtCity’s mission is to bring and sustain an eclectic, diverse range of art and artists to White Center, focusing on both emerging and well established artists. RCAC has revived the White Center Art Walk that had been in place for the past several years. Amanda Kay Helmick, Devrim Ozkan, and Theresa and Jason Beaulieu are the current facilitators and co-conspirators.

Submission Criteria:

* Completed Films should be under 10:00 total run time and formatted as a Quicktime (a complete spec sheet will be sent to filmmakers).
* Films should be completed and submitted by June 1, 2013
* Subjects and themes can range as the run time is the determining factor for inclusion in the program(s).

We encourage all ages, abilities and filming styles to submit! Remember, all final pieces should be in hand by June 1, 2013.

Please contact Amanda Kay Helmick at for questions, specifications and submissions.

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Artists! White Center Spring Clean needs your talents for more murals

April 17th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off

(WCN photo of mural-painting during 2012 Spring Clean)
With more than 20 murals – “tour” them here! – White Center just might be the mural capital of King County – or at least well on its way there. But more artists are needed, according to this announcement sent by Mark Ufkes:

The White Center Chamber of Commerce, working in close partnership with the White Center Community Development Association, has been coordinating the installation of murals at graffiti locations throughout White Center over the past several years. What we have learned is that murals add color to our community and reduce graffiti at the sites where murals are installed. White Center now has more than 20 murals.

Last year, for example, we took two of the dumpiest buildings in White Center and turned them into public art (The Lions Mural and the Rainbow Mural on 17th Ave. SW) Six more mural sites have been identified for this year’s CDA White Center Spring Clean. Three mural sites still need artists.

White Center needs mural artists who are willing to work for free to bring their art and color to White Center. Here are the details of identified mural sites that still need artists.

The Live Butcher (Tom Salle)
9432 16th Ave. SW (South wall – 36 feet long)
(206) 354-2692
Marquise from the CDA (206) 708-8762 will arrange for paint and Tom The Live Butcher will provide artists with extraordinary snacks from his butcher shop while they install their art. Tom would like a farm scene with rolling hills. It should include a steer, chicken and pork. Artists with an idea will need to sketch it out and go visit Tom (as nice a man as you will ever meet in life) and see what he says. Once you both agree on the design, call Marquise to arrange the paint colors you will need, and you can get started. This location is a very visible southern wall on a White Center arterial.

La Mexicana (Bill Fry) (two sections of the front wall facing 16th SW)
10020 16th Ave. SW
(206) 763-1488
Section 1: North portion 90 feet long
Section 2: South portion 65 feet long

La Mexicana is a high quality Mexican foods manufacturer located in White Center. Scenes of life in Mexico could work for the mural, and images emphasizing Mexican foods could work too. Lots of color and lots of culture would be great, Potential artists would need to sketch out their ideas, call Bill and go visit him. He is a very nice fellow. See what he says. If you both come to an agreement about a design, you will then need to call Marquise at the CDA (206) 708-8762 and ask for the paint and brushes. Marquise will set you up. Cover as much of the walls and doors as you can at both sites up to eight feet above the side walk. This will help reduce graffiti at the location.

Tam Industries (9420 16th Ave. SW) and the SW 107th wall cut away at 16th Ave. SW will also get murals this spring. If potential mural artists have questions, please call Marquise at the CDA. White Center needs your talents!!

White Center Spring Clean stretches over multiple months this year – details are on the WCCDA website.

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Scenes from the April edition of RatCity ArtCity

April 14th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

Thursday night was the second edition of RatCity ArtCity, the new incarnation of White Center’s art walk. For WCN, photojournalist Nick Adams stopped at some of the participating venues:

(Photos by Nick Adams for WCN)
At Big Al Brewing (9832 14th SW), artist Ethan Jack Harrington posed with his painting “Sonics Girl.”

Next – glass art work by Michael Church at GnuOrganics (9988 15th SW).

