Friday Fish Wrap 1.4.19

Five things worth knowing this week.

Welcome to 2019

Issue 1 of the 2019 season of the Fish Wrap should begin properly . . . with a gigantic thank you to our patrons, ticket buyers, donors, sponsors, volunteers, board members, and any other friends and supporters I didn’t sweep up in that list.  The people who come to work every day at Vashon Center for the Arts feel and appreciate the encouragement and support we feel on a daily basis.

We have lots of good things on the runway for 2019. The best place to stay up on what’s doing is to subscribe to our two weekly emails: The midweek Weekly Newsletter and the Friday Fish Wrap.  You can also follow us (please) on Facebook and Instagram.

We will continue to print a variety of publications in 2019, including a bi-monthly schedule of our performances, exhibits, and classes and a twice-yearly magazine that will have more of an editorial focus.  We will also continue to print series brochures.  A good example is the recently announced Jazz Series (for more details click here).

You’ll also be able to find us in the pages of The Beachcomber, The Loop, and on the Vashon Events website and regular email.

So, with luck, one of those will find you at just the perfect time and we’ll see you here for something fun in 2019!

Excited About First, First Friday

One of the joys of “Hanging Week” is watching the artists install their work in our gallery.  Roman Zlobin recently moved to Vashon and brought with him a stunning body of photographic work from Russia. He and his partner Yuliya Kelson spent much of Wednesday working out how to display his wonderful work in the intimate confines of the Joy & Chai Mann Gift Shop.

Meanwhile the truly lovely works by Laura Ahola-Young, Alyson McCrink, Deborah Kapoor, and the Tapestry Artists of Puget Sound are gathering on our walls in anticipation of the show opening on Friday, January 4 at 6:00.

Come see us!

Live in the Lobby

The very talented vocalist/pianist/songwriter Maggie Laird has agreed to provide us a live soundtrack of piano and bass in the Fong-Wheeler Atrium Lobby during our First Friday opening. Looking at great art, sipping a glass of wine, listening to live music . . . well it doesn’t get a lot better than that.

For those who don’t know Maggie, her repertoire includes original music, jazz standards, and a range of multi-genre favorites.  She has had a diverse career as music director for countless theatrical productions and as a singer and pianist in several genres ranging from swing to rock.

Here are a couple clips of Maggie at work for your listening pleasure.

Say Hey, Gabe

If you attended the much admired VCA Nutcracker a few weeks back, you’ll remember the party scene–full to bursting with young dancers, dance parents, even dance alumni. But there was another “party-goer,” an 11thgrade musical theater student named, Gabriel Dawson. Gabriel joined the Nutcracker cast to pick up the mantle of Drosselmeier’s apprentice.

As it happens, our Director of Dance, Vadne, spotted Gabriel in one of VCA’s hip hop classes back in September. An idea formed, a conversation happened and a couple months later, Gabriel waltzed across the stage and right into a new artistic interest.

He told us:

Dance is different from Musical Theater. You’re not using your voice in dance, you’re not meant to sing or speak. So you have to tell the story through movement.

And Gabriel knows a little about telling a story. He has participated in Musical Theater under the direction of Marita Erickson, Elise Erickson and Christopher Dawson in six VCA productions. (Most recently as “Bert” in Mary Poppins.)

About Musical Theater, Gabriel says:

I love being on stage–the excitement it brings, reaching people in that way. I just love it. I think theater keeps me grounded, too. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, but full of energy.

Another thing Gabriel will tell you is that while coming to dance from theater is a stretching, rewarding experience–the opposite is true, too. Dancers who want to polish their presence on the stage should give theater a try. “I think about the facial expressions, about the pantomime in theater,” Gabriel says.“And I really see benefits for both dancers and theater students, absolutely.”

VCA’s next Musical Theater Production is Willy Wonka–and sign-ups are open now. Get your student in on this terrific program and see where the theater arts take them.

Come Hear Roosevelt High School Jazz Band

Honest to goodness, don’t miss them.

I’ve listened to a lot of big bands over the past 40 years (maybe more), and the musicians playing in the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band play to a standard and quality that almost defies imagination.  They’re polished, tight, and classy.  A perfect tonic for the January gloom.  You can buy tickets at our front desk or by clicking here.

Or better still, buy the entire Jazz Series and get Roosevelt for 50% off!  Click here for more information.

Here they are last year playing Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder.

Finally, and this is a sixth thing

I have only met Benjamin Zander through his remarkable book, The Art of Possibility.  If you’ve never read it, do.

Mr. Zander has had an amazing career which you can read all about here. It is hard to overstate the impact he has had on the classical music scene in Boston, just to point out a tiny part of his legacy.

For reasons I can’t explain his truly amazing Ted talk came to mind.  I promise you the few minutes it will take for you to watch The Transformative Power of Classical Music will be some of the minutes of your day.


Why “Fish Wrap”? Years ago, living in San Francisco, I became a devotee of a legendary journalists named Herb Caen. While he may not have been the first to use the phrase in connection with “yesterday’s news,” he is the one I remember. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, we call our Friday wrap up, The Friday Fish Wrap . . . Five things worth knowing about VCA this Friday.

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