Other Events

  • Entertainment Center
    “We’re going back to cabaret style. … There’s something about the community feel,” Center Salon organizer Bryan Willis explains. “You’re talking with other people at your table. … There’s just more rapport (between) the actors and the audience.”
  • A Closer Look at Some of the Olympia Nonprofits Participating in Spring Arts Walk
    Through participation in the spring Arts Walk, many Olympia nonprofits are opening their doors for attendees to explore unique exhibitions, displays and interactive activities.
  • The Art of Sound and Motion
    Dozens of performers promise to dazzle Olympians from stations all over the city’s downtown core during Arts Walk Spring 2023.
  • Arts Walk 2023 Film and Dance
    Indicative of the vast art and entertainment to be found at Arts Walk, check out the OlyFilm and OlyAct film demo where You’re the Star!
  • Arts Walk is Back
    Arts Walk is back! Covid never completely defeated Olympia’s Arts Walk, but this year it returns, full-blown — Arts Walk number 66. Artists and art lovers will swarm downtown Olympia, and shops, restaurants and businesses of all types will host artists and entertainers April 28-29.
  • The Armory Creative Campus: An Inclusive Collaborative Space for the Olympia Arts Community
    Olympia begins planning of city arts space.
  • REVIEW: 2022 Juried Show at South Puget Sound Community College
    By Alec Clayton A sense of joy washes over viewers as they enter the Southwest Washington Regional Juried Exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College’s Leonor R. Fuller Gallery. Brightly colored paintings on suspended panels over the highly reflective black floors intensify the beauty of the space. Mostly paintings and […]
  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts Announces 2022 – 2023 Season
    By Molly Gilmore The Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ 2022-2023 season marks both a return to pre-pandemic norms — it’s the first full season with subscription plans since theaters closed in March 2020 — and a fresh start. When the season launches Nov. 4 with “Stunt Dog Experience,” the […]
  • A Proposition to Aid Olympia’s Art and Nonprofit Community
    By Molly Walsh Olympia’s art and nonprofit communities are banding together in support of a new ballot measure that could have a profound effect on art, culture, science and heritage programming within the city. If voted into law, Proposition 1 would increase sales taxes within the City of Olympia by […]
  • Olympia Artists Unite to Support Ukraine
    By Molly Walsh At 5 a.m. Eastern European Time, Olympia resident Hanna Ilchenko turned on the news. She couldn’t believe the events unfolding onscreen: Russia had launched a full-scale invasion on her home country of Ukraine. Initially, Ilchenko said the reports emerging of explosions and invading forces were difficult to […]
  • REVIEW: Murder for Two at Harlequin Productions
    Strap in for Murder for Two at Harlequin Productions, 90 minutes of mayhem and laughter — not to mention singing and a lot of amazing hijinks on the piano. Two actors, Jon Lutyens and Katherine Strohmaier, play more than 13 characters in a tour-de-force escapade for both.
  • The World Returns to Lacey’s Cultural Celebration
    Lacey’s Cultural Celebration returns to Saint Martin’s University this month after two years found solely online.
  • REVIEW: Black Love: Community Building Through Mentorship
    Five experienced artists have been asked to mentor younger artists and exhibit their own work alongside works by the artists they’ve mentored. The resulting exhibition, Black Love, is currently on display at SPSCC’s Leonor R. Fuller Gallery.
  • Fully Vaxxed at Olympia Family Theater
    Olympia Family Theater’s Fully Vaxxed, opening March 18, is much more than a theatrical production. The trio of bilingual, one-act plays — which will tour throughout the state and be available for streaming — is part of a public health campaign harnessing the power of art to inspire people to get vaccinated.
