Florangela Davila

Lead Artscape Reporter

Florangela Davila  has been a journalist since 1992. For 14 years she worked at The Seattle Times where she covered both news and features. She's been freelancing for KPLU since 2008, reporting and producing as well as helping coordinate the station's "Looking Back to Look Forward" documentary project. She's also a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Florangela received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and her Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. She's been both an arts consumer and an arts practitioner for as long as she can remember.

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Artscape
8:00 am
Sun April 24, 2011

Seattle's Langston Hughes African American Film Festival stands apart

The film "Butterfly Rising," written and directed by Tanya Wright, will close the 2011 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.
Courtsey of Langston Hughes African American Film Festival

If we relied on Hollywood, we’d get a very limited view of African Americans. 

"There’s three models that we have of black people in Hollywood and none of them are any good. The ho, the gangster, the victim. And occasionally you get the saint."

That's Jacqueline Moscou, artistic director of Seattle's Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. And what she's talking about are films like "Booty Call,"The Book of Eli" and "Precious."

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Artscape
6:03 am
Sun April 10, 2011

The Mighty Wurlitzer organ stars at Paramount Theatre's "Silent Movie Mondays"

Jim Riggs is the host and Mighty Wurlitzer organist for this month's "Silent Movie Mondays" series at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.
Photo by Bob Cerelli

Each winter and spring, the Paramount Theatre in Seattle hosts a silent movie series on Monday nights.
This month’s classic films showcase New York City and it also features one of Buster Keaton’s best works.

But the star attraction isn’t what’s on screen. It’s the instrument making the music.

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Artscape
8:01 am
Sun March 27, 2011

At Washington state's children's psych hospital: poets and Pongo

Poems are typed or written by hand by kids at the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood.
Florangela Davila KPLU

Some of Washington’s toughest kids, at the toughest moments in their lives, are locked-up at the only state-run children's psychiatric hospital. They spend their time as residents, patients and students. And on occasion, they also get to be poets, working with the non-profit Pongo Teen Writing Workshop.

The weekly writing workshop unfolds in an ordinary classroom: five kids paired up with five adult mentors.

The mentors ask questions: How are you feeling? What's on your mind? They type up the answers and then flesh them into verse.

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Artscape
2:58 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Now at SAM: Art by Nick Cave that's furry and sequined

A Cornish College of the Arts dancer in a Nick Cave Soundsuits "Invasion" at the Seattle Art Museum
Photo by Barbara Kinney

What's the new show at the Seattle Art Museum look like? Think Chewbacca painted neon yellow and bubblegum pink, without any eyes in a cone-shaped head.

There's a tiger-masked creature with a huge cage surrounding his body. The cage is made up of ceramic birds.

There's a jumpsuit stitched from hundreds of Beanie Babies. And suits that look like astronauts made entirely of mother-of-pearl buttons.

There are more than 50 otherworldy, jaw-dropping creations featured in the exhibit, "Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth."

The show is the first museum tour for the Chicago-based artist (not to be confused with that other Nick Cave). It's a riot of texture and pattern that can be experienced in two major ways.

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Artscape
9:27 am
Sun March 6, 2011

A horse, a donkey and Seattle Opera's "Don Quixote"

Millie as Dapple and her human co-star Richard Bernstein in Seattle Opera's production of "Don Quixote."
Photo by Rozarii Lynch

Seattle Opera’s latest production is “Don Quixote.” The show is a spectacle, featuring sets that look like humongous books; computer-animated windmills; and flamenco dancers.

The cast also features a memorable pair from Bothell who is making its operatic debut: Millie, a donkey, and Desperado, a horse.

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Artscape
12:26 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Lakewood Playhouse is young actor's theatrical break

Actor Jeffrey Alan Smith is the lead in "My Name is Asher Lev" at the Lakewood Playhouse.
Courtesy of Jeffrey Alan Smith

Right from the beginning, the Lakewood Playhouse made an impression on Minnesota-transplant Jeffrey Alan Smith.

"When I auditioned for the show, I was kind of taken aback because I’d never seen a theater in a mall."

Yes, a mall, with an Old Navy and a Bed, Bath and Beyond.  But the Lakewood Towne Center also has a 160-seat theater called the Lakewood Playhouse.  And this is where 23-year-old Smith has gotten his theatrical break.

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Artscape
6:55 am
Sun February 6, 2011

A snapshot of local history: the Seattle Camera Club

Sea of Clouds
Dr. Kyo Koike, c. 1922. Gelatin silver print. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW29042z

They were a dedicated group of mostly Japanese photographers from the 1920s whose work at the time was known all over the world.

But until now, there hasn't been much attention here on the Seattle Camera Club and its style of photography that some academics have dismissed.

