May 15, 2013 at 1:27 PM
The painting above, by Barnett Newman (1905-1970), went up for auction yesterday on behalf of its owner, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and sold for $43.8 million. (The sale price reportedly was far and above what folks had estimated it might garner.)
Details of the sale are all over the Internet today, but it first came to our attention via a post by John Cook at Geek Wire, who noted that Allen “must have a pretty good eye for investing in art.” Amen.
The price set a record for a Newman painting sold at auction.
The painting is huge, 81⁄2 feet by 10 feet. And it’s certainly a rich blue.
We have to admit, though, that we don’t know much about abstract expressionism. Newman wrote a lot about it.
The only thing we know for sure is this: $43.8 million is a lot of money.
May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM
The city of Seattle is donating an additional $500,000 to Seattle Public Schools so that students in the city’s Central District will receive at least two hours of arts education each week.
In an announcement today, Mayor Mike McGinn said the money will come from higher-than-expected revenue from admissions taxes, and will also be used to purchase instruments and art supplies for classrooms.
Two yeras ago, the city and school district received $1 million from the Wallace Foundation to create a comprehensive arts-education plan for the city’s public schools. The district applied for a second Wallace grant to carry out the plan, which was completed in March, but did not receive it.
The city grant announced today, to be dispersed over two years, will help. By 2020, the plan calls for ensuring that all students in Seattle Public Schools receive two hours of arts education instruction each week. As it stands now, some students do, but many do not, including many students in low-income areas.
May 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM
After 15 months of negotiations, the Seattle Symphony and its musicians have reached agreement on a new contract.
The contract, good through August 2015, includes salary concessions for the remainder of the season (but provides salary increases in subsequent seasons), maintaining a 45-week performance season and the filling of vacant positions.
Unlike at several other orchestras nationwide, the negotiations did not involve work stoppages or other unpleasantness.
More information is available on our Arts Page.
May 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Looking for something fun to do this week?
The Seattle Times ArtsPage blog has posted your weekly guide to activities – this week we point you to Beer Week, “The Great Gatsby” and Seattle International Film Festival, plus concerts, theater and more.
April 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM
In an announcement that should end all fireworks announcements for at least the next three years, Seattle city leaders said today the 2013 show will light the skies over Lake Union as usual July 4. Mayor Mike McGinn, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Seafair raised enough money to ensure the show is safe for at least three years, and likely more, said Chamber President Maud Daudon.
Seattle’s fireworks show has faced an annual funding crisis for the past several years, since Chase Bank stopped sponsoring the show in 2010. Earlier this month, producer One Reel announced it hadn’t raised enough money, and so began the annual scramble to save the show and accompanying Gas Works Park party.
Seafair agreed to add the fireworks to its three-week summer festival. Microsoft, Amazon and DoubleDown Interactive will be the “presenting sponsors” of the show, and other major sponsors include Starbucks, Wells Fargo and Tom Douglas Restaurants. KIRO 7 will broadcast the show, and the community can contribute.
“I love the fireworks. My family loves the fireworks,” McGinn said at a news conference this morning, recounting how his family, like thousands of others in the region, plots Independence Day plans far in advance, planning where to watch and who to spend the evening with.
The 20-minute show will be a little different — “artistic and patriotic” instead of just “artistic,” said Seafair CEO Beth Knox — but comparable in quality. Knox would not say how much it cost, except that it is less than the $500,000 One Reel was trying to raise.
April 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Admission to national parks throughout the country is free from April 22 to April 26 in celebration of National Park Week.
That means free admission to the open parts of Mount Rainier National Park, Longmire and Paradise, according to a National Park Service release.
Those areas are accessed through the Nisqually entrance in the southwest area of park via State Route 706. Visitors are required to bring tire chains with them to the park until at least April 30.
According to the Park Service, 16 feet of snow is on the ground at Paradise. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are still popular on the mountain, its release said, but ranger-led winter activities have ended for the season.
April 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM
Seattle may have a Fourth of July fireworks show this year after all, if Mayor Mike McGinn’s hopes are realized.
The mayor says he’s working with Seafair officials and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to create a plan to have a fireworks show that can be sustained year after year.
He said he was optimistic that there will be a fireworks show in Seattle this year and that he will announce details soon.
He said in a statement that he was disappointed that the annual show put together by One Reel in recent years was canceled this year after fundraising efforts failed to reach the$500,000 needed to produce the event.
April 9, 2013 at 7:50 AM
Seafair officials confirmed today that the Navy’s Blue Angels will not be appearing in Seattle this year.
