First, a note from our editors, Mark and Barb Fuller: “We will not be publishing the April issue of Entertainment News NW due to the current Coronavirus situation. Most of the places where we distribute ENNW are closed or restricted. The idea of publishing an “online only version” turned out not to be feasible due to the cancellation of most events. We will do our best to resume publishing as the situation permits.”
Since events are being postponed or cancelled on a daily basis, it’s best to check websites and Facebook pages.
And perhaps most important, if you can donate to these organizations in any way, please do. It’s a way to keep the arts alive.
And now, the impacts locally of the virus:
From the governor
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement March 15 that further expands protections against COVID-19.
“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities. Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.
“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.
“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.
“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”
From the City of Bellingham
The City of Bellingham closed the following government facilities on Monday, March 16 until further notice.
City facility closures include all sponsored and permitted events, programs and activities, in the following City buildings and facilities:
Bellingham Public Library: All locations of the Bellingham Public Library, including the Central Library, Fairhaven and Barkley branch libraries, and all drop boxes, will be closed to the public. Check www.bellinghampubliclibrary.org for regular updates about library services available to the community during this closure.
Whatcom Museum: The Whatcom Museum campus, which includes the Lightcatcher building and Family Interactive Gallery, Old City Hall, and the Syre Education Center, will be closed to the public. Check the Whatcom Museum COVID-19 response webpage for regular updates. Many of our upcoming events will be postponed or rescheduled, so check our website calendar for updates. Visit our COVID-19 response page for regular updates on building and program closures.
If you have questions about upcoming scheduled tours, private events, or other activities, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave a message on our general information line, 360.778.8930.
Parks and Recreation: In addition to specific event and facility closures listed below, details about refunds, programming cancellations or postponements can be found here. All parks and trails will remain open to the public. The following building facilities will be closed:
Bloedel Donovan Park buildings
Arne Hanna Aquatic center
Joe Martin Field
Depot Market Square
Public tours of all facilities
All outdoor parks and open spaces will remain open. Public restrooms in City parks will remain open and will be cleaned and maintained.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we will be challenged as a community with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Seth Fleetwood said. “Understandably, there has been much community concern and uncertainty. This is a challenge that in so many respects is unprecedented, but we will meet the challenge and overcome it. Bellingham is a great community and with your support, we will all get through this together. Let us all be patient, helpful and kind.”
Public events (press releases and notices)
Bellingham Festival of Music
“It is with profound disappointment that the Bellingham Festival of Music board has to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Bellingham Festival of Music summer season, July 1–24. The Board of Directors voted March 18 that the decision, as painful as it is, was necessary to ensure the health and safety of our musicians, our audiences (many high risk), and our home hosts.
As you know, Washington State has been one of the Covid-19 hot spots. Given the unknown trajectory of the virus, it is difficult to predict whether our community will be sufficiently healed, the economy rehabilitated, and people reassured of their wellbeing to produce a season in July.
We are so grateful to those of you who have subscribed to our seasons and who have made donations. Your continued loyalty has allowed the Festival to flourish over 26 seasons. We will miss sharing with you Beethoven’s 250th birthday and U.S. Women’s Suffrage 100, which we had planned to celebrate this year. But we look forward to welcoming you back for a brilliant 2021 season.
As Artistic Director Michael Palmer put it: “This is a profoundly uncertain and tenuous time for all arts organizations around the world. With major orchestras, opera houses and the like broadcasting their season cancellations, it is only prudent for us to join our colleagues in placing the health and well-being of our patrons, musicians and our supporters at the forefront. In the meantime, we are already in the planning process for an artistically attractive and exciting 2021 season. So let’s look forward and, in the footsteps of Beethoven and paraphrasing his quote in his 9th Symphony from Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’: ‘Live your life like the sun striding across the sky, like a hero going to victory.’”
Knowing that many of the Festival musicians are experiencing financial difficulties due to furloughs by their home orchestras, the Festival is establishing a musician fund. Our patrons who choose to forgo a full or partial refund of their ticket purchase and others wishing to donate to this fund can help us provide some measure of financial support in the near future.
How to Request a Refund or Donate: Because the WWU Box Office does not retain credit card information after completing ticket purchases, patrons will be contacted over the next few weeks to obtain this information. At this time, they may also elect to donate to the musician fund. The Box Office should begin processing refunds by mid-April. Each refund has to be entered individually so it will not be a speedy process. Patrons are asked for their patience.