A new exhibit opening at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington --  “Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and the Seattle Camera Club” -- showcases 200 black-and-white and sepia-toned images. Photos of awesome Mount Rainier and delicate ballerinas, such as Anna Pavlova who was visiting from Russia.

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Artscape
7:28 am
Mon January 31, 2011

The Highland bagpipe: "voice" of the local Scottish community

Alexander Schiele leads the Northwest Junior Pipe Band at the Pacific NW Highland Games in 2009
Photo by Weatherly Schiele

Go ahead and joke about the bagpipe: It sounds like a dying cat!

Just don't joke in front of 15-year-old Alexander Schiele. The Snohomish resident plays in two Northwest Highland pipe bands and commutes twice a week to Vancouver, B.C. just to learn from some of the world's best.

Nothing compares to playing the pipes, he says, while rehearsing with the Northwest Junior White Spot United Pipe Band in Shoreline on a recent Sunday night.

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Artscape
10:40 am
Mon January 17, 2011

At Seattle Rep: One chameleon actor, 17 roles

Renata Friedman plays 17 different characters in "The K of D, an urban legend," at Seattle Repertory Theatre
Photo by Chris Bennion

Actor Renata Friedman has a distinct look that sometimes cost her roles when she was in college.

"I wasn’t the traditional cute, beautiful blond girl who would be Juliet or Ophelia. I got cast as Hamlet. And did Richard II. I was always playing men. There were times that I resented that and would have loved to have played a little love story and have a stage kiss," she says.

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Artscape
9:23 am
Sun January 9, 2011

Whim W'him means new, gritty dance

Whim W'him dancers Andrew Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite rehearsing "Monsters."
La Vie Photography

On this morning, Olivier Wevers is playing the role of costume manager, digging into a plastic bag and pulling out a pair of casual tank tops to give to his dancers.

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Artscape
11:07 am
Mon December 27, 2010

A new chapter in a new year

The late George Shangrow conducting Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" on April 6, 2007.
Photo by John Cornicello

A Seattle musical institution and its volunteer performers find strength in the memory of the group's founder, a man whose creative energy remains an inspiration to move forward following his death earlier this year.

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Artscape
7:19 am
Mon December 20, 2010

The holiday magic makers

Sean G. Griffin as Scrooge and Sarah Roberts as Tiny Tim in ACT's "A Christmas Carol."
Chris Bennion ACT

There's about 180 roles in Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker. There’s also some engaging props like a Christmas tree that grows right before your eyes, and one enormous rat with a twitching tale.

But the snow scene – the first time Clara dances with her Nutcracker-turned Prince is the sight to behold.

The couple dance in the moonlight, surrounded by ballerina snowflakes dressed in pale blue skirts. A dusting of snow falls throughout the scene.

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Artscape
9:27 am
Mon December 13, 2010

At MOHAI, it's all about the purse

One of hundreds of purses on display at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry
Courtesy of MOHAI

I’m one of those people who carries a bulging, heavy handbag, crammed with so much stuff that I can’t always find my cellphone. But heavy or not, it’s my attempt at making a fashon statement. It’s the color of a tangerine.

Walk into the galleries at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)and it’s impossible not to size up your purse.

Over here, from the '30s, a bag made out of Bakelite is the color of butterscotch. And from the 1990s, stylish Prada and Kate Spade bags.

There’s a century’s worth of purses, made out of sealskin, clam shells, cantaloupe seeds, even cigarette wrappers and aluminum can tabs. Purses meant to be worn under clothes or proudly shown off.

And purses from the turn of the century that weren’t even meant for one’s arm.

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Artscape
5:12 pm
Sun August 8, 2010

Artscape: A Barn, Some Donkeys and Chamber Music

In addition to chamber music, the Olympic Music Festival offers patrons a chance to meet -- and feed -- its donkeys.
Florangela Davila KPLU

It's 24 hours before performance time out here on the Olympic Peninusula, so while the grounds are getting soaked by sprinklers, I walk into a barn being bathed in Mozart.

A string quartet rehearses -- A pair of violinists, a cellist, a violist - all focused on perfecting music written for an intimate setting.

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Artscape
12:00 am
Sun July 11, 2010

Artscape: Seattle Theater's Newest Artistic Director

Kate Whoriskey is in her first season as artistic director at Seattle's Intiman Theatre.
Chad Batka Courtesy Photo

For the first time in her theatrical career, Kate Whoriskey can contemplate decorating an office. Because now she actually has one.

"I'm trying to work on posters and I'm hoping to do something with the ceiling. Because it's a little bit barren," she says.

Except for an orchid and a couple of stuffed animals for her 21- month-old son Rory, there isn't much else personalizing her new space. But she's still transitioning - from New York theater freelancer to artistic director at Seattle's Intiman Theatre.

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