Marcie Sillman | KUOW News and Information

Marcie Sillman

Arts and Culture Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 1985

Marcie Sillman arrived at KUOW in 1985 to produce the station's daily public affairs program, Seattle After Noon. One year later, she became the local voice of All Things Considered, NPR's flagship afternoon news magazine. After five years holding down the drive-time microphone, a new opportunity arose. Along with Dave Beck and Steve Scher, Marcie helped create Weekday, a daily, two-hour forum for newsmakers, artists and thinkers.

The new century brought new challenges. Marcie and Dave Beck created The Beat, Seattle's only broadcast program to focus specifically on arts and culture. In 2002, after more than 15 years as a daily host, Marcie decided to become a full-time cultural reporter. During her career, more than 100 of her stories have been heard on NPR's newsmagazines, as well as on The Voice of America. In 2005, she became KUOW's first special projects reporter. In this role, she produced in-depth audio portraits and documentary series about life and culture in the Puget Sound Region.

In September, 2013, Marcie was part of the team that created The Record, a daily news magazine focused on the issues and culture of the Puget Sound region. After two years as Senior Host of the program, Marcie returned to full-time cultural reporting.

To see more of Marcie's KUOW portfolio, visit our current stories.

Ways to Connect

A naming rights agreement with Safeco Insurance and the Seattle Mariner's baseball field ends after the 2018 season.
Flickr Photo/Ashley Murphy (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/aeMMq5

Housing advocates faced off against Seattle baseball fans at a King County Council public hearing on Monday.

At stake: hundreds of millions of dollars from the county’s hotel/motel tax.

Eva Stone leads a professional division class at Pacific Northwest Ballet School.
Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet/Lindsay Thomas

Many ballet dancers are women, but far fewer women actually create the dances we see onstage.

Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet school wants to help change that paradigm.

Jason Hutto, Founder and CEO of House of Cultivar, poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at House of Cultivar in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Washington voters legalized recreational pot five years ago, they paved the way for a new industry that includes everything from retail shops to big grow operations.


Sam Farrazaino poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in his office at Equinox Studios in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Georgetown is only five miles south of downtown Seattle, but it feels like another city. Instead of gleaming skyscrapers, this is a neighborhood of modest wood homes and low-slung warehouses that shudder every time a plane roars away from nearby Boeing Field. Michigan Avenue slices through the community, a path for the trucks that rumble between the interstate and the factories on East Marginal Way.


Niki Keenan at work in her home studio
photo courtesy of the artist

It’s no secret that Seattle’s hot housing market is driving up property values and squeezing out affordable places to live. But for thousands of Seattle artists, high rent on light industrial spaces is squeezing out affordable places to work.

Sara de la Fuente, of Vancouver, said she showed up to protest the detention of mothers separated from their children at the border because she couldn't stay at home and do nothing.
Daniel Berman for KUOW

Three women separated from their children at the U.S. border and detained in the Seattle area are suing the federal government.

Seattle-based Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed the lawsuit in federal court on Monday.

Amanda Morgan, left, dances during company class with instructor Peter Boal on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You can’t miss Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Amanda Morgan. For one thing, at five-feet, ten-inches she’s one of the tallest women onstage. But more obvious is Morgan’s race. While more than 20 percent of PNB dancers are people of color, she is the only black ballerina in the company right now. 

Victoria Victor gets ready to host Fashion Lab Inclusive, an all inclusive fashion show, on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Columbia Tower Club in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Most weekdays you’ll find Victor Loo at his office at Seattle’s Asian Counseling and Referral Services, where he’s the Director of Recovery Services. Loo’s been with the agency for more than a decade, but he has a thriving second career as an internationally-known high fashion model. You’ll find this Singapore-native strutting the runway as Victoria Victor, Seattle’s only genderless Asian model.

Here's Victor's story, as told to KUOW's Marcie Sillman.

Yizjuani Watson, 11, has help with her costume from Simya Gibson, 13, during a rehearsal on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Rainier Beach high school in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The end of the school year is a time for students to show off — debates, sports championships and performances abound. And for high schools around the state, it’s musical theater season.


4Culture Executive Director Jim Kelly inside the light and sound installation Hidden Spaces in 2007.
Courtesy of 4Culture/Iole Alessandrini

The head of King County's arts, culture and heritage agency steps down April 30, after more than two decades on the job.

KUOW's Arts and Culture reporter Marcie Sillman talked to Jim Kelly about the push to fund arts and culture, and the challenges that face the community in the near future.


Michael Craft

Longtime Seattle dinner cabaret Teatro ZinZanni has found a new home on the Eastside.

This spring Teatro ZinZanni officials plan to sign a 10-year lease on the old Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, across the street from Chateau St. Michelle. 

David Rue is the public programs director at Seattle Art Museum, and a contemporary dancer.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Dancer David Rue performs in "Black Bois" this weekend at On the Boards. Rue and his family moved to the U.S. more than two decades ago as refugees from the Liberian civil war. 


Che Sehyun poses for a portrait on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, near his home in Renton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Like so many children of immigrants, Che Sehyun was raised to pursue the traditional American dream: college and a professional career.

“That was, to me, to be a doctor,” he says.

