Arts Briefs | July 28 issue

Check out what’s going on and what’s coming up on Vashon

Concerts in the Park

Vashon’s free, outdoor family-friendly Concerts in the Park, hosted by the Vashon Park District, will start at 7 p.m Thursday, Aug. 4, with Jenny Don’t & the Spurs, a classic country and western quartet known for offering up both tear-jerkers and high-stepping dance tunes.

Opening the show will be a Vashon local, Julia Mark, as a part of Vashon Events’ “New Voices” program. Mark is a sing-songwriter who performs on piano.

Following the release of her 2018 album (Gemini), Mark was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the Boston Music and New England Music Awards.

Concerts in the Park, curated by Vashon Events, will be held every Thursday in August, with a special concert added on Friday, Aug. 19. Bring a picnic and blanket or lawn chairs. No dogs, alcohol or smoking are allowed at Ober Park.

Upcoming concerts include The Paperboys on Aug. 11, Portage Fill on Aug. 18, Troll’s Cottage on Aug. 19, and The Rumba Kings on Aug. 25.

Abolition Is…

In April, Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA) hosted artist, abolitionist, and writer, Patrisse Cullors, who installed a neon light piece in VCA’s outdoor breezeway.

The installation, posing the question, “Abolibition Is….,” invites islanders to reflect on what this word means to them individually and collectively.

The exploration will continue in August at VCA. Lelavision’s Leah Mann has coordinated a panel discussion with the Atlanta-based “Dreamkeepers” on restorative justice — a free event at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.

VCA has also put out a call for public participation in Cullors’ public art installation in the VCA breezeway, asking islanders to contribute their experiences and perspectives by writing a one-sentence, creative response to add to the installation in person and online.

For more information on the projects and the “Dreamkeepers” talk, visit

Film Festival to bow

The Vashon Film Institute (VFI), a new non-profit dedicated to fostering independent filmmaking in the Pacific Northwest, will present its inaugural Vashon Island Film Festival (VIFF), unspooling from August 12 to 14.

VIFF will screen 10 features and 10 shorts currently on the festival circuit, and present other film-centric events, including an Opening Night Gala, Saturday Night Soiree, and two seminars delivered by notable film industry guests.

Founded by film producer and island resident Mark Mathias Sayre, the festival has a worthy cause this year: 100% of the net profits will go to the family-operated Vashon Theatre, a cultural landmark built in 1947.

To find out more about the festival programs and purchase tickets and passes, visit

“Indicator Species”

Lelavision’s latest project, aimed at bringing people together around a large public artwork and featuring performance, science talks and wellness experiences, will take place Aug. 12 through 14, at Mukai Farm & Garden.

Lelavision co-founder and sculptor, Ela Lamblin, has built a 35-foot-tall interactive, kinetic, and musical sculpture of a Plecoptera nymph, commonly known as a stonefly, to center the event. Surrounding the sculpture, event creator Leah Mann has curated presentations featuring Black, Indigenous and presenters of color who will appear during the three-day event.

Dancers, musicians, poets, visual artists, scientists, recovery specialists and wellness professionals will explore the intersections of environmental justice, social justice, and racial justice.

“Indicator Species” kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, with a community drum circle facilitated by Sumayya Diop, and the premiere of Lamblin’s interactive sculpture.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, the event will offer a day of free sculpture, performances, presentations, maker spaces and wellness offerings. The event concludes at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, with Chef Chantel Jackson leading an evening of karaoke, bubble wand dancing and interactions with the illuminated sculpture before it continues on to Burning Man.

Food will be available at all the events to nourish those who participate. For more information, visit

Dance with noted teachers

Jo Hoffberg, an acclaimed dancer, teacher and competition winner, will bring her “Authentic Jazz” and “Swing Dance” series to Vashon Center for Dance for four weeks in August.

In her teaching, Hoffberg highlights the need for learning jazz’s history as well as its dance movements and also emphasizes the value of learning partner dance alongside other classical forms of dance.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Amanda Morgan will also return to teach her noted master class, which she describes as “a movement-based workshop focusing on improvisation and choreography, particularly your own.”

Morgan’s master class will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at VCA. Hoffberg’s Authentic Jazz Series and Swing Dance Series will take place, respectively, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., throughout the month of August, at VCA.

To find out more and register, visit or call 206-259-3005.

Learn art of qigong

During the pandemic, islander Arlette Moody began studying qigong, a Chinese-based form of energy cultivation using short movement forms similar in quality to Tai Chi.

Moody, a teacher of movement and pilates for more than 25 years, is now offering a six-week class teaching these bamboo exercises and qigong on Mukai Farm & Garden’s front lawn, at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Aug. 23 through Sept. 27. She will provide some bamboo sticks for participants but also encourages students to bring their own.

Write to or text 206-712-0645 for more information and to register.