Columns & Blogs

Mayor’s Arts Awards announced

This sit-in at Katz Drugstore in Oklahoma City in August 1958 is featured in Julia Clifford’s award-winning documentary, “Children of the Civil Rights,” for which she won a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award.
This sit-in at Katz Drugstore in Oklahoma City in August 1958 is featured in Julia Clifford’s award-winning documentary, “Children of the Civil Rights,” for which she won a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville recently announced the recipients of the 37th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. A reception and awards ceremony honoring the winners will be 5:30 p.m. April 27 at Mount Baker Theatre’s Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

The award recognizes artists, advocates, organizations, and performances that significantly contribute to the arts in Bellingham, chosen from nominations submitted by community members.

The awards will be presented to AnMorgan Curry; Bellingham Music Club; Bellingham Repertory Dance’s “Wake;” Bellingham Threshold Singers; Christopher Key; Luther Allen and Judy Kleinberg; Jaz Okura-Youtsey; Judith Owens-Lancaster; Julia Clifford for “Children of the Civil Rights;” and Kuntz & Company and Carl Cozier Elementary School for “The World Dance Project.”

Watch: Excerpts from Bellingham Repertory Dance’s “Wake”

Watch: “The World Dance Project” at Carl Cozier Elementary

Award-winning author visits Bellingham, Lynden

Olympia’s Jim Lynch, whose awards include the Indies Choice Honor Book, the Washington State Book Award for Fiction, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, will be in Whatcom County for several events. His first three novels, “The Highest Tide,” “Border Songs” (set in Whatcom County), and “Truth Like the Sun,” were all performed on stage and won prizes.

His upcoming appearances:

▪ Chuckanut Writers co-sponsors instruction and advice sessions with Lynch on how to improve story ideas, settings, characters, dialogue, research, and reader momentum, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at Village Books, in Waples Mercantile Building, 430 Front St., Lynden.

Three options are available Monday, April 18, for a 15-minute session with Lynch to discuss your writing ideas or hear his feedback on a few pages. Choose from one of these options. Limit of eight participants per option.

▪ 10 a.m.-noon at Avenue Bread in Lynden.

▪ Noon-2 p.m. at Drizzle in Lynden.

▪  2-4 p.m. at Overflow Taps in Lynden.

Registration fee includes a copy of Lynch’s new novel,Before the Wind,” which will be officially released Tuesday, April 19. Details: 360-671-2626,, 360-383-3200,

Lynch talks about his new novel and more at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St., in Lynden.

WSO presents annual family concert

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra’s annual Family Concert starts at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Pre-concert activities include an instrument petting zoo to give kids an opportunity for an up-close look at orchestra instruments. The concert starts 3 p.m.

The program feature’s Bizet’s “Danse Boheme” from “Carmen Suite No. 2;” Ginastera’s “Four Dances” from “Estancia; and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol,” with a special performance by North Sound Youth Symphony. Orchestra music director Yaniv Atar and assistant conductor Takuya Nishiwaki conduct. Tickets: $10 adults, free for kids.

Journalist on other side of microphone

Floyd McKay, who is well-known to people who attend Village Books’ Chuckanut Radio Hour and have seen his interviews with Eric Larsen, Carol Cassella, and Jim Lynch (see above), gets in the spotlight at 7 p.m.. Saturday, April 16, at Village Books in Bellingham to talk about his new book, “Reporting the Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed a State.” Having grown up in the Willamette Valley, I found many “secrets” behind such Oregon political luminaries as Tom McCall, Mark Hatfield, and Bob Packwood.

Anyone who is fascinated by the major players in Oregon government from 1964 to 1986 will learn much about the art of print and broadcast journalism from the book and from McKay himself, who is retired journalism chair at Western Washington University, and a former political reporter for The Oregon Statesman in Salem and news analyst for KGW-TV in Portland.

Here are some comments from McKay, via email: “For an interview, preparation and research is the key, whether it’s an interview or an event. At the Chuckanut Radio Hour, authors are often surprised to find their interviewer — me — has actually read the book. Spontaneity sparks an interview, and interviewers need to jump on a follow-up rather than searching their notes for a rehearsed question.”

“The best of all forms of journalism today seems to be public or quasi-public; the pressures on commercial media are staggering and the response is disappointing. There are excellent magazines, print and online, and first-rate investigative work enhanced by the digital universe. The 'Panama Papers' would have been impossible in my day.”


Allied Arts is accepting applications for the 37th annual Holiday Festival of the Arts, to be held Nov. 18-24 at a place to be decided. Applications are due April 21. Details:, 360-676-8548.