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A&E >  Music

Street Music Week returns and is poised to reach a milestone

June 8, 2022 Updated Fri., June 10, 2022 at 4:58 p.m.

Celebrating its 20th year, the organizers of Street Music Week are happy to be back, especially since they are poised to cross a significant threshold.

Held in various locations throughout downtown Spokane, the historic Garland district and Coeur d’Alene, the event will run from Monday through Friday, noon to 1 p.m. daily.

“It’s not limited to just musicians,” said organizer Doug Clark, a former longtime Spokesman-Review columnist. In the past, the event has featured magicians, comedians and dancers. And this year, Charlie Schmidt, creator of the viral Keyboard Cat video, will also be attending.

“He comes down and does strange things every year,” Clark said. “This year he tells me he’s coming down as ‘Spokane’s First Mystic.’ He’s gonna tell fortunes for a donation.”

A tribute to 20 years of “sidewalk performances,” the event aims to be their “biggest and best bash” yet while raising money for the Second Harvest food bank, Street Music Week’s charity of choice. Over the past 19 years, the event has raised more than $290,000 toward providing meals for the hungry. This year, they hope to surpass $300,000.

“The food bank is just really in dire straits with the cost of gas,” Clark said. “Everything that’s gone up has affected them.

“There’s only so many pounds of donated potatoes and vegetables that come in and then you know anything above that they have to buy and and have it shipped in. A lot of things are donated but they have to pay the gas for it so it’s really a strain.”

In 2020, when gathering wasn’t an option because of the pandemic, Clark organized a virtual Street Music Week and online donations. They returned in person last year and he’s happy to be doing it again this year.

“We’re really hoping that we’ll get more people out this year,” he said.

If you can’t make it to the event, there are opportunities to donate online. For information, visit streetmusicweek.com or follow Street Music Week on Facebook.

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