From local marketplaces to theatrical performances, here’s how to give your summer some artsy flair. The arts community was hammered by the pandemic like few others, with gallery shows and live performances canceled and postponed in droves. This summer marks the first chance for many artists to get back to work, and there are plenty of ways you can explore what they’re doing.
Speaking of local arts marketplaces, you won’t want to miss Bazaar, the annual pop-up shopping experience that’s set to take over downtown Spokane on Aug. 7. Courtesy of the Spokane arts organization Terrain, Bazaar offers dozens of booths that sell local artisanal works in every medium imaginable — paintings, sculpture, beadwork, embroidery. Need to hang something on your wall that’ll bring a pop of color, or find a decorative throw pillow to really tie your living room together? Bazaar will have you covered. And bonus: You’ll be supporting a local artist. Warm weather doesn’t stop them, either: Keep your eyes peeled this winter for possible details on Brrrzaar, which brings back the Bazaar concept during the winter months, only in the cozy environs of River Park Square. Visit terrainspokane.com.
Movie buffs found refuge last summer at the drive-in after the pandemic closed indoor theaters. In some cases, those drive-ins were actually parking lots or sprawling lawns converted into outdoor theaters, and one of the best of the bunch was hosted by the HUB Sports Center in Liberty Lake (19619 E. Cataldo). It was one of last year’s go-to pop-up cinemas, and it’s continuing the tradition this year with a diverse roster that features something to appeal to any cinematic taste. Load the kids into the car for such live-action family faves as The Sandlot (Sept. 25) and animated hits Happy Feet (Aug. 20). And if your little ones aren’t so little anymore, consider introducing them to the intergenerational classics Dirty Dancing (Aug. 20) and Jurassic Park (Sept. 11), both of which hold up pretty well in the decades since they were theatrical hits. Entry per carload is just $20. See the full schedule at hubsportscenter.org.
There’s something special about groups who dedicate themselves to keeping a specific heritage alive, and the Shen Yun Performing Arts group has done just that, preserving the history of classical Chinese dance as it has evolved over thousands of years. The troupe, founded in 2006, is based in New York, but they’ve been taking their eye-popping stage show on the road for several years, and they’ll bring their ancient acrobatics to the First Interstate Center for the Arts on Oct 5. It’s designed to be an immersive experience, a feast for the eyes as well as the ears, and it sets out to bring an ancient art form to life and into the 21st century. Visit firstinterstatecenter.org.
THE PLAY’S THE THING
If you’ve ever found yourself watching a great performance on the stage of the Spokane Civic Theatre and thought to yourself, “I’d like to do that,” consider enrolling in one of the many upcoming courses taking place during Summer in the Park with the Civic. From the forestry shelter inside Riverfront Park, you can enroll in various classes that teach you the basics of the theater, getting tips and tricks from actors, directors, and behind-the-scenes folks who make sure the show goes on. Maybe you want to memorize an entire play and perform it within a week. Or maybe you want to get a handle on the ins and outs of playwriting. Perhaps you’d like to brush up on your dramatic monologue delivery or your comic pratfall skills or get a crash course in the specific gravitas it takes to pull off Shakespeare. Whether you’re still an aspiring stage performer or a seasoned theater veteran who simply wants to learn a new trick of the trade, these fun classes will get you stage-ready. For more: spokanecivictheatre.com.