Imagination Matters: The Essential Arts Blog


Art+Agriculture #2 update

Our "Urban Farming and Food Justice" edition of Art+Agriculture (April 28 at Washington Hall) took an interesting turn these past couple weeks when Novella Carpenter first got assailed by the city of Oakland for not having the proper permits (nevermind that they had told her in the first place which ones she did and didn't need).

Then, after news coverage about that, the city told her she couldn't grow swiss chard on her lot. She needed more permits because she was selling her produce.

It's different in Oakland for sure.

Carpenter, who started backyard farming with bees on Beacon Hill, will talk about these issues and more at Art+Agriculture. Join her, performer okanomodé, Rev. Robert Jeffrey, Eddie Hill, and more fabulous guests on April 28th at Washington Hall.


Bilocal writer James Nolan

Arizona State University's Superstition Review talks to New Orleanian (and Bilocal writer) James Nolan about port cities, John Kennedy Toole, a "voodoo cleansing" block party, Neruda, Katrina/not Katrina, and regionalism.

Says Nolan:

"...until recently most American literature was grounded in the regional. Now 'regional' means any story not set in Manhattan, and much of what we read has as much a sense of place as an airport departure lounge."

Read the whole interview here.


60,000 Thanks!

Rob Stevens sells some of his local honey.

Over 100 people came out for Art+Agriculture #1, on December 1, 2010 at Kane Hall, a benefit for the Pollinator Pathway.

The event featured the Seattle Premiere of the documentary "Vanishing of the Bees," a film about Colony Collapse Disorder, which is threatening honeybee populations and the vitality of our entire agricultural system.

Poets Matt Gano and Judith Roche read poems about honeybees, and a Q&A after the movie included Nancy Beckett (Puget Sound Beekeepers Association), Corky Luster (Ballard Bee Company), Sarah Bergmann(Pollinator Pathway), and Judith Roche (poet and public artist).

Before the event, Seattle TilthWA Toxics Coalition, and Puget Sound Beekeepers Association ran booths in the lobby, while a honey-tasting included Lazy Bee, Seattle Urban Bee Company, and Rob Stevens.

60,000 THANKS! to the following for making the event possible: partner Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, especially Krista Conner, Nancy Beckett, Rob Stevens, Bruce Becker, Laura and Kevin Gow, Brad Jones, and Mark Paris.

Holly Williams was also an instrumental part of the planning and outreach efforts and event staffing. Thanks Holly (and to your daughter too)!

Seattle Tilth's Gardener Hotline (especially Amy Ockerlander, Laura Matter, and Liza Burke) and WA Toxics Coalition (especially Debbie Carlsen), you helped spread the word and make the event informative; thanks!

Terry Rustan and the UW's Program on the Environment sponsored the event and provided affordable access to Kane Hall--thanks to you and also the event staff at the UW.

Finally, we had some AMAZING door prizes thanks to Big Dipper Wax Works and Eat Local.  Lucky guests scored beswax candles and gift tins (from Big Dipper), and a freezer bag and gift card (from Eat Local). Support our local businesses and artisans!

Stay tuned to Essential Arts for more information about the next edition of this program, and send any program or partnership ideas to bob -at-


Seattle Premiere of "Vanishing of the Bees"

Essential Arts is pleased to announce the launch of the "Art+Agriculture" series, which kicks off on Wednesday, December 1st at Kane Hall with the Seattle Premiere of the documentary "Vanishing of the Bees."

The film--presented with a honeytasting of local honey, a Q&A with beekeepers, and guest appearances by three performing poets--chronicles the continuing crisis of colony collapse, and makes a compelling argument for what might be causing it.

The screening is a benefit for Seattle's Pollinator Pathway, an effort to create habitat for Seattle's local pollinators. It's co-presented by the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, and sponsored by the UW's Program on the Environment and Seattle Tilth.

Tickets and more info here; movie trailer here:



What is a Community?

Here are some visions of New Orleans and Seattle, plus a critical question that Essential Arts is addressing through our program Bilocal, which also pairs NOLA and Seattle writers and artists. Support us this month via Kickstarter!

What is a Community? from Essential Arts on Vimeo.