Inside Events & Festivals - June 2020

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Inside Events and Festivals The official publication of the Washington Festivals & Events Association

‘All in WA’ show makes virtual concerts fun: Page 5 •

WFEA Conference Set for October 13-15: Page 7 How should policing change? Here ’s what Seattle-area cops are suggesting: Page 9 Executive Director Issues Challenge to Industry: Page 15

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


The Lineup Star-studded ‘All in WA’ show makes virtual concerts fun, raises $48 million Homespun variety show that was equal parts quarantine-blues-killer, fundraising virtual concert and wear-your-mask PSA Page 5

WFEA Annual Conference Set for October October 13-15, 2020: Red Lion, Bellevue WA Register at Page 7

How should policing change? Here’s what Seattle-area cops are suggesting

Current and former officers in Washington who are talking about what needs to change, and what shouldn't. Page 9

Executive Director Issues Challenge to Industry Bruce Skinner, Executive Director of the WFEA, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington Chapter of the IELA Page 15

Inside Events and Festivals June 2020 Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020

3 Washington Festivals & Events Association

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Star-studded ‘All in WA’ show makes virtual concerts fun, raises $48 million Appeared in June 25, 2020 edition of Seattle Times When Washington-raised director Jason Koenig told a few of the non-Washingtonians working on the starpacked All In WA COVID-19 relief concert that he had one simple rule, they didn’t quite get it. “If it doesn’t show something that makes Washington awesome, it gets cut,” Koenig — who along with his wife, Jenny Koenig, served as the creative leads on the concert — said a few weeks ago. That was the guiding principle behind Wednesday evening’s homespun variety show that was equal parts quarantine-blues-killer, fundraising virtual concert and wear-your-mask PSA. It was only fitting then that the musical portion of the special uniting Seattle music royalty blasted off with The New Official Seattle Anthem — Travis Thompson‘s generation-bridging track “Glass Ceiling,” with the rising rapper trading razor sharp verses with Seattle hip-hop greats Macklemore, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Prometheus Brown (aka Geo of Blue Scholars), strolling through various parts of the city. More full-blown music video than home-taped performance, the all-star Seattle cut quickly set the tone for the special — which aired on KING-5 and is available on Amazon Prime Video for the next 30 days — that was hardly just another livestream. Three months into the concert-squashing pandemic, the novelty of the live-fromthe-living-room streaming shows disappeared faster than Costco toilet paper, giving All In WA the tough task of making the 3,403rd virtual concert interesting.

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Local celebrities including Ken Griffey Jr., left, and Sir Mix-A-Lot participated in the All In WA concert, which, as of late Wednesday, had raised $48 million for coronavirus relief efforts. (Courtesy of All In WA)

Leave it to the Grammy-nominated music video aces (who have shot a dozen or so for Macklemore) to do the seemingly impossible with a production flare that alternated between quirky and widescreen cinematics showing off Washington’s natural beauty, while striking just the right tone during a difficult time. As of late Wednesday night, All In WA had raised $48 million and counting toward its $65 million goal, according to organizers. About $1.5 million came in during the broadcast, with the rest of the money previously pledged. While some of the performers stuck to the simple onthe-couch aesthetic — including Dave Matthews, whose delicate falsetto over the acoustic “Mercy” felt like tiptoeing across a frozen alpine lake — others were more intricate. A socially distanced and irresistibly fun “Footloose” cover from Seattle producer/multiinstrumentalist Budo, singer-songwriters Noah Gundersen and Mark Diamond, and Deep Sea Diver’s Jessica Dobson riffled through carefree livingroom dance party snippets. Pearl Jam got even weirder with a spooky, acid-disco romp through “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” replete with an eerily glow-painted Mike McCready. Already into production when George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police sparked protests around the globe, the risk for tone deafness was high. Postponing the broadcast date by two weeks gave time for several changes to acknowledge the current state of the world — adding “BLM” in the clouds during Thompson and crew’s video and a shot of a Jimi Hendrix quote on Neptune Theatre’s marquee after blues-punk darlings The Black Tones wailed their take on Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower,” among other things.

