Cross-Pollination (September 10, 2015): Connecting the arts ecosystem

CAN COLLABORATION HELP ARTISTS THRIVE? This gathering of the Hive showcased some of the ways in which artists are connecting across groups and sectors to nurture an ecosystem in which independent arts can succeed.

Check out photos and videos from the event below! Notes, including key takeaways from the Hive’s unrecorded discussion, can be found here.



Leah Baltus is editor in chief of City Arts, a monthly magazine dedicated to creative life in the Seattle area. She is co-curator of City Arts’ annual Genre Bender showcase, which commissions 10 of Seattle’s most compelling artists to work in pairs, across disciplines, to create a brand new piece of performance. In this talk, she shares the insights and lessons learned from Genre Bender since its inception in 2011.


John Boylan is a writer, conversationalist, and provocateur. Since the 1997 he has run a roundtable conversation series about art, politics, and culture at large. The series has featured more than 300 guests, including some of Seattle’s most fascinating artists, scientists, poets, engineers, writers, musicians, composers, architects, actors, impresarios, and culture workers of all stripes. He is also currently working on producing 9e2, a celebration of art and technology, set for 2016. John’s talk covers collaborations between artists and scientists, and what those collaborations portend for how we make art and how we make science.


Shelly Farnham is a self-described “boundary spanner” who has worked as both a technologist and an artist throughout her career, including as a research scientist for organizations such as Microsoft Research and Yahoo! and as a founder and consultant for innovative socio-technical startups. Her organization, Third Place Technologies, applies her recent line of work in community technologies to the non-profit sector. Shelly is also a collaborative artist whose installations often incorporate interactive technology.


Geoff Larsen is the Executive Director of Bushwick Northwest, the parent organization of The Bushwick Book Club Seattle and STYLE: Songwriting Through Youth Literature EducationJennie Shortridge is the acclaimed author of five bestselling novels, including Love Water Memory and When She Flew. Together, they joined forces with Hugo House to create “3 for 3: An Evening of Books, Music and Merrymaking.” The event was a hit, and now the second annual event is in the works. From concept to showtime, here’s how the two organizations strengthened their programs by working together.


The panel discussion at Cross-Pollination was moderated by Garth Stein, author of the New York Times bestselling novels, A Sudden Light and The Art of Racing in the Rain, and two previous novels, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets and Raven Stole the Moon. He is the cofounder of Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit collective of Northwest authors working to foster a passion for the written word.