June 4, 2018

Live Local: Arts in Edmonds

Edmonds is a city that prides itself on supporting the arts.

We have a vibrant performing arts scene with Edmonds Center for the Arts that showcases both local and international talent. Upcoming shows include Brazilian artist Sergio Mendes, jazz vocalist Dee Daniels, and Iranian-pop tenor Sakkar.

We also have the Driftwood Players which began in 1958, making it one of the longest running community theaters in our state. Check out the 9th Annual Festival of Shorts where the audience chooses the winner, taking place July 6-8th.

The third Thursday Art Walk Edmonds draws hundreds of people per month to the downtown core each year. Stroll through the over 20 participating businesses each month that feature the work of local artists.

Each summer you can take in free concerts and performances with the Summer Concert Series. Concerts happen at 3pm on Sunday afternoons at City Park, noon on Tuesdays at Hazel Miller Plaza, and 5pm on Thursday evenings at Hazel Miller Plaza.

Kinetic Sculpture by Andrew Carson

And then there is the Cascadia Art Museum with its impeccable exhibits featuring Northwest art, multiple galleries dotting the downtown area, a popular annual writers conference Write on the Sound each fall, and over 30 public art installations through the city.

There is A LOT of art happening in Edmonds, no doubt!

In fact, in a study done in 2017, arts and culture in Edmonds drew an estimated $19 million in direct revenue with an overall economic impact of $50 million to our city.

One of the largest and most anticipated annual celebrations of the arts is the Edmonds Arts Festival, marking its 61st anniversary this year.

The festival runs this year from June 15-17 at Frances Anderson Center and brings in people from all over Puget Sound to experience one of the largest and most prestigious arts festivals in the region.

What began as a small local fair has grown into a festival attracting artists from across the country.

You can explore over 200 booths where artisans display their work for purchase. From jewelry, to sculpture, to fine art, and unique crafts – it is a great place to shop for one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or for gift-giving.

Each year, K-12 students from over 30 local schools participate by exhibiting more than 1000 pieces of their work in the Student Exhibition. And for kids inspired to create on the spot, there is a children’s Kids Create area with free admission that features guided art activities.

You can experience art in action at the Artists in Action booth where local artists demonstrate their creative process live and in-person.

Performing arts are also highlighted with multiple stages across the festival showcasing dance, theater, jazz, rock, and classical – from professionals and local students.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Gallery Show with creations from over 400 artists across multiple mediums, including drawings, painting, digital art, photography, and sculpture. Awards are given in each category by a panel of esteemed jury members.

And should you get famished while feasting your eyes and ears, visit the 20 food vendors onsite. You will find everything from traditional fair food to healthy options as well as the 21+ beer and wine area called the Beer and Wine Grotto (hint: you can bring your food purchases into the Grotto to enjoy).

One last thing, the Edmonds Arts Festival takes place on Father’s Day weekend so bring dad along and make it a family affair. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

For more information about the wide variety of arts-focused businesses in downtown Edmonds, visit www.edmondsdowntown.org.

By Kelsey Foster, on behalf of Ed!, photography by Matt Hulbert

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