Rumor Has It

Signs of the Times

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

It was a rough week for some of Bellingham’s mainstay cultural institutions.

I’m not sure who dropped what bomb first, but on the same day that What’s Up! Magazine announced they’d cease publishing and their last issue pre-pandemic would be their last issue ever, the Pickford Film Center was making it public that it would not be reopening the Limelight Cinema, its Cornwall Avenue theater and the place where the Pickford got its start.

To dispense with some good news as this seems to be a source of confusion: The Pickford’s flagship Bay Street theater, the Pickford Film Center, will reopen. COVID-19 safety measures are in place and the only thing needed at this point is the green light from Gov. Inslee.

A bright line can be drawn from both What’s Up! and the Limelight straight to me and my status as an institution within the arts community. Shortly after editor and publisher Brent Cole decided to take me on as a What’s Up! staffer, he also hired me as a projectionist at the Limelight, back when it was still the Pickford and he was its manager. That was not only the beginning of a 19-year (and counting) career as a Pickford projectionist and put me on a path to my current position with the Cascadia Weekly, but it was also the start of my friendship with Brent, which has become one of the most enduring and steadfast relationships of my life.

The shuttering of both the magazine and the theater reveals how merciless COVID-19 can be, even when it comes to things that cannot catch the virus and become ill. Like so many publications—including this one—COVID had an immediate and disastrous effect on the advertising revenue of What’s Up!, and not only did the magazine lose much of its income, with our music venues going dark, it lost most of the subjects and stories that comprise its content. No ads, no stories—no magazine. Simple as that math might be, the calculation is a brutal one, not just for Brent and his publishing partner Becca, but for the music community, which is left without a vital voice and staunch advocate at the exact time it needs those things most. It is impossible for me to imagine what the Bellingham music scene looks like without What’s Up! there to help rebuild it. But at the same time, I remain so incredibly grateful for the time, energy and fierce love Brent and Becca poured into the arts community. That they did so for so long speaks to the very core of who they are.

Although the Limelight did not fall victim to financial woes, per se—thanks to solid financial management and overwhelming community support, the Pickford remains stable in its continued stasis—the impossibility of keeping staff, volunteers and patrons safe in the physical space the Limelight has occupied for two-plus decades brought about its end. They say that life always finds a way, but the same seems to be true of COVID.

If last week taught me anything, it is this: Despite these losses, we have much left to be grateful for. But we must protect all of it with everything we’ve got.

Past Columns
Sounds of Summer

July 7, 2021

Signs of Life

June 23, 2021

Shots fired

June 9, 2021

Show Them the Money

May 26, 2021

Bits and Pieces

May 12, 2021

Life Rolls On

April 28, 2021

Party in the Park

April 14, 2021

Life In Normal(ish) Times

March 17, 2021

Signs of Life

March 3, 2021

What You Pay For

February 17, 2021

Eat for Art’s Sake

February 3, 2021

Save Our Stages

January 20, 2021

Year in Review

January 6, 2021

A Christmas Miracle

December 23, 2020

Passages

December 9, 2020

Let’s Talk Turkey

November 25, 2020

A New Hope

November 11, 2020

Of Presidents and Puppies

October 28, 2020

Friday
Whatcom Art Market featuring Karen Silvernale

11:00am

Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm daily at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St. Through Aug. 1, Karen Silvernale’s acrylic mixed-media work will be…

Future Artifacts at MoNA

10:00am

“Future Artifacts” shows from 10am-5pm daily through Oct. 10 in La Conner at the Museum of Northwest Art, 121 S. First St. The exhibit features work by Lummi Nation glass artist Dan Friday,…

An Artist's Universe at Hotel Bellwether

10:00am

View painter and mixed-media master David Syre’s latest installation, “An Artist’s Universe,” hanging throughout the corridors, lobby and dining room of Hotel Bellwether and the Lighthouse…

Celebrate Summer Exhibit

11:00am

Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild hosts a “Celebrate Summer” juried show from 11am-5pm Wednesdays through Saturdays through Sept. 2 at A Guilded Gallery, 8700 271st St. NW.

Lands Real and Imagined

11:00am

“Lands Real and Imagined” shows from 11am-4pm Tuesdays through Saturdays through July 31 at Allied Arts, 1418 Cornwall Ave. This installment will include landscape-inspired pieces from…

Larry Richmond at Good Earth Pottery

11:00am

Ceramic baskets by Larry Richmond will be highlighted from 11am-5pm daily through Saturdays, and 11am-4pm Sundays through July at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave.

