On Stage

First Responders

Raising the alarm at the Firehouse

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

If the Firehouse Performing Arts and Events Center were still a functioning fire station, the alarm bells signaling an inferno had arrived on its own doorstep would be ringing around the clock.

To those passing by the Fairhaven-based venue at 1315 Harris Ave., it’s not immediately clear that the venue is at serious risk of conflagration. The danger is metaphorical, but it’s also very real.

Before COVID-19 wrought destruction on public gathering spaces around the globe, the Firehouse was a nonstop hub of creativity. On any given day, it was possible to look through the Firehouse Cafe’s interior windows into the intimate-and-accessible theater space and glimpse everything from dance and play rehearsals to fitness classes, community events, live music, occasional movie screenings and more.

But as a recent missive to local arts supporters from Bellingham Music Club’s Scott Henderson pointed out, the unique venue currently owned and operated by Teresa Dalton (pictured) is in need of immediate assistance. Indoor activities at the Firehouse have been indefinitely curtailed or postponed, and the warning bells are sounding.

“Be a ‘first responder’ for your arts community,” Henderson says. “Once or twice a year, I write to you with an invitation to our latest ‘cabaret musical’ production. Thanks to you and the Bellingham Music Club, our annual, silly, song-and-dance spectacles—A Broadway Cabaret, A Swell Party with Cole Porter, Broadway Takes On Politics, Bellingham Burlesque of 1927, and Hark! the Herald Headlines Sing!—have entertained sold-out audiences at the Firehouse for years.

“This would have been our sixth year. We barely finished our first week of rehearsal last spring when the pandemic suddenly shuttered theaters and concert halls around the world. But we are determined. We will put on a new show—Four Weddings and a Musical!. Opening night will come when COVID-19 is conquered and we all feel safe again—but we have now learned that it may come too late for the Firehouse.”

Henderson further notes that even though the Firehouse Cafe is still open and bringing in customers, it’s not enough for Dalton to stay open indefinitely.

Henderson knows of one way you can help. Those who give to Bellingham Harborview Lions Club’s “Whatcom Relief 2020” fundraising drive and direct their contributions to the Firehouse will be doing their part for the cause, as donations will be matched by the Lion’s Club through Thurs., Dec. 31 (the campaign itself will continue into the new year).

“Consider $100, and the impact you can make toward the rent, utilities and upkeep,” Henderson says. “Maybe you can commit $50, $25, or $5. Of course, $1,000 would make a dramatic statement. But whatever the amount, you’ll be joined by others, and your gift will be a financial bridge to better days to come.”

Patrons can also make tax-deductible donations directly to the Firehouse through its nonprofit fiscal sponsor (Seattle’s Allied Arts Foundation), stop by the cafe for coffee, wine, cider, sandwiches, soups and baked goods to enjoy in the outdoor space, purchase a gift card for a friend, pay $5 or more to watch one of a number of performances that were recorded live at the Firehouse between early June and November of 2020, or support a scholarship to a yoga or dance class in the theater space when it is able to reopen.

“For now, the Firehouse is surviving by its wits and serving great coffee, but animation can only be suspended for so long,” Henderson says. “We want to help Teresa, and the many local arts groups and individuals that rely on the Firehouse—your friends in dance, theater, education, health, music and so much more.”

For more details about donating to the Firehouse, go to http://www.localbiztopia.com/tiny-library/982250002 or http://www.firehouseperformingarts.com

More ...
Love Fest
Back to the circus

If memory serves, “My Circus Valentine” was one of the last shows I attended before coronavirus-related closures dimmed stage lights across the nation. 

The Cirque Lab was abuzz with action that February night. A longtime friend and I were attending an early, kid-friendly version of the…

more »
Divine Visions
Julian the Humble

When reading through press materials for local playwright Rosalind Reynolds’ new work, Julian the Humble, the word “anchorite” was used more than once to describe the fascinating woman the title character is based on.

Before searching out more details about Reynolds and the Middle Ages…

more »
Estella Scrooge
A twisted Christmas Carol

Is greed genetic? That’s one of many questions to ponder when you settle in for a virtual viewing of Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol With a Twist.

The seasonal take on Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella has been updated not only to bring the old-timey tale into the present day, but also to…

more »
Monday
Riding the Wind

11:00am

Michael Dickter’s “Riding the Wind” exhibit can be seen from 11am-6pm daily through Feb. 28 in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St. Face masks are required, and a…

Virtual Wild Womxn Week

9:00am

Whether alone or with a friend in your bubble, join Shifting Gears for its Virtual Wild Womxn Week by hiking, biking, strolling, running, kayaking—or whatever gets you pumped and feeling…

Bellingham to the Border and Back Virtual Challenge

9:00am

Fairhaven Runners & Walkers will partner with Altra Running for a “Bellingham to the Border and Back” Virtual Challenge through March 15. Participants will be challenged to log 60 miles—the…

La Conner Daffodil Festival

12:00pm

Celebrate the “golden trumpets of spring” at the seventh annual La Conner Daffodil Festival taking place through March in the Skagit Valley. Special events include a Springtime Chalk Art…

Elevation

11:00am

“Elevation,” an exhibit celebrating Pacific Northwest clay artists of color, will be featured from 11am-5pm daily through Saturday (closed Tuesday), and 12pm-4pm Sunday through March at Good…

Anacortes Arts Festival Virtual Art Auction

10:00am

Bid on more than 120 art pieces through March 20 as part of the Anacortes Arts Festival’s inaugural Virtual Art Auction. Works will include paintings, sculpture, photography, sculptures,…

Art-iversary Exhibit

5:30pm

From 10am-5:30pm Mondays through Saturdays through April 30, celebrate 20 years of ownership for Sheri Wright of Fourth Corner Frames, 311 W. Holly St. A wide variety of works are for sale as…

Tuesday
Riding the Wind

11:00am

Michael Dickter’s “Riding the Wind” exhibit can be seen from 11am-6pm daily through Feb. 28 in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St. Face masks are required, and a…

Virtual Wild Womxn Week

9:00am

Whether alone or with a friend in your bubble, join Shifting Gears for its Virtual Wild Womxn Week by hiking, biking, strolling, running, kayaking—or whatever gets you pumped and feeling…

Bellingham to the Border and Back Virtual Challenge

9:00am

Fairhaven Runners & Walkers will partner with Altra Running for a “Bellingham to the Border and Back” Virtual Challenge through March 15. Participants will be challenged to log 60 miles—the…

La Conner Daffodil Festival

12:00pm

Celebrate the “golden trumpets of spring” at the seventh annual La Conner Daffodil Festival taking place through March in the Skagit Valley. Special events include a Springtime Chalk Art…

Elevation

11:00am

“Elevation,” an exhibit celebrating Pacific Northwest clay artists of color, will be featured from 11am-5pm daily through Saturday (closed Tuesday), and 12pm-4pm Sunday through March at Good…

Anacortes Arts Festival Virtual Art Auction

10:00am

Bid on more than 120 art pieces through March 20 as part of the Anacortes Arts Festival’s inaugural Virtual Art Auction. Works will include paintings, sculpture, photography, sculptures,…

Art-iversary Exhibit

5:30pm

From 10am-5:30pm Mondays through Saturdays through April 30, celebrate 20 years of ownership for Sheri Wright of Fourth Corner Frames, 311 W. Holly St. A wide variety of works are for sale as…