April 2007 Letter from the Director

As I write, 82 fifth-graders are exploring marine life and artistic expression as part of “Waterworld,” one of Centrum’s most popular youth programs. Presented with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, this program—attracting teams of young artists and scientists from distant reaches of the state—speaks eloquently to the Fort’s mission of creativity and discovery.

As always, creativity and discovery are underlying themes in the next issue of Experience. Available in May, the next issue explores different ways that cultural traditions are revitalized through artistic innovation and transformation.  Details about summer performances are also included. Advance ticket sales for Centrum donors begin April 16. Review our website to plan your summer entertainment.

Want to sample of little of everything that is happening at Centrum
this summer?  Share a lunch and enjoy our third year of Free Fridays at
the Fort beginning June 29 and running through August 3 at noon on the
lawn of Fort Worden Commons. 

One event you definitely should not miss is the centennial
celebration of the Fort Worden Cistern on August 9. Composer and
musician Stuart Dempster—who has recorded three albums in this unique
sound chamber will present a free concert, piped from underground, to
an audience seated in the field above. Bring your blankets and dinner
and enjoy an August night as you have never heard it before.

We have some new additions to the Centrum family. We are delighted
to announce that Orville Johnson has agreed to serve as artistic
director for our new Slide and Steel
program.  He has played on over 100 albums ranging over blues,
bluegrass, New Orleans and modern jazz, Booker T and the MG’s style
R&B, and various Latin-American styles. Orville plays guitar, lap
steel, bottleneck slide, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle but considers
himself foremost a singer.

We are also delighted to add two new members to the Centrum staff.
Martha Worthley, who has a rich history with Centrum as an artist,
teacher, and journalist, has taken over as manager of youth programming.
Our new technical director David Christensen has been a teacher,
nonprofit leader, and sound engineer. He helped out on the crew last
summer and is passionate about Centrum reaching new heights in our
summer productions.

Planning at Fort Worden proceeds apace. We are grateful to the Quimper Foundation
for hosting an evening at the Commons for community members to hear
about and respond to the plans for the integrated partnership at Fort
Worden. The Foundation has been generous and visionary in its early
support. We also give hearty thanks to Representative Lynn Kessler and
Senator Jim Hargrove who have included funds for the final phase of
Fort planning in the House and Senate budgets.

Our annual volunteer orientation is scheduled for April 24 at 4:00
for new volunteers and 4:30 for returning volunteers in Building 204.
It is great chance to meet new friends and greet old friends. And it is
a great chance for all of us at Centrum to say thank you—which we can
never say often enough—to the hundreds of individuals who are such a
big part of the heart and soul of this operation.

Speaking of folks with heart and soul, over the last 12 months,
1,103 donors have contributed a total of $1,145,820 to Centrum. This
level of financial commitment—up 100% over the last 4 years—is another
reason that all of us who work at Centrum stand in awe of you and the
growing community that steps forward—year after year—with the time,
money, and passion to shape and support the vision of this place.

As always, thank you.
Thatcher Bailey

P.S. Speaking of giving opportunities, it is not too soon to begin planning for the 2007 Centrum Gala, to be held this year on October 13. Generously sponsored by Kitsap Bank,
the Gala is a high point of Port Townsend’s social season, a dazzling
evening of conviviality, fine food, and philanthropy. This year’s theme
Imagine! because at core, that is what Centrum has
always been about. There are many exciting changes planned this year,
including dinners prepared by chef Stephen Putnam, who promises a whole
different kind of culinary experience than Gala patrons have known in
past years.

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