Art Beat: New art exhibit, Olympic Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker,’ a book drive — and more

One thing I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving is that there is always so much to celebrate in our arts community. From exhibits to performances, I hope this issue gives you plenty of options to enjoy this amazing town we call home!

Cascadia Art Museum presents George Tsutakawa: Early Works on Paper

George Tsutakawa’s “Interior”
George Tsutakawa’s “Shipping” (later titled “Longshore, Union Bay, Alaska”)

Thursday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, March 26
190 Sunset Ave. S., #E, Edmonds

One of the leading Northwest artists of his generation, George Tsutakawa (1910-1997) is known primarily for his sculpture and fountain designs. However, a lesser-known aspect of his career was the production of block prints, watercolors, and works on paper that began in the 1920s and continued throughout his career.

Drawn from the Tsutakawa estate, most of the works that will be featured have never been seen previously by the public. These early works display concepts and inspirations that would inform the artist’s aesthetic throughout a long and distinguished career. Contextual works by Tsutakawa’s instructors and contemporaries provide a broader understanding of his oeuvre.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a book written by Cascadia Art Museum curator David F. Martin. The book — 144 pages and profusely illustrated — is published by Cascadia Art Museum and distributed by the University of Washington Press.

Fun fact: George Tsutakawa’s son, Gerard, is the sculptor behind the “Standing Wave” sculpture in Edmonds on Main Street by the transit center.

Learn more about George Tsutakawa here.

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Olympic Ballet Theatre presents “The Nutcracker”

Alberto Gaspar and Taylor Lim
Frank Borg and Olympic Ballet School student
Mara Vinson and Jose Iglesias

Dec. 9 – 11, Everett Performing Arts Center

Dec. 15 – 20, Edmonds Center for the Arts

Olympic Ballet Theatre (OBT) presents the annual production of The Nutcracker, returning to the Everett Performing Arts Center and the Edmonds Center for the Arts this December.

The Nutcracker is one of the most famous classical ballets and a holiday tradition for many, telling the story of a little girl named Clara, her mysterious godfather Herr Drosselmeyer, a very special nutcracker, and a magical night’s journey. This production of The Nutcracker features choreography by OBT artistic directors Mara Vinson and Oleg Gorboulev, sets designed by Jeannette Franz, Ruth Gilmore, and Phillip Lineau, and iconic music scored by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

OBT’s production features a cast of over 100 performers, including OBT company dancers in principal roles, local guest artists and select Olympic Ballet School students.

Tickets range from $25 to $50 and are available here or by phone at 425-774-7570.

In addition to the full-length performances, OBT offers morning matinee productions at both locations. Perfect for kids and adults of all ages, these abridged performances (1 hour and 15 minutes) are $10 per person for groups of 20 or more. This production includes an “Introduction to the Magic of Theatre” intermission segment, giving audience members a special behind-the-scenes demonstration of scenery, lighting, costumes and props. Matinee performances are at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 9 at the Everett Performing Arts Center, and Thursday, Dec.15 and Friday, Dec. 16 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. For more information or group reservations, call 425-774-7570 or email

For patrons wishing to enjoy ballet from the comfort of their homes, OBT is providing digital access to 2021 performances of The Nutcracker in Edmonds and Everett. Digital access to each show is $25 through Dec. 31, 2022, and includes unlimited viewing for seven days. More information about digital access will be available here. 

December is the last opportunity to purchase the season subscription for OBT’s 2022-2023 performance season. The season subscription includes tickets for all four productions at a 10% discount (applies to additional tickets for family and friends). The subscription is available for purchase at the box office at 425-774-7570, and subscribers can exchange tickets at no fee. For more information, contact OBT at or visit their website. 

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Edmonds Bookshop Book Drive for Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program

Dec. 11 – Dec. 17
111 5th Ave. S., Edmonds

Edmonds Bookshop will be accepting new book donations for the Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program the week of December 11th through 17th.  They are offering 10% off any books purchased for donation during that week.  Please consider a donation as you do your holiday shopping this season! Page Ahead especially needs:

-Books for Kids ages 0 to 9


-Soft cover picture books

-Books in Spanish

-Graphic Novels

Page Ahead serves students across the state of Washington, including two elementary schools in the Edmonds School District, with book distribution and story-time projects. Their stated goal is to close the literacy gap “by giving young students furthest from educational opportunity access to books and reading resources.” They also give thousands of books through a Book Oasis project:  18 custom made free little libraries that are stocked monthly by volunteers, located in book deserts across Seattle. All books donated through Edmonds Bookshop will be redistributed to the students in areas that need them most.

In addition, those shopping on Dec. 15 during Art Walk Edmonds from 5-8 p.m. can receive 20% off one item in the store — not only donated books (some exclusions apply).

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Holiday gift idea: “Cranes for Peace” 

Orange and Gold Origami Cranes by Casion Jewelry

Using art for peace, three Pacific Northwest art establishments partnered with Bothell-based Casion Jewelry to promote awareness and end harassment and violence against Asian Americans Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Together, the Schack Art Center in Everett, Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds and Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue successfully helped the “Cranes for Peace” fundraising campaign raise $3,000 to donate to Stop AAPI Hate.

The Asian tradition of 1,000 paper cranes represents granting a special wish, happiness, long life, and is often used to symbolize peace. Using “Washi,” or traditional Japanese paper that is processed by hand and made in the traditional manner, these cranes are also treated to prevent UV fading and are water resistant.

For the 2022-2023 fall and winter season, new colors and patterns of origami crane earrings are now available for the holidays at the following partnership locations:

Schack Art Center, 2921 Hoyt Avenue, Everett, 425-259-5050
Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, 425-519-0770

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Kalani Pe’a Christmas Show

Kalani Pe’a

Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N., Edmonds

Three-time Grammy-winner Kalani Pe’a brings his gorgeous voice and endearing showmanship to share the joys of the holiday season. Kalani’s holiday show is a delightful mix of Christmas standards, sung in both English and Hawaiian, as well as Hawaiian favorites. Tickets available here. 

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“Christmas in Edmonds” featuring the Mosaic Choir and Orchestra

Saturday, Dec. 3, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N., Edmonds

North Sound Church presents Mosaic Choir & Orchestra performing Christmas In Edmonds. In January 2006, singers and instrumentalists from all over the greater Seattle area — from 10 denominations and 25 churches — came together to form a group called Mosaic Arts Northwest Choir and Orchestra. Since then, the group has performed in churches and concert halls, in arts festivals and varied secular settings around the Pacific Northwest and as far away as Leon, Spain. This concert benefits the Foundation for Edmonds School District. Get tickets here. 

— By Elizabeth Murray

(Photo by Brittany Gross)

Elizabeth Murray is a freelance writer thankful to call Edmonds home. When she’s not busy wrangling her two kids (and husband), you can find her playing ukulele and singing with The Band LeLe.



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