Category Archives: Friday Afternoon Club

Friday Afternoon Club: Speaking of Art in Cities (or Not)

Bear with me while I ramble a bit here.

First things first. It’s Friday. Run, don’t walk, to this week’s featured event, which is under way as we speak. It’s a wine and hors d’oeuvres affair at the Amy Burnette Gallery on 4th Street in Bremerton to celebrate the grand opening of the “Crazy Lady on 4th Street Gallery,” with featured art by Shelly Wilkerson … “think Norman Rockwell meets Mad Magazine,” says the item on the Kitsap Sun’s calendar. You have until 8:30 p.m. Wilkerson’s Gallery is at 296 Fourth St.

Now, there’s considerable irony in the fact that the reception is in Bremerton, according to South Kitsap artist James Kelsey of Southworth. Wilkerson is from South Kitsap, said Kelsey, but alas if it has anything to do with art, it’s probably happening in Bremerton.

Kelsey, a former dyed-in-the-wool optimist, sounded positively cynical and downright despondent when I called him today to ask if he met his goal of fund-raising for a piece of public art in Port Orchard. He hadn’t even hit the halfway mark.

Last month on this blog, I wrote about Kelsey’s efforts to raise $15,000 through an online private fund-raising campaign for a sculpture he proposed to install in a public place in Port Orchard. The money would have covered his materials, including a large stainless steel sphere that cost $6,000 to manufacture. Kelsey, willing to take a gamble on PO’s heart for art, paid for the sphere on his credit card. His plan was to get the statue installed, then mount a campaign to cover his time and other costs.

At the time he launched the fund-raising drive, Bremerton had just approved another statue (that makes about 300 quadrillion so far) paid for with the city’s 1 percent for the arts program.

Port Orchard has no arts funding program, but Kelsey believed private citizens would step up to beautify their fair city. By the deadline of the campaign, he had raised only $4,000. The giant sphere sits in storage. Perhaps he will use it in another piece.

Kelsey is a successful artist with works on Kitsap County properties and in Bremerton (did we need to ask?), as well as in other states and British Columbia. His art fetches a fair price, but producing is is a lengthy and often speculative process. With the recession, Kelsey struggled. In March he lost his home. Some friends bought it and are allowing him to rent until he can buy it back. But in truth, Kelsey is starting to lose spring in his step.

Asked if he’s given up on Port Orchard, Kelsey said. “They’ve given up on me. I keep forgetting I live here because it’s a good place to live, not because it’s an arts community. This is a blue collar, NASCAR town, not an art-centric community.”

Bremerton, in comparison, is bustling with activity, largely as a result of its arts scene, Kelsey said. “You look at Bremerton’s parks, and the art and the fountains they have. It’s becoming a destination, and a lot of that has to do with the arts.”

Ironically, Kelsey said, there are numerous artists living in South Kitsap, but most of their work is displayed and sold elsewhere. In his opinion, support for the arts, including the Historic Orchard Theatre and Western Washington Center for the Performing Arts, comes from a small core group of people, and it’s not enough to support a thriving arts community.

Kelsey, citing a 2009 study on Arts and Economy by the National Governors Association, said Bremerton and Port Orchard respectively will reap what they sow in the realm of investment in the arts.

Since this is a single source blog post, I’d like to open this forum up to comments from those of you who agree or disagree with Kelsey.

What say you, is Port Orchard culturally challenged (take the poll on this blog’s hoome page)? Why do you think efforts to privately fund a public sculpture have failed?

Is Bremerton’s investment in the arts paying off?

I was going to poke fun at Bremerton for poking fun at Port Orchard about our new 7Eleven, but we’re in the middle of a serious discussion here. Guess I’ll just have to save if for a future post.

Reach Kelsey at

Chris Henry, South Kitsap reporter

Friday Afternoon Club: Dueling Festivals

The weekend starts early with holiday festivals on Friday in Manette and on Bainbridge Island. I hear Manette has an ugly holiday sweater event. We tried that one year at the Kitsap Sun, but nobody looked any different than they do every day.

