Columns & Blogs

WWU brings the arts to Whatcom County community

Soprano Jennifer Goltz performs with pianist Logan Skelton in a concert of songs based on poems by Emily Dickinson on Nov. 6 at WWU’s PAC Concert Hall.
Soprano Jennifer Goltz performs with pianist Logan Skelton in a concert of songs based on poems by Emily Dickinson on Nov. 6 at WWU’s PAC Concert Hall. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Although it’s high on the hill and parking there is sometimes challenging, Western Washington University has a wealth of talented students and faculty who want to share what they have with the greater Bellingham and Whatcom County community.

Concerts, speakers, films and plays get underway next week. All events are open to the public, and are either free or charge an admission that’s pretty reasonable for crackerjack performances that would cost a lot more in, say, Seattle.

Here is some of what’s happening at Western:

▪ “The Art of Seating,” a survey of American chair design featuring 40 examples of iconic seating from the early 19th century to the present, now through Dec. 11 at the Western Gallery.

▪ The Fall World Issues Forum lecture series, now through Nov. 18, most at Fairhaven College Auditorium, organized by Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, focuses on intergenerational experiences, equitable economics and marginalized people. Details: Shirley Osterhaus, 360-650-2309, fairhaven/news/worldissuesforum/index.shtml.

▪ Films about viewing the world from different perspectives presented by Western’s Center for International Studies, now through Nov. 18 at Viking Union 552. Details:, 360-650-7544.

▪ Sanford Hill Piano Series presents Jeremy Denk, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Details:<code_dp>/jeremydenk.shtml

▪ Global Spice World Music Series’ inaugural concert featuring Dan Piccolo, an American drummer, percussionist and composer, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m., PAC Concert Hall.

▪ “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Plays:” An A-list lineup of writers offers unique takes on the moments before, during and after “I do.” Witty, warm and occasionally wacky, the plays are vows to the blessings of equality, the universal challenges of relationships, and the often hilarious power of love, Thursday, Oct. 22-31 (times vary), PAC Dug Theatre, Room 199.

▪ Fall Family Open House, Western’s annual events for kids and adults, takes place on and off-campus Oct. 22-23. Details:

▪ Emily Dickinson Songs: A Multimedia Song Recital, with soprano Jennifer Goltz; and pianist Logan Skelton, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., PAC Concert Hall. The program consists of two books of songs: “An Intimate Nature” and “The Unknown Peninsula,” composed by Logan Skelton to poetry of Emily Dickinson. The performance features projected slides, images and texts that coincide with the music.

▪ “A Light in the Darkness — Songs of Hope and Comfort,” featuring WWU’s Concert Choir and the Advanced Women’s Chorale, conducted by Leslie Guelker-Cone and Timothy Fitzpatrick, Nov. 22, at 2 and 7 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St. Details:

Reach Margaret Bikman at 360-715-2273 or Read her columns at


More theater, dance and music events at WWU: