Bellevue Festival of Arts- 33 Years Strong and It Keeps Getting Better

 

The Bellevue Festival of Arts, lauded by many as the East Sides’ premier art festival, has been a big part of Bellevue’s ever-growing arts scene, the incredible Bellevue Arts Weekend and the community at large since back in 1984. Now, 33 years later, the festival is poised to have its best year yet.

It all began when a group of artists decided the traditional route of the for-profit fine arts fair was not for them. Instead, they wanted to create an event with a stronger sense of community and a culture of celebrating creativity and the spirit of the arts, with less focus on financial gain. What started as the dream of a small group of artists has now been a favorite annual event of East-siders for 33 years, an event that artists are excited to be a part of, a trailblazer for the art fair scene and a wonderful addition to the community.

Formerly known as the Craft Cooperative of the Northwest (CCNW), the BFoA has grown steadily over the years to include not only local artists, but artists from across the U.S and beyond. The award-winning, carefully curated show features art works of various mediums in a unique venue that marries the beauty of Pacific Northwest nature with an interesting and welcoming urban-esque vibe. All that in an open-air format with tree lined paths leading you from stunning piece to stunning piece.

Always keeping their “by artists, for artists” motto and love of community at heart, attendees of the BFoA are invited to view and purchase the available art works as well as directly meet the talent that created it. The lineup for this year’s event includes, as each year does, an amazing group of artists, including acclaimed local talents Michelle Aitken, Justin Hillgrove, Bob Wilfong, Francisco Bautista, Sharrey Doré, Gunter Reimnitz, Pepe Moscoso, Kate Larsson, Ashmita Gulati, David Lutrick, Juli Adams and more.

Attendees are also encouraged to make it a family affair with a fabulous new part of the BFoA- Aubrey’s Art Corner, where kinds of all ages (and their parents!) are encouraged to create their very own masterpieces! Aubrey’s Art Corner encourages imagination, joy and creativity, in the spirit of its late namesake, artist and dear friend of the BFoA, Aubrey Morgan who believed that “Inspiration is the most organic thing our minds can grow”. Pratt Fine Art Center will be at Aubrey’s Art Corner on Friday (July 28th) from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Friday at the festival will also feature representatives from the Bellevue Farmers Market in the food court offering a ‘taste of the season’, while Saturday offers a taste of Tibetan culture with a live performance of traditional Tibetan dances from the young dancers of the Tibetan Language & Culture Class at the Tibetan Association of Washington, beginning at noon.

With so much to do, you’re bound to get hungry- so it’s a good thing that the BFoA features a fabulous and diverse food court! Enjoy a wide variety of cuisine available ranging from classic fair favorites like elephant ears, corn dogs, gyros, snow cones and more to unique options like lotus wraps, dim sum and a Nepalese Thali plate. YUM! Bonus- the seating area of the food court is shaded, so you can enjoy your tasty treats AND beat the heat. That’s a winning combination!

Live music is also on deck for the festival with planned performances from some well-known and beloved local groups. Enjoy classical melodies from the Seattle Philharmonic Cello Choir, Indian/Afro-Cuban tunes from local group Anjuman, a performance from local non-profits organization Musicworks NW’s youth band, and more!

Truly offering something for everyone, the Bellevue Festival of Arts remains one of the favorite and most unique art fairs around, for good reason. With so much to do, see, hear and taste, it’s still easy to see that the true spirit of the festival is and always will be the community around it. This is demonstrated in their yearly commitment to partner with charities on the local or global level and donate the BFoA proceeds to their cause. This year’s charitable contributions and community partners include Teen Feed, L’Arche Noah Sealth of Seattle, American Indian College Fund, CERF-Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Education at Elevation, and more.

The Bellevue Festival of Arts is truly a standout part of Bellevue Arts Weekend and a celebration of the rich artistic culture in Bellevue and across the Pacific Northwest. It’s a must for every Eastside art lover and a great way to spend a weekend in July!

BFoA is a part of Bellevue Arts Weekend which also includes the BAM ARTSfair presented by the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue 6th Street Fair and much more.