  • REVIEW: Clue at Olympia Little Theatre
    By Alec Clayton Nobody, neither the audience nor any guest at Boddy Manor, has a clue who killed whom. Perhaps more accurately, everybody has a clue, but they’re all wrong. Based on the 1985 movie with an all-star cast including Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn and Michael McKean, with a setup […]
  • Olympia YWCA to Celebrate 2022 Womxn of Achievement
    By Alec Clayton Ti’eri Lino and Elizabeth Satiacum will be honored February 19 as Womxn of Achievement in the 27th-annual event at Olympia’s YWCA. Lino is the program director for homeless services for Interfaith Works. She strives to ensure our most vulnerable, marginalized neighbors have a place of shelter, safety […]
  • 2022 Powerful Advocate Award Presented to Washington Workforce Association’s Marie Kurose
    By Molly Gilmore Marie Kurose, chief executive officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, has won the Washington Workforce Association’s Powerful Advocate Award, the association’s 2021 chair recognition award. “Since Marie began her tenure as the Seattle-King Workforce Development Council CEO, she has shared the importance of diversity, […]
  • The Big-Little Show: Evan Horback and Jimmy Ulvenes at Bar Francis
    By Alec Clayton There’s a new, big-little art exhibit in a tiny coffee shop. It’s Evan Horback and Jimmy Ulvenes at Bar Francis. Local art lovers will remember Horback from his big gorgeous show at Salon Refu (Now LGM Studio) almost a decade ago. Not long after, he moved away […]
  • Ensemble Mik Nawooj: A Contemporary Renaissance
    As rap music continues to evolve and diversify, it only makes sense that talented artists raised on hip hop and armed with music degrees seek to sample from the greatest discoveries of every musical era. That’s absolutely the case with Ensemble Mik Nawooj, the hip-hop orchestra coming soon to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
  • COVID-19 Forces Delays for Harlequin Productions; Others May Follow
    Harlequin Productions appears to be the first theater in Western Washington to implement COVID cancellations in 2022 – a move that other organizations may soon follow.
  • Experience Oly on Ice This Holiday Season
    Oly on Ice, the portable ice-skating rink in that location every year about this time, is a joint venture of the City of Olympia and Ice Rink Events. It runs through Jan. 17, 2022.
  • REVIEW: A Christmas Carol at Harlequin Productions
    By Alec Clayton Following decades of the popular Stardust shows at Harlequin Productions, the company embarks on a new holiday tradition with a production of A Christmas Carol adapted and directed by Aaron Lamb, who is also in the cast. “The great majority of the text is directly from the […]
  • Fridays at the First: Advent Concerts Celebrate the Season
    By Molly Gilmore Jazz musicians are playing and swinging and getting merry like Christmas this month at Olympia’s First Christian Church. Fridays at the First, the church’s annual series of free noontime Advent concerts, continues through Dec. 17, offering a mix of tunes including a few seasonal ones. “Liturgically, Advent […]
  • REVIEW: Childhood’s End 50th-Anniversary Exhibition, Part 2
    By Alec Clayton For half a century, Childhood’s End Gallery has been Olympia’s paramount art gallery. Bill and Richenda Richardson opened the gallery and gift shop in 1971. Since then, they’ve introduced many of the region’s best painters, sculptors and craftspersons to our town. Today, they continue to display works, […]
  • A Downstairs Christmas at Pemberley
    In OLT’s “The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley,” Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are hosting a Christmas party. That creates endless work for the servants downstairs, but the real hitch is the impending arrival of Mr. Darcy’s sworn enemy, Mr. Wickham.