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020

Russell Wilson and Ciara led the show with opening remarks, laying out All In WA’s objectives while addressing the elephant in the room. “The global pandemic opened our eyes to a world in which it was imperative we come together and support our fellow humans in need. And as our world begins to find a new normal, a light has been shone on the harsh realities of hundreds of years of oppression.” Later, Gov. Jay Inslee briefly weighed in, voicing support for independent investigations into cases of police violence. “We’ve bent the COVID curve down, now we’re going to bend the arc of justice up, and we will continue to speak up against police violence.” More significant was the addition of the Black Future Co -op Fund in the list of beneficiaries, acknowledging that the Black community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Announced last week, the newly created fund, which one organizer described as “an echo of what folks are fighting for in the streets,” aims to invest in initiatives around health, housing, criminal justice reform and other issues, beyond immediate coronavirus relief. Between the more serious moments hearing front-line stories from nurses caring for COVID-19 patients and others who have recovered from the virus, the mood never stayed heavy, thanks in part to goofy varietyshow bits featuring local celebs like Ken Griffey Jr., actor Joel McHale and Rainn Wilson’s Zoom mishaps with bake-sale-planning Sasquatches. While music fans likely won’t miss coronatimes virtual concerts when they’re behind us, it’s hard to imagine as many local music power players assembling under normal circumstances for a single show — virtual or otherwise.




Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


How should policing change? Here’s what Seattle-area cops are suggesting Appeared in June 25, 2020 edition of Seattle Times John Hayes was conflicted. It was 1982, and he had recently finished graduate school, earning a master’s degree in social work, when Seattle’s police chief stopped him after church one Sunday to ask him to join the force. The offer promised public service work. But Hayes, who is Black, had been stopped by police multiple times before and questioned over the years about robberies, drug deals and other crimes he never committed. “I was nervous,” Hayes said, “because of the different experiences I had with the police.” He became an officer anyway, overcoming his own uncertainty about law enforcement, eventually rising to the rank of Seattle Police Department captain and serving in leadership positions in state and national Black police associations.

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


John Hayes, a former national chair of the National Black Police Association and Seattle police captain, is shown at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle Tuesday. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Nearly four decades later, however, widespread uncertainty in the U.S. lingers for so many others, a reality underscored by the massive protests decrying the killings by police of Black men and women, including George Floyd in Minneapolis. Officers are being confronted, almost daily, by protesters and some local leaders to defund law enforcement departments, abolish them altogether or enact other sweeping public safety reforms. Interviews with about a dozen current and former police officers in Washington suggest some in law enforcement are open to another round of change, especially for reforms already underway, such as improving crisis intervention and the use of body cameras, while others resist criticism or calls for more change. All, however, reject calls to defund the police. For Hayes, former chairman of the National Black Police Association and former president of the Black Law Enforcement Association of Washington, the killing of Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes, followed by public outpouring of grief and the fallout for police, have all been deeply painful, he said. “How that officer has impacted every department in the nation — their efforts and my efforts have been wiped out,” said Hayes. “We have to start again.” Like other officers, Hayes opposes deep cuts in police funding, but said money could be redirected within departments to increase outreach and hire more social service and mental health professionals.

Painful period In interviews with the former and current officers, there was consensus that the outcry on the streets over

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020

Floyd’s killing is justified, even as they rejected protesters’ central defunding message. If anything, they say they need more of the costly training, body cameras and other resources that have been required by court-mandated reforms in Seattle and other cities that have aimed to curb excessive force and de-escalate standoffs and other encounters with the public. However, concerns around longstanding problems persist, perhaps most of all questions around bias in policing after years of federal oversight, training and rewriting of policies. In its most recent annual use-of-force report, SPD data showed the rate at which officers used force in 2019 amounted to less than a fifth of a percent of all dispatches. Still, people of color were overrepresented in the data. Of all uses of force by Seattle police, about 29% were against Black people, compared to Seattle’s population, which is 7% Black, according to the SPD report released earlier this year. The use-of-force data in the report accounted for instances that ranged from an officer striking a civilian hard enough to cause pain to an officer fatally shooting someone, which happened twice last year. Many protesters in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have made clear they no longer have faith in the system. On a recent night near the East Precinct, the ever-changing landscape of graffiti included, “NO REFORM. ABOLISH POLICE.” Meanwhile, Seattle police Chief Carmen Best has said repeatedly on national television that it is time to reenvision the future of policing.


Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


had welcomed civilian oversight, but called recent events a “painful period for our officers.” Two current Seattle police officers rejected criticism from politicians and protesters, saying the department had made strides while participating in a significant reform process that has been tracked by a courtappointed monitor. The officers welcomed more mental health professionals in the field or handing off certain property crimes. They did not embrace the idea of other workers in other agencies taking the place of police. The officers declined to be named, saying they worried about speaking out during the current protests. “Seattle is being asked to fix the injustices — and they are injustices — that have been perpetuated throughout the country,” one officer said. “We can’t fix Minneapolis in Seattle.”

‘Need for change’ On the streets, Seattle demonstrators have made clear they are not protesting just faraway departments, but problems they see at home, too.

Yet, Best and other law enforcement officers have not offered a clear picture of exactly how they might be willing to change their work. In a statement Tuesday, Best said “re-envisioning community safety” would start with more community outreach by police; a review of noncriminal 911 calls and “alternate responses”; finding “an appropriate response” to misdemeanors; and other steps. Among rank-and-file police, there is little movement toward a large-scale reckoning. “We have felt misunderstood, spurned, betrayed and our working conditions have significantly deteriorated,” the board of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), told a group of labor unions in a written statement. “But we continue to come to work every day, to serve even those who reject us and insult us.” (SPOG president Mike Solan did not respond to messages seeking comment.) Seattle police have resisted reforms before. In 2014, more than 100 SPD officers unsuccessfully sued to block new use-of-force policies. Later, SPOG filed an unfair labor practice complaint over an executive order to equip officers with body cameras, arguing it disregarded state bargaining laws. This month, the union said it believes recent bans on chokeholds and crowd-control weapons should be subject to collective bargaining. The SPOG board said in its recent statement members

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020

At the SPD’s East Precinct on Capitol Hill, where protesters have occupied the area, a mural on one boarded-up surface of the precinct depicts Charleena Lyles, a pregnant Black woman, who was killed by Seattle police three years ago. A vigil for Lyles drew hundreds of people to Magnuson Park Thursday. Protesters have chanted the names of Native people killed by police, including Renee Davis, a member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and pregnant mother who was shot in 2016 by King County sheriff’s deputies on a welfare check. In Tacoma, they have marched to call for justice for Manuel Ellis, a Black man and father who was killed in March while being arrested and restrained by Tacoma police. In some corners of law enforcement, mostly among those who have retired, there is an openness to the push to narrow police work, especially for nonviolent calls. Police have taken a growing role in responding to people in mental health crisis or moving along homeless people, calls that reformers say could someday be handed off to unarmed workers instead. Traffic stops, which can disproportionately affect people of color, could be turned into educational stops without officers issuing tickets or searching vehicles, while mental health calls could be answered by unarmed workers, said former Seattle police Chief Jim Pugel. “I strongly feel we’re always going to need police officers to a certain extent, but I’ve also witnessed that for the cost of a fully outfitted … police officer, you can hire two to three case managers,” said Pugel, who now works helping other cities set up the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program.


The median base salary for SPD patrol officers last year was about $150,000, according to city records. The hardest part of reform, however, will be rooting out racism and bias in the ranks — issues at the heart of the protests against police violence that have swept Seattle and much of the U.S. “Until we somehow resolve that problem, reforms are going to be meaningless,” said Phil Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University and a former police officer. “I don’t see how we can train our way out of it with implicit bias training here and there.” In Kent, Chief Rafael Padilla said intensive screening during the recruitment process offers one of the best chances to prevent racism in policing, though it remains much more challenging to address implicit bias. His department conducts psychological screenings with recruits to check for racist tendencies and bias. The department also checks backgrounds in community service. “It is about how you hire,” he said. Officers should be screened for implicit bias not just when they are hired, but also throughout their time on the force, said Fabienne Brooks, retired chief of the criminal investigations division at the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Department’s Central District in 1994, city leaders were desperate to clean up the area and offered the district more dollars in the form of “unlimited overtime” for officers, Hamm recalled. Hamm instead recommended putting the money into education and community centers, but was not heeded. To start, Hamm said, police departments should apologize. In Baltimore, he said, “I went to 260 community meetings, personally … I said, ‘In our arrogance, we thought we knew what was best for you. We were wrong. You tell me how you want us to police you.’” Some key next steps for police departments will be listening to community complaints and continuing to try to build relationships in communities, even as they contend with public criticism and anger, added Hayes, the SPD captain. The past decade in police reforms has brought change for many officers and an approach to policing that centers de-escalation techniques, but he said it’s clear there’s more to do. “I see the anger that’s out there, and why,” he said. “I see the need for change.”

