Art Beat: Kick off June with a musical, a ukulele performance, art exhibit, author talk, ‘Let the World See’ exhibit, and a fundraiser — plus Wine Walk tickets

Mountlake Terrace High School presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

(Back row, L-R): Elliott Orange, Collin Fahey, Alexander Kim, Adelaide St. John, Danika Killpack. Front row: Mya Phin.

7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, May 30-June 1, MTHS Theater, 21801 44th Avenue West, Mountlake Terrace

Dust off your dictionary for the MLTHS spring musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This heartwarming and quirky Tony-winning musical comedy follows six awkward adolescents through their daunting and hilarious Spelling Bee championship quest.

As they navigate the tournament’s pressures, the eccentric spellers find a new sense of belonging. Along the way, they learn there is more to life than winning a trophy.

For an extra entertainment factor, this charming coming-of-age tale also invites four volunteers from the audience to participate in each performance, ensuring new and unexpected comedy every night. Enjoy an evening of laughter, toe-tapping music, and the drama of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

General admission is $15, and ASB/ child (under 13)/ senior citizens is $12. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only).

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Main Street Commons announces first musical guests: Magic Key

11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, Main Street Commons, 550 Main Street, Edmonds

Magic Key, a ukulele band, will be one of the first groups providing family-friendly musical entertainment at the new outdoor stage area in the plaza of Main Street Commons. The group has played at several local Farmers Markets, holiday events and special occasions throughout the greater Seattle area.

Magic Key: Unlocking the Joy of Ukulele is a collaborative group of local ukulele-centric musicians who joined together to share their love of music. They have been creating musical mayhem since 2019, featuring many musical genres, including pop, classics, the American songbook, swing, rock, jazz, children’s favorites and much more.

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Cascadia presents “Building a Dream: Z. Vanessa Helder and Artists of the Inland Northwest”

Z. Vanessa Helder (1904-68), Cement Silos, c. 1939-41, Watercolor Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture [2585.1]
June 8-Sept. 29, Cascadia Art Museum, 190 Sunset Avenue South, #E, Edmonds

Z. Vanessa Helder (1904-1968) was one of the most widely recognized Northwest artists of her time. This exhibition centers around a series of 28 precisionist watercolors she created documenting the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam between 1939-41.

Part of this series was included in the landmark exhibition Realists and Magic Realists at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1943. During this time, Helder was on staff at the Spokane Arts Center under the sponsorship of the Washington State W.P.A.

Z. Vanessa Helder (1904-68) Coulee Dam, Looking West, c. 1940, Watercolor Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture [2585.3]
Works by her close friend and fellow instructor, Robert O. Engard (1915-2003), will also be featured, along with those of other Spokane artists Jane Baldwin (1908-1991) and Herman Keys (1906-1994).

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An evening with author Jonathan Evison

Author Jonathan Evison

7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 4th Avenue North, Edmonds

Enjoy an evening with Jonathan Evison, a best-selling and award-winning author whose books include All About Lulu, West of Here, Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, and his new title, Again and Again.

Indulge in wine and dessert as you meet the author and learn more about his books and engaging characters. Evison is the author of nine novels and a great storyteller who brings his characters to life in charming and creative ways. He draws on his Washington roots for his stories.

Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is now a movie featuring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez. Again and Again is about love lost, found and redeemed.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for complimentary wine and desserts. Edmonds Bookshop will have books for sale and signing.

Visit the event page for tickets. Tickets are $50 each, and proceeds benefit the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Hosted by Edmonds Bookshop & Michelle Bear, Mary Kay Sneeringer & David Brewster, Carol Christensen, Nancy Fleck and Jeanne Thorsen.

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Northwest African American Museum to host “Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See” exhibition

Touring exhibition, June 13 through December, Northwest African American Museum, 2300 South Massachusetts Street, Seattle

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) will host the touring Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See exhibit. The exhibit tells the story of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, and challenges visitors to take action to advance social justice in their own communities.

“NAAM is honored to showcase the important and continued legacy of Emmett Till, Mamie Till-Mobley, and the civil rights revolutionaries past and present through ‘Let the World See,’ ” said Brandon Bird, NAAM interim executive director.

