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

Dress in your best fur-inery for Tuxes and Tails 2017!

Animal lovers, prepare yourselves for a glamorous night of elegant evening wear and furry friends at The Seattle Humane Society’s Annual Tuxes and Tails Gala!

Each year, Seattle Humane puts together a fabulous evening of fun and fund raising for the animals in need of homes at Seattle Humane. This annual event features a wonderful silent and live auction, delicious sit-own dinner and a star-studded runway show featuring celebrities and adorable, adoptable pets from Seattle Humane.

Tuxes and Tails brings together over 1,000 guests each spring for a lovey night devoted to helping the animals cared for at Seattle Humane. This wonderful event is made possible by over 200 hundred hard working and dedicated volunteers and the sponsorship of generous companies like Xtreme Consulting Group, Delta Airlines, Mud Bay and many more.

This year’s event is slated for Saturday May 13th and is looking to be one of the best yet, with opportunities to meet the Seattle Seahawks Michael Bennet, bid on exclusive items donated by many generous businesses and members of the community and enjoy an exquisite four-course meal while watching pretty people and pets work the runway at the ever-popular Celeb & Pet Runway Show.

Tickets have just become available and there are many options for you to be a part of this memorable night.  From the Seattle Humane website:

“General Event Tickets
Includes a four-course meal, silent and live auctions, and the popular celeb & pet runway show. Top Dog and Circle of Gold tables and tickets feature prime seating near all the action! Click here for tickets

General Tickets: $250
General Table of 10: $2,500

‘Tinis & Tails Cocktail Reception
These tickets include the silent auction and pre-dinner festivities only. 

Tickets: $125

Click here for tickets

Event tickets and tables go up April 1. All proceeds benefit the pets in our care. 

Special opportunity for add-on experience!

Meet Seahawk Michael Bennett at Tuxes & Tails for a special meet and greet. This unique experience includes:

  • Photo with Michael Bennett
  • Personalized autographed football
  • Access to private lounge for two with open bar between 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Limited availability. Tickets are $500*.

*This experience is available only as an add-on with the purchase of ‘Tinis & Tails, general event, Top Dog, or Circle of Gold tables and tickets.” 

 

Not able to join the festivities on May 13th? You can still be involved! Seattle Humane is still accepting sponsors and volunteers to be a part of this charitable extravaganza. Click here for more details on becoming a sponsor or volunteer. You can also be involved by donating items (or experiences) to be auctioned off, with proceeds going to benefit the animals.

 

The people at Seattle Humane work hard all year long to help animals in need, and to help you find your new four-legged friend. Tuxes and Tails is your chance to be a part of all the remarkable and compassionate work done by Seattle Humane, and to have a great time doing it.

 

Get your tickets or get involved now and be part of this magical event and feel good doing something good for our fur-iends in need!

 

 

Seattle Rents Rise, But East Side Is Pricier

It’s not a news flash that the real estate scene in Seattle has exploded in recent years. The Emerald City has gone from a town most people outside the state only associated with coffee and flannel, to the tech capital of the US (save for our friends in Silicon Valley). As home to some of the biggest tech names in the world and a booming job market to match, it’s fair to say there’s might not be enough housing to meet demand. Or, at least to meet demand AND your budget.

High rises, apartment buildings and condos are going up all over the city, and soon, our beloved skyline will be dotted with more and more buildings and towers, making the Seattle of just 10 years-ago look almost unfamiliar.

Seattle has recently made headlines as one of the most expensive places to live, get this, in the world. That’s right, recent data has placed Seattle’s rent rates at 5th highest in the nation and, supposedly 9th highest in the world! However, San Francisco and New York still dwarf us, tying for number one most expensive, world-wide.

Those of us who are Seattle Natives know that the average rental rate in Seattle has increased fairly dramatically in the last few years, but it’s interesting to note that, while Seattle’s rents have been on the rise, they don’t quite top the list of highest rents in the state.

According to recent data from Apartment List, Seattle ranks at number 5 in the state for highest rents, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,650.