  • REVIEW: Until the Flood: Brutal, Angry, Heartbreaking, Astonishing
    By Alec Clayton Content warning: This article includes language directly quoted from the performance that some readers may find disturbing. Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith’s Until the Flood — now playing at Harlequin Productions, in repertory with Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill […]
  • Olympia Family Theater Welcomes New Artistic Director Lily Raabe
    By Molly Gilmore Lily Raabe, Olympia Family Theater’s new artistic director, loves fantasy, adventure — and community. The company plans to resume producing shows in the spring; meanwhile, Raabe is focused on connecting with and learning about the people who surround and support the theater. She’ll host a series of […]
  • A Virtual Campfire With Wild Grief
    By Alec Clayton Local nonprofit Wild Grief invites the community to gather around a virtual campfire on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. Wild Grief uses peer support and the healing power of nature to help people work through the feeling their grief is too heavy to […]
  • REVIEW: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
    By Alec Clayton Billie Holiday was the heart and soul of jazz from the 1930s through the 1950s. She put that period’s violent racism front and center in some of her songs — undeniably and often uncomfortably, as demonstrated by her signature song’s effect on audiences. “Strange Fruit” is Abel […]
  • A Wild Hunt for Christmas
    By Christian Carvajal As far back as the heyday of Norse mythology, northern Europeans have cherished and embellished the legend of the Wild Hunt. In some versions, Odin or one of his chief minions led a party of the dead on a rampage through nighttime woods. The legend inspired creations […]
  • REVIEW: Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical
    By Alec Clayton Harlequin Productions’ Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical is much more than a musical revue. Yes, Meg McLynn as Clooney performs all the legendary singer’s greatest hits — “Hey There,” “Tenderly,” “Sisters,” “Come On-a My House” and more, often in unexpected ways — and costar Bruce Haasl as “The Doctor” […]
  • Three Plays in Repertory at Olympia’s Harlequin Productions
    By Alec Clayton Opening a new theatrical season after almost two years of being closed, Harlequin Productions is trying something it’s never before attempted: three plays in repertory, with overlapping schedules and each play to open one week apart and run concurrently for five weeks each.  Marketing and communications director […]
  • “Decades” at The Washington Center Gallery
    by Alec Clayton Tom Anderson is an iconic presence on Olympia’s art scene. The Park of the Seven Oaks by the roundabout on Harrison Avenue — That’s a Tom Anderson creation. The large, metal art pieces that fill the walls in the emergency room and chapel at Providence St. Peter […]
  • Olympia Arts Walk Returns This Fall
    By Molly Gilmore Arts Walk, Olympia’s twice-yearly celebration of community and creativity, is back to something like the event South Sound remembers, with a street closure at the center of the action. Washington Street between Fifth Avenue and Legion Way will be closed from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. […]
  • Ensemble of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture at SPSCC Faculty & Staff Exhibition
    by Alec Clayton This year’s annual faculty and staff exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College is an eclectic mix of drawing, painting, sculpture and hybrids of those. It is work that is conceptually complex while maintaining aesthetic joy by artists who are more than talented — They are intelligent […]
  • Matthew Melendez: the Great Director at Great Bend Creating Unity Through Song
    By Molly Gilmore Matthew Melendez, executive director of the Great Bend Center for Music in Union, is best known as a celebrated choral conductor. The center’s Great Bend Chorale, which is open to everyone with no audition required, has performed at Carnegie Hall and taken second place in a prestigious […]
  • The Theater That Refused to Die
    By Alec Clayton From Reefer Madness and Cannibal the Musical to lots and lots of Shakespeare, and performing in such diverse spaces as Olympia Little Theatre, the basement of the Elks Hall and the Midnight Sun in downtown Olympia, Theater Artists Olympia had its genesis in the early 2000s; and […]
  • Olympia Artist Continues Outdoor “Places” Installation This September
    By Alec Clayton OLY ARTS readers and art lovers throughout the Olympia area will remember Kathy Gore Fuss’s floral installation “A Place to Mourn.” Beginning Sept. 6, Gore Fuss will have another floral installation in place entitled “A Place to Reflect.” As with her first such installation, this one will […]
