Rhody Festival parade now set for August

By Diane Urbani de la Paz Thursday, July 29, 2021 PORT TOWNSEND — Blackberry and lemon cake with Italian buttercream. Spiced, gluten-free chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache. This is dessert — the ninth annual Cake Picnic — for the 85th Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade, now rescheduled for noon Aug. 14. Uptown’s East Jefferson Fire Rescue station, at Lawrence and Harrison streets, will be the starting point for a procession unlike any Rhody parade in history. For one thing, the fresh rhododendron blooms of May won’t be prominent on the 2021 floats, said festival president Lori Morris. The organizing committee is yet undeterred. Still, “we need more people,” said Rita Hubbard, keeper of the entry forms. So far, 28 applications have come in — about a third of the number in past parades held in May. She hopes for many more before the Aug. 9 deadline. Prospective 2021 entrants will find applications at www.rhodyfestival.org while information is available by emailing rhodyfest@gmail.com. So far, several parade stalwarts have signed up: local steampunks, midwives, kinetic sculptures, hardware and marine companies and the Kiwanis Club will sashay down Lawrence Street to Monroe Street to downtown. The Port Orchard Fathoms of Fun festival, Sequim Irrigation Festival and Washington state Daffodil Festival floats will make the scene. Port Townsend’s own Rhododendron Festival float will carry Queen Jenessah Seebergoss, Princess Hailey Hirschel and Princess Brigitte Palmer while the Boeing Bluebills serve as grand marshals. Missing: marching bands. School’s out for summer, so Hubbard and Morris are wondering…

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Port Townsend theater wins grant with community backing

By Diane Urbani de la Paz Sunday, July 25, 2021 PORT TOWNSEND — Key City Public Theatre has received its largest-ever grant, executive artistic director Denise Winter announced, thanks to the local supporters who came forward first. The playhouse at 419 Washington St. has been under renovation for more than a year now, with Winter and her crew hoping to reopen for a holiday show this year and a season of plays in 2022. Meantime, work with contractors and vendors — on new seats, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, touchless fixtures — devours Winter’s days. “When all is said and done, this is about a half-million-dollar project,” she said. On Friday, she at last got to talk about the giant piece of good news: KCPT’s $176,500 award from the Murdock Charitable Trust based in Vancouver, Wash. The trust was established by the late Melvin J. “Jack” Murdock, co-founder of Tektronix, Inc. To win this kind of grant, Winter said, her nonprofit theater had to prove its abundant community backing. The story of the Murdock money started with an exchange between Winter and one patron, who back in 2019 called to ask how to help fund a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. The playhouse has been too hot or too cold for too many years, and some attendees have come once and never come back, Winter said. Teaching artists Bry Kifolo, left, Brendan Chambers and Maggie Bulkley will lead two youth theater workshops — one for 8- to…

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Jefferson Community Foundation offers grants for art, culture

By Diane Urbani de la PazWednesday, June 9, 2021 1:30am PORT TOWNSEND — Having supported the feeding and sheltering of our bodies, the Jefferson Community Foundation now seeks to bolster those who feed our souls. That’s the message from foundation staffers Siobhan Canty and Jen Kingfisher. This week they’re issuing a call for grant proposals from local arts and culture organizations, especially those with projects that contribute to community recovery from the pandemic. Presenters of music, theater, dance, visual art, community festivals and gatherings are all eligible for grants of up to $15,000 each, said Kingfisher, the nonprofits relations manager for Jefferson Community Foundation (JCF). Event spaces and libraries are also potential grant recipients, she added. Applications are due July 2, noted Canty, the foundation’s president and CEO. Forms and more information can be found at JCFgives.org. More than $100,000 in funding is available to the arts and culture sector, she said. This is to be the last round of COVID Response & Recovery Fund grant awards. In April, JCF began the transition from emergency funding to the support of cultural groups. Grants were made, for example, to Key City Public Theatre, where $17,000 helped fund a new ventilation system and hands-free restroom fixtures, and to Port Townsend’s Quimper Grange, which received $4,900 for modern air filtration equipment. The grange hall is now available for rental again, and it will host a public open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 1219 Corona St. “With public health…

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