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4Culture doles out grants to support Island performances

Vashon Park District and the Vashon Folkdancers were recently awarded three grants from 4Culture, King County's cultural services agency, to help put on summer concerts and events in Island parks.

The first park district grant, a $2,150 award, will allow the agency to purchase a moveable stage that can be put together and taken apart for events at different parks.

The stage will debut at Ober Park on July 22, when "Cyrano de Bergerac" is performed. The free play continues on July 23 and 24.

The second park district grant, for $2,500, will help pay for this summer's Concerts in the Park at Ober Park. The money will be used to pay the musicians who will perform in July and August.

On July 8, Too Slim and the Taildraggers will crank out live blues at Ober Park. On July 29, Craicmoore will play Celtic tunes at the park. On Aug. 19, Incendio will bring Latin flair to Ober. And on Aug. 26, Vashon Chorale and Portage Fill will play. All concerts are at 7 p.m., and all are free.

"I'm delighted, because I think the arts is Vashon's most prolific and plentiful product, and it's a part of all our lives here. I think it should be accessible," said Susan McCabe, Vashon Park District's program coordinator. "I really appreciate (4Culture's) support in helping us make art accessible to more people."

The Vashon Folkdancers received a $2,000 grant from 4Culture to put on free summer live music and dancing events in the Village Green during July and August. The park district cosponsors Dancing on the Village Green.

Upcoming dance and music events at the park include performances by the Riptide Ramblers on July 5, Mary Sherhart and Balkan Cabaret on July 12, Pangeo on July 19, Piedmont Blues on Aug. 9, Duvo Ensemble on Aug. 16 and Bosnian Blues on Sept. 11. All the concerts at the Village Green are at 6:30 p.m.

"That small amount makes a big difference," said Martin Koenig, a member of Vashon Folkdancers and an organizer of the Village Green events. "It's a great place to bring the whole family and have a picnic dinner, enjoy the music and, when you feel inspired, get up and dance."

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