2/26/15 – Capitol Hill Times: The Moth Attracts Storytellers FULL PAGE ARTICLE– The Moth came to the Northwest via KUOW, who had been playing their radio hour for a while. The Moth, from the beginning, had the intention of spreading across the country. Once interest was expressed from Seattle, it found its match with the Abbey.
2/19/15 – KOMO News: Best Places to Find Live Music in Seattle – Built in 1914, this restored brick church hosts some of the most organic and beautiful shows in Seattle. The acoustics itself are reason enough to go, with the sound bouncing warmly off wood floors and vaulted ceilings. This gorgeous space is perfect for seeing acoustic shows and tends to bring in more indie and americana artists. The encompassing echoes of strings and soft melodies in that room makes you feel like you’re wrapped in a warm blanket of comfort and happiness.
2/10/15 – Rukkus 100 Best Music Venues – Fremont Abbey Arts Center in Seattle offers live music, dance, culinary classes, and art exhibits. One of the most unique monthly events is ‘The Round’, in which musicians, painters, and poets gather on stage to collaborate on live performances.
Sept. 2014 – Seattle Magazine: The Best Live Music Venues In Seattle – The Abbey Gallery (first floor) is a boxy but refined room with a low stage, rustic pillars and warm lighting. The Great Hall (second floor) has a beautiful arched ceiling, dark beams and ochre stained-glass windows. Singer-songwriters, acoustic bands and readings abound.
March 2015 – Met Magazine: Top Things to do this Weekend – Abbey Arts, which has long booked some of the city’s finest intimate art and music events at the Fremont Abbey, expands its reach with the Ballard Homestead. The renovated structure officially opens its doors with a free afternoon of family art activities followed by an evening of acoustic performance by some of the Abbey’s favorite local singer-songwriters including Courtney Marie Andrews and Jon Pontrello of the Moondoggies.
2/25/15 – Seattle Pi: A New Ballard Homestead – Through their Arts Connect program Abbey Arts provides free tickets to Veterans, non-profit workers and low income families. Examples of their programming in Seattle includes live storytelling (commonly called MOTH), open arts microphone and music programs. They are styling the downstairs as a living room, with games like foosball and pool shuffle ball. All the spaces are available for rentals, handled by Abbey Arts. They offer 50% off their rates to non-profits.
2/23/15 – CITY ARTS – FULL PAGE ARTICLE – It’ll be in the same vein [as the Abbey]—smaller concerts where people can be really close to the band. Seated shows, all-ages, low ticket prices to keep them accessible. Acoustic, mostly bluegrass and folk because it’s a residential neighborhood, and lots of early evening concerts and afternoon shows for families on the weekends. We’re making it a distraction-free zone, no video cameras or flash photos.
More from The Round & Fremont Abbey:
2/1/12 – UW Rainydawg Radio starts The Rainydawg Round at UW
10/12/11 – UW Daily – “Round One – The Youth Round encourages collaboration among young artists…”
6/12/11 – “Yes You May” – The Examiner – “I found myself doing something I rarely do in public: crying. I was moved by the honesty and transparency of these two women, talking about subjects ranging from incest to bulimia to getting over an affair. My tears weren’t shed in sadness but rather in gratitude. I felt so honored to be witness to this raw energy of transformation and to be welcomed to blossom, too.”
1/21/11 – SEATTLE TIMES – Full Page Article! – …”These days the Abbey is home to a panoply of music, dance, art, literary, yoga and culinary classes and events. One of them is “The Round,” a brainchild of Marion’s. It matches musicians, singers, a slam poet or two and several painters (or even a potter) in an evening of collaborative improvisation…”
12/15/10 – SEATTLE TIMES – SONOS Sings
11/1/10 – SEATTLE MAGAZINE – BEST OF 2010 Editors Pick!
Best (and last) still-funky thing in Fremont
Anyone who is feeling nostalgic for Fremont’s pre-condo glory days of community solidarity should hie to volunteer-powered Fremont Abbey Arts Center (4272 Fremont Ave. N; 206.414.8325; fremontabbey.org). The Abbey, a 9,000-square-foot former church at the top of the hill, offers group classes, workshops and public events for all ages in everything from modern dance to self-defense to yoga for cyclists to vegan arts. Do not miss The Round, a monthly mash-up of songwriters, poetry slammers and painters (theround.org).
Over the last two years The Fremont Abbey has continued to expand its awareness in the community, garnered regional press including the Seattle Times, The Stranger, Seattle Magazine, City Arts Magazine, Seattle Weekly, Seattlest, and more.
Recognized in Seattle Magazine’s Best of 2010 list as the “Best (and last) still-funky thing in Fremont”, the article boasts, “Anyone who is feeling nostalgic for Fremont’s pre-condo glory days of community solidarity should hie to volunteer-powered Fremont Abbey Arts Center”.
Director Nathan Marion was also named as one of 50 Culture Makers in Seattle by City Arts Magazine.
The Seattle Weekly awarded the Abbey the 2010 “Best Online Urban Arts Presence”.