  • Artistic Director Jen Ryle Says Goodbye to Olympia Family Theater
    By Molly Gilmore There’s change coming to Olympia Family Theater: Though she’s as passionate as ever about children’s theater, co-founder Jen Ryle is stepping down from her role as artistic director to create space for new leadership. She’s involved with the search for her successor and will stay on to […]
  • The Washington Center Announces 2021-2022 In-Person Season
    By Molly Gilmore There’s big news for Olympia’s arts lovers: Though COVID-19 continues to require theaters to be prepared for all possibilities, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts has unveiled a 2021-2022 season. The season, kicking off Sept 16, offers music, comedy, theater and even performing dogs. “I’m just […]
  • Local Author Teams up With Puppeteer Troupe for One-Night Outdoor Performance
    By Alec Clayton Update August 23, 2021: “Moss Covered Claws Live!” has been rescheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Sept 12. More details are below. A one-of-a-kind literary and performance event is happening one night only in Lions Park in the Eastside Olympia nieghborhood. Blue Cactus Press is set […]
  • The Kinsey Collection: Celebrating Artistic Contributions of Black Americans
    By Alec Clayton Art lovers from Olympia to Portland to Seattle should travel to Tacoma Art Museum and see an historically important and one-of-a-kind collection of African American art and historic artifacts in The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection. The collection fills two of the Museum’s galleries, including […]
  • REVIEW: 2021 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition
    By Alec Clayton Guest juror Aisha Harrison chose a wide variety of art for the 2021 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College: paintings, sculpture, textiles in many styles and wide-ranging content. It is great to see this show returning for in-person viewing, albeit at 50 percent […]
  • String and Shadow’s Fantastic Fauna Comes to Life at Lions Park
    By Molly Gilmore Near the big cherry tree in Lions Park, there are new trees and bushes — cardboard ones that look like illustrations from a storybook. Nestled against the park shelter, the foliage sets the scene for String and Shadow puppet theater’s Fauna Fantastique, a playful pageant running weekends […]
  • Local Artists Celebrated at 2021 LoveOly Summerfest
    By Alec Clayton Artist Dave Sederberg who lit up the night for Winter Solstice with the astounding “Glowhenge” project is now at work with a group of local artists on an eight-week street-art project for the LoveOly Summerfest scheduled for eight Saturdays in July and August in downtown Olympia. Sederberg […]
  • The Ultimate Summer Experience Is Here in Downtown Olympia
    Olympia Downtown Alliance partnered with SnowShoe, a Pacific Northwest customer loyalty company to launch the Go Downtown app, which turns downtown visits into a fun community game that supports local businesses.
  • The Washington Center for the Performing Arts Announces First Capital Campaign Since Creation
    By Molly Gilmore Open again after more than a year, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is embarking on an effort to make audiences and artists feel even more welcome. The not-for-profit theater is raising money to refresh and renew its public spaces. The project, set to be completed […]
  • Thurston County Community Arts Organization Acquires Land to Build New Theater
    By Jonah Barrett Following the closure of Yelm’s Triad Theater in 2019, Thurston County’s community theaters were relegated to only Olympia. That will change soon with the opening of a new community theater just 30 minutes south of Washington’s capital. Tenino Young at Heart Theatre (TYT), the town’s oldest theater […]
  • Harlequin Productions Announces 2021-22 In-Person Season
    By Molly Gilmore Audiences hungry for live theater will be treated to a bountiful buffet when Harlequin Productions reopens Oct. 22. Since Covid-19 brought “The Highest Tide” to an early end in March 2020, the company’s State Theater has “essentially been frozen in time,” artistic director Aaron Lamb said Saturday […]
  • Ordinary Objects Transformed Into a Place to Mourn
    By Alec Clayton At a private residence in her Northeast Olympia neighborhood, artist Kathy Gore Fuss has transformed a carved stone into a memorial or place of worship, or “A Place to Mourn,” which she sees as a starting point for a series of floral memorials. “I have been thinking […]
  • ‘Hotel Olympian’ Playwright Among Those Celebrated with Heritage Awards
