Arts and Entertainment

A scrappy, do-it-yourself event returns for its 18th year on Vashon

Islewilde is a family affair, with children often taking the lead in creating some of the festival’s magic. - Courtesy photo
Islewilde is a family affair, with children often taking the lead in creating some of the festival’s magic.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

This weekend, Islewilde will present “Tales From an Organ Grinder,” the 18th annual version of its unique festival.

Since Aug. 14, Islanders have been taking part in workshops that will determine the circus-like, celebratory events that make up the festival.

Islewilde’s official opening — a a twilight lantern ceremony in a meadow on the festival grounds — will take place begining at approximately 8:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21.

Islanders are encouraged to come to the event wearing sturdy shoes and toting a flashlight for backup, at the festival’s new home at 21150 Old Mill Rd.

Doug Skove, Islewilde’s managing director, described Islewilde’s creators as “a loosely reined-in group of performance and visual artists” and said that Islanders of all ages were invited to participate in family-oriented arts workshops, guided arts stations or enjoy free performances from 12 noon until midnight, Saturday, Aug. 22.

Janaki Ranpura, currently a Minneapolis-based performance artist, has returned this year as the festival’s art director, a position she has held for the past two years.

Ranpura is collaborating with longtime Islewilde contributing artists Josh Okrent, Liza Burke and Adam Ende on the festival.

Janaki said this year’s event will include black light and shadow puppet shows and an abstract modern Swedish ballet.

She also promised that “colorful body parts will litter our incredible natural site, kids can trace petroglyphs, and anyone can draw a section of the giant exquisite corpse.”

According to Ranpura, Islewilde is a place to “write songs, make music and unintentional sound effects.”

‘Tales From An Organ Grinder’

Islewilde, a free event, takes place this Friday and Saturday at 21160 Old Mill Rd.

For directions, to view photos and find out more about this year’s festival theme, visit www.

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