Things didn’t quite work out that way.

Mary Ann Peters, "impossible monument (flotsam)" detail
Courtesy Mary Ann Peters

Last Saturday’s biological weapons attack in Syria set off yet another wave of involuntary migration. Lebanese-American artist Mary Ann Peters says that this water-based lingo isn’t an accident. 


FLICKR PHOTO/GOODIEZ (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Two reports released this month showed a decline in opioid prescriptions in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

One report looked at Medicaid enrollees, the other people on Medicare.

Both reports find medical pot can encourage lower prescription opioid use and serve as a harm abatement tool in the opioid crisis.

Dr. Andrew Saxon is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington and director of the Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program at the University.

He tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman the reports support alternatives to opioid prescriptions but the addiction crisis is far from solved.

KUOW PHOTO / CASEY MARTIN

Lovable losers? Newbies with something to prove? A town on the cusp of reclaiming its glory?

Seattle sports fans, it's time to talk about who we are.

Let's dig into the city’s sports identity with panelists Michael-Shawn Dugar, Kate Preusser, and Geoff Baker. They cover everything from the new rugby team, impassioned Sounders fans and athletes reflecting fans' values.


Photo Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Marcie Sillman talks to author Michael Finkel about the story of Christopher Knight, a man who lived the life of a hermit for 27 years before he was caught by police in Maine for stealing from the community of North Creek. 

Spokane Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the current Republican health care bill is only part of a larger plan.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4kQ16

Marcie Sillman talks to Doug Nadvornick, reporter and program director for Spokane Public Radio about a new Elway poll that shows a close race for incumbent Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The new poll shows McMorris Rodgers with a six point lead over Democrat Lisa Brown. 

The boom in Seattle's skyline has unintended consequences for the city's gender pay gap.
Flickr Photo/Michael (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/5GKvQy

April 11 was a rather unfortunate holiday: Equal Pay Day.

It's the day when a woman's salary catches up to what the average man earned in the previous calendar year. That amount of time is pretty reliably 15-16 months to a man's 12, and there are some surprising reasons for why the numbers have been so stubborn, says David Kroman in a piece for Crosscut.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Flickr Photo/Alessio Jacona (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/Du4kZU

In the wake of revelations that the data of 87 million users was exposed to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress under oath.

A notoriously awkward public speaker, Zuckerberg’s primary battle may be to “stay on script while keeping his armpits dry,” writes Slate senior technology editor Will Oremus. He joined Marcie Sillman to discuss what we can expect from this week’s hearings, and what Facebook might be afraid of.

The cherry blossoms have emerged - and so has the artwork of Michael Spafford. The prolific painter has simultaneous shows in three galleries, and a book of his work has just come out. Artist, curator, and former Spafford student Barbara Earl Thomas joined Marcie Sillman to discuss why his work is such an important part of the local art landscape.

Seattle lost a civil rights icon this weekend.

The Reverend Dr. Samuel B. McKinney died Saturday. He was 91. 

KUOW's Marcie Sillman spoke with arts advocate and former Seattle Arts Commission chair, Vivian Phillips, who knew McKinney personally about his life and work. 

Dancers practice the traditional Kahiko dance that they will perform at the Merrie Monarch Festival, on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the halau in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Kamaile Hamada found out last June that his group had been accepted into the world’s most prestigious hula competition, the first person he wanted to tell was his former hula partner, Sweetie Camacho.

“As soon as I hung up the phone, I went to visit Sweetie,” he says.

At her gravesite.

Felicia Loud poses for a portrait on Monday, March 12, 2018, at Artspace Hiawatha Lofts in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Felicia Loud barely remembers a time when she wasn’t performing. She’s been a regular on Seattle stages for more than 40 years, singing with local bands and acting with most of the major theater companies.


Mural artist Zoer paints a mural of a car crash on Friday, September 8, 2017, along the Sodo Track in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The King County Council has voted 6-3 to exert more over control over 4Culture, the public development authority that funds arts, culture and heritage organizations in the county. 

Council Chair Joe McDermott characterized the vote as a hostile takeover, but supporters believe it will lead to more equitable funding across the country.

Rosa Joshi poses for a portrait on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Lee Center for the Arts on Seattle University's campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Rosa Joshi wasn’t supposed to be an artist.

“I’m the daughter of Asian immigrants,” she says. “I was supposed to be a doctor.”

"Untitled", Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982. Last year the piece sold for $110 million, making it the most expensive piece of American artwork in history.
Courtesy Seattle Art Museum

What does it feel like to be in the room with $100 million? You can find out soon. The most expensive piece of American artwork ever sold at auction — a painting by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat — is coming to the Seattle Art Museum.

Jessica Rycheal poses for a portrait on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As a kid in Macon, Georgia, Jessica Rycheal never imagined she’d become an artist. It  was something to do in her spare time.

She was the first in her family to go to college and she felt the unspoken pressure to be a professional.

A mural painted by artist Caratoes is shown on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, along the SODO Track in Seattle. 4Culture is one of the producing partners of SODO Track.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

King County Council members got an earful when they opened their chambers for public testimony on a proposal to exert more direct control over 4Culture, the public agency that oversees arts, culture and heritage programs county-wide.


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