S50 participants are people who have been giving their all, many for a decade or more, to make Spokane more livable, more exciting, more interesting for both residents and visitors. Below are portraits of the first twenty participants, one/person. Head to the blog to check out the full ‘A’ frames that were exhibited this summer and fall. Each ‘A’ frame has lots of photos and various texts. To stay up-to-date, subscribe to the blog. And don’t forget our Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/SpokaneFifty).
S50 is pleased to present KAREN MOBLEY: Karen has lived and breathed the Spokane arts scene, serving as its Arts Director from 1997-2012; she is now a Program Manager for Spokane Arts Fund. She has organized murals, public art projects, alternative spaces, marketing campaigns, Chase Gallery exhibitions and poetry readings, advised on public policy, spoken to groups to promote the arts, encouraged the arts audience and spread the word about the value of the arts in Spokane. “I love attending grass roots “do it yourself” kinds of events here in Spokane, as well as Terrain, Broken Mic, Get Lit! and art studio sales. I attend at least three events per week. I love seeing artists, writers and musicians working out their own creative processes.” More info: karenmobley.com
S50 is pleased to present VERNE WINDHAM. While in high school, Verne drove from Moscow to play in the Spokane Symphony. It was natural that he would return to make a career with them. This morphed into communications, leading to growing along with KPBX. In the middle of his second career he spent a glorious fifteen years conducting the brightest and most inspiring kids in town, the Spokane Youth Orchestra. “Spokane is the place where the artist has to make his own way, and gets to make his own way. This way the art is real, relevant, and means something.” More info: kpbx.org
S50 is pleased to present TED S. MCGREGOR JR. Ted is the founder of a Northwest jewel, our independent, free weekly, The Inlander. As both editor and publisher, he has spent twenty years guiding a slew of writers to the podium to receive their Society of Professional Journalists awards. He devotes dozens of gallons of ink each week promoting Spokane arts, music, and cultural activities, reaching over 130,000 readers per week. The Inlander sponsors so many local events it makes our heads spin. “I love how there’s basalt and ponderosa pines sticking out everywhere. Those ponderosas — prickly and hardy — seem a lot like the people here. And the view coming home down Sunset Hill still gives me a tingle.” More info: inlander.com
S50 is pleased to present BROOKE KIENER. Brooke is an actor, director, educator, and community art facilitator. As a theatre professor at Whitworth, she and her students have worked with community groups to create performances about the justice system, the local food movement, and economic disparity. She and her colleagues at Whitworth won the City’s of Spokane’s Bold Strokes Art Award. Chair for the Spokane Arts Fund. If not at an art event, you’ll likely find her in her garden. “I am drawn to Spokane because of the beauty of the physical landscape and the energy of the people who populate it. I love our river, the parks and public spaces, places for people to come together and share common experiences.” More info: pinterest.com/bkiener
S50 is pleased to present MARIAH MCKAY. Mariah is a true Spokane lover and stereotype breaker. She embraces this place for everything it is and can be through her dialogue sparking and community building efforts. She founded the Spovangelist, a next generation civics and culture blog about Spokane, created the Spokane Shrinking Violet Society, a co-op of dynamic young women, and co-founded Terrain, an annual explosion of creative regional talent. “Our unique geography creates a strong sense of place; we are part of a large extended tribe that makes interesting things possible in our community. Living here is a shared experience that means something very real to everyone who experiences it. ” More info: mariahmckay.com
S50 is pleased to present LUKE BAUMGARTEN. Luke is the Co-Founder of Terrain, a grassroots organization that passionately believes in the central place of the arts in a good, just and vibrant city, nurturing the emerging arts community with events, education, outreach and by cultivating relationships between artists and patrons. Luke is a creative strategist at Seven2 and with SpIFF. He has won national awards for writing with The Inlander. He is currently at work on a novel and two startups. “Spokane breeds people of great longing and great aspiration. Strivers. And they’re staying, putting their effort into this place, and that’s having a profound effect. Our individual aspirations are becoming community-wide aspirations, right now. I’m really excited for the next five years.” More info: @lukebaumgarten (twitter)
S50 is pleased to present TAYLOR WEECH. Taylor knew that young people need opportunities to shape their city, so she co-founded the Youth Sustainability Council, launched Sustainable Uprising – an enviroment-focused, outdoor music and arts street festival – and the YoSpo (Young Spokanites) Arts Extravaganza – an open art show for artists under 25. With her sister Ryan she opened The Dirty Yeti as a house venue that hosted over fifty music, comedy and open mic shows. “I appreciate the rich history here – that so much of it is preserved from old buildings to projects like the Salish School. Living in Peaceful Valley has probably been my favorite chapter of being here. People are down to earth and opportunity is around every corner.” More info: kyrs.org
