Art Beat: April Author Talks, Small Works show, Spring Break at the Edmonds Bookshop, Cascade Symphony concert, a musical debut, and congratulations to Olympic Ballet School

I hope everyone who was able to snag Neko Case tickets enjoyed Sunday’s show. I know I did, and the guy behind me who kept yelling, “YEAH Tacoma,” seemed like he was having a great time.

The music was amazing, but one of the most inspiring things about the show was how Case fully leaned into her power. She seemed so confident in who she was and in her strengths as an artist. My favorite moment was when she played an epic drum break.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she comes back to Edmonds.

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April Author Talks with Sno-Isle Libraries

Click the links in the titles to learn more and register for these online events.

The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us – Author Talk with Smithsonian Curator Paula J. Johnson

11 a.m., Tuesday, April 2

Take a virtual step into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with Curator Paula Johnson as she discusses the book Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us.

American Table is a sweeping history of food and culture that summons everyone to the table for a fresh look at some of the people, ingredients, events and movements that have shaped how and what we eat.

From Murder to Atonement – Confronting My Son’s Killer with Diane Foley & Colum McCann

11 a.m, Tuesday, April 9

Join us for a one-of-a-kind conversation with National Book Award winner Colum McCann and Diane Foley, the inspiration behind the heartrending book American Mother.

American Mother is the story of a mother who, in the course of confronting her son’s killer, gets to the elemental heart of violence and forgiveness. Foley is the mother of Jim, a freelance journalist captured and beheaded by ISIS in 2014. Seven years later, Diane gets the chance to spend three days with the murderer of her son in a Virginia courthouse.

A Literary Examination of Power, Love, and Art with Xochitl Gonzalez

5 p.m., Wednesday, April 17

Chat with award-winning and bestselling author Xochitl Gonzalez about her newest novel Anita de Monte Laughs Last.

Anita de Monte Laughs Last is a witty examination of power, love, and art, daring to ask who gets to be remembered and who is left behind in the world of the elite. In 1985. Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found dead in New York City; her tragic death is the talk of the town. Until it isn’t.

By 1998, Anita’s name had been all but forgotten — certainly by the time Raquel, a third-year art history student, was preparing her final thesis.

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Gallery North announces juried small works show

Clockwise from top left: “Friends Forever” by Allan Joubert, “Tilda” by Lisa Caplan, “Beach Day” by Jon Bradham, and “Collecting Moon Rocks” by Harrison Schmitt

Award ceremony and artists reception at 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 6, Gallery North 401 Main Street, Edmonds.

Gallery North is thrilled to invite the public to visit their traditional juried Small Works Show of 2024, opening Monday, April 1. This year’s show will delight art lovers who enjoy this annual juried exhibition of artwork that is small in stature (each less than 154 square inches) but is gigantic in impact.

Their Call to Artists resulted in a rich collection of high-quality paintings and drawings that will enhance Edmonds’ creative district. The subject matter will vary from landscapes, florals and still life to animal portraits, abstracts and more.

The show includes over 135 pieces from more than 60 artists representing Washington state and others and will fill the gallery’s street-side display space with beauty for your appreciation.

The juror for the 2024 competitive show is Seattle artist Beth Betker. Betker’s art covers many spectrums, including fiber art, oil paintings, acrylics and watercolor. She has been a competitor in local and national shows and is a treasured member of Seattle Co-Arts, Women Painters of Washington, Northwest Watercolor Society and Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists.

Her work can be found throughout the region and worldwide in collections by individual clients, corporate entities and families.

The Small Works Show will be available at Gallery North during April. The Third Thursday ArtWalk in Edmonds is from 5-8 p.m. April 18. Many of the guest artists will attend these events, ready to share their enthusiasm and expertise about their artwork. Come meet the artists and enjoy the refreshments as well.

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Bonus Spring Break Story Time with Kizzie Jones and Anne Marie Thompson

9:30 a.m. Friday, April 5, Edmonds Bookshop, 111 Fifth Avenue South, Edmonds

Spring break is approaching, and Edmonds Bookshop will host a special Story Time with local Edmonds children’s authors Kizzie Jones and Anne Marie Thompson (featured here), along with illustrator Scott Ward. Story readings will be followed by a drawing demonstration.

Additionally, fun take-home activities will be available in the children’s section, a new one each day from Monday through Friday of that week (April 1-5).

