I am Seattle Center-Pete Rush

PETE RUSH, Arts Programs Manager, Seattle Center Productions.  Pete coordinates many signature programs like KConcerts and Movies at the Mural, Best Damn Happy Hour, and Seattle Center Winterfest.  A favorite part of his job involves booking artists.

“I am an artist in my own right. I freelance as a designer—I design costumes and scenery for different theater companies in town. I’ve also worked in arts administrations jobs—I was an education director at a theater company, I’ve been a company manager and a production manager. So my job at Seattle Center is really ideal in the sense that I am still working in the field of arts. I’m collaborating with a lot of artists that I might actually collaborate with in other arenas in my life. I’m also working with the resident organizations on campus. It’s really great to have multiple points of connection. It gives me so much satisfaction to be able to offer a paying gig to a struggling artist that I know is worth every penny and more. To be able to give them a high profile venue and a large audience and a paycheck, it’s just really satisfying. Part of my job is being sort of an artist advocate and making sure that we treat artists well and represent the diversity out there.”

#IAmSeattleCenter #artist #designer #manager #collaboration #paidgig #artistadvocate

Photo by Curtis Bathurst

I am Seattle Center-Jeffrey Parrish, DDS

JEFFREY PARRISH, DDS, serves as the Dental Director for Seattle/King County Clinic, a 4-day free health clinic at KeyArena for those who need help accessing care.  Here he speaks about the value of the clinic in this region.

“Haiti is a very poor country; it doesn’t have a lot of infrastructure, so in terms of going over there to do dentistry, it’s relatively easy. There’s not a whole lot of bureaucracy to deal with. Here, it’s a huge bureaucratic challenge. The bureaucracy is much larger in a place like Seattle. But the essence of it is the same: some person has a need, and some person is able to satisfy that need.

Here, in America, much of it is priorities. People will buy a big screen TV but won’t go to the dentist. Then, there’s a certain segment of the population who can’t take care of themselves.  The State of Washington does not have a good safety net for people who absolutely do not have resources, and so the clinic provides a teeny-tiny piece of that safety net. When one takes on a part of the healing arts, one takes on certain responsibilities. You don’t just get to charge everybody you see. You have, in my mind, an obligation to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves.”  Photo by Auston James.

#IAmSeattleCenter #Dentist #SKCC #healthcare #safetynet #bureaucracy #keyarena

I Am Seattle Center-Marika Yaplee

I Am Seattle Center

MARIKA YAPLEE, is a student at Seattle University as well as an athlete on the women’s basketball team.  SU basketball plays in KeyArena and is a fantastic sports and education partner at Seattle Center.

“In almost every class, in every major, there’s going to be an athlete. And they don’t act as though they’re better than you because they’re an athlete and because they have a scholarship and things like that. Sometimes they’re the ones that need the most help and the most friendship, just because they’re traveling so much, and sometimes don’t get to make a lot of connections with people outside of the team. So it’s nice to see them in class and interact with them–they’re definitely normal people. It’s not like a big university, where athletes are on a whole different level than you are. Everyone’s going through the same stresses and struggles, so we definitely try to help each other out as much as we can.”

#IAmSeattleCenter #SeattleUniversity #SU #basketball #athlete #student #KeyArena

I am Seattle Center-Tom Henning

TOM HENNING worked in broadcasting and advertising, before retiring and becoming an usher at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall ten years ago. When he was a boy, he took the train with his grandmother to see operas at the Met.

“The everyday job is working at an aisle, and helping people find their seats, and helping them with little extra things that they might need.  The most asked question: where’s the restroom?

The job never gets old. I’ve worked 41 Nutcrackers. I look forward to every day. This is more than just a job, this is fun. I get enthused about it. I’ve been to a lot of opera houses, in Europe and the United States and all that. I’d say this is right up at the top. The whole place is wonderful. I work with just top-flight people. We have a wonderful head usher, wonderful associates. I’m very pleased with everything. I don’t think I’ve ever had a single complaint about anything, except for my feet sometimes hurt. That’s about it.”

#IAmSeattleCenter #McCawHall #usher #Nutcracker #opera #feethurt #enthusiasm

I am Seattle Center-Ellen Norton

ELLEN NORTON, Seattle Center Armory Manager.  Ellen oversees the operations, maintenance and daily use of the historical Armory building.

“I walked into the building one day, and I was walking next to a woman who looked like a tourist. She came in through the doors, and right when she got into the open area of the Armory, she stopped and went, “Oh wow! I haven’t been in here in 20 years. This is amazing.” And she was talking about how cool it was and how great it looked, and ‘look at all the great restaurants, and I’m going to come back here for lunch.’ That was very cool. And I told her that I actually manage this building, and she was, like, ‘You do? What a fun job!’ People say that to me all the time.”

“One of the things I find that surprises me intermittently on a regular basis through my entire career is [that] I will periodically be walking across campus and all of a sudden I will realize, I work in such a cool place! Like, look around you. Usually it’s springtime. The sun is shining, there are people playing in the fountain, there’s the Space Needle, there’s all this grass. What a cool place to work. And I still do that, I still do that–like, lift your head up a little bit from going through your day, and realize, I work at a park! Or this building, it’s such a great building to work in. It’s so great.”

#IAmSeattleCenter #Armory #tourist #coolplace #funjob