Spirit of A City

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Seattle Theatre Group: Report to the Community
2011 - 2012

The Paramount, The Moore, and The Neptune Theatres are cultural icons where Seattle’s shared ethos is reflected on stage. Performance, dance, music, film, and educational and cultural programs bring our community together to laugh, learn, celebrate and heal. The performances and programs that unfold in these historic theatres feed our minds and our souls, and help make Seattle a creative epicenter and instigator. Our partners and performers embody the soul and attitude of Seattle.

At Seattle Theatre Group, we remain dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of these majestic theatres. We provide diverse performing art experiences that bring people together and have lasting value in our communities. Join us now for a peek back at some highlights from 2011-12, and meet some of the people who are the heart and soul of our organization. Welcome.

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The Neptune

The Neptune’s resurrection is a classic STG case study about our commitment to the stewardship and preservation of Seattle’s historic theatres, leading to economic development and a deep investment in our community’s cultural ecology. The Neptune was staring down a wrecking ball just two years ago. Since then, STG has painstakingly and lovingly restored the former movie palace and neighborhood icon, transforming it into a multidisciplinary performing arts venue for 21st century artists and audiences.

The Neptune now hosts local, national, and international live music, film, speakers, and education and community programs and in 2012 secured landmark status. STG reopened The Neptune theatre with the film version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and went on to host and present 20 free community events. By the end of the year, we had welcomed almost 100,000 guests for diverse artistic experiences featuring artists from all around the globe.

Heart & Soul: David Allen

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A native of Kingston, Jamaica, David Allen was told as a child by his grandmother “your gift is in your hands and your mind.” With creativity, business acumen, and relationship building skills, David has been the force behind the transformation of STG’s historic theatres. David’s most recent endeavor was the renewal of The Neptune. Shortly after STG took possession of the theatre, David and two of his key staffers sat down on the floor in the theatre and had a visioning session—a time to allow the theatre to tell them what it wanted to be. They emerged from that session with a plan and a dedication to make the old theatre brand new again. In 90 days, they transformed the space from a needy single screen movie theatre into what Seattle Weekly crowned the city’s Best New Live Music Venue in 2011. Pretty impressive for a space that was almost demolished to clear the way for Sound Transit’s University District Link station. As the shepherd of STG’s relationship with Sound Transit during Link construction adjacent to The Paramount a few years earlier, David tapped his negotiating skills and the relationships he had built with Sound Transit to help find an alternative location for the station and save The Neptune from demolition.  

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The Moore

As the oldest operating theatre in Seattle, The Moore is a space where Seattle’s cultural history has lived and thrived for over a century. Over the years, it has been a roadhouse and a revival house. In the late 80s and early 90s, The Moore was an important venue for the Seattle bands who were reshaping the music industry. It was the first home of the renowned Seattle International Film Festival and of the Seattle Symphony. The Moore is also a place of rebirth. After an 8-year hiatus, the Dance Theatre of Harlem performed at The Moore at the end of 2012. It was a triumphant return for the company and the performance incorporated the best of traditional Dance Theatre of Harlem and premiere work. FAR BUT CLOSE, scored by longtime STG collaborator, Daniel Bernard Roumain, featured local musicians and a Seattle-based spoken word artist. A performance highlight was the Seattle premiere of CONTESTED SPACE choreographed by Spectrum Dance Theatre's Donald Byrd. History has been made at The Moore, and thanks to our current capital campaign—Forever Moore—the theatre will receive critically needed improvements. Funds raised in the campaign will allow us to replace most seats in the theatre and make HVAC improvements, all of which will make The Moore more comfortable and functional. Finally, we’ll install a new curtaining system that will allow us to partition the theatre and bring smaller productions to the stage, including those of local theatre companies. Learn more about how you can support Forever Moore.