    By Alec Clayton The hour-long radio play “The Hotel Olympian 100th Anniversary Grand Gala Extravaganza,” by local playwright Bryan Willis, received a Heritage Award from the City of Olympia’s Heritage Commission in a celebration on May 20. Also celebrated with Heritage Awards were filmmaker Shane Anderson, Thurston County Historic Commission and […]
  • A Bright Future for Olympia’s Armory Building
    By Molly Gilmore Two months ago, the Olympia Armory underwent a creative transformation: The 1939 Art Deco building was illuminated with colored lights. Now, the armory is poised for a much bigger transformation — into an arts center, something that the City of Olympia and many in the community have […]
  • Sky Bear Media: Olympia’s Indigenous Film Company
    By Alec Clayton Olympia, the city of natural abundance, award-winning culture and celebrated diversity, is home to a video production that was founded by and is run by an indigenous filmmaker — Sky Bear Media. The company is housed in the Steamplant Building in the heart of downtown, described by […]
  • Native American Performers, Musicians, Storytellers Celebrated in Upcoming Ensemble
    By Molly Gilmore “Welcome to Indian Country,” which premieres Thursday, May 27, at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, is a song- and story-packed celebration of Native American life — and of the accomplishments of Native American performers. The show will tour across the country, but its genesis is […]
  • Broadway Olympia Productions Previews West Olympia Black Box Space
    By Molly Gilmore Not far from the Century Olympia cinemas at Capital Mall is another theater: Broadway Olympia Productions’ new black box. The company showed off the improvements to the 2,500-square-foot space at an industry open house last week and plans to begin producing live entertainment there as soon as […]
  • Local Artist Charters Path Which Gains Her International Recognition
    By Molly Gilmore A lifelong delight in art and a deep commitment to feminism have shaped of Lynette Charters’ way of seeing the world. Among the most recent recognitions of the Olympia painter’s talent: Two of her paintings will be included in Together, a national exhibition opening May 7 in […]
  • Four Artists Shine in 2021 Juror’s Invitational at Leonor R. Fuller Gallery
    By Alec Clayton Each year, award winners from South Puget Sound Community College’s juried exhibition are featured in the Juror’s Invitational. This year’s invited artists comprise a quartet of contrasting but equally excellent artists selected by juror June Sekiguchi. They are painters Marilyn Bedford and Hart James, sculptor Ron Hinton, […]
  • Olympia Arts Month Featured Artist: Laurel Henn
    By Alec Clayton This year’s Spring Arts Month cover art will be “Fluttering,” a hand-painted relief block by Laurel Henn, depicting quilts on a clothesline. The artist says this image is dear to her because of her mother’s life-long work as a quilter. “Quilts are a source of comfort and […]
  • Olympia Lamplighters: Supporting and Uplifting Local Artists With Dedicated Community Workspace
    By Molly Walsh Nestled between the streetlights and tree lines of Olympia’s downtown, an innovative creative space is working to support and uplift local artists. Like a lantern illuminating a shaded walkway, the Olympia Lamplighters invites both visual and performing artists to compose, create and collaborate under one roof. Beyond […]
  • College Music Department Reflects on Events of 2020 Through ‘Musical Encounters’
    By Molly Walsh Throughout this past year, many Americans have faced an uncertain future, continuing to wrestle with feelings of isolation, a need for social justice and a longing for connection. And for many musicians, this isolation has been compounded by empty theater seats and rehearsals restricted to a computer […]
  • The Dynamic Duo That Is Lynette Charters Serembe and John Serembe
    By Alec Clayton Coming to Olympia from New York and England by way of Hollywood, John Serembe and Lynette Charters Serembe have built a life that is wrapped up in art and family and community. John is an actor and a graphic artist, greatly admired for his performances with Harlequin […]
  • After 40 Years in Olympia, Future Is Uncertain for The Artists’ Gallery
    By Molly Gilmore Although it’s a large space with big windows, The Artists’ Gallery in west Olympia is easy to overlook. It’s at the mall, but not in the mall, nestled in between Italia Pizzeria and Massage Envy in the Capital Mall Promenade. And over the past year, the cooperative […]
  • Picturing the Pandemic at Childhood’s End
