Thursday, April 15, 2010

Through May 12 - Vote Early and Often

by Barbara McMichael

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express have announced that 25 Puget Sound area landmarks are eligible for restoration grants totaling $1 million. To help them decide how to allocate the money, they are inviting people to go on-line between now and May 12 and cast votes for their favorite landmark. There are many wonderful sites in the running, but only one of them is located in South King County.

Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks Park in Kent was designed a quarter of a century ago by one of the last of the Bauhaus masters, Herbert Bayer. It is internationally known as a prime example of "earth art" and it also functions as a working dam, but the sculpted forms that provide storm water detention need to be restored to preserve both their functional use and artistic value. In these challenging economic times, that grant money would be a boon!

Over the years, Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks has been a popular festival and concert site. On Thursday, April 22, from 7-8:30 PM, the Park will be the site for a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, with music, dance and site-specific art installations. Then again on May 2, from 1-4 PM, the Park will host an Open House featuring site tours, art workshops, and performances. Mark these dates on your calendar, and plan to come explore and enjoy this fascinating park!

And here's how you can support its bid for some of the grant money being offered by American Express and the National Trust: once a day between April 15 and May 12, you can go to to cast your vote for one of the nominated landmarks -- the top on-line vote-getter will be guaranteed funding. This is a great chance to bring much-needed dollars into South King County and to support one of our local historic and artistic treasures. Let's go viral with this -- please contact any and all of your friends who care about arts and heritage in South King County and tell them about this opportunity! Let's make sure the people handing out the grant dollars hear from us!

Barbara McMichael is administrator for SoCoCulture.

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