Although the WWU Box Office will likely be closed for some time, the refund process can be handled remotely according to Manager Jessie Phillips. Mary Pat Thuma, BFM Treasurer, will be calling ticket purchasers, but patrons may call her proactively with their credit card information or to make a donation at 360-303-0310.
Warmest wishes for good health and a quick return to concert life,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Barry Hembree, Chair
Downtown Bellingham Partnership
The Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP) has announced plans for a virtual Art Walk to take place on the usual first Friday of the month, April 3rd from 6pm – 10pm. In lieu of the monthly in-person Art Walk, the DBP invites artists, makers, and downtown businesses to create a virtual, collaborative experience through social media platforms. The hope is to create a virtual event to support local artists, galleries and retailers who have been impacted by much needed closures and social distancing.
“The backbone of our organization is fostering community,” Lindsey Payne Johnstone, Events Director for the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, said. “Rather than cancel April’s Art Walk, we’re adapting. It’s important to continue connecting with one another and lifting each other up.”
Participating artists and businesses will use the hashtag #virtualbhamartwalk on Facebook and Instagram to share their work and sell items, the same as they would at a typical Art Walk. Artists can also inform buyers on ways to receive their purchases, whether that’s in the mail, or at curbside or drop-off locations.
Participants can follow the hashtag to view art and will have the option to purchase items to support local artists and retailers through these uncertain times. The event is free for all and community members are encouraged to follow Downtown Bellingham on Facebook and Instagram for more information.
We are diligently moving forward with the 2020 Downtown Sounds music series set to take place on Wednesday evenings in July. The safety and security of the community remain our highest priority, and we are committed to provide a safe, welcoming event environment. Over the coming weeks and months, we will rely on our public health officials and industry experts to help guide our decisions.
Our team continues with hope and optimism that we will not only make it through this challenging time, but we will also thrive on the other side with new expertise and knowledge about how to become an even stronger and more resilient downtown.
For updates and resources on business resiliency or to sign up for our e-newsletter, please go to downtownbellingham.com and, follow us on Facebook. If we can help you in anyway, please reach out – we are here and ready to support you.
Mount Baker Theatre
Inevitably, the necessary and responsible action of social distancing means many events cannot take place as originally scheduled. We are working hard to reschedule as many shows as possible to the upcoming year, and we hope you will join us then! Visit MountBakerTheatre.com for new and updated information as it becomes available. If you currently have tickets to an upcoming show at MBT, you will receive an email with full details from the Box Office if it is rescheduled or canceled.
Thank you to all for the overwhelming support you’ve shared with MBT staff over the past weeks. As always, we are truly inspired by the compassion and patience of our community in the face of challenges. We are wishing you all the best as we navigate the continuing changes to our daily lives together. Questions: Check MountBakerTheatre.com or leave a voicemail at 360-734-6080. We will respond to emails and voicemails Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Pickford Film Center
Because of public health concerns, Pickford Film Center has closed its doors until further notice, for the first time in our over 20-year history. Our goal during this uncertain period of time is to bring to our cooped-up community a little of what makes the Pickford special — the recommendations, the cozy sense of place, the staff, the guidance through the world of film — all to your inbox. Sign up for our email updates and keep in touch with what you want to hear from us. Thank you for your support as we navigate these difficult times.
Special events and fundraisers
CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival is postponing the April 2020 Festival and Red Carpet Gala & Centennial Celebration, including the screening of the film, “Iron Jawed Angels,” at the Mt. Baker Theatre. This was and will be an exciting festival event. Gala tickets may be refunded or applied towards the rescheduled future event. If you must choose a refund, please consider a donation to support CASCADIA in presenting the stories women tell.
Village Books and Paper Dreams are committed to the health and safety of everyone who attends our events. It is our intent or postpone all forthcoming events listed on our calendar through Tuesday, March 31. In the meantime, we are closely monitoring both the global and local status of the covid-19 outbreak. We want to reassure our community– partners, presenters and audiences, that we’re both committed to our standard practices and introducing new precautions, such as extra cleanings of high-traffic areas and objects that are regularly touched.
