Ballet troupe dancers to perform during special meals at Il Caffe Rifugio Restaurante


Richard Balogh, owner of Il Caffe Rifugio Restaurante, on Mount Baker Highway near Deming, gave me a call to let me know about an upcoming dinner he's hosting in collaboration with Bellingham's Northwest Ballet Theater.

"Pictures at an Exhibition" will feature an outdoor, family-style, three-course Italian meal, with intermission entertainment by members of the dance company in an original ballet by founder John Bishop.

Performances are at 5 and 8 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10.

For details and reservations, call 360-592-2888, or go to or


David Wiggs, a Bellingham marketing executive who focuses on combining social media with traditional models of promotion, is one of the organizers of TEDxBellingham. He's been corresponding with me about the upcoming video-conference to take place Nov. 12 at Pickford Film Center.

If you're not familiar with TED, it's a nonprofit organization committed to sharing ideas and initiatives that can be accessed for free online at The annual TED conference invites leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Ken Jennings and Isabel Allende - but what's even better about TEDx are the lesser-known speakers whose stories and ideas are so compelling.

"Tell Your Story in a 30-second Video" is the latest in what will be part of the all-day conference at the Pickford.

The three videos that receive the most likes on Vimeo or YouTube will be part of the content at TEDxBellingham and will be shown during one of the three conference sessions.

"Depending on the submissions, some content may be used on the TEDxBellingham website to help promote the event, as well," Wiggs says. "We're excited to see what happens."

The videos should center on the theme "Here By Choice," but that's pretty loosely defined.

Videos should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and must be viewable to the public. Video should be tagged with #HereByChoice & #TEDxBellingham. The deadline to submit them is Sept. 14.

Find out more

TEDx Bellingham will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a reception following. Tickets go on sale after Labor Day.

Wiggs says that at TEDx Bellingham, videos and live speakers will combine to spark multi-faceted discussion and connection in a small group. TED provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including Bellingham's, are self-organized.

Wiggs adds that speaker applications for the November event are in, with 83 applications for 22 slots.

(Something I've always wondered about the TED videos that I've viewed is whether the speaker uses notes or a teleprompter. The answer can be found on the TEDx Bellingham Blog under "The TED commandments.")

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