Nellie Cornish is acknowledged as one of Seattle's earliest innovators; the Gala raises $677,000 for scholarships; remaining December events; and the Cornish community makes news nationally and internationally.
In KUOW’s new series, City of Dreams, on the innovators who created modern-day Seattle, Nellie Cornish’s enormous impact on the city’s arts and education reputation was one of the first stories broadcast. A video documentary, Crossroads and Catalysts, also released this fall has documented how Nellie’s influence went far beyond just attracting top talent to Seattle. Her vision of integrated arts education continues to impact Cornish and shape its mission to educate artists, citizens, and innovators.
A hugely successful Gala at Chihuly Garden and Glass raised $677,000 for scholarships. Entertainment was led by alumni Lady Rizo ’99 and Amy O’Neal ’99. Seattle Children’s Theatre Artistic Director Courtney Sale ’01 spoke to the guests on the importance of college scholarships and her own experiences at Cornish. The dinner was followed for the first time by an After Party. The award-winning DJ, Chong the Nomad (Alda Agustiano ’17) kept everyone dancing in the Glass House.
Theater’s Fall season ends with the perennially popular evening of song performed by the seniors. This year’s cabaret explores the themes of self determination, agency and ambition including songs by Tracy Chapman, Pharrell Williams, Cy Coleman, and Carole King. Cornish faculty members Timothy McCuen Piggee and Frances Leah King have co-conceived and co-directed the senior cabaret for most of its incarnations. They are joined this year by Cornish Theater alumna Nicole Beerman ‘04, whose choreography has been seen at Cafe Nordo, Village KIDSTAGE, Seattle Children’s Theater, and others. As always, the cabaret is free but ticket reservations are recommended for this show.
The Cornish Playhouse will be filled with mice, toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes, and all the other traditional holiday fun of The Nutcracker. Students from ages 6 to 18 bring this classic story to the stage with heart and humor. Cornish Prep Dance Director Steve Casteel (former soloist with Houston Ballet and Cornish College of the Arts Dance alumni) and faculty members Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford, Heidi Gans, and Vanesa Wylie bring their expertise both as coaches and choreographers to this annual production. Former Cornish Preparatory Dance alumni are invited to join a pre-performance party on opening night, December 15.
Lauren Iida ’14 continues to use her art to help the children of Cambodia. She created The Antipodes Collective just before graduating. With author Carolyn R. Hall and a group of fellow Cornish art students, she created bilingual books to serve to help rural Cambodian children learn English, a step to better education and careers. A solo exhibition of her artwork currently can be seen at Java Cafe in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Iida will be leading an art tour of Cambodia in February 2018. For more on her current activities, check her website.
Asa Taccone’s best known song may be “Dick In A Box” for Saturday Night Live, which he created at the bequest of his older brother, a writer for the show. Taccone attended Cornish and graduated with a BFA in Theater in 2005. Since then, he has crossed back into music. As half of the Los Angeles-based duo Electric Guest, he was recently featured in People magazine. Electric Guest’s latest album, Plural, is out now and features the songs “Dear to Me” and “Oh Devil.”
Dance faculty member Wade Madsen can be seen on the cover of Beauty is Experience: Dancing 50 and Beyond. Created by Stance on Dance, the book includes more than 50 interviews with dancers ranging in age from 50 to 95, including Cornish faculty members Madsen and Deborah Wolf. A release party at Cornish in September celebrated this beautiful examination of how dance can be a lifelong art form.
If you caught NPR’s recent story on Brazilian musician Hermanto Pascoal’s far reaching influence, you also heard Cornish faculty member Jovino Santo Netos. A triple-Grammy Award nominee, Santo Netos played in Pascoal’s band and now serves as an archivist of his work. But that’s not all that Jovino has been doing this semester. His music for Saci—A Brazilian Folktale was performed at the Cornish Playhouse in December. He played in the Seattle Peace Chorus concert dedicated to free speech earlier this fall and performed for the first time in Nova Scotia this November.
Junior and senior students in Interior Architecture traveled to Sandpoint, Idaho, this fall to take part in a public land project. Hosted at the Eureka Institute there, the students brainstormed ways for the city to create affordable housing on a 77-acre, mixed-use parcel of land. “Our goal is to engage our students in projects that help cities, neighborhoods, and communities see how design, science, and arts might enhance the quality of life,” said Chair of Interior Architecture Julie Myers in a recent Seattle Times article.
Discover South Lake Union, a magazine devoted to Cornish’s main campus neighborhood, recently featured Lilla Powell and her journey to graduation this spring. Despite living with cerebral palsy, Powell has successfully navigated Cornish’s rigorous art program. One of her more recent digital short films is Enchanted Being. Another, Paper Dolls, was feaured in Women-Cinemakers Magazine. Look for her artwork in April’s BFA Exhibition.