Local artist and musician Karli Ingersoll has been given the YWCA Women of Achievement Award for Arts and Culture not only for her own artistic expression, but her support for other artists and musicians.
The annual Women of Achievement is typically honored during a fundraising luncheon, but this year there will be a virtual celebration on Oct. 1. The virtual event is free, but people can purchase a take home meal from Masselow’s Steakhouse and other Northern Quest Resort and Casino Restaurants for $125. Registration information is available at www.ywcaspokane.org.
Ingersoll grew up in Spokane, graduating from North Central High School in 2004. She earned a degree in graphic design at Spokane Falls Community College and while she was there, her budding interest in music took off.
She learned how to play the guitar when she was young, but had no interest in singing.
“I was very afraid to sing in front of anyone,” she said.
But gradually her confidence grew and she started performing with local bands. After she graduated, she worked as a graphic designer in advertising. After a few years, she quit her job and put nearly everything she owned in her parents’ garage.
“I spent a couple years touring and playing music,” she said. “I would play solo or with different arrangements and backup bands. We’re talking a pretty DIY tour. I didn’t have a bus or anything.”
While she was on tour she met the man she would marry, Caleb Ingersoll, when he booked her at the venue where he worked in the Tri-Cities. The couple dreamed of running a concert venue together and opened the Bartlett, an all ages venue in Spokane, in 2013.
“It wasn’t a financially successful venture, so I worked full time,” she said.
They didn’t stop there. They opened a second live music venue, the Lucky You Lounge, in 2018.
“We kind of did Lucky You as a double down venture,” she said.
The Bartlett closed last year and the Lucky You Lounge is open as a restaurant and bar. Ingersoll said they hope to begin live streaming concerts soon since in-person live concerts still aren’t allowed because of the pandemic.
“I’m excited,” she said of the live stream concerts. “The bands haven’t been able to play together.”
Ingersoll is a graphic designer by profession, but she’s also done a variety of digital illustrations. In the last couple of years, she’s also been painting, mostly abstract landscapes and florals – anything with a lot of color.
“I just like to be making things all the time,” she said.
But Ingersoll hasn’t only been focused on her art and her music. She’s also been doing whatever she can to be an advocate for Spokane’s artists and musicians. For some time she ran a blog called Collect, where she showcased local illustrators and designers and musicians. The blog has been mostly inactive recently as Ingersoll has tried to manage the many projects in her life.
Six years ago, she was asked to apply for a vacant position on the Spokane Arts Commission, something she was eager to do.
“They really wanted some representation from the music scene,” she said. “I was excited about being a voice for local musicians. The local music scene is pretty small.”
Ingersoll said she sees her advocacy as making connections between artists, particularly the local singer/songwriters music scene, by giving musicians and artists exposure.
“It’s so niche, a lot of people don’t know it exists,” she said. “I love the communal nature of the arts and how artists work together.”
She works as a freelance graphic designer, performs with the band Super Sparkle and also performs solo under the name Windoe. She released an album, titled “Great Prize,” last year.
Ingersoll said she was surprised when she was told she had been named a Woman of Achievement.
“I was excited and felt really honored to be included,” she said. “Everything we do feels so DIY; it was great to be recognized by a prestigious organization and be included with all these other great women.
“It also helps me feel inspired to keep doing what I love,” she said. “I just really love the community in Spokane. I love the artists.”
Nina Culver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.