Tofer Wade, executive director of The Amadeus Project, at 1209 Cornwall Ave., recently announced that the venue is closing Feb. 28 because the owner of the property "unexpectedly" cancelled its lease "to prepare for another enterprise."
Wade and his wife, Andrea Rackl, founded Amadeus five years ago to provide educational opportunities in the creation and appreciation of music, the visual arts and literature. The venue has hosted concerts, art exhibits, poetry readings and special one-time events.
Wade and Rackl will continue TAP as a nonprofit entity, he says, and will focus on music education for groups and individuals with lessons at their home. Details: theamadeusproject.org.
Seattle author Marcus James, who attended Sehome and Bellingham High schools, shares his new book, "Bloodlines," at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Village Books.
Not for thin-skinned readers, his novel touches on themes of suicide, bullying, vampires and sexual desire. It's obviously set in Bellingham, with references to "Mariner" High School, the (now-closed) Sehome Drive-In and Nimbus restaurant, South Hill and even Village Books.
I asked James for some background on the writing of his novel, and he says he left Sehome for Bellingham High in 2001 "because of a lot of harassment and homophobia that I dealt with on a daily basis at Sehome; and Bellingham was much more supportive."
He adds that "When I was going there (to Sehome) I was the only out gay kid who got in trouble often for speaking up and calling out teachers for letting students get away with saying homophobic things in class. I have no idea what it's like now. I just know what it was like for me back in 2000-2001 when being out in school was still taboo."
James says "a conversation suicide is important, about queer teen suicide especially." With the exception of a string of suicides a year and a half ago, he says, "in mainstream media the conversation quickly moved from queer teen suicide to just general teen suicide, which really looked over and ignored the real issue."
He says he's been obsessed with vampires since he was 4 or 5 years old.
Nominations for the 15th anniversary YWCA Northwest Women's Hall of Fame awards are due by Friday, Feb. 1.
The Hall of Fame is an independent project under the umbrella of the YWCA, which has served Whatcom County women and families for 105 years.
Since its founding in 1999, the Hall of Fame has honored 53 women who have made outstanding contributions in a wide range of endeavors, including education and health, the arts, environmental protection, human rights and social services.
Nominees must live or have lived (if deceased) in Whatcom County, made a lasting community contribution, been a model for women and girls, and faced challenges or obstacles to their achievements.
Past honorees have included former state Sen. Harriet Spanel; county leaders Juanita Jefferson and the late Violet Hillaire; Whatcom County Youth Fair founder Chris Paul; Northwest Salmon Enhancement Association executive Wendy Scherrer; Holocaust educator Noémi Ban; and farm worker and immigrant advocate Rosalinda Guillen.
Since 2002, the Hall has also recognized 11 women from early Whatcom County history with the Legacy Award for achievements that continue to inspire women of today. They include Lynden pioneer Phoebe Judson; the nuns who founded St. Joseph Hospital; the women of the Aftermath Club; and Washington's first woman legislator, Francis Axtell.
Inductees will be honored at a 4:30 p.m. March 24 dinner in Northwood Hall during Women's History Month. Details: ywcabellingham.org or 360-734-4820, ext. 1000.
During 2013, North Cascades National Park's Artist in Residence Program will be a celebration of "Artists as Residents," in recognition of the program's 10th anniversary. Local artists and community members are encouraged to submit proposals to showcase their inspirations from the North Cascades.
"Many inspirational writers, painters and photographers, such as Jack Kerouac, Lee Mann, Robert Bateman and others, have drawn on the beauty of the North Cascades for their works," Cindy Bjorkland, chief of interpretation, said in a press release.
This year, the park and cooperating local communities may host traveling exhibits, workshops and community recognition of art through participating local artists, organizations and visitor centers.
Applications for spring and summer are due by Feb. 1. Applications for fall are due by July 1.
Artists of all mediums are encouraged to apply. For information about applying with Skagit Valley proposals, contact Cindy Bjorklund, 360-854-7303. Artists interested in applying for residencies in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area at Stehekin should call Mark Scherer, 360-854-7365, ext 14.