Prelude to a Museum

Peace and harmony presided over a reception honoring the future Northwest African American Museum at Bellevue's Key Center on Monday, Nov. 7. The music of the West African harp and colorful creations of the Association of Pacific Northwest African American Quilters seemed to put to rest more than two decades of false starts for the institution (and no small amount of factional bickering). NAAM is now scheduled to open at the Urban League Village at Colman School on 23rd Avenue South in summer, 2007. At the event, hosted by Symetra Financial, museum director Carver Gayton invoked the names of Northwest luminaries Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jacob Lawrence, and August Wilson, saying that "there are a lot of stories to be told." Gayton introduced local artist and museum curator, Barbara Earl Thomas, as "the real soul of the project" who confirmed, "It's a lot of hard work, a lot of time, but well worth the effort." SUZANNE BEAL


Wandering—specifically, a "tribute to the nomadic soul . . . those who quest with infinite passion"—is the theme of the next Cirque du Soleil show, due to hit Seattle next May. It's titled Varekai ("Wherever" in the Romany language). Appropriately, the production itself is wandering; it'll pitch its blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau ("tent" in Cirque du Soleil language) at Marymoor Park rather than next to the Boeing plant in glamorous Renton, site of the troupe's previous nouvelle circus extravaganzas. Tickets ($35–$70 adults, $24.50–$49 kids under 13) are already on sale at GAVIN BORCHERT


It just sounds so tweedy: The New Yorker College Tour. One imagines flocks of grad students, jackets with elbow patches, snifters of cognac, and chortle-inducing witticisms that begin, "Well, to paraphrase Ovid. . . . " But the venerable magazine is putting its pop-culture interests out front by sponsoring a three-day University of Washington minifestival, Tuesday, Nov. 15–Thursday, Nov. 17, to include panel discussions with the likes of Jonathan Franzen, Sherman Alexie, and Bruce McCall, comedy with the Second City troupe, a performance at the Showbox by Stephen Malkmus, and a film screening—Syriana, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon. And almost all of it's free. See for details. GAVIN BORCHERT


Twenty-one local artists will receive $6,000 fellowships from Artist Trust on Thursday, Nov. 10, at Northwest Film Forum, including author Stacey Levine, filmmaker David Russo, and musicians Bill Horist and Robert Millis. On hand will be Artist Trust's new executive director, Fidelma McGinn. . . . Nick Francis, host of the jazz Web site, becomes the new music director at 88.5 KPLU on Wednesday, Nov. 16. He takes the place of Nick Morrison, who left the station in June. LYNN JACOBSON

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