1/12/10 – Victory Music review of Round 56
THE STRANGER: Not Your Typical Basement Show
Full page article, center spread June 2008
The Round Celebrates Three Years of Unpredictable Music, Poetry, and Art.
“On paper it sounds like the most uncomfortable experience possible,” says guitarist Eric Howk of performing at the Round. “Everyone up onstage the whole time, no real rules or organization. But it works! And it is comfortable. It’s really fun watching this thing that we were all a little unsure of come to life so naturally.”
…If the Round wasn’t done well, it would be a free-loving clusterfuck of open-mic clichés. But Marion keeps it from looking like amateur night by bringing in strong talent and big personalities—past performers have included local stars Howk, Mark Pickerel, Damien Jurado, Shane Tutmarc, Jon Auer, Jen Wood, and Robin Pecknold. more…
SEATTLE WEEKLY, 2009: I checked out Round number 48 at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center last week, and in case you’ve never been, it is, as its name implies, a round-robin, multimedia arts performance in which a handful of songwriters switch off performing their and each others’ songs, with a spoken word poet (or poets) thrown into the mix, too. To top it off, there is also at least one artist painting or otherwise creating visual artworks on the sidelines.
Well, the Round has grown since its humble beginnings — there are now Rounds happening in other cities as well — and to commemorate this 50th Seattle show, it will be held at the very-classy Triple Door on Tuesday, July 7 with some well-known performers: Jesse Sykes, (pictured)Damien Jurado, and Buddy Wakefield. They’ll be joined by artist Scott Erickson, Easy Street muralist Glenn Case and a poet from Youth Speaks (not to mention some other mysterious “special guests.”
If you’ve never been to the Round, it generally happens the second Tuesday of every month at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, and the space tends to fill up; since this one’s at the Triple Door, it shouldn’t pack out quite so fast, but the noteworthy roster means that it might be wise to buy tickets in advance – ROUND 50, JULY 2009
Bumbershoot lineup for The Round mentioned in good company in Seattle Times, wow.SEATTLE WEEKLY:
My initial experience with the intimate “In the Round” performances included a rotating showcase of musicians, live painting and a poet. (I know what you’re thinking, but it was incredible: a vegan dinner, chairs! A crowd that was respectful and genuinely interested. Not one person standing with their arms crossed cynically, waiting to be impressed.) It was held in the basement of the Fremont Arts Abbey, and though the Round has no official affiliation with their landlords, the space lent a special sacred quality to the packed show. But then the monthly event was uprooted due to renovations and held in venues such as Nectar Lounge, which felt out of place—like seeing your kid sister at a bar. Thankfully, after three months away, the Round is coming home. “I’ve nearly died a few times during the renovation of the Abbey—on a 45-foot roof in the wind and rain,” says Round founder Nathan Marion, “but I’m so excited about the new space and can’t wait for people to come over and see it.” Christening the room tonight are Tomo Nakayama of melodic indie-rock outfit Grand Hallway, singer-songwriter Carrie Biell, and poet Ryler Dustin. After all, there really is no place like home.
The Round is a pretty great event—a few musicians share the stage with poets and painters and they all take turns playing songs and reading poems for the audience, sometimes even collaborating on the spot. And I know that could sound like some artsy fartsy bullshit, but it’s actually carefully curated with talented people, and therefore a lot of fun. MEGAN SELING
posted by Trent Moorman on March 10 at 14:18 PM, 2007
The Fremont Abbey Arts Center has been renovated. 4272 Fremont Ave N. The Abbey is a 9000 square foot nonprofit venue that hosts all ages music, visual, and literary arts. There are also dance classes. They are not breakdance classes, but they are enriching just the same.
The Fremont Abbey also hosts the Round, curated by Nathan Marion. The Round is a regularly occurring multi-media show that takes musicians like Rachel Flotard from Visqueen, Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes, and Kirk Huffman from Kay Kay and puts them on stage at the same time with painters and spoken word artists. Someone starts a song, the others join in, improv ensues, people paint, and sometimes a poet speaks. They toasted the new space this past Friday:
Round 34 is tomorrow – Tuesday, March 11th. It’s Sonny Votolato (Slender Means), John Van Deusen (Lonely Forest), and Tara Ward.
THE STRANGER RECOMMENDS, NOVEMBER 2007 – “If the idea of a multimedia experience that combines live music, poetry, and visual arts scares you just a bit, you’re not alone—local troubadour Mark Pickerel admits his initial reluctance to participate when he was approached last year. In the wrong hands, the Round (a monthly event curated by Nathan Marion) could be a pretentious mess. Instead, it’s a relaxed, down-to-earth and—gasp!—fun evening where songwriters trade stories and songs, quality poets ply their trade and visual art happens at the same time. “It’s a cool way for different artists to connect,” says Pickerel. This month’s musicians are Robb Benson, Bre Loughlin, and Lesli Wood, which is reason enough to attend. Take a chance on something new and different. You might be surprised.” BARBARA MITCHELL
NORTH SEATTLE JOURNAL, 2006
…the audience is literally surrounded by perpetual creativity.
by Rachel Bayer