On Saturday, Port Orchard will hold its 12th annual Festival of Chimes and Lights, with the ever popular pets-in-holiday costumes parade. Other Saturday festivals take place in Poulsbo and Gig Harbor.

Tracyton will have a tree lighting Sunday and festivals are planned in Oldtown Silverdale (Dec. 11) and Port Gamble (Dec. 11 and 12).

Click on this link for complete details.

Friday Afternoon Club: All-You-Can-Eat-Live-Music & More

Lara Chavez was looking forward to a career as a dental assistant and planning her wedding when, on Nov. 1, she suffered a brain aneurysm, an abnormal bulging outward of one of the arteries in the brain. According to the website Brain Aneurysm Resources it is estimated that up to one in 15 people in the United States will develop a brain aneurysm during their lifetime.

Chavez has had three surgeries and is expected to recover, according to Pam Johnson, a friend of the family. But at one point her chances for survival were slim, and she still has a long way to go. Medical bills are just the beginning of her needs, say friends and family.

Johnson works at The Beachside Grill & Bar, where a benefit concert featuring 12 hours of nonstop rock is planned Saturday for Lara. Here are the details. Co-hosting the event is the Greenbriar Project, a band led by George Blessing, the boyfriend of Lara’s mother Malinda Chavez.

Here are details of the concert:

Local Bands for Lara
1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday (Nov. 20)
Beachside Grill and Bar
1604 Bay St., Port Orchard; (360) 874-2221.
Featuring: 12 hours of music, described as all-you-can-eat-live-music, with local bands Spence Brother, Revolver, Impact, Stand to Fall, Z-Rexx, Zeds Dead, Jug Struggle and the Greenbriar Project.
Cost: “Bring at least $5 donation for Lara

And in other Friday Afternoon Club news: A Fundraiser for Silverdale Dog Park
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cloverleaf Sports Bar & Grill, 1240 Hollis Street, Bremerton
Featuring: Comedians Mike Jenkin and Bob Baily
Prizes donated by: Blenders, Naturally 4 Paws, Happy Tails and More (raffle tickets $1)
Admission: $15
Tickets available at the door or by calling Kathy, (360) 620-1719
Seating is limited advance tickets are recommended.

Friday Afternoon Club: Par-tay in Port Orchard Saturday

Port Orchard will be strutting its stuff for the 21st annual Port Orchard Party, from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Towne Square Mall, 1700 Mile Hill Drive in Port Orchard.
Twenty Kitsap Restaurants will show their style. There will be live music on two levels, entertainment, a silent auction, dancing and no-host bars. “Put on your party clothes and come!” implore organizers.
This year’s theme is “All Aboard – Don’t Miss the Boat!” (I’m sure that will be a hit with the Port Orchard couple who were on the stranded cruise ship.)
The event, hosted by Fathoms O’ Fun, is a fundraiser for that organization and other local causes. In 2009, POP raised $9,800, which was split between Fathoms, responsible for Port Orchard’s summer festival by the same name, and Boys and Girls Clubs of South Kitsap. In addition, South Kitsap Helpline received $1,000 in donations plus food.
This year’s recipients are South Kitsap Fathoms O’ Fun Festival, Soroptimist International of Port Orchard Foundation and South Kitsap Helpline Food Bank.
Buy tickets for $30 each ($35 at the door) through PayPal on the Fathoms website, or buy them from Columbia Bank, Alfred Interwest Insurance, MoonDogs, Too, Peninsula Credit Union, Walk N’ Comfort Shoes, Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, Sidney Gallery, Kitsap Bank main branch and Bethel Avenue branch, and the Lighthouse Restaurant.

And … if you’re a wine connoisseur, check out the Kitsap’s Sun’s Cheers to You blog for a listing of wine events around the county this weekend.

