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Spotlight: City’s Arts Awards winners include Walter, Lucas

The winners of the City of Spokane Arts Awards have now been notified – which means we can notify everyone else, in advance of the awards presentation Monday at 6 p.m. at the Spokane City Council meeting:

Individual Artist Award: Jess Walter – Novelist Walter has won an Edgar Award, a New York Times Notable Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His latest novel, “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” was recently called “ecstatically funny and unusually big-hearted” by the Financial Times of London.

Arts Organization Award: Spokane Area Children’s Chorus – This longtime choral institution includes six choirs made up of children age 7 to 18. Scores of local children have learned about music and about other cultures through this exceptional group.

Business Benefactor Award: Jack Lucas, TicketsWest/WestCoast Entertainment – Lucas and his staff have given away tickets to hundreds of events every year for fundraisers and auctions. They also bring in shows that have made Spokane into the cultural hub of the region. No other for-profit entity is more committed to the performing arts in our community, said the Spokane Arts Commission.

Individual Benefactor Award: Charles and Cathy Simon – They have shared generously with their time, expertise and funding.

Arts in Education Award: Spokane Community Building Children’s Center, Blueprints for Learning Program – This program for preschoolers uses art to help children learn and grow. It also has a training program to teach other child care professionals how to incorporate art into education.

Arts Community Leadership Award: Janet Sahlin – She’s an artist, teacher, organizer and indispensable leader in the arts community. She serves on Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture Foundation Board and is co-chair of the Spokane Art School Council, among many other roles.

The awards presentation will be in the Spokane City Council Chambers, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. (enter through the east side).

A reception will follow at the Kress Galley in River Park Square. Come and help congratulate the winners.

A Berkes talk

National Public Radio correspondent Howard Berkes will regale the crowd at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., with tales from his long career as one of the country’s top radio journalists, Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Berkes has covered Ruby Ridge, the Olympics, the Mount St. Helens eruption and hundreds of other events. Doug Nadvornick of Spokane Public Radio will share the stage and lead a question-and-answer session.

Tickets are $25 general admission or $20 for Spokane Public Radio members, available by calling (509) 328-5729 or (800) 328-5729.

Side by side by symphony

Looking for something different to do today?

The Spokane Symphony and the Spokane Youth Orchestra will blend together in a one-of-a-kind concert at 4 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

The professionals from the symphony will sit next to the students from the Youth Orchestra in a special mentoring concert.

Together, they’ll play Rossini’s William Tell Overture, the first movement of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. The symphony’s Eckart Preu will conduct.

It’s the symphony’s “gift” to Verne Windham, in honor of his impending retirement as the Spokane Youth Symphony’s artistic director. He will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $11 for youth, available at the door.

The Cos and the Clemens

Two great American humorists have announced shows at the INB Performing Arts Center.

(For the sake of accuracy, I should mention that one of these humorists has been dead for 100 years. But his greatest portrayer is still alive and knocking audiences dead.)

“Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight!” – March 12, 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

Bill Cosby – Nov. 14, 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale Monday, 10 a.m. through TicketsWest.

New stage for StageWest

The StageWest Community Theatre of the West Plains will now hold its performances at Eastern Washington University’s Showalter Hall Auditorium.

This burgeoning community troupe has outgrown its former location at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cheney.

Their first play in their new digs: “Delval Divas,” a comedy-mystery, Oct. 15-30. For ticket info, go to

Short play showcase

“Hit & Run,” a staged-reading showcase of new, short plays, will take place at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., Saturday at 2 p.m.

Play-Makers Spokane, a playwright’s group, has done “Hit & Run” for several years, but this fourth version will be an expanded one. A cast of 25 will perform these staged readings.

You’ll hear works by Spokane playwrights Sandra Hosking and Paul Ruch, as well as playwrights from New York and Los Angeles. There will be a “drama that takes place in a snow globe” and a “comedy about a man who finds a surprise guest in his closet.”

It’s free and some of the material will not be suitable for children.

Jam for Bread

Some of the region’s top acts are gathering for Jam for Bread, a benefit concert for Crosswalk, the Volunteers of America program in Spokane, on Oct. 10, 3 to 5 p.m., at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ, 411 S. Washington St.

Danny McCollim and Friends; guitarist Steven King; Ashe West African Drumming and Dance Group; Six Foot Swing; and the (City Arts Award-winning) Spokane Area Children’s Chorus will all perform.

Tickets at the door are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $25 for families. For information, call (509) 624-1366.

This is the fundraiser formerly known as MANNA.

Bob Curnow Big Band

The Bob Curnow Big Band launches its season at Ichiban Sushi Lounge, 202 W. Third Ave. on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

The band will play there twice a month (with a few exceptions) through May.

Why should you go check them out?

They play fine, hot jazz, for one thing. There’s no cover charge, for another. And you can have dinner, too.