Kizzie Jones

Jones loves dachshunds and features them in her award-winning children’s book series Dachshund Tall Tales. Using whimsy to plant seeds of compassion, kindness, and inclusivity in the hearts of children and adults alike, Jones charms young readers with accurate descriptions of dogs and oceanside life, enhanced with stunning illustrations by Bellingham artist Scott Ward.

Ann Marie Perales Thompson

Ann Marie Perales Thompson, of Hispanic descent, was born in Los Angeles and now lives in Washington state. Her passion for writing and illustrating children’s stories began at a very early age. She wrote her first children’s story at the age of nine and later received a scholarship in art.

She is an advocate for the underdog and always wants to give the least likely characters a chance to shine. You will find her compassion and empathy for these lovable characters in her books, including Halloween Pumpkins in Spring.

Scott Ward

Ward has been an artist his whole life. His colorful, whimsical paintings are regularly shown in galleries and venues across the country. His career includes working as an artist in advertising, clothing, graphics, interiors, theater, landscapes and murals. He lives in Bellingham and is continuously inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

More information can be found on Edmonds Bookshop’s website.

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Cascade Symphony presents chamber music concert

The Cascade Percussion Ensemble, featuring Mackenzie Alvarez (sitting), and (back row, L-R) Curt Cheever, Ryan Templin and Ian Alvarez. (Photo by Norma Dermond)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, Maple Park Lutheran Church, 17620 60th Avenue West, Lynnwood

The musical works of legendary composers Mozart, Mendelssohn, Barber and others will be performed by musicians of the Cascade Symphony Orchestra in their annual Chamber Music Concert – a series of small instrumental ensembles – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 6.

The concert will feature groups of two to nine musicians, including a bass clarinet duo, an oboe quartet and a nine-member string ensemble, along with a variety of other groups.

Of special note, the Cascade Percussion Ensemble will perform selections all composed by living percussionists, and award-winning composer and pianist Keva Vaughan-McMorrow will play one of her own original works, assisted by members of the Cascade Percussion Ensemble.

Tickets are available online, by calling 425-275-9595, or at the door. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.

The Cascade Symphony Orchestra will complete its 2023-2024 season when it returns to its regular venue, Edmonds Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 29 to perform its Italian Symphony concert, featuring renowned cellist Eric Han as soloist.

Additional information about the Cascade Symphony is available here.

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“Dream #9,” an original musical premiering in Shoreline


7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 5-6, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 7, Shoreline Community College Theatre, 16101 Greenwood Avenue North, Shoreline

Dream #9 asks, “What if John Lennon survived the gunshots inflicted upon him by Mark Chapman on that cold December night in Manhattan in 1980?”

Dream #9 has a cross-cultural fantasy theme – with some twists and turns. It is the story of the first few months following that night, of Lennon’s recovery with the help of the loving and strong woman by his side, of where he finds himself at the end of his recovery (and where the world wants him to be), and of the power of dreams.

The play itself was inspired by a dream but really came about as the convergence of a real-life story of survival, a mythological tale of perseverance and intelligence borne of love, from India (the story of Savitri and Satyavan), and the fierce fantasy that many share of having John Lennon still amongst us.

The brains behind Dream #9 are recent transplants from the Midwest. Ayesha Patnaik is an adjunct faculty member in the Communication Arts Department at Shoreline Community College, and Vik Paknaik has a consulting firm in clean energy technologies and international management.

From the team: “We are grateful to have been able to revive this project post-COVID in the greater Seattle area (it was originally to be staged in La Crosse, Wisconsin, our home of 23 years), and assemble an excellent cast of experienced actors from the local community (such as Jimmy Quatier of Edmonds and Johnny Patchamatla of Mukilteo).”

Tickets: $15 ($10 students); purchase through Brown Paper Tickets.

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Olympic Ballet School wins Outstanding Teacher Award and top placements at YAGP and American Dance Competition semifinals

Trinity Isidore in Olympic Ballet Theatre’s “Debuts.” (Photo courtesy of Into Dust Photography)

Multiple students at Olympic Ballet School (OBS), the official school of Olympic Ballet Theatre (OBT), participated in the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Seattle regional competition on Jan. 5-8 and the American Dance Competition (ADC) Denver semifinals on Feb. 2-4, receiving top placements and scholarships for summer intensive training.

Additionally, OBS faculty, led by Artistic Directors Mara Vinson and Oleg Gorboulev, received their second Outstanding Teacher Award from YAGP.

— By Elizabeth Murray

(Photo by Brittany Gross)

Elizabeth Murray is a freelance writer thankful to call Edmonds home. When she’s not busy wrangling her two kids (and husband), you can find her playing ukulele. She can be reached at

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