Giving Thanks in Whatcom County Through Literature and Music

Mark Ashworth and Mark Kelly perform  jazz standards and Latin tunes from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Greene’s Corner, 2208 James St., and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Both gigs are free, but donations are appreciated.

Jansen Art Center’s first Jazz Band concert for the 2019-2020 season is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St., in Lynden.
The Jansen Jazz Band is a 27-member, community-based band that performs under the direction of Steve Herrick. All of the musicians are volunteers who enjoy learning and performing jazz together. The Firehall Cafe remains open through intermission offering soups, salads, sandwiches, coffee, beer, wine, and desserts.
Performers for this session:
Flutes – Helen Norman, Julie Kroonje
Clarinet – Julie Norman
Alto sax – Steve Kelly, Louise Kolstad, Janette Perry, Dana Petersen
Tenor sax – Zach Grendon, Eric Hirst
Bari Sax – David Laws
Trumpet – Norma Jean Howlett, Oskar Toften, Rachel Hutchins, Dan Steelquist, Allanah Collins
Trombone – John Rutgers, Quinn VandeHoff, Chuck Perry, Jacob Anderson, Micah Jakobitz
Piano – Emily VanRy
Drums – Erik Vanerstrom
Bass – David Payne
Guitar – Larry Miller
Vocals – Bonnie VanderYacht, Beverly Nelson
Tickets are $10, Online Convenience Fee is $1.50; total per ticket is $11.50; tickets at

Fl!p Breskin, Richard Scholtz, and Evan Ingalls perform Lullabies for Activists at 8:30 p.m. Thursday Nov. 14 at the Alternative Library (aka Karate Church), 519 E. Maple St. Doors open at 8:15 p.m.
If you’re trying to make the world a better place, you’re invited. So
many activists drive themselves hard. There are sometimes feelings of
urgency or desperation. We’d like to offer a little help. Bring your own
cozy nest: sleeping bag, pillow, yoga mat. We’re going to play really
peaceful songs and tunes, with the intention of putting as many folks to
sleep as possible. We’re pretty good at that. We’ll be in a quiet, dim,
beautiful space. The future needs each activist: well-rested,
well-nourished and well-connected!
Here are a couple
Donations to the Alternative Library are welcome.

Western Washington University’s Symphony Orchestra, directed by Ryan Dudenbostel, performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at WWU’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. The program features a new work by Sarah Kirkland Snider, based on Philip Levine’s 1961 poem “For Fran.” Claude Debussy’s sensuously ethereal “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” also inspired by poetry—this time by Stéphane Mallarmé—​​​​​​​concludes the program’s first half. The evening’s focus is Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, a meditation on heavenly life and the composer’s most concentrated and classical symphonic statement, with Heather Dudenbostel, soprano. The concert is free.

The Skagit/Anacortes Folkdancers present a potluck dinner and dance party featuring Bellingham’s own Klezmer band What the Chelm!  at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Bay View Civic Hall, 12587 C St. (next to the fire hall). Dancing starts at 7:15 p.m. Take I-5 to the Burlington Chuckanut Drive exit (Exit 231). On the roundabout on the west side of I-5, take the Josh Wilson Road exit. Josh Wilson will lead you directly west for 6 or 7 miles, until you come to a “T” intersection with Bayview-Edison Road. Turn right onto Bayview-Edison Road. Go north one block, and turn right again onto “C” street.  A couple of blocks up, you’ll see the Bayview Fire Hall. The Civic Hall is immediately past the fire hall. Do not park on the paving by the fire hall; you will get towed! There is ample parking in front of the Civic Hall, and across and up the street. $12 donation for more info call 360-202-3388.

