Arts Live at Haller Lake
By Stewart Hendrickson
The arts are indeed alive in the Haller Lake
neighborhood of north Seattle. I played for a chili festival at the
Haller Lake Community Club last summer and helped open their first
concert for the 2006-07 season last September. They have a beautiful
performance center, which is a real gem for expanding the arts scene
The Haller Lake Community Club was established in
1921 as the Haller Lake Improvement Club. It is now a non-profit,
all-volunteer, membership-based community organization. The club
building, built in 1922 at 12579 Densmore Ave N, contains a large
performance hall, complete with a 1926 theatre pipe organ and stage,
which will accommodate about 150 people.
several years the building has been home to the Creative Dance Center
and Kaleidoscope Dance Company. The pipe organ is owned by the Puget
Sound Organ Society, which also uses the building for some of their
events. In September 2004 the Arts Council of the Haller Lake Community
Club was formed to bring local artists together with the community.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say
that I am now a member of the Arts Council. Desiree Smith, the driving
force behind the arts program, convinced me to join. Desiree is an
illustrator, printmaker, graphic designer, and art instructor. Her aim
is to bring local artists and the community together for the
benefit of all. This includes the applied arts, fiber & needle
arts, fine & visual arts, literary arts, and performing arts.
My particular interest is in the performing arts.
Performances began a year ago with a November concert arranged through
the Seattle Folklore Society featuring Ginny Reilly and David Maloney,
a favorite duo of the West Coast folkmusic scene, otherwise known as
“Reilly and Maloney.” This concert series, known as
“Arts Live! 2nd Saturdays at the Club,” last year included
Joe Jencks in a CD release concert, some film showings, Jim Page, and
the Seattle Labor Chorus.
The first concert this season was a Celtic
Music Night. Dan Carollo and I opened with a 45 min set of Irish songs
and tunes with fiddle and guitar, followed by another 45 min set by the
local Celtic band Watch The Sky. It was great fun. The acoustics of the
hall were wonderful and needed only at little amplification, which a
new sound system nicely provided. And it’s a very comfortable and
attractive space for the audience.
October featured two local singer songwriters, Larry
Murante and Wes Weddell, cosponsored by Puget’s Sound
Productions. And November featured two concerts sponsored by the
Seattle Folklore Society – Reilly and Maloney; and Hanneke
Cassel, a U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion.
On December 9, Seattle Early Dance will present
Baroque Passion, a selection of exquisite dances popular at the lavish
European courts of the eighteenth century. They will be accompanied by
live music performed on authentic period instruments, and special guest
artist Elisabeth Belgrano will enhance the program with her singing.
January 13 will feature a Filé Gumbo Night
with the Filé Gumbo Zydeco Band and traditional Louisiana style
gumbo and pecan pie. Filé Gumbo is a local band comprised of
Mark Whitman, Doug Bright, Marc Bristol, and Will Peoples. This should
help you get over the winter blues with good food, music, and dance.
The rest of the season is still being worked out,
but will include a concert by Bellingham singer songwriter, Linda Allen
on March 10 along with a possible workshop, a poetry and jazz night on
April 14, and a Fabulous 50s Sock Hop on May 12.
According to Desiree, “the Arts Live!
Saturdays at the Club are envisioned as a night for the arts that could
feature anything from independent films, poetry readings, arts
lectures, art exhibitions and performing arts designed to bring arts
and the community together for the benefit of all.”
In addition to the Saturday night series, the Arts Council also coordinates the main music stage for the Northgate Family Festival.
Last summer I performed on that stage with Jerry Middaugh, Isla Ross,
and Alan Kausal. Other local performers also performed there over the
two-day festival. Next summer’s festival will be on August 11 and
12, on the grounds of the Northwest Out-Patient Medical Center on
Meridian Ave N.
Plans are now underway for the annual Arts Council
fundraiser in June, the “Chili Palooza – A Haller Lake
Community Festival.” It will include an art exhibit, photography
competition, children’s art and crafts, live music, community
booths, a community chili cook-off and more. Last summer’s
festival was great, this should be even better!
In addition to enjoying the Saturday night
performances and other activities, you can become part of the Haller
Lake Arts community by joining the Club and its Arts Council.
Information is available on their web pages: here and here.
Arts Council members receive the monthly Club newsletter, Splashes,
along with an Arts Council newsletter. Both of these are also available
online at their web sites.
While there are more coffee houses and pubs in the
north Seattle area for local performers, we need to introduce local
artists to the community through live concerts and other activities.
Arts Live! at Haller Lake is an important and exciting new venture in
this area. Help develop an exciting arts scene in north Seattle by
becoming involved. I’ll see you Saturday night at the Club.
Stewart Hendrickson is Chemistry
Professor Emeritus – St. Olaf College, Research Professor
Emeritus – University of Washington, and in his new career, an
unemployed folk musician (voice, fiddle, guitar;
http://www.stolaf.edu/people/hend/music.html ). Reprinted from the Victory Review, December, 2006.