Surprisingly, Mercer Island tops the list of cities in Washington for highest rents. A one-bedroom on Mercer Island goes for an average of a whopping $1,890 per month. No one said Island living was cheap, I suppose.

Filling in the gaps between number 1 and number 5 on the list are Bellevue at number 2 with an average of $1,860 per month for a one-bedroom (not a whole lot lower than their neighboring Island), Redmond at number 3 with an average of about $1,690 monthly rent for a one bedroom and Kirkland at number 4 with an average monthly rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom.

Seattle and the Eastside are not the only places in Washington with rising rent rates. Tacoma tops the list nation-wide for fastest growing rent with a year-over-year growth rate of 7.7 percent. Seattle comes close, but not close enough to that figure with year-over-year rental rate growth at 5.3 percent.

Staggering growth aside, Tacoma is still a bargain in the rental market compared to Seattle, with a one-bedroom in Tacoma going for an average of $1,000 per month. For those of you keeping score, that’s a savings of $650 compared to Seattle.

But, proving that some things really don’t change, the cheapest places to live in the Evergreen State are still East of the Cascade Mountains. You can get a one-bedroom for only $600 per month in Walla Walla and it’s not much pricier in the State’s second largest city, Spokane, at around $630 per month.

What a difference a mountain range makes…

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.

 

 

 

Amazon (Possibly) Journeys Eastward

Bellevue Skyline and Lake Washington

Bellevue Skyline and Lake Washington

 

By now, everyone in Downtown Seattle has seen the construction of Amazons’ new headquarters in the South Lake Union neighborhood. With 11 buildings and interesting architecture to boot, it would be hard to miss. But the local tech powerhouse is thinking bigger and it seems, they’re thinking Bellevue may be in their future.

Rumor has it that Amazon has recently finalized negotiations and leased a whopping 354,000 square feet in the heart of Downtown Bellevue at the brand-spanking-new 425 Centre.

 

Amazon's new SLU HQ

Amazon’s new SLU HQ

Set at the corner of NE 4th St and 106th Ave NE, the 425 Centre makes a great location for a tech company that has broken from tech tradition by settling in heavily urban areas before. It seems Amazonia, as it is fondly referred to, and its inhabitants prefer being in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle than the more remote areas other tech giants tend to call home.

 

While Amazon has not officially announced anything regarding the potential journey Eastward, this is not the first bout of rumors surrounding Bellevue and tech giants. Just a few months ago there was much talk of Apple possibly moving into (would you believe it) the 425 Centre.

 

425 Centre

425 Centre

Projects like the 425 Centre have been great for boosting Bellevue and its reputation. While often viewed as a (albeit, very large) suburb of Seattle, over the course of the last several years, it has grown considerably and undergone a rather impressive face-lift. Additions like renovations to Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and The Bravern have added considerable appeal to the city. Appeal which has not gone unnoticed by businesses and residents alike.  Much like it’s sister city across the lake, Bellevue has become home to a laundry list of high end retailers, restaurants and even cooperate mammoths such as T-Mobile (HQ), Expedia (HQ) and Microsoft, giving her a run for her money.

All in all, Amazon would (and likely will) make a fabulous addition to the Eastside. Bringing with it the fun, friendly and environmentally conscious attitude that Amazon prides itself on, as well as plenty of opportunity, both for jobs and for the city to receive a wealth of vibrant new residents.

Not to mention, Bellevue was Amazons’ very first home, when it was merely the brain child of it’s founder, Jeff Bezos. So, perhaps this would be more homecoming than journey.

520 Bridge Closed This Weekend

Get ready for traffic, because both ways of the Highway 520 Bridge will be closed this weekend from 11 pm on Friday to 5 a m on Monday morning.  Crews will be working on variety of issues from Montlake Boulevard in Seattle to 1-405 in Bellevue.  Be prepared to take alternate routes and face higher commute times.  For more information, please visit the official WSDOT website.

Redmond Substation on Fire

A power station in Redmond caught on fire today and black smoke can be seen all the way from Seattle (See photo).  The fire has caused several areas to loose power, including parts of Kirkland and Redmond.  Please click on King 5 to learn more about the story.