Pike Place Market was established 114 years ago to sell produce, and in the 1960s it was almost lost forever. On Oct. 23, the Market is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the citizen’s initiative that saved Pike Place Market in 1971. And while you can still find farmers at the Market, Pike Place has so much more to offer than salad.
The 50th anniversary celebration will include live outdoor concerts and a screening of the new documentary film about the Market’s rescue, but even on an ordinary day, the Market is full of art. The crafts market and DownUnder shops house independent artists like Jesse Link and Randy Loctor, and photographers like John Wiley, while a rotating cast of buskers perform at stations throughout the Market. Pike Place Market and its environs are also home to exciting performance venues and curated galleries. Here are some of them. (Check venue websites for more event information and COVID-19 requirements.)
Art Stall Gallery
Originally founded in 1965 as part of the movement to save the Market, Art Stall Gallery is a piece of Market history. Today it operates as a cooperative of 14 professional women artists, all painters who live in the Puget Sound area.
97 Pike St., artstallgallery.com
Can Can Culinary Cabaret
Can Can Culinary Cabaret’s dinner theater has moved to a new location in Post Alley. Locally sourced, French-inspired menus in the new Dressing Room bistro and bar is a separate experience from the theater proper, which now has a second catwalk. Running through the end of October, “Zombie Cheerleaders Return” brings horror-camp to the Can Can’s trademark mix of dance, cabaret and burlesque. Proof of vaccination required to attend.
1530 ½ Post Alley, thecancan.com
Presenting an ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art, Eighth Generation is a Native-owned gallery and lifestyle brand. They sell blankets, jewelry and prints, as well as more mundane objects like socks and mugs. Everything in the shop is designed by Native artists who are fairly paid.
93 Pike St., eighthgeneration.com
Folio is a membership-based nonprofit library and cultural center with a curated collection of 12,000 books. It hosts events ranging from concerts and parties to civic and literary discussions, in a mix of virtual and in-person formats. Next up online is a librarian-led author study on the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro on Oct. 27 (open to all with discounted member pricing); in-person, there will be a Halloween party on the evening of Oct. 30 (free to all with RSVP and proof of vaccination), with trick-or-treating earlier in the day. The library and workspaces are open to members and temporary passholders Monday-Friday.
93 Pike St., #307, folioseattle.org
For more than 30 years, Gallery Mack on Western Avenue has presented contemporary art in glass, wood, painting and bronze from regional artists. The gallery regularly offers work from well-known artists while hosting special exhibitions exposing visitors to new faces on the regional art scene.
2100 Western Ave., Suite A, gallerymack.com
Harris Harvey Gallery
Harris Harvey Gallery (formerly Lisa Harris Gallery) has offered fine art paintings, prints, photography and sculpture for 37 years. Celebrating its fifth year under the new name, the current exhibition, “An Anniversary Show,” runs through Oct. 30. Reflecting the gallery’s regional commitment, the exhibition features more than 30 West Coast artists.
1915 First Ave., harrisharveygallery.com
The Pink Door’s produce-driven Italian American menu is supplemented by a variety of nightly entertainments. Look forward to seeing Hopscotch combine jazz and tap on Oct. 23; Brother John and the Surrogates taking inspiration from Tom Waits on Oct. 29; The Klein Party performing Klezmer jazz on Oct. 30; and aerialists performing every Sunday. Proof of vaccination required for entry.
1919 Post Alley, thepinkdoor.net
Unexpected Productions is Seattle’s oldest improvisational theater company. Based on audience suggestions, current programs include “Campfire: Improvised Ghost Stories,” “Improv Happy Hour” and the long-running competitive “Seattle Theatresports.” The 41st annual Seattle International Comedy Competition is Nov. 4. Proof of vaccination is required to attend.
1428 Post Alley, unexpectedproductions.org
Located across First Avenue, the Showbox is not technically part of Pike Place Market. But the 80-year-old venue is another well-loved Seattle institution and was itself the object of a recent preservation campaign. Upcoming shows include Wolf Alice, The Hu, Sleigh Bells and Strand of Oaks. Proof of vaccination is required to attend.
1426 First Ave., showboxpresents.com