On the title page of her script for Bo-Nita, Capitol Hill-based playwright Elizabeth Heffron describes the work simply as “A Play Performed by One Woman.” Turn the page, however, and the complexity is immediately revealed: Set largely in contemporary St. Louis, the cast of characters includes Bo-Nita (a 13-year-old white girl), Mona (Bo-Nita’s mother), Grandma Tiny (in her late 50s), Gerard (30-something, part Cajun), Leon (40-something, African-American), Colonel T (Mona’s uncle) and Jacque (50-something, Cajun)—all embodied by one woman.
For Ruri Yampolsky, 1 measly percent means the difference between bland urban terrain and a cityscape that sparks creativity. As director of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s public art program, Yampolsky oversees the city’s precedent-setting “One Percent for Art” ordinance that mandates 1/100th of all city capital improvement project funds goes toward the installation of public artwork.
Poet and pie maker Kate Lebo’s new book, A Commonplace Book of Pie, comes out in October. She’ll read from it at Richard Hugo House (10/17), and Elliott Bay Bookstore (12/6). pieschool.tumblr.com COFFEE SHOP: High 5 Pie on Capitol Hill, a Monday afternoon in JulyKATE’S ORDER: Iced latte, with cherry-almond pieNancy Guppy: How would you describe your creative self? Kate Lebo: I’m a poet who bakes and teaches.
For Matthew Porter, 39, images hold incredible power. As a young boy struggling to learn to read, Porter was encouraged by an insightful tutor to draw the scenes as he listened to the stories read aloud, and he was captured by their magic. “I loved the escapism, to imagine different worlds and adventures,” says the North Seattle-based illustrator and author of eight books.
Must ViewInscape Arts Open HouseSaturday (9/14, noon to 6:00 p.m.) — The former INS building turned artist hive opens its doors this weekend, inviting visitors to see (and buy!) paintings, drawings, photography, jewelry, textiles, metalwork and beyond from more than 50 Seattle artists.
Witness the Hitchcockian spectacle of 20,000 Vaux’s swifts dive-bombing down a narrow chimney as they make a temporary roost in Monroe before heading to points south. While the show can last as long as a few weeks, Swift Night Out brings bird lovers together with food and drink to witness this crazy natural phenomenon and send our feathered friends off in style. 5 p.m.–dark. Free. Monroe, Wagner Center, 639 W Main St.; monroeswifts.org
Seattle is widely considered an inventive city. We rank 13th in the world when it comes to “patent intensity,” the ratio of patent applications compared to the city’s population. And, the University of Washington recently reported it now ranks among the top five American educational institutions that incubate new businesses by parlaying research into commercial applications. That’s a jump from 15th two years ago, which puts UW right up there with MIT and UCLA.
After several hours worth of teasing on Facebook, Macklemore finally released the video for his song "White Walls." You may remember the frenzy he caused while filming part of the video atop Dick's Drive-In on Capitol Hill. Looks like a few snippets of that footage survived the cutting room floor.
Not since 2001, when the Mariners turned western Washington into Brigadoon, has Seattle been this jazzed. Expectations for the 2013 Seahawks are so giddily off the charts that Russell Wilson will be elected mayor of Seattle as soon as he authorizes the write-in campaign. Last year, Wilson proved that he’s the real deal among NFL quarterbacks. Now men and women want to have him over for a cookout. Kids want him to be their dad. Dogs want to fetch his cleats.
