Tag Archives: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Creativity, Community and Bellingham Anime Convention (BA-CON)

I’ve seen a few Japanese anime cartoons, shorts and feature length films. They aren’t my favorite form of cinema but I admire their creativity and that they aren’t as confined as their counterparts in traditional U.S. animated story-telling.

Even though I’m not an anime fan myself, I love what it has done for my teens. They think the characters are interesting. I like that it gets them to branch out, listen to some Japanese language, read more graphic novels, have been exposed to other cultures, and its even inspired them to try their hand at drawing and computer-based animation. They also connect with others over the subject at a monthly event and have listened to a wider variety of music because of it. An entire community has been built around anime and because of that, my kids have a place where they feel comfortable and mostly accepted.

bellingham anime convention ba-conBecause I write about what’s in front of me, I’ve written two articles about Bellingham Anime Convention (BA-CON). One is about the event’s founder, Bellingham Public Library Teen Services Librarian, Jennifer Lovchik for WhatcomTalk.com. The other is a Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about why the event is a perfect event for out-of-town Anime and Cosplay fans to attend.

I’m thankful for all the positives that BA-CON, Bellingham Public Library, and anime bring to my community, even if anime isn’t entirely my thing. Costumes, art, culture, free flying of freak flags, and community are just a few that come to mind.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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

 

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.

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

 

Pure Poetry in Whatcom County

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Natalie Fedak and Erica Reed make up poetry on the spot with their Poem Store at Kitchen Session Bellingham. Photo by Gary Wade.

I’m a writer, but as every writer knows, that doesn’t mean I excel in every writing genre. Poetry is a form of writing like no other. When I was younger, I studied science, not writing. I was immersed in the world of the literal and concrete. I didn’t fully ‘get’ poetry and I certainly didn’t have the confidence to try writing it.

Now that I’m more experienced in the world, I realize why poets are the writing perfectionists of the field. In just a few words, a poet must make their point, convey the feeling they are after, in a way that no one else has. They don’t get a paragraph to explain. They have one word or a single verse. That, my friends, is art at its finest.

I like to use my writing to support the arts whenever I can. That’s why I wrote about the Bellingham poetry scene for WhatcomTalk.com and Bellingham Experience (Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism). Whether you live in Whatcom County or want to plan your next getaway to this beautiful place, the perfection of poetry is now at your fingertips.

The Value of Independence

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You probably don’t see an obvious connection between independent film and politics, but right now, its all up in my face.

I wrote this Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about my community’s independent film theater, Pickford Film Center, for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism because it is one of the many things that makes my city great. It began, and remains, independent. Its programs, films, and decisions are made locally, by a non-profit board, for the betterment of film, the community, and education. The concerns of profit and shareholders don’t need to be included in decision-making, nor is their content dictated at a corporate level. These are among the many things I love about them.

Did I just go see a multi-billion dollar Rogue One Star Wars franchise film yesterday at the mega-plex and love it? Yes. My point is that we must preserve independent operations at the local level and not allow them to be overtaken by the big girls. Because individual choice–freedom–is among our highest ideals as a nation. If our choices become too narrow because of our profit motivations, then we, by default, are slowly losing that freedom. Will some of us be content eating only apples and oranges? Sure. But once the bananas disappear from the store front, once other options are removed from infrastructure, it will be a hell of an effort to get them back.

The meaning of the word ‘independent’ calls back to our earliest days as a country and today, our right, our duty, our responsibility to protect and preserve it is more relevant than ever.

 

The Kid in All of Us Loves the Circus

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Photos by Jorge Lausell.

Except for that one incident with too much cotton candy, most of my experiences with the circus have been so very positive. I saw things I never could imagine. By people so glorious and different from my world. The lights, the music, the dancing and laughter. I could go every year.

Luckily, in my neck of the woods, I can actually go every month, or every week if I want. Whatcom County is the home to the Bellingham Circus Guild. I can see a performance on the 15th of every month and take a weekly class. So can my children. We are so fortunate.

It was a delight to write my Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about them. Go read it and then figure out how to get more circus in your 2017.

Theater in Bellingham

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BTG’s 2008 production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

I love Bellingham and all it has to offer. We’re fortunate to have local original theater, improv, dance, and even nationally touring shows that stop by. I enjoy blogging for Bellingham Experience Whatcom County Tourism about the theater, music, and the arts that contribute to the culture and entertainment in our community. My hope is that by writing about them, I’ll bring them more attention, help them reach new audiences, and hopefully be appreciated more fully.

I got to speak with my friend Jeff Braswell, Bellingham Theatre Guild’s (BTG’s) publicity director, about all the exciting upgrades that are happening there, and just in time for their production of White Christmas. Please check out my blog post and then help BTG spread the word.