The word comes several weeks after the Navy said appearances in Seattle and elsewhere around the country could fall victim to the federal “sequestration” budget cuts.
Last week, it was widely reported that the Pensacola-based Blue Angels team had been “instructed to cease” practices, and that shows early in this year’s schedule had been canceled.
Late last month, when the absence of the Blue Angels appeared likely, Seafair officials said that even without the popular Navy team, fans would see a precision-flying team at this summer’s Seafair.
The Patriots Jet Team, a civilian-owned precision aerobatics team based in California, has been signed to appear at the Seattle festival the first weekend in August. The Patriots performed at Seafair in 2007 and 2008, and have appeared at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo.
See the Patriots Jet Team in action here.
Seafair posted this announcement to fans on its web site:
Today we were officially informed by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels that their season has been cancelled, including the Seafair performance, due to Federal Budget Cuts resulting from sequestration. The Blue Angels have flown at Seafair for over 40 years and are an important part of our history. The team will be deeply missed by Seattleites, however Seafair will continue in its traditional fashion. The Patriots Jet Team, which we previously announced, will now assume the lead spot in our world-class air show. The six-ship aerobatic team electrifies spectators with fast-paced formation flying, choreographed four-ship diamond formation aerobatic maneuvers and are highlighted by a computerized red, white and blue smoke system. Many of the pilots include past experience with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds and Royal Canadian Air Force.
In addition to the air show, Seafair Weekend will include H1 Unlimited hydroplane racing, F1 PROP Tour boat racing, a vintage hydroplane exhibition, a wakeboard competition featuring the top athletes in the sport, live music and activities such as a zip line and water slide. Seafair Weekend, and the Seafair festival overall, has evolved over the years. It is a festival with many facets – an eight week celebration that includes over 75 events and reaches nearly two million people.
We’re grateful for the support of our fans, volunteers, sponsors and beyond. Together, we’ve connected and celebrated as a community for the last 64 summers. We look forward to carrying on this long-standing tradition.
April 1, 2013 at 7:07 AM
Seattle’s Fourth of July fireworks show on Lake Union has been canceled because its organizers have only been able to raise one-tenth of the money needed to fund it.
The organizer, One Reel of Seattle, says there’s almost no possibility of saving the event this year because the March 31 deadline for raising $500,000 has passed.
“We’ve tried to be as clear as possible to the community that we’re willing to produce it, at no profit to us, if people are willing to step up and fund it,” said Aubrey Bergauer, marketing and communications director for the nonprofit. One Reel has raised only $50,000.
It’s the second summertime tradition in Seattle that appears likely to be canceled. In March, Seafair officials said that the Blue Angels precision flying team may not fly over Lake Washington this August due to the federal budget sequester. The Navy has not told Seafair whether the Angels will be available.
If the Angels are canceled, Seafair officials have said they’ll sign a contract with the Patriots Jet Team, a civilian-owned precision aerobatics team from California.
Bergauer said the March 31 deadline for the fireworks show was chosen because suppliers needed to know by that date whether there would be a show in Seattle. She said the only way the show can be saved at this late date is if a single company stepped forward immediately to sponsor the entire show.
But no single company has yet offered to do so. “You name the company, we have talked to them,” she said.
Before the recession, single corporate sponsors were the norm; from 2002 to 2008, Washington Mutual was the sponsor, and in 2009, Chase sponsored the fireworks.
But “the recession changed all that,” Bergauer said. No one company is interested in paying for the entire event, and “I don’t know if we’ll ever see that model again.”
For the shows in 2010, 2011 and 2012, One Reel cobbled together a number of smaller corporate and private donations to pay for the show. And One Reel often didn’t have all the money together until well after March 31, Bergauer said.
“We certainly have not made a profit” from the fireworks show, she said. “You could argue it’s been really hard on us. It serves 500,000 people – this year, we had to step back and say, what is the right thing for our company?”
March 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM
Six young musicians from Washington state have been chosen for the first National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a group that Carnegie Hall assembled to represent the best teenage musicians in the country.
The orchestra has a total of 120 members from 42 states, all aged 16-19. They will attend a two-week summer residency in New York state, then perform in Washington D.C., Moscow, St. Petersburg and London.
The Washington musicians are: Joseph Lorang of Seattle (violin), Marianne Martinoli of Monroe (violin), Sophia Stoyanvich of Bainbridge Island (violin), Audrey Chen of Redmond (cello), William Langlie-Miletich of Seattle (bass), and Karl Ronneburg of Sammamish (timpani and percussion).
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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