Diversity is the Word This Week, from Speakers to Music to Special Events

Western Washington University’s Equity and Inclusion Forums and Dean of Students’ Office will host internationally known speaker on gender equity and LGBTQ advocacy Paula Stone Williams for a pair of presentations on campus Monday and Tuesday, May 6 and 7. Both presentations are free and open to the public.
Williams will present “Everything You Wanted to Know About Being Transgender But Were Afraid to Ask” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, in Old Main Theatre. Williams will present “Is Life Really Easier for Men” from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, also in the Old Main Theatre. Williams has been featured in the New York Times, TEDWomen, TEDxMileHigh, the Denver Post, New Scientist, Radio New Zealand, The New York Post, NPR and Colorado Public Radio. Williams’ recent TED talk with her son, Jonathan, has had over one million views, and her TEDxMileHigh talk on gender equity has had more than 1.8 million views. For more information, contact Cynthia Sandstrom at meeksc@wwu.edu.

Long-time Bellingham folkie fixtures, The Happy Valley Sluggers (Laurel Bliss, Mike Schway, Nina Richardson, John Clark and Andy Rick) will be playing Whack-A-Mole on an variety of fiddles, guitars, banjos, accordions, basses and well-trained steels from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday, May 6, in the Irish and Folk Monday series at Greene’s Corner, 2208 James St. Old-time songs, Southern fiddle tunes, and Louisiana Cajun dancehall music will be on the agenda. They rarely play out these days, so this is a wonderful chance to catch some skilled and joyous music! This legendary band is the real deal, says fellow musician Flip Breskin.

The Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater encourages authors to bring seven minutes worth of original writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, plays) to share on Wednesday, May 8, at The Happy Place, 1215 Cornwall, Ave. Sign-up begins at 6:30 p.m., readings begin at 7 p.m. If time allows we may have a surprise, energizing, and fun Slam-mish group writing happening. Details: http://chuckanutsandstone.blogspot.com/.

Engage with science, technology, engineering and math at Whatcom Community College’s first-ever STEM Carnival from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in the Syre Student Center, 237 W. Kellogg Road. Families, children, teens, and adults are invited to this free and fun event which features interactive demonstrations led by WCC faculty and students,l including generating power with a stationary bike, exploring artificial intelligence, identifying animal skulls, making slime, and experimenting with electric currents and magnetic fields. Activities are meant for all ages. Attendees can also learn about WCC’s STEM programs and degree options. Food and prizes will be provided. Parking at WCC is free. Details: Jessica Larson, engineering advising and outreach specialist at Whatcom Community College, 360-383-3064.

Western Washington University’s Veterans’ Outreach Center will host “Stories Deployed: The Veteran Chronicles” from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, in the Wilson Library Reading Room. This event is free and open to the public. Stories Deployed brings together people from all branches of the military to share their stories through powerful personal writings, as they reflect on what it means to serve their country and transition back into the community.
This event is cosponsored by the Western Veterans Outreach Center, the AS Western Veterans Community, the Bellingham Vet Center, the Red Badge Project, the VFW Post 1585 and Western’s English Department.
For more information about Stories Deployed contact Western Washington University’s AS Veterans Community Coordinator Janice Heebsh at as.veterans@wwu.edu

Bellingham Circus Guild hosts its seventh iteration of the Aerial Showcase, a unique, all-aerial, circus arts show, Saturday through Sunday, May 10-12, at 1401 Sixth St.  The name of the game is that aerialists are invited to perform an act already created and are then encouraged to refine, polish, or completely retool it to suit their individual artistic expressions. This is a unique opportunity for the aerialists to perform unrestrained by the demands of a client or particular theme of a show. On the flip side, this is a unique look into each aerialist’s passion for the audience. There are 8 to 10 aerial acts per show, which runs about 90 minutes. The Friday evening show and the late show on Saturday are for those 21 and older only, and alcoholic beverages will be sold. You are encouraged to get to the venue when doors open in order to secure your seat. Open and limited seating. Folks with special seating needs should email well before the event date. Doors open 30 minutes before each show.  Shows will start on time, doors will not remain open throughout the show out of respect for the artists and the audience present. Get tickets through Brown Paper Tickets.

Janet Oakley shares “The Hilo Bay Mysteries Collection” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The cozy mystery novellas  are set in Hawaii, with the central character, Auntie Bee Takahashi, a retired teacher and a survivor of the 1946 April Fools’ Day tsunami that wiped out Hilo, Hawaii. Her great-niece, Tawnie Takahashi, is a hard-nose Honolulu TV crime reporter. When crimes from the past surface, Auntie Bee and Tawnie in their own ways face down the past in hopes of finding justice and healing for the future.

