Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

Get your act together for Street Music Week

In a positively shocking flash of municipal efficiency, the mayor’s office this week e-mailed me a draft of my eighth annual Spokane Street Music proclamation, even though …

A. I hadn’t yet asked for it.

B. The event is still three weeks away.

Talk about impressive.

I mean, you usually can’t get a pothole filled in this burg until some citizen drowns in it.

Then I looked closer and realized what was going on. The e-mail was sent from Catherine Gallaher, the mayor’s administrative secretary.

She is so on the ball. If Gallaher were running the city the budget would be in the black and parking meters would be half off on Thursdays.

Gallaher’s correspondence served as a wake-up call. Yes, it’s time again to beat the drum for performers who would like to help feed the hungry by raising money for the Second Harvest Inland Northwest food bank.

Here are the facts:

•Spokane Street Music Week will take place on the downtown sidewalks during the noon hours of June 14-18.

•Spokane Street Music Week welcomes all, from bluegrassers to swinging jazz cats to symphony sophisticates. It really doesn’t matter what you do. We’ve had accordion players, Scottish dancers, wandering street magicians and a spirited dude who played an upright piano perched on the bed of his pickup truck.

•Spokane Street Music Week isn’t about ability. You can be a beginner or a virtuoso. What matters is having a willing heart and a desire to perform for a good cause.

Last year’s event drew about 150 sidewalk buskers who raised a record $4,250 in donations. It was a substantial boost from the record $3,800 raised in 2008. As always, every nickel deposited in our red collection buckets goes straight to Second Harvest.

•Spokane Street Music Week performers can take part one day or every day. Participation is entirely up to you.

If you’re not already in our database, contact me via the information below and I’ll make sure you receive all the event information and updates.

•Spokane Street Music Week welcomes all rock stars and celebrities.

Peter Rivera, for example, wowed a sizable crowd last year on the sidewalk across from River Park Square. The former lead singer and drummer of Rare Earth sang his monster hits like “Get Ready.”

(Note to self: Twist Rivera’s arm and get him to come back.)

Speaking of return engagements, Mayor Mary Verner has agreed to perform another duet with me.

The mayor and I sang a stirring rendition of “Proud Mary” last year.

This year, considering Verner is already campaigning for a second term, perhaps an “On the Road Again” parody would be appropriate.

Let’s see …

Wants your vote again.

Mary Verner wants your vote again.

Thinks that she can run for mayor again and win.

Even though we never do that in Spokane.

Naw. The mayor’s a good sport, but I’m betting she’ll take a pass on that one.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at