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Clark: Street Music Week expanding to include Garland district

Mayor David Condon and his family stopped by the 2012 Spokane Street Music Week to join columnist Doug Clark and guitarist Joe Brasch for a few songs.  (Alison  Boggs)

Red collection buckets. Check.

Yellow sign-up notepads. Check.

Orange busker badges. Mayoral proclamation. City Hall solicitation license. Check, check …

And check!

The stars are aligned for the 11th annual Spokane Street Music Week, which takes place Monday through Friday during the noon hours on the sidewalks of downtown Spokane.

It’s (almost) time to cue the real stars: the goodhearted strummers, singers, dancers, horn players and entertainers who give up their time and talent each year to help feed the hungry.

Um, wait a second. Did I say downtown?

Well, that was the case. This year, however, Street Music Week is coming to the Garland business district right along with the city’s business core.

Think of Garland as our street music satellite, not to be confused with Appleton, Wis., which is holding its own version of Spokane Street Music Week.

Getting Garland involved is the brainchild of Julie Shepard-Hall. She operates Zipperz, a consignment shop for women’s apparel, and Integrity Insurance Solutions in the district.

“I’ve talked it up and talked it up,” she says.

Shepard-Hall is not a performer. But she sees Spokane Street Music Week as a unique opportunity to draw attention to one of the city’s great neighborhoods as well as a chance to join the fight against hunger.

No matter where in Spokane the event takes place, every cent collected still goes to Second Harvest food bank.

Our 2012 fundraiser collected a record $12,000-plus, pushing the accumulated total past the $40,000 mark.

True, last year’s event was the landmark 10th annual.

So you won’t hear me making any predictions about what this year might bring.

But food bank workers tell me they can buy six pounds of food for every donated dollar. Which means that even a modest amount of money can be a game-changer to a lot of lives.

And in that respect, we’re already on our way.

Jeff, a loyal reader and fellow shingles survivor, sent me a whopping $1,000 check (or three tons worth of grub) for the food bank on behalf of Spokane Street Music Week.

How cool is that?

Here are a few other developments worth considering:

• To celebrate the Garland’s involvement, a special free showing of “Sing for Their Supper,” a half-hour documentary about Spokane Street Music Week, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the historic Garland Theater.

The evening will feature live music, and a collection will be taken for the food bank.

• June 10-14 has been declared Spokane Street Music Week by Spokane Mayor David Condon.

It happened at City Hall during Monday night’s City Council meeting, although Condon was not there. The proclamation was read (and quite nicely) by Councilman Steve Salvatori.

• Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart will make their singing debut Tuesday during Spokane Street Music Week. They will perform about 12:30 p.m., on the sidewalk near Starbucks, across from Pottery Barn on Main Avenue.

One of the potential songs submitted by Stuckart is “Ebony and Ivory.”

I don’t know about you, but I would personally throw 50 bucks into the collection bucket to hear that.

• Other celebrities during the week will include Peter Rivera, the great former lead singer for Rare Earth; KREM-2 news anchor Randy Shaw; and Chad Mitchell and Mike Kobluk – two-thirds of Spokane’s famed Chad Mitchell Trio.

There’s still plenty of time to participate in this year’s event.

Just show up before noon at the aforementioned site near Starbucks.

Once you sign in, I’ll give you a red collection bucket and an official busker badge, which you can keep.

Then go out and find a place to perform until 1 p.m. Bring the bucket back afterward with donations for processing.

And if you’re not a performer, come on down and enjoy what is sure to be an excellent event. Toss a few bucks into the red collection buckets for the cause and to let these great performers know how much they’re appreciated.

And so, on with the show!

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

new  James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.