Friday Afternoon Club: Singin’ and Swingin’ in South Kitsap

Journalism is filled with weird little bits of serendipity that typically come in the form of unexplained connections between stories. I’ve had it happen so many times it’s uncanny. I can’t come up up with any good examples, however, except for the one right before me.

Stick with me, if you will, while I explain.

I just finished up a story to run on Monday about a new music store in South Kitsap that is filling the void left when DJ’s music closed in March. Donald “DJ” Watson opened his first store in South Kitsap in 1979. Over the years, thousands of students in South Kitsap and other areas of the county learned to love music with a little help from DJ’s. It was with sadness and regret that DJ’s widow Diana Watson shuttered the last remnant of DJ’s business, a store on Mile Hill, in March.

I had planned to write this blog post days before I even knew I was going to write the DJ’s story. As I sometimes, do, I wanted to give readers the heads up on a weekend event that sounds like it might be fun. The Senior Action Committee will host a “Mad Hatter Punch Bowl Party” beginning at 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at Delilah’s Cozy Kitchin, 150 Harrison Ave. in Port Orchard.

What’s a “Mad Hatter Punch Bowl Party?” That would be the brainchild of Judith Kay, organizer and head of the Senior Action Committee. SAC members partake of all manner of social events. According to Kay, the group is for people who enjoy being active, hence “Action” in the name. They’ve been meeting for two years now, and seem to be going strong.

Kay will be performing at the event with former Motown musician Bill Carter, who figures in my music store story, because he formerly taught lessons at DJ’s, and now teaches at the new place, Mainline Music. OK, this is getting a little weird.

Now here’s the really crazy part: The two, who perform what I’ll call old school jazz classics, met at DJ’s, so that’s what they named their band. (Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme here.)

You can read about Carter by clicking the link to the story I wrote about him in the early 1990’s. He played backup with a host of big-time performers, Count Basie, Diana Ross, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson and the list goes on. He was also mentioned in a recent story about South Kitsap High School graduate Chris Olson, now a New Yorker (another little weird twist), whose music is featured on the new iPod Touch ad.

Carter had a massive stoke in 1996 that slowed him down, but thanks to persistence, faith and time, he’s largely recovered. His music hasn’t suffered a bit.

Music (and serendipity) have played large in Judith Kay’s life, ever since she started taking piano lessons at 4 years old. She played in her high school orchestra and attended Hunter College on a music scholarship. She received a master’s degree from UCLA and eventually taught music to music teachers.

Years later, as director of a broadcasting college, she was serendipitously asked to go to Seattle to “straighten out” another branch of the college. She stayed in the Northwest, getting involved in Seattle Theater and appearing on the Spud Goodman Show. “I’m on his web site as Sylvia, giving love tips to the RV Trailer fans.”

Kay wrote and produced with a writing partner a show called “SEATTLE, Land of the Long Yellow Crayon.” “Interestingly, my writing partner was actually a student of mine, ‘way back’ in California. When people asked how we ‘found’ each other, he answered, ‘Judith and I went to school together”.’ I always include parts of the Yellow Crayon in my presentations and will do so tomorrow (at the Mad Hatter event).” Kay said.

The party, open to all ages, will feature live music, a raffle, and prizes. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase, and attendees are invited to either bring their own hats or don one that’s already there. The D.J.’s, featuring Carter on sax and Kay on vocals, will perform what she calls the “old romantic songs.”

You can catch the DJ’s almost every Saturday afternoon at MoonDogs, Too in Port Orchard during Harmonica Dave’s Open Mike.

“Although I don’t keep a full schedule of performances as I did in the past, I am delighted to be singing the wonderful songs of the standard repertoire,” Kay said. “Now, at 73 (oh, I don’t know if I really want to post that:)- maybe past 60 might suffice?:) … I’m amazed that my background and experience makes it fun to try something new.”

