Heather Haugland wrote to let me know that Café Cubano, the Latin-dance nights hosted by Rumba Northwest, have moved to a new space with lots of room and a great dance floor. The twice-a-month dances, which start Sept. 8 (and then Sept. 22) are 9 p.m. to midnight at the former Western Washington University dance studio, (and the former site of Time in Play Café), at 311 E. Holly St.
The space is now called StudioZ, and Heather said there will be a bar in another month or so.
Heather and her husband, Antonio Diaz (who also own Café Rumba across from The Herald Building on North State Street), founded Rumba Northwest in 2010, and have had much success teaching salsa, cha cha, bachata, merengue and other dances in a welcoming and enthusiastic approach. (I caught a brief performance of the advanced group at Folklife Northwest in May and they had a great crowd!)
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced dancer new to the area, check out the class schedule at rumbanorthwest.com or give Heather or Antonio a call at 360-595-7369.
THRESHOLD CHOIR FOUNDER TO VISIT BELLINGHAM
Kate Munger, founder of the international Threshold Choir movement, will be at the Bellingham Threshold Singers' rehearsal Tuesday, Sept.11, as a guest director, said Mary Penttinen-King, a member of the local choir.
BTS meets at Jerns' Funeral Chapel the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Although guests are always welcome, Kate's visit will be a regular rehearsal for the choir.
"Combined with my love of singing with wonderful women and being of service, (two moments) were the inspiration for Threshold Choir," Kate wrote for the choir's website, thesholdchoir.org.
The first event was in 1990 when she visited a friend who was in a coma dying of HIV/AIDS. Not knowing what to do, she sang a song that comforted herself, which in turn comforted him. She sang the same song, "Hello Moon," for 2 1/2 hours.
Then, in 1997, on a car trip home from Montana to California, she decided to sing for the animals that were killed on the road.
Kate's vision, also fed by her childhood memories of singing in harmony around Girl Scout campfires, led to the first Threshold Choir, in March 2000 in El Cerrito, Calif. Several chapters in Northern California followed, and there are now more than 80 chapters worldwide, with "people doing this work as volunteers, singing to folks who are facing death, grief or suffering," according to the website.
BTS has sung at bedsides since 2008. Many of its clients are in hospice care, but others are referred by nursing homes, clergy, family or caregivers to ease a difficult transition, whether it is to a new location, a change in mental capacity, depression or death. The service is free.
Kate will bring new songs for the group to learn, in addition to sharing her years of experience, at the Sept. 11 rehearsal. She has written lyrics and music for a large number of the more than 400 songs in the national repertoire.
BTS rehearsals are held to practice and learn an eclectic repertoire of songs, most of them written especially for Threshold Singers, designed to comfort people at various thresholds of life or death, and to learn bedside singing skills.
About 25 women belong to the local group. When requested, two to four women will go to sing for someone for 10 to 30 minutes. Rehearsals are always open to interested women.
For more information, call 360-927-4384 or see bellinghamthresholdsingers.org or thresholdchoir.org.
WHATCOM WEEK WEEKS STARTS SEPT. 8
Water-themed events will take place throughout Whatcom County Saturday, Sept. 8, through Sept. 22 during the third annual Whatcom Water Weeks. Businesses, nonprofit organizations and community groups will celebrate the importance of water, share information about the state of the resource, offer stewardship opportunities, and expand awareness and appreciation of our marine and fresh water resources and the role water plays in our lives.
"This year we have added a week and have even more events for people of all ages and interests," Emily Resch, water conservation specialist for Birch Bay Water and Sewer District, said in a press release.
There will be races, arts and crafts, tours, a chance to visit a watershed-friendly farm, a film festival, story times, guided nature walks, workshops and beach cleanups.
Activities are being added every week so check the website, whatcomwin.org, often.
You can also learn more by visiting the Whatcom Water Weeks booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market on Saturday, Sept. 8.
ARTISTS SOUGHT FOR BIG ROCK PARK SCULPTURE
The City of Bellingham Arts Commission is accepting qualifications from artists for a public sculpture opportunity at Big Rock Garden Park, a two-acre garden on Alabama Hill. The park is an established sculpture garden with about 36 permanent sculptures on display.
The commission invites artists who live in Washington, Vancouver, B.C., or any state contiguous to Washington to submit their qualifications for consideration. The project is funded through a private donation; total budget for the artwork is $10,000, which includes fabrication, installation, travel, taxes and other project costs.
Deadline for submittals is 5 p.m. Sept. 21. For full details, go to the city's website, cob.org and enter "arts commission" in the search window. People with questions can contact Shannon Taysi at firstname.lastname@example.org.