During the past 25 years, people in the city of Everett have established a passion for the fine and performing arts.
Let’s count the ways (well, a few of them anyway):
Everett is home to the Everett Philharmonic, the Everett Chorale, the Pacifica Chamber Orchestra and other classical music groups.
Everett Community College’s art department launched many well-known artists, including Chuck Close.
The nonprofit Arts Council of Snohomish County morphed into the marvelous Schack Art Center, which opened in 2011 in Everett. The Schack offers classes for all ages and free exhibitions — including those for emerging artists — that are the envy of many cities. The center received the Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Arts Organization, and this past year’s Chuck Close print exhibit was a highlight in the Schack’s history.
Art also is alive in galleries and shops in the city, as well as during the Third Thursday Artwalk and the periodic Everett Maker’s Markets at the Anchor Pub.
Everett Public Library is the primary host of book talks in the city, and many well-known authors have read from their books there.
The Dance School, in the old Betty Spooner dance studio downtown, has attracted nationally renowned dance teachers, and the Edmonds-based professional Olympic Ballet Theatre dances regularly at the Everett Performing Arts Center.
Speaking of the EPAC, Village Theatre started presenting professional musical theater there in 1998. The Village folks say that the Everett audiences are outstanding. And now, across the Stardust Plaza on Wetmore is the home of Village Theatre’s KidStage.
Community theater groups come and go, but people here like to get on stage. EvCC offers a good drama program, too.
Xfinity Arena often hosts big-name music artists and other performers, and the Historic Everett Theatre does a great job of bringing in young groups and tried-and-true acts.
The advent of the Everett Music Initiative five years ago, a bunch of new local bands that play in the EMI’s Fisherman’s Village Music Festival each spring, recording studios popping up and new shows on public radio station KSER (90.7 FM) have made for a lively music scene.
The arts benefit the city economically and in its quality of life, said Carol Thomas, the city’s cultural arts manager.
Everett has reason to hand out its Mayor’s Arts Awards, she said, which were created to honor art educators, artists in the community, arts organizations and emerging artists that have made an impact on the Everett arts community.