As you can see, Kay is full of fun, and not afraid to put herself out there. So, if you’re up for trying something new, you can go to Delilah’s and wear a crazy hat. Suggested donation for the Mad Hatter party is $5. Information: (360) 876-5366.

Friday Afternoon Club: Rats and Raptors

Friday Afternoon Club: A heads up on selected weekend activities on the Kitsap Peninsula.

On the Kitsap Sun’s events calendar for this weekend, several events jumped out at me, so to speak.

Port Orchard
RatsPackNW Fall Rat Show, featuring the most beautiful rats in the world, at least in their owners’ eyes, 10 a.m. at 8398 Spring Creek Road SE.

Bainbridge Island
Raptors in the Woods, a live animal education program presented by Westsound Wildlife Shelter, 11 a.m. to midnight at Bethany Lutheran Church; $5-$7.

If Brynn Grimley were here, she’d note the public sail hosted by the Peninsula Sailing Club from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Brownsville Marina.

East Bremerton
The Peninsula Classic Marching Band Competition will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Olympic High School, 7070 Stampede Blvd., Bremerton.

Bainbridge Island
There will be a Friends of the Farm harvest festival 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Johnson Farm, at Fletcher Bay Road and Johnsonville Lane. Activities include Horse-drawn rides, petting zoo, local music, crafts, food and more. This annual event supports the Friends of the Farm (formerly known as the Trust for Working Landscapes) a nonprofit that works to preserve and enhance local farming opportunities on Bainbridge Island; $5.

Friday Afternoon Club: Things to Do This Weekend in Kitsap

Friday Afternoon Club: A heads up on fun stuff to do this weekend.

Salmon Festival
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 600 NE Roessel Rd, Belfair

9/11 Remembrance
11 a.m. Evergreen Park

East Bremerton
Kitsap Humane Society Pet Adoptathon
10 a.m. Kitsap County Fairgrounds

Fall Plant and Book Sale
9 a.m. Manchester Library, 8067 E Main St.

Manette Fest
10 a.m. Beautiful downtown Manette (don’t get lost)

Port Orchard
Poetry Slam
What: Art Reception, Music, Poetry Slam
When: Noon to 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Manchester Gallery, 724 Bay St., downtown Port Orchard.
Details: Noon to 2 p.m., Music (Matt and Jeff, guitars) and refreshments;
2 to 3:30 p.m. Poetry Reading/Slam, including Penney, Connie, and Dean

Murder Mystery Event
What: Port Orchard is invaded by pirates.
When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: downtown area
Details: Murder Mystery Event, Dinghy Derby Race, Market Faire; kids’ activities, entertainment, costume contest, VFW 911 Remembrance at 6:30 p.m. on the Waterfront; Pirate Ball, 6:30 p.m. (kids welcome until 8 p.m.); for a full schedule visit the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce website

Sea Kayaking Tour
10 a.m. 18809 Front Street, Poulsbo

Art Walk
5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Poulsbo

Way Out West Community Horse Show
7:30 a.m. Sandemar Farm, Poulsbo

Friday Afternoon Club: Three-Day Weekend, Wahoo!

Friday Afternoon Club: A post highlighting selected events and activities coming up this weekend.

I have just one question for you, “Bumbershoot or Blackberries?”

Oh, right, I know. There’s more to Labor Day than these two landmark events. What are your plans for this three-day weekend? Upload your pix and videos on the Kitsap Sun’s website.

Dueling Friday Afternoon Clubs

Brynn Grimley writes:

I realize this is normally a Chris Henry post, but after I read her Friday Afternoon Club entry from this noon I realized there were a couple CK-related events that she didn’t know about, and thus didn’t include. Instead of posting them on her existing entry, I decided to offer up a dueling post.

The two-CK related events are both happening on Sunday.