Emmett Till was just 14 years old when he was brutally murdered while visiting family in the Jim Crow South in 1955. His passing and the social revolution that followed are captured throughout the exhibit in photos, interviews and interactive displays.

The title of the exhibit, Let the World See, originates from a quote from Mamie Till-Mobley, who demanded the funeral director deny local officials’ attempt at a closed casket funeral, saying, “Let the world see what they did to my boy.”

“NAAM is honored to be the first institution on the West Coast to host ‘Let the World See,’ ” said Debbie Bird, NAAM Board of Directors Chair. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from across the region to experience the story of the Till family during our Juneteenth celebrations and throughout the year.”

The exhibit arrives in the Pacific Northwest just ahead of NAAM’s Juneteenth programming. Each year, NAAM invites the community to come together for a celebration of Black freedom and liberation. Events include:

• Saturday, June 15: annual Juneteenth Skate Party

• Sunday, June 16: Father’s Day Celebration with free admission, music, films, and gifts for fathers

• Wednesday, June 19: Juneteenth celebration with free admission, activities and more

In collaboration with the exhibit, NAAM is working with Seattle-area schools to develop curriculum support for students and will host a lecture series for museum visitors. For more information about NAAM, the Let the World See exhibit, and Juneteenth programming, visit here.

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Ale for the Arts

5-9 p.m. Thursday, June 20, Brigid’s Bottle Shop, 188 Sunset Avenue

Brigid’s Bottleshop and the Foundation for the Edmonds School District are partnering to host an Ale for the Arts night. Ten percent of all purchases will be donated to the Foundation for the Edmonds School District’s Save the Arts Campaign.

The district’s award-winning music, art, and drama programs face unprecedented threats due to budget cuts resulting from inadequate state funding. Your support is urgently needed to ensure that every child in the Edmonds School District has access to the transformative power of the arts. Without immediate action, these vital programs risk being dismantled, depriving students of essential experiences that foster creativity, confidence, and critical thinking skills. Donate here.

Enjoy a night of entertainment and tasty Irish ale from Edmond’s finest and support our students.

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It’s Wine time – Get your Summer Wine Walk tickets now

5-8 p.m., Saturday, July 6 and Saturday, Aug. 3

Sip local wines, shop small, socialize with good friends, and support the Arts in Edmonds! Buy your tickets soon; sellouts are expected this year, as in the past.

Art Walk Edmonds, in partnership with Seattle Uncorked, is bringing a variety of local Pacific Northwest wineries to your favorite downtown Edmonds business locations.

Meet the local winemakers who will be pouring tastes of their hand-crafted wines in various shops. These award-winning boutique wineries will each have a few options for our wine-loving public to taste.

A ticket gets you a tasting glass, 10 tickets for one-ounce pours, and a wine tote bag. Remember to pick up a wine bottle opener/stopper from sponsor RBC Wealth Management.

You are sure to find a new favorite bottle or two these evenings. You can purchase tax-free bottles of wine directly at the tasting tables or the Pop-Up Wine Shop at Coldwell Banker Bain. A percentage of every purchase goes back to Art Walk Edmonds to fund the Arts in Edmonds.

While not an official part of the Wine Walks, local tasting rooms will offer specials on the day of the Wine Walks. At Vie & Vin, buy one, get one 50% off glass pours and flights plus 10 percent off all purchases throughout the shop.

Participation in the Edmonds Wine Walks will mean you are contributing toward a great cause and supporting the arts in our community. Art Walk Edmonds, a non-profit organization, organizes and promotes the monthly Art Walks held in downtown Edmonds.

The Wine Walks are Art Walk Edmonds’ biggest fundraisers of the year. Profits raised from this year’s Wine Walks will help continue to support the Art Walk Edmonds month-long art events, Third Thursday Art Walks, entertainment and help to install new murals and other public art.

Art Walk Edmonds is sponsored by Coldwell Banker Bain of Edmonds, Ombu Salon+Spa, Cole Gallery, RBC Wealth Management – Krause & Thorpe Wealth Management Team, Wendy Hartfelder and Team Greene Real Estate.

Get tickets and learn more about participating locations here.

— By Elizabeth Murray

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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