Western Washington University Music
The WWU Music Department is pleased to announce our Live-Stream Re-Run Program! Click on the links below to rediscover some incredible performances! WWU Symphony Orchestra (11/16/20): https://vimeo.com/373048337/50af236bb8
Fall Choral Concert (11/24/20): https://vimeo.com/375177525/928526fff9
WWU Concert Choir (11/5/20): https://vimeo.com/369479503/41ec64a75f
Firehouse Arts and Events Center
Some events are being postponed, and we are trying to schedule new dates. Please email us at email@example.com if you have questions or concerns about attending any upcoming event at the Firehouse.
To see all of our upcoming events at the Firehouse check out our webpage at firehouseperformingarts.com.
Sylvia Center for the Arts
With heavy hearts, we announce that all upcoming events, including all remaining performances of “The Saga of the Völsungs,” have been canceled, in compliance with Gov. Inslee’s proclamation prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people.
Please stay tuned for information about the rescheduling of “The Saga of the Völsungs” and the remainder of this season.
All ticket holders will hear from us regarding rescheduling/exchange options as soon as we have them available to us later in the week.
Our profound apologies for the inconvenience, and to the Saga’s cast of 22 actors and the many crew members who worked so hard for the last few months to get this set of three plays open.
Like many other local businesses and nonprofits, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an absolutely devastating effect on our work, and it is going to take a lot of hard work and creative thinking for us to find a way to stay in business, pay staff, and survive to keep serving our community, who have given so much to support us over the last couple years.
Thanks to everyone who has already donated or bought their season pass early for next year. If you value what Sylvia Center provides and want to help get us through this tough time, please consider supporting us by:
Buying a ticket anyway — we will honor all ticket purchases when the performances are rescheduled
Buying a season pass now for next season — $250 helps keep the lights on through the winter and to healthier times
Making your annual giving donation now — most of our larger donations typically come at the end of the year, but if ever we were in need of a hand, it is now.
Whether it is a $20 ticket or a $1,000 ‘Friend of the Theater’ donation, Sylvia Center is asking for your support to help see us through these grey days.
The Kulshan Chorus Board of Directors, along with Dustin Willetts and leadership from the Sno-King and Cantabile choirs, have come to the mutual decision to postpone all rehearsals, sectionals, and currently scheduled “Carmina Burana” Concerts this spring. While we will miss seeing everyone together, your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us. Because otherwise healthy individuals can carry the virus without symptoms for an undetermined amount of time, our best defense to protect our most vulnerable community members is to practice preventative care, and to limit congregating in large groups until the national, state, and local social congregation bans are lifted. Please do your part to keep yourself and those around you healthy.
Blue Skies for Children
While we have cancelled our 13th Annual Casino Night Fundraiser, we are replacing it with a Raffle Fundraiser.
You can purchase raffle tickets now through April 15th, for our Raffle Fundraiser, with the drawing to be held on April 16th at 4 p.m. Tickets: $25 · Prizes: Over 40 gift cards and gift baskets. Drawing Location: Blue Skies office, 2505 Cedarwood Ave, Ste 5, Bellingham WA 98225. To purchase tickets: call 360.756.6710.
You do not need to be present to win, although welcome to attend. Gift card prizes can be mailed to you.
Sudden Valley Jazz Concert Series
Because of the current covid-19 virus, the Sudden Valley Admin. Office has closed the Dance Barn for all events. At this time, it is unclear when the Dance Barn will re-open so we have contacted Pearl Django, our opening act and are currently trying to find a Saturday afternoon during the summer when we can present them. Since our second act is coming from Cuba, this makes the exact date of presenting Jorge Pacheco doubly up in the air. We have currently sold 105 series tickets and were planning to use socially appropriate spacing with our seating to minimize any personal interaction for the audience, but we can’t do anything until the Dance Barn re-opens. For those who have already purchased series tickets, please hold onto them. They will be good for rescheduled concerts. For the rest, we will let you know if we will be able to sell additional tickets at the door when concerts are presented.
It is with a heavy heart we are announcing the postponement of the physical tournament for Bowling for Beds previously scheduled for March 27.
At Lydia Place we believe strong healthy communities are the foundation to a better world. In that spirit, we’ve decided to trade bowling shoes for something a little more high tech. At least for now.
