Category Archives: Music

Finding Your Own Path to Activism

Over the past two weeks, since the Presidential Inauguration, everyone I know is unsettled. No matter who they voted for. Perhaps that is the upside of the upset. Perhaps this is what we needed. Even though it doesn’t feel good or satisfying, perhaps these benefits are worth it?

  • To be clear about how we feel on the issues.
  • To dialogue with those we disagree with.
  • For more people to take action to support what’s important to them.
  • For people to share their money in support of the causes they care about.
  • To be reminded that our point of view isn’t the only point of view.
overburden_16

By Chad A. Stevens, milesfrommaybe Productions. From the film Overburden about Lorelei Scarbro who became a community organizer in the campaign to build an industrial wind farm along the ridges of mountain whose coal mine killed her husband.

I’ve used my work as a teacher, writer, and now as a marketing strategist to support the causes–and the people and businesses–I believe in.

I worked in Superfund clean up as a US EPA contractor because I believe in clean air and water and healthy ecosystems for people, for living things, and for the future of the planet.

overburden_07

By Chad A. Stevens, milesfrommaybe Productions. From the documentary flm Overburden. Nonviolent protest on Coal River Mountain on a mountaintop removal preparation site.

I managed chemistry laboratories and taught environmental science at a State University training the future scientists, policy-makers, and planners that will lead us to problem-solving in future generations.

I worked in special education for little pay for years because I believe in the impact public school can have on the lives of special needs children.

I write about theater, music, the arts, environmental innovation, and buying local and supporting local businesses because I believe in their value–for myself, for my family, and for our communities.

the-drowsy-chaperone-2-2015

Bellingham Theatre Guild’s 2015 production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

My writing, my communication, and how I approach them are my activism. Perhaps all that’s going on in the world right now is a sign. A sign that its time to wake up, look outside ourselves, and find our own activism.

If we don’t hear the call, we just might lose the freedoms we’ve been taking for granted, the privileges given to us by the activists who came before us. Those activists were every day people. Writers, lawyers, teachers, cooks, students, parents, preachers, nurses, policemen, and even politicians. They are us and we are them.

3684396632_34a663e190_zAnother upside: the action is not hard to find anymore. Don’t be overwhelmed. Choose your cause and pledge to yourself to do some small things. Now and from now on. Add your voice. We can do little alone, but together we are mighty.

Here are seven articles I’ve written so far in 2017 in support of the arts and human rights. Take a look, appreciate the arts, the environment, the rights you enjoy. Then find your activism and get involved.

Mount Baker Theatre Resident Ghost Judy is Blushing in Anticipation of The Irish Rovers and We Banjo 3 at Whatcomtalk.com

Resident Ghost Judy Can’t Wait for Mount Baker Theatre Education Shows at Whatcomtalk.com

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival Explores Critical Issues at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Art, Nature, History, and Fun at Whatcom Museum in Bellingham at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Celebrate the Tribute Act at Mount Baker Theater at Whatcomtalk.com

Join Whatcom County’s Vibrant Poetry Scene at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Insider Blogs

Appreciating the Poetry of Whatcom County at WhatcomTalk.com

 

Advertisements

Cozy in Whatcom County

When I was asked to develop ideas for indoor activities for visitors to my area, it was easy to come up with a list of my favorite places. Many of them I’d already written about. Independent film, live music, indoor climbing, performing arts, and pub crawls are just a few of the options. Check out my Bellingham Experience Insider blog, 5 Ways to Stay Warm and Active in Bellingham this Winter, soon to plan your next visit to the Bellingham and Whatcom County area. One look and you’ll see why I chose this place to call home.

12079633223_38156d8e3f_z

When winter is keeping you inside, there are a lot of options for cozy fun.

 

Tribute Bands Rock!

mount-baker-theatre-gary-mullen-one-night-of-queen

Gary Mullen has spent 13 years channeling the power and energy of Freddie Mercury. Photo courtesy of Mount Baker Theatre.

 

Since I was a teen, whenever I’ve been looking for inspiration, for motivation, for perseverance when things feel hard, I’ve turned to Queen. Singing “We are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” quietly in my head, or at the top of my lungs, has always helped me through.

When I was urgently paddling a kayak in a storm in British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands, wondering if I would have to self-rescue, I sang Queen. When my newborn twins cried in stereo and nothing would soothe them, I sang Queen. When I ran my first, and last 5K, I sang Queen. Although Freddie Mercury passed away when I was still a teen, their iconic songs live on in recordings and through live performance by the Tribute Band.

It was cathartic for me to write about the beauty of the Tribute Act for my WhatcomTalk.com piece about one of the Queen Tribute Band that is part of Mount Baker Theatre‘s program this year. Get your tickets and say thank you for the inspiration and memories.

Holiday Music is My Favorite Part of the Season

Florist Natalie Ransom of Pozie By Natalie styles any holiday for events, businesses, and individuals.

Florist Natalie Ransom of Pozie By Natalie styles any holiday for events, businesses, and individuals.

I jumped at the chance to write an article for WhatcomTalk.com about my favorite holiday music. In addition to Christmas lights and movies, music is one of the best parts of the season. I love to play it in the background and sing along. Last night I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kids and realized that its the music that makes willing to watch that animated classic every year. It is also one of the reasons I learned to play a little piano as an adult.

Make sure that you listen to as much holiday music as you can, and if you’re within driving distance, get your Mount Baker Theatre tickets before the season is over.

Bringing Broadway to Small Towns

Once

Once

When I was in 9th grade, my high school English teacher Mrs. Garner (and other teachers and my school I’m sure) organized field trips to a Flint, MI theater so that those in advanced English class (that could afford it) got to see a couple of traveling Broadway shows. My first was A Chorus Line. My mother gladly paid the $15 to cover the ticket and the bus to get me there so that I could be exposed to the arts that never came to our tiny farm town.

I am also a big fan of the movies and I’ve lost count of the number of Broadway shows I’ve seen and sung along with in movie form. FAME is one of my long-time favorites.

So it was my pleasure to write and article for WhatcomTalk.com about A Day in the Life of Broadway Show Passing Through Mount Baker Theatre. I was fascinated by the sheer person-hours required to unpack, produce, perform, and pack up again in such a short time.

Although my children are more interested in anime than Broadway right now, I’ll do my best to continue to introduce them to an art form that has brought joy to so many. I’m just so thankful that Mount Baker Theatre is bringing them to my small town too.

One of Bellingham’s Hidden Gems

img_0009Politics aside, who do you vote for: Mead or Cider? Before stepping into Bellingham’s Honey Moon I’d never tried mead, the drink of knights and peasants. But Honey Moon has both made from scratch, all while supporting the local music and poetry scene too!

An exemplary business, Honey Moon takes care to treat its employees well by valuing their work and including their ideas in event and product planning. That makes for a tight-knit work family. They also pride themselves on giving local artists, musicians, and poets a space to share their work.

That’s why I enjoy writing about wonderful places to be for my Insider Blog for Bellingham Experience. Hot Damn Scandal, New Orleans’ Jocose Bird, and so much more can be found at this hole-in-the-wall spot. Take a look.

Getting Wilde at Wild Buffalo

By Kenneth Kearney Wild Buffalo smaller

My favorite place in the “balcony” of Wild Buffalo. Photo by Kenneth Kearney Photography.

I’ve discovered so many great bands for the first time at Bellingham’s Wild Buffalo. I enjoyed getting to know owner Craig Jewell better in order to write this Insider Blog for Bellingham Experience Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. We are so lucky that they bring such a variety of music to our town. Take a look at why I keep going back.