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Parting Words From Two Women Leaving Seattle’s Art Scene

Outgoing Northwest Film Forum executive director Courtney Sheehan and Velocity Dance Center artistic director Tonya Lockyer answer one last question

By Gavin Borchert September 7, 2018


This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the September 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

What’s next for you, and where do you think the Seattle art scene will go from here?

Sheehan: From my vantage point as an administrator observing a rapidly changing city, the local arts scene will thrive if it can develop imaginative solutions for sharing resources more equitably, perhaps by creating new mechanisms that incentivize collaboration.

It will take everybody—arts nonprofits, artists, funders, government, patrons and businesses—to come up with ways of adapting to new economic conditions in order to better serve the public and support artists. Sheehan’s last day is October 15. 

Lockyer: I have a few passion projects: I’m the creative producer for transgender choreographer Elby Brosch, helping him develop a yearlong interactive performance project. And I’m looking forward to carving out space to return to my own writing and movement practices.

From the outside, the strength of the arts in Seattle is in our highly dynamic small to midsize sector. One of my focuses these past eight years has been getting Seattle experimental dance out into the world—nationally, but also onto larger Seattle stages like the Moore, On the Boards, Meany Hall. I think we’re going to continue to see that bear fruit…exciting work is happening, but artists and curators continue to have to be entrepreneurial and collectively resourceful to survive. Lockyer departs later this fall. 


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