From Bad Santas to Rape Jokes, with Stops at Layoffs and Fights with Landlords
• Last Thursday, Seattle Arts & Lectures laid off three employees. It's always a shame when workers—especially arts workers!—lose their jobs, but the especially sad part is that Seattle Arts & Lectures is producing its best season in years right now. Board president Mary Ingraham insists that the organization is "healthy" and that SAL's many programs will continue. But she's tighter-lipped about whether any of those programs (including a lecture series, a poetry series, and Writers in the Schools, a wonderful program that teaches kids to enjoy writing) will face further restructuring.
• A disagreement related to parking has arisen between the owners of the relatively new arts space—and former INS building—Inscape and some of the artists renting there. Ceramicist/architect Stephanie Wascha, who did an elaborate build-out to make her space handsome and would like to stay long-term, says some artists were angered when building owners began allowing tailgaters to park at the building on game days. She says drunk tailgaters broke into the building and damaged art, and that some renters are worried their parking fees will rise in a new Inscape arrangement with Diamond. "After this, I'm nervous about what they're gonna do next," Wascha says. Owner Rolf Hogger says he heard "a different version" of the damage story and that rates are not rising. "We have put so much effort into this," he says. The two sides are meeting this week. Let's hope they hammer out their differences. Even so, Inscape may be a tough sell for some. Says artist Madison BadDoberan, "I really sincerely doubt I'll sign a new lease here" after it expires next fall. "It's just not affordable arts space."
• Brought to Central Cinema as part of the Onion A.V. Club's New Cult Canon tour, director Terry Zwigoff introduced and appended his film Bad Santa with onstage addresses that rivaled the hilarity of his film. Best bits: Zwigoff's slide-show tour of Bad Santa–inspired cultural artifacts (from porn films to crime sprees), and his revelation of the actor who campaigned hardest for (and lost) the role of the criminal mastermind elf (Mickey Rooney).
• Last Saturday, dozens of folks gathered at Kaleidoscope Vision to celebrate the new issue of PageBoy magazine with a reading. Highlights included Sarah Galvin (who—conflict of interest alert—is a Stranger writer, but is still always the funniest person at any given reading), Jeremy Springsteed (who read a poem with an eye-injury motif), and Sierra Nelson (who read a sonnet composed of pro wrestling moves).
• Last Saturday, illusion-shattering poet-performer Vanessa Place delivered 25 minutes of rape jokes as part of a "confessional poetry" reading at the Frye Art Museum. It was the audience that confessed rather than the poet—by laughing or not, squirming, struggling. "It was nuts," one woman in the audience admitted. "Some of the jokes were really funny."