The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
What we don’t understand, we mock. Birds are perhaps the ultimate example of this; the average person has more insults for them (from “bird brain” to “loony” to “rats with wings”) than insight. In The Genius of Birds, longtime science and nature writer Jennifer Ackerman challenges our previous perceptions of birds, interweaving neurology and biology with observation that spans from interesting to downright fascinating. Ackerman will be at Elliott Bay to read from her new book, which has been flocked with praise.
If you want to carry on in this vein, Central Cinema is showing The Birds on April 17 and 18 as part of their popular Science and a Movie series. This time, the great John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington and author of Gifts of the Crow, will be the speaker.
If you go: The Genius of Birds, Elliott Bay, 7 p.m. April 14 (Free)—N.C.
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
About author and activist Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities), New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik said, “she spoke for many, because she thought for herself.” And it’s true — arguably no one has been more influential on how we think of the relationship between cities and city dwellers today. This new documentary tells the story of one important fight: When Jacobs took on NYC “Trumpian master builder” Robert Moses, fighting to prioritize the citizens living in the city over the cars driving through it. This event is part of ByDesign 2017 and will be introduced by Sam Assefa, the new Director of Seattle’s Executive Office of Planning & Community Development.
If you go: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Northwest Film Forum April 14 ($10)—N.C.
Records, Pancakes, & Bach
This event happens in the reverse order from the billing — but luckily for us each part is enticing. Since September, marimbist Erin Jorgenson has been working her way through all six of Bach’s Cello Suites. First, enjoy her performance of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor. Then, head to the lobby for a pancake breakfast, followed by records chosen by local musician Steve O’ Brien, experienced in the form of a listening party.
If you go: Records, Pancakes & Bach, On the Boards, April 16 ($5-10 suggested donation)—N.C.
Mejor Vida Corp.
An art project and social experiment that provides products and services to the public for free. Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas launched the Mejor Vida Corp. (Spanish for “Better Life”) in 1998 in her native Mexico, giving away lottery tickets, subway passes and stickers that reduced the price of grocery store items. In New York City, Mejor Vida has given away bags of caffeine (to help keep subway riders awake). In Paris, she gave away letters of recommendation to those who were applying for jobs. Now the corporation is opening up an “office” in Seattle.
If you go: Mejor Vida Corp., Hedreen Gallery at Seattle U, Opening reception is April 13 at 5 p.m. (Free) — F.D.