Momma’s Boys, an award-winning a cappella quartet dedicated to the barbershop style, perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. A fun-loving and competitive bunch, when the Kelly brothers are Steven, tenor, the Kelly brother champion of everything: golf, ping pong, chair soccer and Catan. He’s a marketing manager at Amazon and true professional. Brother Ian has the experience: he’s an actor with time on stage and on cruise ships. The youngest, his mottos are “Performance First” and “Look at Me!”  Mike is an entrepreneur who wants to get the world addicted to local, organic, salads; however, he never, ever, answers his phone, so text him. Better yet, text brother Sean. Sean, baritone, is the sensitive Dad who loves to listen, is the first to help and serve others. They don’t let him talk much, though, because he rambles. Tickets with online convenience fee are $26.50 at

Alex Wagner, author of this year’s Western Washington University’s Western Reads book “Futureface;” and José Olivarez, prize-winning performance poet and author of “Citizen Illegal” speak from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the VU Multipurpose Room for performance poetry, reading, and dialogue at the intersections of their work on the In Between and issues of belonging and becoming. Free copies of both authors’ books and free food will be available at the event.
“Futureface” is a story of Wagner’s quest around the world – and into her own DNA– to answer the ultimate questions of who she really is and where she belongs as a Burmese-American woman. ‘Futureface’ weaves together fascinating history, genetic science, and sociology as Wagner ultimately begins to realize she is after something deeper than her own ancestry. Wagner is an Emmy-nominated journalist covering American culture and politics in print, online and on television.
Poet José Olivarez’ “Citizen Illegal” explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants and a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and winner of the 2018 Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association. For more information on the free event, on Western Reads, or disability accommodations please call or email or 360-650-2068.

“The Speed of Deceit” is the subject of a talk at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Northwood Hall, 3240 Northwest Ave. Tickets, $13 members of Bellingham City Club, $18 guests, $5 ages 29 and younger, are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets.
Disinformation has always been part of human culture, but now it travels at fiber-optic speed. Panelists: Michael Artime has done extensive research on incivility in online political discourse. Specifically, his work has focused on the comment sections attached to online news articles. He is a visiting assistant professor of Political Science at Pacific Lutheran University. Ira Hyman, a Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University, has conducted research on how people create false memories. Much of his research has investigated how people adopt misinformation. He is a contributor to the Psychology Today website, writing about the application of basic cognitive research to everyday situations.
Moderator Johann Neem is a professor of history at Western Washington University. His written works include “Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America,” and pieces published in the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Seattle Times, and Inside Higher Education. Neem has also been interviewed on education for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and in a feature for PBS Newshour. This event is part of Humanities Washington’s statewide series, Moment of Truth: Journalism and Democracy in an Age of Misinformation.  

The Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave., is partnering again with The Table Church and neighborhood schools to provide Thanksgiving baskets to low-income families. If you are able to contribute a portion of a Thanksgiving meal please contact Aaron at 360-296-8048 and sign up for a specific item. Firehouse Arts in Motion has started its annual Christmas Stocking Project. Last year more than 200 beautiful stockings were given to people served by Northwest Youth Services, Opportunity Council and the Interfaith Coalition. Stocking stuffer donations, including Gift Cards and Cash can be dropped off at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center. Items need to be new and need to fit into a stocking. If you have any questions contact Jeni Cottrell, 360-752-1904; or Harold Niven, 360-319-5640.
Northwest Ballet Theater launches into their 21st season with “Pointes of View III,” featuring new works by artistic director and choreographer John Bishop, including “’Spanish Twilight,”  “Behind the Curtain” and “Romeo and Juliet” (Pas de deux by Tchaikovsky) at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 and 2 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Firehouse. Tickets are $20 online and at the door.

 Choir of the Salish Sea presents “Sing Your Way Home: Songs of Origin, Flight and Sanctuary” at 3 and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St. Tickets are $20 general, $5 student available online at Brown Paper Tickets. The program of healing and reconciliation for all the diverse people who call Whatcom County, Washington home features songs from the Latinx, Japanese, Punjabi, Chinese, Indigenous and European communities, and music representing movements for peace and social justice in America, Africa and the Middle East.
Special guests are the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Chalice Choir, County Council recently elected Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu, and Thunderbirds Raised Her (The Jefferson Sisters, a nationally acclaimed trio of Coast Salish Women).