Bellingham Repertory Dance
Bellingham Repertory Dance is taking a temporary hiatus in solidarity with Washington state public health precautions. Weekly classes are canceled through April 30, and our company audition and spring concert have been postponed until further notice. We are eager to engage with our community in new ways and continue to celebrate the ability of movement to deepen connection. Follow us @brdancers on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Whatcom Literacy Council Trivia Bee and Silent Auction
New Date Oct. 2, 6 p.m., Bellingham Technical College – Settlemyer Hall, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. Price: $15.
Join co-hosts Scotty VanDryver of KAFE Radio and Jeopardy! star Ken Jennings and match wits with other members of the community. 32 teams, sponsored by local businesses, will compete against each other in four qualifying rounds leading up to the final round with eight teams. The evening begins with a silent auction at 6 p.m., with items donated by local businesses, and the Trivia Bee competition starts promptly at 7 p.m. This year there will be a cash bar with beer and wine, as well as cookies, coffee and slices of pizza available for donation. All proceeds go to support the Whatcom Literacy Council’s free literacy programs for adults here in Whatcom County. Details: 360-752-8678, whatcomliteracy.org.
McIntyre Hall, Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon
All events at McIntyre Hall scheduled through May 10 are either postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and required closure. Due to the rapidly evolving situation, and for the health and safety of our staff, McIntyre Hall operations and hours of service have been impacted. During this closure, the Box Office will NOT maintain regular office hours. Although we will do our best to provide service Tuesday – Thursday 10am – 2pm, this schedule may change at any time. When open, we will be available for Phone Service ONLY. 360.416.7727. The Box Office is not open for walk up service. Cancelled events include:
Fidalgo Youth Symphony Spring Concert, March 21
Skagit Symphony “Unforgettable, That’s What You are…”, March 21
Burlington-Edison Choirs Concert, March 2
Brush Theatre’s Yao Yao, March 28
The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, April 3
Orchestre Les Mangelepa, April 18
Skagit Valley Chorale’s Celebrating in Song, April 25 & 26
Pacific Northwest Opera’s Don Pasquale, May 1, 3, 8, & 10
Details: McIntyre Hall Box Office, 360.416.7727 or online, www.mcintyrehall.org.
Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon
Your health and safety are our top priorities when you visit the Lincoln. As we closely monitor the daily changes to the response of COVID-19 in Washington State, we will continue to keep you informed about what the Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation is doing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Pardon our numerous updates as the situation changes daily.
Based on recommendations by Governor Inslee, the Skagit County Health Department, and our concern for the Health and Safety of our patrons, staff, volunteers, and our community as a whole at this time we are cancelling or rescheduling all events through May 13.
The Lincoln Theatre Center Foundation is facing a major financial loss as a result of COVID-19 related postponements and cancellations that could go on for months, and we need your help. Please consider the following choices for rescheduled or canceled performances:
Credit towards a future performance
Credit towards a Lincoln Theatre Membership
Credit towards a Tax-Deductible Donation
A full refund
Please consider making a gift to help support our mission through these challenging times.
Brown Paper Tickets
For the first time in Brown Paper Tickets’ 20-year history, we are reaching out to our entire community of fans and supporters because artists, performers, and organizers are in crisis. They need our help now.
The impact of Covid-19 on small, community organizations is unprecedented. From independent bookstores to local theaters to arts nonprofits, event organizers are in immediate financial danger. for them, every ticket matters; one cancelled event could mean the difference between making rent and closing their doors forever.
Our core mission at Brown Paper Tickets is to support events and the people who make events happen. Now we’re asking you to join us.
Please consider contributing to your local arts organizations during this difficult time. We currently have over 20,000 small events listed, and more are being added daily; purchasing a ticket to a future event now can have a huge positive impact. Many organizers also accept donations through our platform or on their own websites.
Our core mission at Brown Paper Tickets is to support events and the people who make events happen. Now, we’re asking you to join us.
Please consider contributing to your local arts organizations during this difficult time.
We currently have over 20,000 small events listed, and more are being added daily – purchasing a ticket to a future event now can have a huge positive impact. Many organizers also accept donations through our platform or on their own websites.
We know that the climate right now is one of uncertainty. Some events may be postponed, some may be canceled, but many will go on. Our commitment to you remains the same: 24/7/365 live support, full refunds for canceled events through the Brown Paper Tickets processor, and an unwavering belief in the power of our community. Find an event or organization to support!