Cabin Rain Revisited

11:00am

“Cabin Rain Revisited,” featuring paintings by the late Northwest master William Slater from 1939-2007, shows from 11am-6pm daily (except Tuesdays) through July in Mount Vernon at Perry and…

Quilt Exhibits in La Conner

11:00am

From 11am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday, visit La Conner’s Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, 703 S. Second St. Currently on display are “Small Expressions: Handweavers Guild of…

Signature Member Show

11:00am

Peruse works by NW Pastel Society artists at a “Signature Member Show” from 11am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday through Aug. 1 in Anacortes at the Scott Milo Gallery, 420 Commercial Ave. More…

Diablo Lake Boat Tours

11:30am

Seattle City Light and the North Cascades Institute will team up to offer Diablo Lake Boat Tours starting this week with outings aboard the Alice Ross IV at 11:30am and 2:30pm Thursdays…

Fluid Formations and More at Whatcom Museum

12:00pm

View “Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest,” “El Zodíaco Familiar,” “All Dressed Up,” “Silk for Suffragettes and Schoolchildren: The Impact of Kimono on European…

Summer Juried Exhibit and More

12:00pm

A “Summer Juried Exhibit,” Seiko Purdue’s “Kumihimo Wishes: Current Times,” Gregory Kammer’s “New Terrain,” and “Quilting Forward: New Works by the Bellingham Modern Quilt Guild” can be seen…

Community Boating Center Summer Hours

2:00pm

Sign up for summer classes and experiences and book rentals for a dinghy, kayak, keelboat, paddle board or rowboat at the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave. Summer rental hours are…

Garden Parties at Boundary Bay Brewery

4:00pm

Steve Webb and the Great Mad Swirl perform at a Happy Hour Concert Series taking place every Thursday from 4pm-8pm at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. The weekly…

Quilt Museum Porch Sale

9:00am

Shop a gigantic selection of “fabrics, fibers and fancies” at a Porch Sale taking place from 9am-4pm Friday and Saturday, and 9am-2pm Sunday in La Conner at the Pacific Northwest Quilt &…

Wild Things

9:30am

Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” community program exploring local trails and parks from 9:30am-11am every Friday. Please bring a simple, healthy snack,…

Jacobson and O'Neill

10:00am

View works by ceramicist and mixed-media artist Sara Jacobson and sculptor Brian O’Neill from 10am-5pm Friday through Sunday through Aug. 1 in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey…

Pilchuck Glass School Show

11:00am

“The Pilchuck Glass School Show” can be seen from 11am-5pm Friday through Sunday (and by appointment) through Aug. 22 on Camano Island at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, 2345…

Flags and Monuments

11:00am

Check out award-winning Pacific Northwest artist Sheila Klein’s new exhibit, “Flags and Monuments,” from 11am-5pm Fridays through Sundays through Aug. 1 in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains…

Ferndale Public Market

2:00pm

The Ferndale Public Market takes place from 2pm-6pm in the parking lot of the Ferndale Grocery Outlet, 1750 LaBounty Dr. They’ll be on hand to punctuate the end of your work week with fresh…

Port of Anacortes Summer Concert Series

6:00pm

The Port of Anacortes brings back its free summer concert series starting tonight with a show from the Chris Eger Band and the Powerhouse Horns from 6pm-8pm at Seafarers’ Memorial Park, 601…

Farmtunes with the High Mountain String Band

6:00pm

The High Mountain String Band perform at a revived “Farmtunes” series taking place from 6pm-9pm at Bellewood Farms, 6140 Guide Meridian. The free, family-friendly music series continues with…

LaFever Dream

6:30pm

The up-and-coming acoustic folk/bluegrass trio, the LaFever Dream, will make music from 6:45pm-8:45pm at All That Jazz Boutique Gallery, 1015 Railroad Ave., STE 105.

The Comeback

7:00pm

Watch Hockey Teeth, Northwest Hip Hop Collective, and India Glover with Lilyplayscello perform at a livestream taking place from 7pm-10pm at Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St. The streamed…

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8:00pm

“Grunge blues” can be heard when Cory Vincent performs from 8pm-10pm at Thousand Acre Cider House, 109 Grand Ave. Entry is $5-$40 (depending on how many people will be at your table). All…

Afterglow Comedy Hour

9:00pm

Attend a monthly Afterglow Comedy Hour from 9pm-10pm at Stemma Brewing Company, 2039 Moore St. The recipe is simple—add seven comedians, give them one hour to fit in their funny business, and…

Dive-In Movies at the Waterslides

9:30pm

The film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? continues a “Dive-in” Movies at the Waterslides series at 9:30pm in the parking lot of the Birch Bay Waterslides, 4874 Birch Bay Lynden Rd. The series…

Saturday
Whatcom Art Market featuring Karen Silvernale

11:00am

Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm daily at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St. Through Aug. 1, Karen Silvernale’s acrylic mixed-media work will be…

Future Artifacts at MoNA

10:00am

“Future Artifacts” shows from 10am-5pm daily through Oct. 10 in La Conner at the Museum of Northwest Art, 121 S. First St. The exhibit features work by Lummi Nation glass artist Dan Friday,…

An Artist's Universe at Hotel Bellwether

10:00am

View painter and mixed-media master David Syre’s latest installation, “An Artist’s Universe,” hanging throughout the corridors, lobby and dining room of Hotel Bellwether and the Lighthouse…

Celebrate Summer Exhibit

11:00am

Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild hosts a “Celebrate Summer” juried show from 11am-5pm Wednesdays through Saturdays through Sept. 2 at A Guilded Gallery, 8700 271st St. NW.