Another look:

Also at GnuOrganics, Guy Lindenmuth‘s paintings:

GnuOrganics also showed acrylic works on canvas by artist Daniel Mohr:

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RatCity ArtCity: Lineup’s out for this Thursday night

April 9th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thursday night is the second edition of RatCity ArtCity – the renamped White Center art walk – and the list of locations and artists is now online: See it here! Then go explore, 6-9 pm Thursday (April 11th).

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‘Silence Is Loud': Student’s suicide-awareness project ahead at Dubsea Coffee

March 17th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, Health, White Center news Comments Off

7-9 pm next Friday night (March 22), “Silence Is Loud” at Dubsea Coffee will bring attention to a difficult topic – but one that is imperative we all discuss – suicide. Evergreen Campus student Vanisa Long‘s invitation to an open-microphone and art show is below, shared by Dubsea proprietor Sibelle Nguyen:

Join us for a night of art and performances to promote the awareness of suicide. I’m holding this event for my senior project in hopes of bringing the community together to learn more about this issue and introduce resources for those who are depressed or have thoughts of suicide. We have performances lined up, but there will be a signup sheet for those who wish to perform the night of. If you have artwork that relate to the topic, feel free to contact me if you’d like your work to be showcased. E-mail

Dubsea is at 9910 8th SW in Greenbridge. There’s also a Facebook event page for “Silence Is Loud” – find it here.

P.S. If you or someone you know has talked or thought about suicide – there is 24/7 help via the Crisis Clinic at 206-461-3222.

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Rat City Art City: Quiet yet lively launch night for revamped art walk

March 16th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, White Center news Comments Off

When White Center’s all-new art walk debuted Thursday night, the King County Sheriff’s Office storefront was among the venues throwing open their doors – and that’s where we found Deputy BJ Myers, along with art by students from the Evergreen campus. Their work decked the counter as well as the walls:

A couple doors down, we stopped by the Center Studio too:

That’s photographer Julie Maxham, whose work graced the studio’s walls as visitors streamed in and out – delighting both proprietor Lonjina Verdugo and art-walk organizer Amanda Kay Helmick, who explained that this was something of a soft launch for the new night/time, with special events and a higher profile in the works as spring and summer proceed. Watch the official website for details.

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Rat City = Art City: White Center’s new art walk debuts tonight

March 14th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, Businesses, White Center news 2 Comments »

A new name and new night for White Center’s art walk – and tonight (Thursday), just hours away, is its debut. It’s now Rat City Art City, and you’ll find it at venues around White Center on the second Thursday of the month, 6-9 pm. The official Rat City Art City website has the lineup for tonight, with venues and artists. The venues listed as participating tonight:

Big Al Brewing (9832 14th Ave SW)
Center Studio (9611 16th Ave SW)
Company (9608 16th Ave SW)
Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th Ave SW)
Full Tilt (9629 16th Avenue SW)
GnuOrganics (9988 15th Ave SW, Ste G)
Herban Legends (9169 16th Ave SW)
King County Sheriff’s Office (9609 16 Av SW)
Meanders (9635 16th Ave SW)
Proletariat Pizza/ Caffe Delia (9622-A 16th Ave SW)
Salvadorean Bakery (1719 SW Roxbury St)
Southgate Roller Rink (9646 17th Ave SW)
Zippy’s Giant Burgers (9614 14th Ave SW)

Rat City Art City is also on Facebook, here.

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Coming to White Center: Permanent home of Gildenfire Dance

February 10th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Arts, How to Help, west seattle, White Center news Comments Off

They are well-known in West Seattle, and now on their way to a permanent location in White Center: The young dancers of Gildenfire and their leader Jenna Lutton. We got the word from reader Megan Kelton-Rehkopf (who also shared the photo from their latest performance):

On Neighborhood Appreciation Day (Saturday), Jenna Lutton’s Gildenfire Dance held their annual performance for the residents at The Kenney [in West Seattle]. At the end of the performance, Jenna announced that Gildenfire has found a permanent home and she’s launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $5500 for a dance floor and mirrors to transform the space into an amazing dance studio. The new home of Gildenfire will be in White Center, located behind McLendon’s.

The Gildenfire fundraising page on IndieGogo reveals that as of this writing, they’re already 80 percent of the way to the goal.

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