S50 is pleased to present PATRICK KENDRICK. As an arts promoter and curator of live music, Patrick works behind the scenes to bring quality, fresh acts to Spokane as well as build unique shows for both performers and audiences alike. These events include The Inlander’s massive music festival Volume, the MAC’s innovative, overly-attended BeGin!, as well as weekly Platform showcases. Patrick co-founded the annual multimedia extravaganza Terrain. The list goes on and on… “Spokane matters for various reasons: access by bike to everything from breweries to galleries to film to live music. Most places are more of a one stop spot than they boast – Baby Bar (burritos, live music, cocktails) and Saranac (gallery space, public house, and films) – to name two.” More info: terrainspokane.com
S50 is pleased to present JIM SHEEHAN. Jim is the visionary force behind three of Spokane’s landmark projects: the Saranac, Community Building, and Main Market, which house Saranac Art Projects, Magic Lantern Theater, Spokane Meditation Center, and Saranac Public House. Each building was created with certain aesthetic in mind, believing that beauty serves the crucial role of feeding the soul and helping to create whole beings and whole communities. These structures lead the nation in their use of renewable energy and energy-saving technologies, and have helped to revive a decaying neighborhood, now the heart and soul of Spokane. “Spokane is like a lot of places, but for me it is home. It is where my community is, it is where my resources are and energies spent. It is where I live and where I love.” More info: community-building.org
S50 is pleased to present ADAM BOYD. After graduating from EWU, he went to work to develop Spokane’s film community, helping to create the 50 Hour Slam Inland Northwest Film Festival, a high-energy timed film competition that embraces the vibrant art scene in Spokane. Adam is a board member and programmer with the Spokane International Film Festival, one of the founders of the Spokane Film Project, and the current chair of the Spokane Arts Commission, where he’s served as a Commissioner and Arts advocate.
S50 is pleased to present ALISON COLLINS. Alison believes that owning a business means you have a community voice and thus an obligation to better that same community. Donations of time, dollars, space and product: check. Making public statements about important issues: check. Welcoming every single person into the business (including those less fortunate): check. Hosting events to improve the community like phone banks, Show & Tell, comedy open mic nights, free tango lessons, Peace Corps information nights, TED talks… CHECK!
S50 is pleased to present MARSHALL POWELL. In 2011 he began work with the Parks Department on a pilot project to build community gardens in city parks. With the help of the South Perry neighborhood, the Grant Park Community Garden was born, a model for those who want to build community gardens and bring neighbors together. Marshall is the founder and director of Elkfest, an event that takes over Browne’s Addition with local bands and national touring acts alike – free! He works with city leaders to streamline the permitting process to make it easier for neighborhoods around the city to build great events of their own.
S50 is pleased to present JIM KOLVA. He and his wife ventured into downtown living when they moved into a brick warehouse next to the railroad viaduct in 1999, being the first to convert a warehouse into residences, an office and an art gallery. Jim spent ten years on the Spokane City Plan Commission, ending his tenure serving as President. He currently serves on the Landmarks Commission as Chair. Jim has been involved in the planning of Spokane’s future for more than 30 years.
S50 is pleased to present MELISSA HUGGINS. She has partnered with countless organizations in the Spokane area to provide fun, engaging, educational events for people of all ages. She is the director of Get Lit! Programs, which engages the Inland Northwest community through reading, writing, and storytelling since 1998. Get Lit! celebrates the written word through an annual literary festival and educational outreach programs for K-12 students.
S50 is pleased to present NICK MURTO. He has been working to make Spokane the place he wants it to be since he moved here. Nick is the co-founder of Seven2 and 14Four, where he employs and inspires over 75 talented, driven, and creative people. His passion for healthy living pushed him to open The Union, a high energy Spin and Yoga studio, as well as Method Organic Juice Café. Nick came up with the concept for Good Oats: each bowl sold equals one bowl of organic oatmeal is donated to charity.
S50 is pleased to present DAVID BLAINE. Despite spending more than two decades cooking in Spokane, he doesn’t consider his role in Spokane’s community to be about food – rather he has always been interested in people, their stories and how these interactions build community. Over the years David’s interests have led him to write Spokane’s first blog about the restaurant industry, organize farm retreats for local chefs, and create cycling events such as the annual Midnight Century. He is always looking for new ideas to bring people together.
S50 is pleased to present TRACY SIMMONS. She launched SpokaneFAVS.com (Spokane Faith & Values) in 2012. Each month Tracy hosts Coffee Talks where the community can discuss theological issues in a peaceful and thoughtful format. SpokaneFAVS.com was named one of the Best Online Religion Section of The Year by the Religion Newswriters Association, losing only to CNN and Reuters.
S50 is pleased to present MARK ANDERSON. He has been performing poetry and spearheading poetry events in Spokane since 2007. Mark is one of the founders and long time hosts of the Broken Mic poetry readings. He has also performed all across the U.S. In 2012 Mark was awarded the inaugural Ken Warfel Fellowship for poets who have contributed substantially to their communities.
Look around you, Spokane’s a great place to live, especially if you like to have many choices for fun every day!