Art Beat: Mental health arts festival, poetry reading and comedy festival

With recent budget cuts to the school district arts programs, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness as I put today’s column together. Art Beat readers especially know the value of art, music, dance, and theater. I hope as a community, we can press on to support local artists.

Mindfest 2023: A free mental health arts festival 

Sunday, May 7, 12:30 -6 p.m.

MINDfest: Celebrating the Mind and Nourishing the Soul is a free community event to celebrate and promote mental health with music, entertainment, art, vendors, panel discussions and more. MINDfest is an informative, inspiring and inclusive health and wellness festival that brings diverse communities together. It will be held on May 7, with the intention of promoting dialogue about mental health and connecting people to the resources and services they need to thrive.

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Join Edmonds Bookshop to celebrate Beth Bentley’s posthumous poetry collection

Thursday, May 11, 6 p.m.

Edmonds Bookshop, 

111 5th Ave. S., Edmonds

Edmonds Bookshop will host a reading of Beth Bentley’s poetry from her posthumously published work, Missing Addresses (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2023) on Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m..  Readers that evening will be Julian Bentley Edelman (Beth Bentley’s daughter), David Edelman (her son-in-law), and poet Sherry Rind.  All are welcome to join in celebrating the life and writings of this dedicated and accomplished poet, playwright and teacher.

“This long-awaited collection is the final manuscript assembled by poet Beth Bentley, who passed away in 2021 after a lifetime devoted to poetry. Her wide-ranging poems reflect on her deep love of art and philosophy, crystalline remembrances of family, and on the lives of cultural figures from history. They explore her Jewish heritage, her fierce feminism, and her perception of herself from an early age as an “outsider.” Missing Addresses evokes our losses, via age and happenstance, lending insight into the touchstones of our existence: our friends and families, our memories, our identities.” (Pleasure Boat Studio website)

The event will be held in person and live-streamed on Edmonds Bookshop’s Facebook page and the video will also be available for viewing afterwards on the website.

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Upper Left Comedy Fest 

Thursday-Saturday, May 11-13

Multiple Locations in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle

Support Edmonds’ own comedian Javann Jones at the second annual Upper Left Comedy Festival. The show returns to Seattle May 11-13, 2023. This year they are excited to partner with The Crocodile and Here-After to bring the fest to Seattle’s  Belltown neighborhood. Come see headlining comics from across the U.S. as well as local favorites! For more details and tickets, click here.

— 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 and singing with The Band LeLe.

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