Editor’s note: Given the rapid spread of the coronavirus omicron variant, please heed local health authorities’ safety recommendations as they’re updated, and check your event’s website for coronavirus requirements and the latest information.

What’s Happening Jan. 21-27

In a time when travel is still off the table for many, finding an experience that brings the cultures of the world right to our own backyard is surely rare, but not impossible. Head to Kent for International Guitar Night, where the world’s foremost acoustic guitarists will gather and perform in a public concert.

International Guitar Night tours in cities all around the globe, including other Washington locations like Olympia, Bellingham and Edmonds. The tour stops in Kent as part of the city’s Spotlight Series.

“We’ve been doing our Spotlight Series for quite a long time now, more than 20 years. We have a very strong music audience, and over the years, we’ve really developed a niche audience for guitar, and presenting these shows and different guitar-based music shows,” said Ronda Billerbeck, cultural programs manager at the city of Kent. “[International Guitar Night] has become a popular favorite among our audiences.”

The night will feature Luca Stricagnoli, Thu Le, Jim “Kimo” West and Lulo Reinhardt. Stricagnoli has earned a large online following with his unique style of rearranging rock classics for acoustic guitar. Le, the youngest-ever student admitted to the National Academy of Music in Hanoi, Vietnam, is an award-winning classical guitarist and certified guitar teacher. West is a 2021 Grammy Award winner and a three-time Na Hōkū Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) nominee. Reinhardt, the grand-nephew of the legendary Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, is perhaps the most revered member of International Guitar Night, having appeared within four previous lineups in addition to hosting this year’s edition.

This year marks the 22nd year of touring for International Guitar Night, and the artists “all bring something a little different to the evening, with a full-length show that’s made up of solos and ensemble pieces where all of them come together,” Billerbeck said.


Outside the pandemic, the Spotlight Series typically features an educational outreach activity in addition to the public performance component to “expand the impact on the community beyond the people who just come to see the show,” she said.

“We don’t have our own performing arts center here in Kent, so Spotlight Series is our main chance for people to see really high-quality performing arts entertainment close to home,” Billerbeck said. “Particularly with international touring, I think there’s such a benefit to sharing music and arts across cultures and bringing people from different countries.”

International Guitar Night is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at 10020 S.E. 256th St., Kent. People ages 12 and over must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter all Spotlight Series performances. Additionally, masking is required. Tickets are $28/adults, $26/seniors and $15/youth. Find more information at st.news/Kent-arts.

What else is happening

Here are some other events happening Jan. 21-27 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, fill out the form at the bottom of the post. Please check event websites for more information, including coronavirus requirements.

Critical Issues with Andrea Chung — Jan. 21

Henry Art Gallery and the University of Washington School of Art, Art History and Design present “Critical Issues,” a series that brings together artists and scholars on the forefront of contemporary art practice to share ideas, raise questions and engage with curious thinkers. In this edition of “Critical Issues,” participants will speak with artist Andrea Chung at noon. Register online; free. art.washington.edu

Whim W’Him, “Winter 22” — Jan. 21-29

After an adaptation to streaming and the creation of nine dance films, Whim W’Him returns to their theater home at Cornish Playhouse for four performances of “Winter 22.” The program features world premiere dance creations, Seattle debuts of Ethan Colangelo and Jakevis Thomason and a new work by artistic director Olivier Wevers. Whim W’Him will also perform the program at the Vashon Center for the Arts on Jan. 26 and at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts on Jan. 27. Purchase tickets online; prices vary. 201 Mercer St., Seattle (Cornish Playhouse), 19600 Vashon Highway S.W., Vashon Island (Vashon Center for the Arts), 565 Camano Ave., Langley (Whidbey Island Center for the Arts); whimwhim.org


The Parisian Bakery: Brioche — Jan. 22

Join PCC Community Markets and bake alongside trained pastry chef and French native Laurence Boris as she guides participants through the art of making brioche 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Columbia City PCC. In this class, Boris will demonstrate how to transform flour, butter and yeast into rich, buttery dough perfect for making Parisian brioche and pains au lait. Participants will then learn how to shape the enriched dough into rolls and even crowns studded with chocolate and pearl sugar. Register online; $80. 3610 S. Edmunds St., Seattle; 206-466-6182; pccmarkets.com

“Love at First Spite” — Jan. 22

Seattle-area author Anna E. Collins joins Third Place Books in conversation with Alexandria Bellefleur, Lambda Literary Award-winning author, about Collins’ Washington-state-set debut “Love at First Spite” at 1 p.m. Register online; free. thirdplacebooks.com

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony — Jan. 22

King County Library System presents an interactive virtual class facilitated by Kedija S. Hashim on the history of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony at 1:30 p.m. The class also includes a demonstration of a ceremony and a lesson on how to create your own version of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony at home. Participants will need green coffee beans, a small frying pan and spatula, a coffee grinder and tea. Register online; free. kcls.org

Robert Burns Dinner — Jan. 25

Celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns with a coursed dinner and beverage pairing at Hotel Sorrento at 6:30 p.m. Menu options include smoked salmon, scout braised short ribs and more. Kilts are encouraged. Purchase tickets online; $140. 900 Madison St., Seattle; 206-622-6400; hotelsorrento.com

Washington State Book Awards: Clyde W. Ford Discusses “Think Black” — Jan. 26

The Seattle Public Library presents a series of author events, book discussions, community dialogues, expert conversations and literary programs from the comfort of your own living room this winter. In this edition, Clyde W. Ford, winner of the 2021 Washington State Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, discusses “Think Black,” a story of how racist experiences of a Black father and son working at IBM had roots in a mentality that lent support to Nazism, eugenics and apartheid 6-7 p.m. Register online; free. spl.org

Houseplants 101 — Jan. 27

Bellevue Botanical Garden hosts a webinar with Glasswings plant director Tassy de Give on how to choose the right plant for an indoor environment and troubleshooting potential plant problems 7-8:30 p.m. Environmental factors, plant identification and general care techniques will be discussed. Purchase tickets online; $10.50/members, $15/nonmembers. bellevuebotanical.org