Lands Real and Imagined

11:00am

“Lands Real and Imagined” shows from 11am-4pm Tuesdays through Saturdays through July 31 at Allied Arts, 1418 Cornwall Ave. This installment will include landscape-inspired pieces from…

Larry Richmond at Good Earth Pottery

11:00am

Ceramic baskets by Larry Richmond will be highlighted from 11am-5pm daily through Saturdays, and 11am-4pm Sundays through July at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave.

Cabin Rain Revisited

11:00am

“Cabin Rain Revisited,” featuring paintings by the late Northwest master William Slater from 1939-2007, shows from 11am-6pm daily (except Tuesdays) through July in Mount Vernon at Perry and…

Quilt Exhibits in La Conner

11:00am

From 11am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday, visit La Conner’s Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, 703 S. Second St. Currently on display are “Small Expressions: Handweavers Guild of…

Signature Member Show

11:00am

Peruse works by NW Pastel Society artists at a “Signature Member Show” from 11am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday through Aug. 1 in Anacortes at the Scott Milo Gallery, 420 Commercial Ave. More…

Diablo Lake Boat Tours

11:30am

Seattle City Light and the North Cascades Institute will team up to offer Diablo Lake Boat Tours starting this week with outings aboard the Alice Ross IV at 11:30am and 2:30pm Thursdays…

Fluid Formations and More at Whatcom Museum

12:00pm

View “Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest,” “El Zodíaco Familiar,” “All Dressed Up,” “Silk for Suffragettes and Schoolchildren: The Impact of Kimono on European…

Summer Juried Exhibit and More

12:00pm

A “Summer Juried Exhibit,” Seiko Purdue’s “Kumihimo Wishes: Current Times,” Gregory Kammer’s “New Terrain,” and “Quilting Forward: New Works by the Bellingham Modern Quilt Guild” can be seen…

Community Boating Center Summer Hours

2:00pm

Sign up for summer classes and experiences and book rentals for a dinghy, kayak, keelboat, paddle board or rowboat at the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave. Summer rental hours are…

Garden Parties at Boundary Bay Brewery

4:00pm

Steve Webb and the Great Mad Swirl perform at a Happy Hour Concert Series taking place every Thursday from 4pm-8pm at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. The weekly…

Quilt Museum Porch Sale

9:00am

Shop a gigantic selection of “fabrics, fibers and fancies” at a Porch Sale taking place from 9am-4pm Friday and Saturday, and 9am-2pm Sunday in La Conner at the Pacific Northwest Quilt &…

Wild Things

9:30am

Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” community program exploring local trails and parks from 9:30am-11am every Friday. Please bring a simple, healthy snack,…

Jacobson and O'Neill

10:00am

View works by ceramicist and mixed-media artist Sara Jacobson and sculptor Brian O’Neill from 10am-5pm Friday through Sunday through Aug. 1 in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey…

Pilchuck Glass School Show

11:00am

“The Pilchuck Glass School Show” can be seen from 11am-5pm Friday through Sunday (and by appointment) through Aug. 22 on Camano Island at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, 2345…

Flags and Monuments

11:00am

Check out award-winning Pacific Northwest artist Sheila Klein’s new exhibit, “Flags and Monuments,” from 11am-5pm Fridays through Sundays through Aug. 1 in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains…

Ferndale Public Market

2:00pm

The Ferndale Public Market takes place from 2pm-6pm in the parking lot of the Ferndale Grocery Outlet, 1750 LaBounty Dr. They’ll be on hand to punctuate the end of your work week with fresh…

Port of Anacortes Summer Concert Series

6:00pm

The Port of Anacortes brings back its free summer concert series starting tonight with a show from the Chris Eger Band and the Powerhouse Horns from 6pm-8pm at Seafarers’ Memorial Park, 601…

Farmtunes with the High Mountain String Band

6:00pm

The High Mountain String Band perform at a revived “Farmtunes” series taking place from 6pm-9pm at Bellewood Farms, 6140 Guide Meridian. The free, family-friendly music series continues with…

LaFever Dream

6:30pm

The up-and-coming acoustic folk/bluegrass trio, the LaFever Dream, will make music from 6:45pm-8:45pm at All That Jazz Boutique Gallery, 1015 Railroad Ave., STE 105.

The Comeback

7:00pm

Watch Hockey Teeth, Northwest Hip Hop Collective, and India Glover with Lilyplayscello perform at a livestream taking place from 7pm-10pm at Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St. The streamed…

Cory Vincent

8:00pm

“Grunge blues” can be heard when Cory Vincent performs from 8pm-10pm at Thousand Acre Cider House, 109 Grand Ave. Entry is $5-$40 (depending on how many people will be at your table). All…

Afterglow Comedy Hour

9:00pm

Attend a monthly Afterglow Comedy Hour from 9pm-10pm at Stemma Brewing Company, 2039 Moore St. The recipe is simple—add seven comedians, give them one hour to fit in their funny business, and…

Dive-In Movies at the Waterslides

9:30pm

The film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? continues a “Dive-in” Movies at the Waterslides series at 9:30pm in the parking lot of the Birch Bay Waterslides, 4874 Birch Bay Lynden Rd. The series…