Jim Willett has never smoked pot.His teenage sons think he’s a square. A former Navy pilot, he spent a year doing drug interdiction flights along the Washington coast, checking for ships carrying bales of marijuana. For the graying retiree, voting against the state’s legalization of recreational weed (Initiative 502) was pretty much a given. In January, Willett did an about-face. After learning about The ArcView Group, a San Francisco–based angel investment network for the marijuana industry, he signed on. “I was puttering around looking for things to do and this hit me like a lightning bolt,” says the 62-year-old Woodinville resident, who ran a waste recycling business for two decades. He has since invested more than $1 million in Washington’s and Colorado’s legal weed market. Think real estate, grow equipment, security systems, inventory tracking software and cannabis oil extraction devices—“basically everything except the plant.” Financing the production and sale of cannabis poses too great a risk for him. “I’m not a crusader,” he says. “I’m just in it for the money.”Welcome to the green stampede. If all goes according to plan, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will begin accepting license applications from pot retailers, growers and processors this month and grant them to qualifying companies in December. Recreational stores could start cropping up early in 2014. You’ve likely read about some of the region’s more high-profile “potpreneurs.” Butcher William von Schneidau, proprietor of BB Ranch at Pike Place Market, now sells bacon made from pot-fed pigs. Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Seattle-based private equity firm Privateer Holdings, which invests in ancillary cannabis companies, has become a media poster child for the squeaky clean, suit-and-tie-clad pot professional. Microsoft manager turned ganja convert Jamen Shively, who held a press conference with former Mexican President Vicente Fox this spring, boasted that his premium marijuana brand, Diego Pellicer, will “mint more millionaires than Microsoft.” Even Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey, who recently bought Tully’s, joked about selling cannabis at the coffee chain. (Above: Former Navy pilot Jim Willett, now an investor in the recreational marijuana market, photographed at his Woodinville home.)These entrepreneurs aren’t just blowing smoke. The potential profits could be sky high. Trade publication Medical Marijuana Business Daily foresees national revenues from legal weed rising to $1.3 billion–$1.5 billion this year. (For those who haven’t been keeping score, medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C.) Add in the recreational pot shops opening in Washington and Colorado next year and those figures could jump to $2.5 billion–$3 billion, the publication reports. How much cash the state’s 25 percent excise tax on licensed sellers, cultivators and makers of pot tinctures, balms, edibles and beverages will yield remains to be seen. The Liquor Board estimates it will collect “anywhere between $0 and $2 billion” in tax revenue during the first five years of legalization. The generous spread accounts for the fact that no one can predict whether the federal government—which still forbids possessing, growing and selling pot—will shut down the adult-use party. “This is the greatest business opportunity since the falling of the Berlin Wall and the opening up of the free market in Europe,” says Steve DeAngelo, longtime marijuana activist and president of The ArcView Group, which drew “cannabusinesses” from around the country to two pitch slams in Seattle earlier this year. DeAngelo runs Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California, considered the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary and featured on the Discovery Channel show Weed Wars. Harborside recently made headlines when the City of Oakland sued the federal government for trying to shut down the dispensary.
Must PuyallupWashington State Fair(9/6 to 9/22, times vary) — People have been “doing the Puyallup” since 1900, and though this year the name has been changed to the more staid Washington State Fair, more than 1 million visitors are expected to attend the rural extravaganza of blue-ribbon food, breathtaking rides and rodeo broncs.
This year marked my 20th Bumbershoot ... in a row! And having attended the festival for two decades I am sure of one thing: It is a terrible place to be a streaker. As I was making my way toward the exit on Monday evening, I noticed a commotion in the crowd at one of those junctions where two giant pathways intersect and festivalgoers try to artfully weave between each other like an Esther Williams routine, but the timing is never right so everybody ends up jostling backpacks and falafel. I zeroed in on a naked young man.
Seattle artists of all stripes are creating the most exciting and artful 5K ever experienced for the third annual NEPO art walk on Saturday, September 7. Follow silly and sublime installations and performances wending from Hing Hay Park through the Chinatown–International District and up to NEPO House on Beacon Hill, where finishers are rewarded with music by the local band Pollens. The only rule: No running. Noon–9 p.m. Free. nepohouse.org
As the residents of the West Seattle Nickelsville encampment pack up their sleeping bags and tents this month, homelessness in Seattle gets a rare close-up. Zooming in is exactly what architect Rex Hohlbein has been trying to do for the past two-and-a-half years with his Facebook group “Homeless in Seattle,” by which he hopes to bring the more than 6,000 fellow citizens into focus.