Bellingham drummer Julian MacDonough let me know about Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center, a new nonprofit he has established to provide jazz, jazz education and a venue space in Bellingham.
His vision is to promote live performances by regional, national and international musicians; provide educational opportunities through weekly and monthly clinics, including scholarships to help students who can't afford lessons; and to support student groups and performances beyond band classes at public schools.
He hopes the organization can be up and running by September.
MacDonough is launching a capital campaign to raise money to lease the space previously occupied by Blue Horse Gallery in Bay Street Village, in downtown Bellingham. He's working through Boxley's Music Fund.
For the past six years, Boxley's has been providing the small community of North Bend with a venue for world-class jazz performances and educational opportunities more often associated with larger cities.
If the fundraising campaign doesn't reach its goal, MacDonough says donations will go to educational outreach in the public schools, to private lessons for those who can't afford them, to weekly performances by the Western Washington University Jazz Band and a monthly Tribute Jazz: Art of the Piano Trio Series, and to bimonthly concerts featuring regional and national acts.
YOUNG ACTORS PREP FOR 'MONSTER KEEPER'
Deb Currier, an associate professor in Western Washington University's department of theater arts, says she has spent the last few days in the large rehearsal space of Western's Performing Arts Center with 33 kids, ages 5 through 11, who are in the Summer Youth Theatre Institute.
Many of them will be on the PAC Mainstage this weekend in the production of "Monster Keeper," playing Friday through Sunday, Aug, 8-10. It's the premiere of a script written for Whatcom County youths and adapted by Currier from Bellingham's Royce Buckingham's middle-reader novel "Demonkeeper." Currier is also directing the production.
The young actors will be joined onstage by older thespians, age 12 to 18, in the secondary level of the institute. All in all, there will be a cast of 31, with some community members and WWU students.
There will be some signed copies of Buckingham's book for sale at the shows. Currier hopes he might attend at least one performance.
The set is designed by Luke Freeborn, an award-winning scenic designer and art director in Los Angeles who is designing and consulting for "Monster Keeper" via Skype. Currier says Freeborn was responsible for scenic design or art direction for "Angels and Demons," "Thor" and "Minority Report," among other movies.
"How many college students get to put on their resume that they worked with and executed the design of a three-time Satellite and Art Directors Guild winner and Best Picture Oscar-nominated films?," Currier says.
For more on the show and on Buckingham, click here.
CITY SEEKS ART FOR CITY HALL EXHIBITS
The city of Bellingham is seeking two-dimensional art for a temporary exhibit in the City Hall lobby
The first exhibit, "Celebrating Our Trees," will be on display September through November in conjunction with Arbor Day (Oct. 4) and Urban Forestry Month (October). The second exhibit, "The Future," will be realistic or fantastical works that depict the future of Maritime Heritage Park, on display December through February 2015.
Submissions are due Aug. 22. Details: Shannon Taysi, 360-778-8360, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to cob.org and search for Bellingham Arts Commission.
Behind the Scenes focuses on the people who make the arts and entertainment world of Whatcom County happen. It appears in Take Five, The Bellingham Herald's entertainment section, each Thursday. Margaret Bikman is the Entertainment News Coordinator at The Bellingham Herald. Contact her at email@example.com or 360-715-2273.