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November 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Cornish College turns 100 today

November is a big month in Seattle’s history: The Denny Party landed at Alki on Nov. 13, 1851; Seattle Repertory Theatre welcomed patrons for the first time to “King Lear” on Nov. 13, 1963; and on two November days, in 1949 and 2010, the temperature was  74 degrees, the highest for a November day in the city’s history.

Nellie Cornish, founder of Cornish College of the Arts./Courtesy HistoryLink, UW Special Collections (Image No. UW 862)

Nellie Cornish, founder of Cornish College of the Arts./Courtesy HistoryLink, UW Special Collections (Image No. UW 862)

And another date of note: On Nov. 14, 1914, pianist and teacher Nellie Centennial Cornish signed a lease for studio space on Capitol Hill. After several name changes and moves, that little studio grew into what is now Cornish College of the Arts in the Denny Triangle. Cornish attracted an impressive roster of faculty over the years. Martha Graham, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Mark Tobey and Morris Graves all taught there, and many of the city’s fine actors/directors/musicians/dancers share their craft there today. Cornish isn’t done growing, either. Last spring, the school broke ground on a 20-story residence hall/mixed-use building at 2025 Terry Avenue. The college presents many chances for the public to witness student, faculty and guest work, and has tweaked its curriculum and added programs and classes and awards. And, if we at ArtsPage HQ may say so, it has a fine cafeteria that most people don’t know is open to the public. There, we spoiled it. Sorry, Cornish. Happy 100th.

Do you have memories of Cornish you’d like to share? Add them to this post’s comments thread. We’d love to see them.

Comments | More in Arts news | Topics: Arts, Cornish College

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