 

Bellevue Arts Weekend

Bellevue Festival of Arts:

When:  Friday July 28-Sunday 30, 2017

Where: NE 8th & Bellevue Way, across from Bellevue Square

Hours: Fri and Sat, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sun, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Price: FREE

BAM ARTSfair:

When: Friday, July 28, Saturday 29, & Sunday 30, 2017

Where: Bellevue Square and Bellevue Arts Museum

Hours: Friday & Saturday: 9:30am – 9:30pm, Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Price: FREE

Bellevue 6th Street Fair:

When: Friday, July 28, Saturday, July 29, Sunday, July 30

Where: NE 6th Street and 106th Avenue NE, Downtown Bellevue

Hours: Friday and Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 10am-6pm

Price: Free

The Bellevue Boom Continues With WeWork

It seems Bellevue is rapidly becoming the place to be!

Just last week we reported Amazon’s rumored plan to head across the lake to our fair city, but now, word has it another business giant is on the way, and this time it’s confirmed.

WeWork is a New York based company that provides shared work spaces for people all across the country, and boasts an impressive 70,000+ members. They came to Seattle initially in 2014 and already have 3 locations in town, with sights set to open a fourth. Now Bellevue is in the mix, making their Seattle area total a whopping 5 locations, in just 2 years.

WeWork has their sights set on 80,000 square feet of space at the Lincoln Square project for their new Bellevue home.

According to their website-

“In the newest premier tower downtown, you’ll find unparalleled Bellevue office space at WeWork Lincoln Square,” reads marketing material on WeWork’s Web site. “Enter through the contemporary, upscale lobby with fireplace, and discover our coworking space where high ceilings, natural finishes, outdoor terraces, and stunning mountain and lake views provide a refreshing work environment. With global gaming giant Valve in the building, Amazon right next door, and Microsoft in the neighborhood, your business is in good company.”

The news of WeWork’s coming to Bellevue along with the rumors of Amazon’s Eastward expansion and other fabulous companies like Salesforce.com and Valve having big presence’s in town means very good things for Bellevue, especially with Expedia planning on moving its Headquarters to Seattle a few years down the road.

If this trend continues, Bellevue is poised to become the next big hot spot in the PNW, but, we never really understood why it wasn’t in the first place.

 

 

 

Mercer Island’s Inaugural Pumpkin Walk Coming in October

127231-glowing-pumpkinsPack up your lil’ pumpkins and join the community for a fun, festive and family friendly Pumpkin Walk! This event is new to the Island and tons of festive fall fun for families of all ages, with no scary monsters spooking your little ones.

Head down to Mercer Island’s Pioneer Park on October 22nd from 6-8 p.m. and you will find a gorgeous, glowing parade of carved pumpkins framing the northwest edge of the trail.

You’ll start your stroll on the trail across from Starbucks, near the South Fire Station, with legions of luminous pumpkins along the trail, adjacent to 84th Avenue Southeast.
This fabulous addition to the Island community’s Halloween festivities will join other Island favorites such as the Mercer Island Preschool Association Halloween party and the Monster Dash.

Pioneer Park makes the perfect setting for this event, with leaves changing color and strewn about the ground, not to mention that crisp autumnal chill in the air.jacktrail

Mercer Island’s first ever Pumpkin Walk is a unique event  and sure to become a local favorite, but they need your help! Organizers will be accepting carved pumpkins to add to the trail on the day of (Oct. 22nd) at the corner of 84th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 68th Street, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. No candles are needed as they will provide them.

We encourage you to round up your kiddies and their friends, or just your own grown-up friends (pumpkin-tinis, anyone?) for a super fun pumpkin carving party to make your own special contributions to the trail, then join the walk and see where yours are displayed, along with all the other creative ideas put forth by your neighbors!

Let’s come together this October and make this wonderful new event an annual East side tradition, and help it grow over time. The more pumpkins and people, the more fun we’ll all have!

Please remember to dress appropriately for the weather, as this event is outdoors. Halloween costumes are optional.  fallkitty