    by Alec Clayton Despite the horrors depicted in her latest artworks — devastating fires, a murderous pandemic and the final year of the Trump administration — there is hope and sweetness, irony and humor in Marilyn Frasca’s art. She and four other local artists were asked to show works created […]
  • Olympia Gears Up for Arts Month This April
    By Molly Gilmore Remember when Arts Walk, Olympia’s twice-yearly celebration of creations and community, filled the downtown shops and streets with performances, paintings and people? For the second year in a row, Arts Walk as it used to be is on hold. Even with the state poised to enter Phase […]
  • Reptiles, Fairies and Gremlins, Oh My! Local Author Releases PNW Horror Collection
    By Molly Gilmore Jonah Barrett wouldn’t be insulted if anyone said their first book was monstrous. That’s because Barrett’s short-story collection “Moss Covered Claws,” dropping March 18, is all about monsters. Barrett of Olympia, a filmmaker, fantasy writer and OLY ARTS contributor, is launching the book with an online reading […]
  • Visual Artists Bring Us “Closer” at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery
    By Alec Clayton “It’s fabulous to be Black – celebrate it. It’s fabulous to be any color under the sun – again celebrate it. That’s what brings back dignity to each human being.” This was written by artist Sandra Bocas for the occasion of her inclusion of the exhibition “Closer” at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at […]
  • Goldfinch Productions to Offer Historic Anti Racist Radio Play
    By Alec Clayton This is monumental — historic — a first for Olympia. Goldfinch Productions and KGY Radio will present “Rachel” by Angelina Weld Grimké, performed as a radio play. “Rachel” is the first play written by an African American and featuring an all-Black cast. First performed in 1920 at […]
  • Olympia Searches for New Poet Laureate
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Poet laureates have a unique job of melding the ethereal magical art of poetry with the very real struggle of the world around them, the one we all inhabit. By definition, a poet laureate is “a poet appointed to, or regarded unofficially as holding, an honorary […]
  • Date Set for Olympia YWCA’s Womxn of Achievement
    By Molly Gilmore The Olympia YWCA’s 2021 Womxn of Achievement awards honor three women working for racial justice. The awards ceremony and celebration, happening online Feb. 19, will also spotlight a national leader in the fight for racial equality: activist/author Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, […]
  • Olympia’s Glowhenge Lights Up the Dark
    By Alec Clayton On the night after winter solstice when our days were the shortest and our nights the darkest, nine glowing monoliths in florescent colors appeared on the grassy mound beside the lake at Heritage Park and lit up the blackness of night with the lighted dome of the […]
  • Percival Plinth Peoples’ Prize Presented to Local Artist With Powerful Personal Perspective
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Recently, local artist Nancy Thorne-Chambers won the 2020 Peoples’ Prize Winner for the Percival Plinth Project for her work Girl Reading in a Story Place. Oly Arts hosted an interview with the artist about the sculpture and recent win. This article is a highlight of the […]
  • Lacey’s Goldfinch Productions Announces 2021 Season
    By Molly Gilmore At a time when the pandemic has made many theater companies hesitant even to make plans, South Sound’s Goldfinch Productions is ready for takeoff on its 2021 season. The plucky nonprofit, founded in 2018 with the goal of opening a theater and studio in Lacey, will produce […]
  • Hotel Olympian 100th Anniversary Grand Gala Extravaganza: A Radio Project
    By Alec Clayton Subtitled “A Community Comes Together,” the “Hotel Olympian 100th Anniversary Grand Gala Extravaganza” is a recreation of the gala opening celebration of the downtown Hotel Olympian in June 1920. The project is spearheaded by playwright Bryan Willis, founder of the Northwest Playwright Alliance and directed by Deane Shellman, […]
  • Harlequin Offers Two Streaming Productions of A Christmas Carol
    By Molly Gilmore When Harlequin Productions announced its 2020 season, “A Christmas Carol” was slated to be the holiday show. Since then, of course, virtually every plan — in the theatrical world and in the world at the large — has changed. But Harlequin is, despite it all, mounting a […]
  • Finding a Sense of Belonging Through Writing Communities
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Artist communities have been around since artists have been creating. It is what keeps many artists going through the rough patches in their craft or career. Take the Harlem Writers Guild for example — the longest running forum for Black writers aimed at helping them develop […]