At the state level, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission has begun preparing to train officers on the history of race and policing, said Monica Alexander, manager of the agency’s advanced training division and former Washington State Patrol captain. The training is required under Initiative 940, a ballot measure passed in 2018 that requires new training and changes how police killings are investigated. No date has been set for when the training will begin, though Alexander said her team is working to start it as soon as possible. In the meantime, law enforcement agencies also must do more to hire officers of color, Alexander said.


“We keep saying it, but we’re not quite doing it: Police forces should reflect communities we patrol,” she said. SPD says it is already working on its recruiting, with 39% of new hires last year being people of color. About 70% of sworn SPD personnel are white, 8% are Black or African American and 6% are Hispanic or Latino, roughly matching Seattle’s population. About 7% of sworn personnel are Asian, compared to 15% of Seattle’s population. Police cannot continue to operate the same way, said Leonard Hamm, former Baltimore police commissioner. When Hamm was commander of the Baltimore Police

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Executive Director Issues Challenge to Industry From David Doxtater, WFEA Board of Directors I’m proud to announce that WFEA Executive Director, Bruce Skinner, was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Washington Chapter of the International Live Event Association (ILEA). This is a great accomplishment and on behalf of the entire WFEA Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate Bruce for this recognition of his industry leadership and his unending devotion to inspiring, teaching and mentoring leaders in our industry.

I’d also like to thank Bruce for his acceptance speech call-to-action. Event leaders, are we up to this challenge?

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


"I would like to challenge you all to work together going forward to recruit and train culturally and ethnically diverse event planners. We must diversify our organizations and give these new leaders authority. It’s one thing to put people of color on our boards and check that box, it’s quite another to give them a say about how our organizations are run. If there are strong men and women of color on our boards and at the top level of administration, the commitment to diversity at all levels will most likely be met. We must hire vendors who are people of color. We must also increase cultural diversity training at our conferences and seminars. It is only then that we will have a better understanding of the challenges faced by everyone, and only then will we be a part of the solution of bringing society back together. In closing, we can’t go back and change the beginning, but we can start where we are and change the ending. We just need to make this a priority.”

June 25, 2020 Skinner Inducted into Washington Chapter of ILEA Hall of Fame Bruce Skinner, a highly regarded consultant to the special events industry and the Executive Director of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and the Washington Festivals and Events Association, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington Chapter of the International Live Events Association Wednesday night in a virtual ceremony. ILEA is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise and experience power some of the most influential live events around the world. Skinner has served as the OMC Executive Director for 30 years and oversees all fundraising for the Foundation, which stages six events a year. They are Red, Set, Go, held each February as a fundraiser for cardiac care at the hospital, the North Olympic Peninsula Duck Race, the Sonny Sixkiller Husky Celebrity Golf Tournament, Hog Wild, Festival of Trees, and Harvest of Hope, a benefit for the OMC Cancer Center. As the Executive Director of WFEA, he oversees the state’s trade association for festivals and event organizers and suppliers. That group annually holds a statewide conference and several regional seminars. Skinner served as the executive director of the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, (1980-1990) and President of the International Festivals and Events Association (1990-2001). He is the author of the book, The Complete Guide to Selling Event Sponsorship, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., of New York, and is the founder of the highly successful PF Chang’s Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Rock n Roll Marathons and Half Marathons in Seattle and San Antonio. The 2004 PF Chang’s Race was the largest first time event in history, with over 29,000 participants. Known as the "Bowl Director of the 80's," Skinner was instrumental in the Fiesta Bowl's successful bid to crack the New Year's Day bowl-game lineup, moving the game to January 1st in 1982. In 1985, the bowl signed a landmark agreement with Sunkist Growers to serve as title sponsor. The title sponsorship agreement served as a model which most other sporting and event organizations have followed.

Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


Click Here to View WFEA Membership Directory

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Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020


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Inside Event & Festivals, June 2020