You get $5,000! And you get $5,000! And YOU get $5,000! Today, non-profit Black Fret announced their latest series of grants (totaling $55,000) that will go to 11 Seattle-area bands to do with as they please: Acid Tongue, Beverly Crusher, Black Ends, Caitlin Sherman, Da Qween, Parisalexa, SassyBlack, Shelby Earl, Sol, True Loves, and Zan Fiskum. The Austin-based non-profit launched a Seattle chapter in 2020 to provide financial relief to local musicians. According to their press release, as of today Black Fret has distributed over $150,000 in direct support to Seattle bands and artists. Their 2021 grant recipients would make a sick concert lineup. Just sayin'!
Yesterday was the financial committee cut-off in the state Legislature, which means if a bill didn't pass out of either Appropriations in the House or Ways and Means in the Senate, then it's probably dead. On Slog, we've primarily tracked two sets of bills dealing with Washington's arts. The first set is House Bill 1647/Senate Bill 5530 concerning Washington’s Building for the Arts program, which currently gives a 20% state-match in project costs to cultural organizations acquiring, contracting, or renovating their facilities. The proposed legislation would increase the state-match to 33.3% and increase the program’s cap to $18 million from $12 million. HB 1647 easily passed out of the chamber on February 2 and is now getting read in the Senate. Senator David Frockt (D-Seattle), who sponsored the Senate version of the bill, said in an emailed statement that the bill "has great momentum and I expect that it will pass." Hooray! More arts funding!
And the other set of bills we're tracking is House Bill 1914/Senate Bill 5760, which would increase the funding to the state's Motion Picture Competitiveness Program from $3.5 million to $20 million annually. The committee cut-off did not apply to them because they're labeled "necessary to implement the budget" (NITB). So! They're still swirling around the Senate and the House. In the Senate, bill sponsor Sen. Frockt says they "are working hard to build support" and knows "there are many on the Ways and Means committee, across both parties, who support doing something here." Primary sponsor Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island) said she would "remain a strong advocate for this legislation" and that "nearly everyone knows that the Pacific Northwest is the stuff of movies." Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), the primary sponsor of the bill in the House, had this to say about the state of things:
“The bill to increase funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is not subject to cut-off and after discussing it with the Chair of Finance Rep. Noel Frame, I fully expect it to receive a public hearing in the coming weeks. This bill is alive and I know something about zombie bills (and zombies). The challenges ahead with this broadly supported, bi-partisan bill to create and sustain jobs for our creative community and bring significant economic benefits to Washington lie in moving the bill forward with the funding level that is called out.”
He also included this photo of him making a cameo on SyFy's Z Nation—famously filmed in Spokane via support from the state's Motion Picture Competitiveness Program—to really demonstrate that he GETS IT:
What does the Seattle Times Editorial Board believe that Seattle art institutions need? More money, sure, but also more police resources. Yikes!
Frye Art Museum's Joseph Rosa is setting sail for other shores: After five years in the role, the director and CEO of the First Hill museum will step down from his position once his contract is up on March 31. According to a press release announcing the news, Frye's board of trustees will launch an ~international search~ for Rosa's replacement with CFO Thomas Mitchell and Chief Curator Amanda Donna serving as co-directors in the interim. “I am incredibly grateful to have contributed to the legacy of this beloved museum,” Rosa said in a statement.
Some good news: Seattle-based comic artist James the Stanton is releasing 272 glorious pages of his epic Gnartoons comic series with Silver Sprocket on March 23. And it's a hardcover! Pre-order one of these bad boys right here.
Phew: Adamma and Adanne Ebo's Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.—which premiered at Sundance late last month—finally sold to Focus Feature, Peacock, and Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions for a reported $8.5 million, reports Variety. Read my review of the film here.
Seattle artist Preston Singletary's show opened late last month at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.: The show is called "Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight" and originally premiered at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma in 2018. This iteration of the renowned glass artist of Tlingit heritage will run until January 29, 2023. It "tells the story of how light was given to the world by the powerful, mischievous figure of Raven," reports the Seattle Times. Gayle Clemens did a girthy Q&A with Singletary last week, where they discussed the story behind the show and the relationship between light and shadow.
And in other D.C. news: Jorge Zamanillo of the HistoryMiami Museum has been named as the founding director of the National Museum of the American Latino, reports ArtForum. The new museum was established by Congress in 2020 “to illuminate the story of the United States for the benefit of all by featuring Latino contributions to the art, history, and culture of the nation since its early history.” Zamanillo will step into the role in May.
Need a chuckle? Read about Gwyneth Paltrow's knockoff Ruth Asawa debacle when March's Architectural Digest featured her home.
Rain City Relief is having a party this Saturday at Easy Street Records in West Seattle to celebrate the release of their new vinyl compilation record. It features songs from ten Seattle artists, including The Black Tones, Chong the Nomad, and Smokey Brights. Rain City Relief is a benefit project between The Reef and The Seattle World Tour Foundation with a goal to raise $100,000 for direct financial support to Seattle-area musicians. According to a press release, 75% of record sales will go directly to the artists, with the remaining 25% heading to a permanent Seattle musician relief fund. On Saturday, Beverly Crusher, Ariana DeBoo, and All Star Opera will all perform in-store.