Free Pop Culture Party opens EMP Museum doors to all

EMP BorgHave you been wanting to see the awesome Star Trek exhibit at EMP? Or, be dazzled by the World of WearableArt exhibit? (both are fantastic, you can see my write-up here)

How about checking out past live performances on the big screen in the Sky Church? Or a tour of the Frank Gehry designed building? How about all of these plus puzzles, games, music, dance performances, and more for FREE?

That’s right, EMP is opening its doors this Saturday, November 19th, for a Pop Culture Party that runs from 10am to 5pm and it’s free! EMP encourages attendees to RSVP in advance on their Facebook page, but that’s it. Mark your calendars for Saturday and check out this list of planned activities that are all-ages friendly:

• Free admission to all EMP galleries, including Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds and World of WearableArt™
• Fandom Photo Hunt that will take you and your squad through the museum on a quest to up your selfie game and interact with some unexpected characters in immersive scenes inspired by Harry Potter, Star Trek, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, Ghostbusters, and more
• Live music, DJ sets, and dance performances
• Pop culture games and activities including video gaming, Klingo (Star Trek-themed Bingo), and an epic coloring contest
• Screenings of past Sky Church performances by Joan Jett, Macklemore, De La Soul, Jimmy Page, and more
• Complimentary manicures from Julep, airbrush tattoos, and themed food and drink specials
• Architecture tours of our iconic Frank O. Gehry-designed building
• Museum Store deals: Funko Spock figure and Star Trek Craft Book bundle for only $5, and free exclusive Star Trek 50th Anniversary tote bag with any purchase of $10 or more.

Thanks in advance to EMP Museum for hosting this free fandom extravaganza! Join the celebration at EMP on Saturday, November 19th!

UPDATE: Green Stage’s free Backyard Bard returns to Rodgers Park this Sunday

Backyard Bard

UPDATE: GreenStage will not be on Queen Anne on Sunday. Their website had last year’s info on it (hence, Sunday, August 24th as the date). Thanks to a reader who commented about the date, we contacted GreenStage and confirmed there are no performances tomorrow.

For the past two years, Green Stage has brought Shakespeare in the park to Queen Anne’s Rodgers Park via its Backyard Bard performances. And, they’re coming back this Sunday – these free plays are the thing! Four actors take on the task of bringing Shakespeare’s tales to life in performances that run an hour each and are free and open to all.

The smaller venues and shorter productions provide a great introduction to Shakespeare, highlighting the “best parts of the larger play and bringing the story vibrantly to life in more intimate venues with verve and brevity.” Plus, they’re as family-friendly as possible, and “most times, the naughty bits go right over the kid’s heads” per Green Stage.

Actors Gavin McLean, Jennifer Crooks, Tyler Dobies, and Laura Lee Caudill play all of the characters in both plays, with on-the-spot costume and scenery changes adding to the fun of the production. Ken Holmes directs the Backyard Bard productions of Pericles and Twelfth Night, both of which will be performed at Rodgers Park on Sunday, August 24th, starting at 3pm. Both shows include shipwrecks, so the troupe posed for a photo in a pirate ship in Ken’s backyard. Quite fitting for the Backyard Bard season!

Green Stage troupe

Photo courtesy of Green Stage

Here are short synopses of the two plays, so you can be ready to follow the fast-paced action:

Twelfth Night – Sunday, August 24th, 3pm
One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies and our original Backyard Bard play, Twelfth Night features a love quadrangle and some very trying houseguests who show no intention of leaving! Twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a shipwreck. Viola, disguised as the boy Cesario, is the intermediary as Duke Orsino attempts to woo the wealthy countess Olivia. Of course, Olivia falls for Cesario, and Sebastian’s unexpected arrival on the scene leads to some hilarious complications. Will everyone end up with a spouse? Will it be the one they expect?

Pericles – Sunday, August 24th, 4:30pm
Pericles is a risk-taker. He realizes that whatever answer he gives to a riddle will get him killed. So begins an epic journey of ambitious risks, great rewards, and big falls for the Prince of Tyre. Pericles marries, has a daughter, and is separated from both along the way; shipwrecks always seem to happen at the darndest times. All three of them lead strange, marvelous lives and travel convoluted pathways to the end, when they’re miraculously reunited.

