French Films! Opera! Bocce Ball!

Western Washington University’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages will host the Tournées French Film Festival every Monday and Wednesday today, April 15, to May 1 in Viking Union 552, on Western’s campus. Free and open to the public, this year’s festival has the theme of “Intersections: Race, Gender and Sexuality.” All films will include a brief pre and post-screening discussion led by Western faculty. With the exception of “I Am Not Your Negro,” all films will be in French with English subtitles.  This festival is made possible by the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the Centre National du Cinéma et de I’lmage Animée, the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.
The Tournées French Film Festival is sponsored by Western’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages; Department of History; English Department; the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity; the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and LGBTQ+ Western.
Film Schedule (all films start at 7 p.m.):
Monday, April 15: “120 Battements Par Minute” Director: Robin Campillo – Length: 143 minutes (Includes catered Opening Night reception from 6 to 6:45 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 17: “I Am Not Your Negro” Director: Raoul Peck – Length: 93 minutes (*in English)
Monday, April 22: “La Belle Saison” Director: Catherine Corsini – Length: 105 minutes Wednesday, April 24: “Bande de Filles”  Director: Céline Sciamma – Length: 112 minutes
Monday, April 29: “Quand on a 17 ans” Director: André Téchiné – Length: 116 minutes Wedneday, May 1: “Petit à Petit” Director: Jean Rouch – Length: 96 minutes
For more information about the festival, contact Scott Taylor at

Western Washington University’s 2019 Heritage Resources Distinguished Speaker event features Candace Wellman at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Special Collections (Wilson Library sixth floor). Wellman will give a talk entitled “Inside the Archives: Researching Cross-Cultural Marriages in 19th Century Whatcom County,” describing her journey to uncover the hidden histories of eight indigenous women who married early-Whatcom County officials, military officers, and other settlers. The event is free and open to the public. Wellman is the author of “Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages and Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities.” In that book, she depicts the lives of intermarried indigenous women who influenced mid-1800s settlement in the Bellingham Bay area. She describes each wife’s native culture, details ancestral history and traits for both spouses, and traces descendants’ destinies, highlighting the families’ contributions to new communities. Born and raised in Washington, she is a local history consultant who speaks regularly about women’s history and regional settlement. In her  talk she will discuss her research and illuminate the lasting legacy of these women whose alliances played a crucial role in 19th-century regional settlement. She’ll also talk at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Village Books in Lynden, and at 7 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Village Books in Bellingham, about her new book, “Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities,” a companion work to “Peace Weavers.”

On Thursday, April 18, WWU’s Western Reads program will host three authors from “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements,” the 2018-2019 Western Reads text. Co-editor and author Walidah Imarisha and authors Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Gabriel Teodros will present to the campus at 6 p.m. in Fraser Hall 102, on using the genre of science fiction as a practice ground for social justice. The campus-wide presentation is free and open to the public. For more information about these activities, contact Danielle Smith, Western Reads Associate Director, at 360-650-7546 or To learn more about Western Reads and other offerings spring quarter, visit the Western reads website at

The Anacortes Arts Festival hosts the second annual Buffett Beach Bash on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20 at the Port Transit Shed, 100 Commercial Ave., in Anacortes. The evening features music by Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band from Northern California. This tropical evening will include dancing, margaritas, cheeseburgers, parrothead swag, a costume contest – and hours of fun. In addition to Jimmy Buffett music, the band also performs classic rock favorites. Doors open at 6 p.m. each evening for Margarita Happy Hour; the band starts at 7:30. Tickets are $45, available through the Festival website, or call 360-293-6211.

The Coronation of Poppea,” an Italian opera by Claudio Monteverdi, is performed in Italian with English supertitles at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 19-20, and April 26, and at 2 p.m. April 28 at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center Mainstage Theater, conducted by Ryan Dudenbostel.
The opera is set in ancient Rome in 65 A.D. The main characters include Nero, the Roman emperor; Poppea, his lover; Otho, Poppea’s fiance; Drusilla, who is in love with Otho; and Octavia, Nero’s wife. At the center of events is Poppea, who seduces Emperor Nero to gain power in the Roman Empire. The ensuing struggle for power and riches smears the canvas with an avaricious portrait of human nature. In this respect not much has changed since the opera was written 365 years ago. The performance portrays the decadence of the late Roman Empire, yet coming together in one of the loveliest duets ever composed, “Pur Ti Miro.” One of the first operas based on historical events and people, “Poppea” redefined the boundaries of theatrical music and established Monteverdi as the leading musical dramatist of his time. Written early in the history of opera, “L’incoronazione di Poppea” broke new ground in matching music to stage action, and in its musical reproductions of the natural inflections of the human voice. Tickets are available by calling 360-650-6146 or at

The 17th annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament benefits the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center. The 32 teams, sponsored by businesses from around the state, battle for the championship in the biggest bocce tournament in the Pacific Northwest. It’s from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Bellingham Sportsplex. Community members are encouraged to attend this free, family-friendly event that includes a beer garden sponsored by Boundary Bay Brewing; a salmon barbecue and concessions from local businesses; raffle drawings for local prizes; and a Kids’ Zone that includes bounce houses, face painting, and kids’ games. Thanks to Boccemon, tournament host and title sponsor, all proceeds from this event will benefit the WDRC’s mission “to provide and promote constructive and collaborative approaches to conflict.” A list of teams playing in the tournament, and more information, can be found at: or by contacting the WDRC at or 360-676-0122.