  • Olympia Gets Ready for the Holidays
    By Molly Gilmore Though plans for in-person film screenings have been postponed, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is still getting into the spirit of the season. It’s what Jill Barnes, the center’s indefatigable executive director, calls “Operation Holiday Cheer.” The center had planned to reopen Thanksgiving weekend as […]
  • Jonah Barrett and the Race to Debut Moss Covered Claws
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Every writer, and possibly every creator, knows the stress and joy of having a debut work premier. Tireless work is spent on the project in hopes that a personal vision of the world will resonate with at least one person. In a way, it is an […]
  • Local Arts Supply Store Seeking New Owner
    By Abigail Mandlin In these times of shut-downs and lockdowns, quarantine and isolation, we need art now more than ever to sustain us, to keep us sane. Robin Williams said it best when playing beloved high school English teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society: “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble […]
  • Ballet Northwest Updates Classic Nutcracker for the Age of Coronavirus
    By Molly Gilmore Update Nov. 24: “The Nutcracker” dates, times and locations have changed since the original release of this story. Updated information is below the article. Despite COVID-19, Ballet Northwest’s “Nutcracker,” a South Sound holiday tradition for 35 years, is on for the holidays, but the company’s 2020 edition […]
  • pARTners: A Collaborative Exhibit at Childhood’s End Gallery
    By Alec Clayton The “pARTners” exhibition at Childhood’s End Gallery showcases works by three artist couples who live and work together: papercut artist Nikki McClure and her partner, fine woodworker Jay T Scott; steel and ceramic sculptors Robin and John Gumaelious; and mixed-media painters Chuck Gumpert and Christopher Mathie. The […]
  • YWCA to Present the 26th Annual Womxn of Achievement
    By Molly Gilmore The Olympia YWCA’s 2020 Womxn of Achievement awards honor three women working for racial justice. The awards ceremony and celebration will also spotlight a national leader in the fight for racial equality: activist/author Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and one of Time […]
  • Good Trouble at Olympia Family Theater
    By Alec Clayton Olympia Family Theater education director Claribel Gross says, “We miss being in the theater and sharing live experiences. We are excited to find a variety of ways to still connect with our community.” One of those ways to connect is with the audio play “Good Trouble,” a pop-up performance […]
  • Op-Ed: Black and White
    By Anna Schlecht In early July, I first saw one of the Little Brothers statues at twilight while driving across the Isthmus. My eyes were sweeping back and forth from the harbor to the Heritage Fountain in the fading light. Suddenly my eyes fixed on the small statue of the child near the fountain because […]
  • An Oasis of Sound: Partnership Between Olympia Symphony Orchestra and Emerald City Music Aims to Bring Peace to Local Homes
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Music fans in the area are familiar with two of the bigger names in the music scene: Olympia Symphony Orchestra (OSO) and Emerald City Music (ECM). Both groups have a long history of bringing music to the community and supporting each other’s missions to do so. […]
  • Enchanting and Lyrical: Timberland Library’s Story Trail Winds Through Olympia
    By Alec Clayton Olympia Timberland Library’s Story Trail in Decatur Woods Park and other Olympia area locations extends beyond the month.  Story Trail is a deconstructed picture book that children and their guardians can read one page at a time as they walk the trails through the woods. The featured […]
  • City of Olympia Announces Arts Month Innovation Awardees
    By Molly Gilmore Literary walks, a livestreamed concert and a show of work by Black artists are among the winners of Olympia’s Arts Month Innovation awards. The city began giving the awards last year to honor projects that stood out in their efforts to encourage community connection and involvement with […]
  • Leonor R. Fuller Gallery Offers Rising Futures
    By Alec Clayton In the South Sound as in the country at large, black artists are poorly represented. The “Futures Rising” exhibition, at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery inside South Puget Sound Community College’s Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, proves that there are many more excellent black artists […]
  • OLY ARTS Magazine Wins International Media Innovator Award