Green Stage sets up on the south side of Rodgers Park, in the open space near the southeast playground. Bring your low-backed chairs, blankets, and picnics to the park. All are welcome to attend the free performances!

Free recycling event at Coe Elementary this Saturday

Coe Elementary mapBeen doing your taxes and realized your filing cabinet is overflowing? Or, do you have old electronic items that no longer work or are so old they illicit laughter from friends and family? Don’t throw those items away! Recycle them this Saturday from 9am to noon at Coe Elementary School.

Windermere’s Rene Stern is sponsoring the free event for the neighborhood, with a commercial certified shredder and electronics recycling truck on-site.

What can be recycled: paper with our without clips, TVs, old computers, monitors, printers, cameras, cell phones, batteries, and some appliances. (if you have an appliance, best to call ahead at 206-283-5650)

The event is free, so unburden yourself from excess paper and old electronics this Saturday morning.

Free Zumba and Gentle Yoga classes at Seattle Center start this month

Armory SignThe free Summer Zumba and yoga classes at the Seattle Center have always been popular, with some classes held outside as people celebrate summer weather. Now, to help shed the winter blahs and help with New Year’s resolutions, the Seattle Center is offering these free classes again as part of its Winter Fitness program.

The classes are free and open to all ages and all abilities, and they’ll be held every Wednesday evening, January 20th through March 3oth, in the Seattle Center Armory building.

Here are the details:

Zumba Fitness: 6pm-7pm
Offers participants an adventurous journey around the world through exhilarating Latin music, World Rhythms, West African, belly dance, dance hall, pop, classic rock and more. The result – a workout full of high energy, easy to follow choreography and fun!  Everyone is welcome. No dance experience is required. Participants are encouraged to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable sneakers.

Gentle Yoga:  7:30pm-8:30pm
Offers something for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level. Stretch your body, and breathe your stress away. The weekly classes focus on fluid movements to increase range of motion and increase joint and muscle flexibility. Beginners will learn the basics of Hatha Yoga, and all will enjoy a strengthening workout. Please bring your own yoga mat.

For more information on Winter Fitness and other Seattle Center programming, visitSeattle Center or call 206 684.7200.

Free children’s concert by Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus this Saturday at McCaw Hall

SMC Free Kids ConcertThis Saturday, June 20th, the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) and Seattle Women’s Chorus (SWC) are presenting their annual children’s concert – and it’s free for kids and their families.

The concert is at 2pm at McCaw Hall, and tickets are still available. Since it’s this Saturday, no tickets will be mailed, so the event organizers are encouraging Queen Anne kids and their families to just show up and have fun.

SMC and SWC will perform “high-energy kid-friendly tunes from the Disney songbook as well as some classics from the 70s rock super-group, Queen” and kids are encouraged to dance and sing along to the live concert.

The performance has a kid-friendly duration of one hour, and audience participation is encouraged and expected – plus, “costumes, laughter, and smiles to remind audiences that equality and acceptance are important messages to people of all ages”.

Kids will even get a free pack of crayons and coloring book to take home. Free concert, fun, and goodies to take home, bonus!

Northwest Folklife Festival returns to Seattle Center this weekend

Folklife Poster 2015Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching, and that means the annual Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center. It’s Folklife’s 44th year bringing performers and artists together to celebrate Pacific Northwest culture.

Folklife kicks off tomorrow, Friday, May 22nd and runs through Monday, May 25th. About 5,000 performers will take part in Folklife this year, and the 2015 Cultural Focus is “Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today’s Branches” highlighting the cross-cultural roots of Hip Hop in the Pacific Northwest.

This year, the Back Porch Stage is back, featuring traditional styles of American music, plus Paperstock returns for a second year with Pacific Northwest poster art. Folklife also features a family-friendly Discovery Zone with family entertainment, including the Seattle Center’s new Artist at Play area.

Folklife is free, although donations are gladly accepted. You can plan your visit here.

And, a heads up that this event will also impact traffic on Lower Queen Anne, as 60,000 people are expected to attend each day of the Festival. Plan on walking or biking if you’re around for the holiday weekend.