Seattle Funds the Arts

The City of Seattle announced a $1.8 million investment in Seattle arts, heritage, and cultural organizations.  The grants are from the Office of Arts & Culture, through the Civic Partners program.  This year boasts the largest awards under the program.

Mayor Ed Murray was proud to announce the grants, noting that the city benefits from the wide variety of arts organizations in the community.  These grants are awarded every two years to help create community, provide inspiration and creativity, and promote cross-culture understanding.

The 2016-2017 recipients include ArtsWest, Burke Museum Association, Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Copper Canyon West, Seattle JazzED, Seattle Opera, SEEDArts and The Vera Project.  Other organizations designated as community partners to enhance the capacity of artists and arts group are Artist Trust, Teen Tix and Theatre Puget Sound.

Zika Virus in Washington

Washington state now has had its first case of the Zika virus.  The Department of Health confirmed the case in a Mason County man in his 20s who visited the South Pacific.

The man returned to the US about a month ago.  He visited a Thurston County hospital for treatment when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified of the case.

Officials have been looking out for the virus since many people travel to the places where Zika is spreading.  The virus is most dangerous to pregnant women as it has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, resulting in small heads and brain damage in infants.  There is no vaccine to prevent the disease.

Symptoms are generally not severe enough for hospitalization, but can include fever, conjunctivitis, skin rash, and joint pain.  Anyone who is infected is advised to avoid mosquito bites, though the type of mosquito that can spread the disease does not live in Washington state.

Travel to areas where mosquito-borne diseases should be delayed if possible.  The particular mosquito that can transmit the virus, the aedes mosquito, is also active during the day, so use repellents and other prevention measures throughout the day and evenings.  The Zika virus can also be spread by blood transfusions, a pregnant woman to her fetus, and a man to his sexual partners.

Seattle Center Poetry Garden Art

The Seattle Center is hosting a Temporary Art Installation from now until January of 2017.  Four artists were invited to participate in the Seattle Center Poetry Garden Art Series.

The initiative began in 2014 with temporary installations installed during Winterfest.  The program expanded in 2015 with the Sculpture Walk put in.  Now four artists will be featured with poetry readings done by Porchlit to complement each installation.

The artists featured will be Elizabeth Gahan from now until May 2; Naoko Morisawa from May 9 to August 1; Natalie Ball from August 8 to October 31; and Tara Tamaribuchi from November 6 to January 31.  Elizabeth’s work now on display uses synthetic, commercial advertising materials to create abstract pieces inspired by flowers.  Hanging on the Poetry Garden fence, the pop of color connects the natural beauty with the urban feel of the city.

For more information on the artists and their work, visit