The first is Petersen Day on the Farm. The event is for the community to teach people about farming in Silverdale, and give people a chance to walk around the 167-acre property. Suggested donations are $8 adult, $4 child (3 to 12), $24 family (4 or more). No dogs. Read the full story about the event. Read about the conservation effort for the farm here.

The second is the arrival of the steel beams from the Twin Towers to Silverdale. The truck toting the beams will be escorted into town by the Patriot Guard Riders, along with police and a number of other motorcycles. The beams will be brought to the Kitsap Mall parking lot, where they will remain for a ceremony and so that people have a chance to see them before they are placed in storage until a 9/11 memorial is built for the community. The beams are estimated to arrive in Silverdale around 6 p.m. To read the latest story about the beams journey across country, check out Josh Farley’s article.

Friday Afternoon Club: Too Much Good Stuff

Friday Afternoon Club: A heads-up on selected events and activities to do over the weekend.

A fun-packed weekend in Kitsap County will get off to an early start today (Friday) with Port Orchard’s monthly art walk and the start of Chief Seattle Days (a three-day festival now in its 100th year).

On Saturday, there’s just way too much to do it all, but good luck with that. On deck: South Kitsap School District‘s Back-to-School Celebration (featuring informational booths, food, games and free immunizations … now that sounds like a barrel of fun), the beloved Olalla Bluegrass Festival (that almost didn’t happen), and (only in the Northwest) a Slug Hunt in Kingston. Details below.

Monthly Art Walk in Port Orchard
Join artists and downtown merchants on the third Friday evening of each month, May through October for the Port Orchard Bay Street Merchant’s Association Art Walk. More than 20 artists set up their work inside and outside of businesses along Bay Street, some artists will actually be demonstrating their art. Many businesses serve food and beverages. Bring your family and friends and start off your Friday evenings once a month at the Downtown Art Walk.
Contact: Mallory Jackson
Place: Bay Street, Harrison, and Sidney (downtown Port Orchard)
Date: Friday, August 20, 2010
Time: 5 p.m.
Age Limit: All ages
Categories: Arts, Port Orchard, Family Entertainment

Friday – Sunday
Chief Seattle Days
Activities like a graveside ceremony for Chief Seattle, a baseball tournament, traditional canoe racing, a “Coastal Jam”, salmon bake and parade are held at various times during the three-day festival that begins Friday. A full schedule is a
Parking is limited downtown. Parking and free shuttles from the Clearwater Casino Resort along Highway 305, and across the street, will run from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

SKSD Back to School Celebration
This free event will feature school supplies, hands-on games, art projects, school bus rides, and refreshments. There will also be performances by South Kitsap High School Band, Academy of Dance, Just for Kicks, The Gallery of Dance, SKHS Dance Team and Cheerleaders, Irish and Cultural Dancers.
The day will culminate in a kids’ parade. Booths from community organizations, businesses, and schools will line the South Kitsap High School track with kid-centered displays, demonstrations, and activities. All activities and performances are free. All students should be accompanied by an adult.
SKSD, in cooperation with the Kitsap County Health District, is also excited to offer free immunizations again this year.
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: South Kitsp High School Track

Olalla Bluegrass Festival
Come and join us in Olalla to ‘kick the city off your shoes’ with a day of Music, great food, local crafts, kids entertainment and don’t forget to bring your best berry pie for our Berry Pie Contest. Our 19th ever Bluegrass Festival(we’re getting good at this!)will have you up and dancing before the day is done.
Time: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Place: Olalla Little League Field on Olalla Valley Road
Cost: $12 – $35
Age Limit: All ages

Kingston Slug Hunt
Buy a slug hunting license for $1, pick up up a slug hunt map at the KIngston Farmer’s Market, then comb the town for slugs decorated by artists of the Front Street Gallery and guests. If you find it, it’s yours to keep. A silent auction will be at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club between 4 and 6:30 p.m.
The event is a fundraiser for an arts scholarship.
Time: begins at 9 a.m.
Where: KIngston