    By Editor OLY ARTS magazine announced today that it has been named the Best Multiplatform Arts Publication (USA) in the 2020 Media Innovators Awards by Corporate Vision. Corporate Vision launched the original Media Innovator program in 2019 to celebrate innovation and creativity in the media landscape, recognizing industry leaders who are […]
  • Olympia’s Fall Arts Walk Back, Offers Socially-Distanced Twist
    By Molly Walsh Time, space and community. The organizers of Olympia’s Fall Arts Walk are reflecting on these three words on the eve of this year’s festival. In a time where many in-person gatherings are an ever-distant memory, those involved in Arts Walk preparations, including City of Olympia employees, downtown […]
  • Fall Shows Offer Light on the Horizon for Harlequin, Washington Center
    By Molly Gilmore While live theaters in Washington State remain closed, both Harlequin Productions and The Washington Center for the Performing Arts have shows on the way. Beginning Sept. 20, Harlequin will present radio-style productions of most of the shows it had to cancel during its 2020 season — plus […]
  • The Art of Stage Management
    By Alec Clayton A woman holding a clipboard sticks her head into a dressing room and says to the actors, furiously getting into costume and makeup, a single word: “Five.” The actors say back to her, “Thank you, Five.” Five minutes later the platform in front of stadium seats at […]
  • Olympia Distilling Company Offers New Artesian Vodka
    By Molly Gilmore It’s the water. The familiar slogan of Olympia Beer applies just as well to the new Olympia Artesian Vodka, according to distillers Lesa Givens and Ray Watson. The duo, partners in life as well as in the Olympia Distilling Co., are using artesian well water to make […]
  • The People Who Create the Worlds That Make Theater Come Alive
    By Alec Clayton In the world of theater, there are people who make the fictional world come alive, who make the characters on stage and the worlds in which they move and breathe as real for two hours as the workaday world the rest of us live in — not […]
  • Compelling Clay: Unglazed and Rough-Surfaced Sculpture by Aisha Harrison
    By Alec Clayton  Aisha Harrison is an inventive sculptor and former art teacher at The Evergreen State College. She also does two-dimensional art, drawing and printmaking, but it is as a sculptor of strong and emphatic figures that has made an indelible mark on the South Sound art world. “Aisha […]
  • Uptown Grill Promises Great Food, Good Time in Downtown Olympia
    By Melinda Minton Michelle Nurmi and Pedro Gallegos are no strangers to the restaurant scene. With over 50 years’ combined experience in downtown Seattle restaurants, the duo has now taken root in Olympia. “I had Pedro come down just  to get his opinion on the kitchen and hear  his thoughts […]
  • Olympia Artspace Alliance Continues Storefront Art Displays Amidst Pandemic
    By Alec Clayton Art of great variety and depth of meaning fill the windows in the vacant Goldberg Building, former home of Schoenfeld Furniture, on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Capitol Way in Olympia. The installation is part of Olympia Artspace Alliance (OAA) ongoing project, Art In Olympia Storefronts. “This and many other […]
  • Theater Artists Olympia’s Digital Performance of ‘The Culling’
    THEATRE REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS In showbiz they say, “the show must go on,” and not even a worldwide pandemic can stop Pug Bujeaud and Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) from creating theatre. Bujeaud, a highly respected actor and director who has adapted many works for the stage, […]
  • Op-Ed: Rethinking the Statues That Define Us
    By Anna Schlecht Nearly 50 stone monuments across the US have recently come down, leaving voids in our town squares and college campuses. Whether by government decree or Black Lives Matter (BLM) protester actions, these downed statues have opened up the space to rethink who and how we chose to […]
  • The Many Talents of Christian Carvajal
    By Alec Clayton Joining the pantheon of storytellers from Mark Twain to George Lucas is Olympia’s own Christian Carvajal. Carv, as his friends call him, tells stories on stage, behind stage and in print. He is an experienced actor, director and playwright, has published two novels and a collection of […]
  • Pop-Up Olympia Puppet Show Will Provide Socially Distanced Entertainment
    By Molly Gilmore Big news, Olympia: There’s a show opening July 3. Yes, an actual live performance that will happen right before the audience’s eyes without help from a screen of any kind. String and Shadow Puppet Theater, which has been performing socially distanced pop-up shows since April, is taking […]