Heart & Soul: Scott Teske; Music Director, Seattle Rock Orchestra

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For years, Seattle Rock Orchestra has called The Moore Theatre home, thanks to a unique partnership between SRO and STG. “The support we receive from STG, such as having ongoing access to venues that comfortably hold a 50 plus piece orchestra, is a huge part of our success,” he says. Seattle Rock Orchestra provides a bridge between classical music and pop/rock by creating a unique sonic experience that draws from the best of both genres. SRO now performs at both The Moore and The Neptune. “We love both venues for different reasons. As a seated venue, The Moore gives audiences a chance to really listen in and appreciate the nuances of our music. The Neptune is the fun, rock-and-roll sibling to The Moore and gives us a chance to turn up and rock out to a packed, standing-room-only crowd.”

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The Paramount

Built eight decades ago on a swampy ravine that drained into Lake Union, The Paramount is a historic landmark, an icon, and a bellwether of non-profit arts programming in Seattle. It’s become one of Seattle’s important gathering spaces, a place our community can come together to share rich cultural experiences and spirited conversation.

We kicked off 2012 with a visit from former President Jimmy Carter, who appeared in celebration of the World Affairs Council’s 60th anniversary. President Carter spoke about peace and hope and he challenged us to think about our place in the world. In May, President Obama made his second visit to The Paramount, using the theatre for a campaign stop. And in December, after the historic electoral triumph of marriage equality in Washington, hundreds of gay and lesbian couples raised a glass in celebration at a grand wedding reception following a public marriage ceremony at Seattle City Hall.

 

Heart & Soul: Mike Miles; Paramount Theatre Technical Director

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Forty-one years ago, Mike Miles—seven feet tall and lacking neither vision nor spirit— walked into The Paramount to return a pair of tickets and he left with a job offer. Since then, Mike has led a dedicated stage crew, most of which has been with The Paramount for decades—men and women who love the building, the arts, and Mike. With so many years under his belt, Mike is a collector of stories. He’s got decades of backstage tales—stories about what happens behind the curtain before, during, and after a show—yet he’ll never divulge anything that might tarnish someone’s image of their favorite artist. When asked what he wants his legacy to be, Mike doesn’t miss a beat. “To be remembered for working here until I couldn’t work anymore.”

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Community Programs

STG’s commitment to our communities reaches beyond youth arts education. We provide important venues for community partners to offer performances and workshops, introducing audiences of all ages to explore new experiences through art. In the Neptune’s first year alone, its stage was host to the Hong Kong Student Association, UW Glee Club, Northwest University U-Rock, as well as numerous sound checks and “meet the artist” opportunities.

STG also creates unique community partnerships that engage people in the arts to help them learn, share, connect, and even heal. Our Dance for Parkinson’s© program—in partnership with Mark Morris Dance Group, Evergreen Hospital, NW Parkinson’s Foundation, and Spectrum Dance Theatre—offered almost 800 people living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers an eight-week class that tapped dance and live music to treat a range of concerns associated with Parkinson’s. Aside from the physical benefits—increased balance, flexibility, and coordination—patients used creative dance as a way to heal emotionally, connecting them with community and lessening the effects of isolation and depression.

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Arts Education

At the heart and soul of STG’s education and community programs is an obsession with making sure what we present onstage has lasting value in our communities. Through our education programs, we strive to give young people interactive experiences that enhance their understanding of art, culture, diversity, and most importantly of each other. In the past year, over 11,000 youth from kindergarten through college took part in our arts education programs. Dance This introduced almost 4,000 people to traditional cultural dances from Vietnam, China, Tibet, and South Africa. More Music at The Moore instilled camaraderie, mentorship, and musicianship in 24 diverse young artists from around Seattle. And we remain committed to the development of young artists with programs such as the Young Choreographer’s Lab, the Mark Morris Dance Group Intensive, Songwriter’s Lab, our Recording Project, Youth Speaks poetry slam, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra’s Instrumental Music Camp.

Learn More

To learn more, or to support STG Presents visit us here or call 206-467-5510.

Download our 2011-2012 consolidated financials.

The foundations, corporations, individuals and patrons who support the work of Seattle Theatre Group are responsible for the place we hold in this region’s cultural community. We thank you.

Photo Contributions: Gabriel Bienczycki | Dave Lichterman | Christopher Nelson | Jason Tang

Financials

Financials