Columns & Blogs

Behind the Scenes: Linda Allen returns to co-direct Women with Wings

Linda Allen, a well-known, longtime folksinger in Bellingham who moved to Holden Village, a remote Lutheran retreat center on Lake Chelan three years ago with her husband, Scott Slaba, recently returned to Bellingham, and she let me know she’s “so ready to be home again.”

Allen was the founder of Women With Wings, a nonprofit organization that brings music to people who are lonely, ill, or in need of the healing gift of song. Her husband was on the board.

Allen will be returning as co-director of Women with Wings, and the organization is hosting an open house to welcome her home, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at the YWCA ballroom, 1026 N. Forest St. The free, informal gathering includes music circles, updates on Holden Village, snacks, and information about Women with Wings.

Details: 360-220-7219, P. C. Hooper at, or

Creative Life Adventures NW melds art workshops and cultural activities with excursions

Have out-of-town guests, or want a new artistic adventure yourself? Bellingham painter Yvette Neumann and her husband, Derek Neumann, recently launched a new business, Creative Life Adventures NW, that combines artist-led workshops, local cultural activities, and excursions to scenic attractions in Whatcom and Island counties.

Art Workshop Adventure weeks are tailored to provide the traveler with a highly catered experience with active participation and discovery that’s deeply personal, Neumann says.

“I feel strongly that people are craving a more meaningful and intimate time when they travel, that connecting with a place on the level of a local, rather than as a visiting outsider, brings a much deeper sense of discovery to normal day-to-day experiences,” Neumann says. “Locals can’t wait to share what makes them proud of their town, and I think Bellingham and our wonderful surroundings have a lot to offer the traveler with these values.”

Creative Life Adventures NW offers weeklong experiences involving artist-led painting workshops, creatively paired with local culture activities, visits to scenic places, and interesting culinary encounters. Each adventure tour is built around specific art, culture, and outdoor experience themes.

Guests enjoy three alternating days of painting with Neumann in her studio, with in-between days exploring coordinated fun activities around town and in the county. Luxurious dinners, catered lunches, wine tastings, visits to artisan studios, and other activities make the overall effect a social experience, Neumann says. Hotel Bellwether lodgings for out-of-towners, van transportation between activities, and limiting groups to eight people at a time make the tours a highly catered, intimate encounter, she says.

The first events begin in August. Details: 360.306.0878,,