Arts and Entertainment

It's a bird, it's a plane — No, it's a new flying festival

Leah Mann practices for the debut of a new ariel work on the Lelavision helix, which was created by Ela Lamblin.  - John Cornicello photo
Leah Mann practices for the debut of a new ariel work on the Lelavision helix, which was created by Ela Lamblin.
— image credit: John Cornicello photo

Some of the Northwest’s most acclaimed aerial artists will fly high this weekend at a new festival at the Open Space for Arts & Community.

The festival, dubbed “Open Air,” is slated to take place on Saturday in a meadow outside of the O Space, marking the first time there has been an outdoor event at the former coffee warehouse-turned-performing-arts facility. 

“The meadow is just so glorious,” said Maria Glanz, who is helping to publicize the event. “The hope is that this will be the first annual summer festival of this sort.”

Glanz said “Open Air” was the brainchild of Janet McAlpin, an UMO member and Open Space founder, and Lynelle Sjoberg, another aerial artist who has presented an event called “Gravity of Kindness,” at her Island property in past years.

Saturday’s program will include Sjoberg and McAlpin’s premiere performance on a new aerial contraption — a suspended spherical egg created by Island designer Patricia Toovey. 

Sjoberg and Leah Mann will also premiere a new work on a helix sculpture designed by Ela Lamblin.  

Martha Enson, Esther Edelman and a few other surprise artists of all ages will also perform. 

Glanz said that all of the participating artists were donating their time to appear in the event, and that she hoped families would show up and enjoy the show.

“Come with blankets and picnics and see these amazing aerialists,” she said, noting that rain or shine, “Open Air” will take place.

“If the rain gods aren’t smiling, we’ll move everything inside,” she said. “Check our website if it looks cloudy or strange on Friday.”


Open Air, an outdoor aerial festival, will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at the Open Space for Arts & Community, 18870 103rd Ave. S.W. There is a suggested donation of $8 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, visit





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