Thanks, Reverend

Alice Walker--the 57-year-old African American poet, activist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist for The Color Purple--is the keynote speaker at the annual fundraiser for Aradia Women's Health Center on October 25. Aradia is a nonprofit, feminist women's clinic and abortion-services provider on First Hill.

The Stranger intended to announce the noteworthy event in Stranger Suggests, but this turned out to be impossible.

Some fact-checking revealed that the same-day listing was appreciated but not feasible, because no walk-ins would be allowed. Pre-registration for the $75 shindig (at Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the waterfront) was required, for security concerns. Aradia's Amy Numen cited recent terrorist events--including Jerry Falwell's September 13 statement that "abortionists have got to bear some burden for this, because God will not be mocked"--as a reason for the security precaution. AMY JENNIGES

Arts First; Dumb Civility Laws Second

Allied Arts, Seattle's premier arts advocacy group, is conducting a survey: What city ordinances are getting in the way of creating art? The most obvious example is the poster ban, and descriptions of specific instances of running into its restrictions will be useful; but what else has tripped you up? Have arcane liquor laws hampered your performance piece? Have perverse wrinkles in a permitting process prevented you from converting dead space into art space? If these things can be remedied, Allied Arts wants to do it--and they'll take these stories to the Seattle City Council on your behalf. Contact Allied Arts at 624-0432 or and give them names, dates, and gory details. The more concrete and specific you are, the more valuable your story will become. BRET FETZER

Beautiful Garbage

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods, Street Life Gallery has brought some actual life to the increasingly glossy and expensive streets of Belltown.

This life is contained in a revival of the trash-can project (older, more battered versions have graced downtown boulevards for some time). The gallery pulled together a group of artists and gave each of them a trash can to paint. The only stipulation--exceeded in almost every case--was that they had to put in at least 24 hours' work. Then, in the project's next phase, these artists mentored at-risk kids from New Horizons, helping them with their own bins.

The artists' useful works now line Second Avenue, and the kids' projects will soon grace First Avenue. Scoff if you like at the prettification of garbage; I salute the gallery, the Department of Neighborhoods, and all those anonymous artists. Belltown should remember its roots, and to pick up its trash. EMILY HALL

Oh, Dear

It's not every day that City Attorney Mark Sidran takes a precious hour from his busy mayoral campaign schedule to visit with local arts leaders. The group that gathered last week at Sidran's Post Alley campaign headquarters to talk art politics included Matt Richter, Executive Director of Consolidated Works, along with Jamie Hook (WigglyWorld), Tom Milewski (Annex Theater), David Brewster (Executive Director of Town Hall), and Cathryn Vandenbrink (a top-notch artist-housing advocate).

They were not terribly shocked when the candidate came to the table empty-handed and without a position on Seattle's art scene. "It was obvious that he didn't have a platform in place," Richter noted. "He said that the arts weren't necessarily an issue that he'd spent time developing."

Sidran cut out midway through the meeting after a campaign lackey told him that he had a (well-timed?) phone call, but not before spouting perfunctory political remarks such as, "I'll make sure to look into everything you've told me." Yeah, right. AMY BARANSKI

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