Bainbridge Island has a robust legacy of protest in all its shapes and guises. Protest is a public action to express disapproval or objection to an action, law, idea, or person. What does protest look like on the Island? This exhibit highlights a few examples.
Between Fall 2000 and August 2001, more than 2 dozen hate crimes were reported on Bainbridge Island. The Filipino American Community Hall and many Jewish and Japanese graves sites at the Port Blakely Cemetery were vandalized.
To protest these crimes, several Island organizations formed the Bainbridge Island Unity Coalition. They created and distributed an educational pamphlet Stand Against Hate, created a volunteer hate crimes response team, and organized a rally and march in August 2001.
In 1991, students in Eric Hoffman’s 8th grade class at Commodore Middle School spearheaded a march in response to racially-charged acts of vandalism and print materials left at homes on Bainbridge Island.
To protest these hate crimes, the students organized meetings with leaders in the community, planned the march, made signs to advertise the event, and hosted poster parties.
Island photographer, Joel Sackett, explores the history of Bainbridge Island through the built environment with his latest body of work. It is highly personal and selective. The photography exhibit is composed of mostly of older homes that are still in use, repurposed, or in disrepair. All of them come with stories of Island lives and history.
In His Own Words
Variations on a Story
Fact checking is subject to the vagaries of memory and supposition. Were the picker cabins on Day Road built by Akio Suyematsu who might have been influenced by the barracks he saw in the concentration camps? Or, were they built by Akio’s father? Or, did they build them together? Did the cabins burn down once and get rebuilt? All variations on the same story that I heard.
Stillness and Resilience
“There is a cycle of rejuvenation that takes place as buildings age. Some are considered disposable, and are torn down to make way for progress, while others, like our cabin, go through cycles of repair and use over the years.
It has a great feeling of stillness and resilience that we hope to preserve along with the antique timbers in the next round of strengthening and preservation that is needed soon.”
“My mother, Irmgard Grabo, built this cabin in the 70’s partly from trees growing on the property. My sisters, friends, and I helped peel the logs. It cost about $500.
My mother lived there for about 15 years until she had her present home built in 1989. In 2017, 42 years later, I rejuvenated the cabin so that I could help my 90 year old mom continue to live in her own house about 200 feet away.”
Fourth and Fifth Generations
“My mom, Karen (Koltoff) is the 4th generation in this house and I’m the 5th. The land was given to Hattie Lee Grow and John Parfitt by Ambrose and Amanda Grow on their wedding day. The house was built by John Parfitt. I love this old place. I’m just the caretaker. It’s good to be connected to your history.”
Her Vote. Her Story.
Ratified 100 years ago, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. constitution restored women’s legal right to vote. Many women—and men—organized, protested, penned pamphlets, endured prison, and braved hunger strikes in support of women’s suffrage.
For many years, the 19th Amendment mostly benefited middle and upper class, white women. Additional laws and amendments were needed to assure equal voting rights and access for all women and men.
You may be familiar with Seattle’s iconic grunge music scene pioneered by local bands such as Malfunkshun and March of Crimes. You may not know that many other accomplished bands have emerged from the island. Diverse in style, they all shared an intrepid DIY approach.
Bands play in private homes, on porches, and in garages and barns.
Although the punk subgenres — hardcore, horror, straightedge— feature prominently, the scene was influenced by a wide range of musical styles. Many musicians have formal musical training; others are self-taught, learning whatever instrument is needed to round out a band.
Bainbridge Island teens compose and produce their own music, book and manage concerts and design band graphics.
The musicians and fans promote a close community, welcoming and supporting teens who do not identify with or who feel marginalized from mainstream Bainbridge Island culture.
The independent teen music scene is not monolithic; it’s eclectic and ever-changing. Bands form and evolve with different players and many teens align with multiple projects. Some bands embrace a punk sound and ethos. Others lean towards glam rock or metal. Influenced by new wave, folk, electro, reggae, punk and classic rock, each band synthesizes its own sound.