Works by Bellingham artist Jane Burns are displayed beginning Saturday, May 11, for permanent display at PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center, 2901 Squalicum Parkway. PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center/Healing through Art commissioned Burns to create art for a specific Medical Care Unit. The artist worked with the staff of the unit to create art for their space. Keeping the staff, visitors and patients in mind, Burns painted or designed 30 works which will be on permanent display. Beginning on May 11 and running through July 20, an exhibition of the original paintings for this project will be on display on the first floor near the Grounds and Grains Cafe.

Enjoy an evening of live music by The Walrus, dancing, beer from Boundary Bay Brewery, and great food, all while raising funds for the Community Boating Center from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. All proceeds from the event support the CBC’s youth scholarships, which enable local youth to learn the boating skills necessary to access their marine environment. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door, available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Western Washington University Department of Music presents the annual concert of the Collegium Musicum with music of 18th century Scandinavia at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at WWU’s Performing Arts Center. Featured are two modern premieres: Johann Friedrich Grenser’s Oboe Concerto and the Wedding Cantata of 1786 by Johann Gottlieb Naumann. Rounding out the program is an overture to The Coachmen at the Relay Station by Yevstigney Fomin and the Symphony No. 1 in D major by Johan Daniel Berlin. The free concert will be conducted by Mika Armaly and Caty Cook, as well as the musical director, Bertil van Boer.

The Alternative Library, 519 E. Maple St., is excited to bring the traditional Tuvan throat singing group, Chirgilchin, and Yuliyana Krivoshapkina to Bellingham for a concert of traditional Tuvan folk music and workshop the following day. Doors for the concert open at 7:30pm; music starts at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets. The word Chirgilchin has two translations:”dance of the air in the heat of the day” and “miracle”. Established in 1996, Chirgilchin is a group of musicians from Tuva, a small Russian province north of Western Mongolia. Their music tells stories of their homeland, its horses and its people. Throat-singing is an extraordinary vocal form in which one singer produces two or more voices simultaneously, the low sounds in the throat harmonizing with middle and high flute-like overtones, to create richly layered melodies that evoke Central Asian steppes and nomadic life. The most advanced forms of throat-singing come from Tuva, and the members of Chirgilchin are among the best and most accomplished throat-singers in all of Tuva. The concert will open by a solo performance from Yuliyana Krivoshapkina, a singer and virtuoso in the art of the khomus, the national instrument of the Sakha Republic. It functions much like a Jew’s harp, but differs in several respects. A conventional Jew’s harp is limited in range, volume, and pitch. The khomus is loud and strikingly expansive in range. In addition, Yuliyana will offer a two-hour workshop teaching techniques of playing the khomus in the adjoined classroom starting at noon on Sunday.

Davin Naar presents a talk entitled “From the Ottoman Empire to Auschwitz: The Mediterranean Jewish Experience of the Holocaust,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Congregation Beth Israel, 751 San Juan Blvd. Although usually understood as a “European” event, the Holocaust also resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Sephardic Jews born in the predominantly Muslim world of the Ottoman Empire (Greece). Grappling with the particularities of their experiences compels us to expand the scope of the Holocaust into the eastern Mediterranean and to recognize the interconnections between the rise of Hitler’s empire and the making of the modern Middle East.
Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington. He is the founder of the Sephardic Studies Program at the UW and currently its acting chair. He is an associate professor of History and faculty at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the UW. For more on the event, call 360-650-7737.

​Celebrate Mother’s Day with the whole family, exploring the unique sculpture collection and beautiful gardens while enjoying light snacks, live music and plein air painters at work from 1 to 4  p.m. Sunday, May 12, at Big Rock Garden Park, at the top of Alabama Hill at 2900 Sylvan St. All ages are welcome, and children’s activities will be available. Details: 360-778-7105.

Bellingham Chamber Music hosts a concert by Bellingham guitarists David Feingold and Yaniv Attar at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at Central Lutheran Church, 925 N. Forest St. The program will include Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Prelude and Fugue in A minor and Prelude in Fugue in E major, Fernando Caruli’s Andante and Rondo and selections by Heitor Villa Lobos and Manuel De Falla. Tickets at the door are $15 adults, $5 students. Details:  http://www.bellinghamchambermusic.org

Tony McManus is the guest performer in the Irish and Folk Monday series at 8 p.m. Monday, May 13, at Greene’s Corner, 2208 James St. McManus has come to be recognized throughout the world as one of the leading guitarist in traditional Celtic music. Tickets are $20 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets. For more on him, go to http://www.tonymcmanus.com/.