Harlequin Presents Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Harlequin Productions presents Producing Artistic Director Aaron Lamb’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, November 26 – December 31 at the State Theater in downtown Olympia..

Hailed as the greatest ghost story ever told, we begin a new Holiday tradition at Harlequin with a fresh adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story of transformation, absolution, and grace. Join us for a Holiday classic that’s sure to please, with a healthy dose of cheer and the kind of ghostly special effects that only Harlequin can deliver.

Delayed by the COVID pandemic shutdown, this production marks the beginning of a new tradition of Holiday shows at Harlequin. Beginning in 1994, almost every Harlequin season began with a new addition to the Stardust canon, a series of original musicals featuring classic tunes from the 1940s to 1950s. They were a unique and beloved part of the South Sound Holiday season. In 2019, Harlequin began the transition to A Christmas Carol with Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol, which was well received by the community. With the premiere of Mr. Lamb’s adaptation, the new tradition has finally begun!

What can audiences expect from this new adaptation? Says Lamb, “The great majority of the text is directly from the page. We’re as close to the Dickens original as we can be…with a couple of major changes. My adaptation is a collage of all my favorite parts of other productions and versions of A Christmas Carol that I’m familiar with, with some of my own choices.”

Why A Christmas Carol, a play done by so many theaters during the Holidays? To answer, Mr. Lamb speaks to his acting career: “As a professional actor, I did a Holiday show every year for 12 years, and most of those (the best ones) were some version of A Christmas Carol. Some of my own best theater experiences are with this show. One year, I did a bus and truck tour of A Christmas Carol through the Midwest. It was a snowy, stormy year. We’d sleep on the bus, get off, do a show, get on the bus again…it was horrible. I should have been miserable. But I was having a great time, because I was playing Fred, the most positive character in A Christmas Carol, and every day the play ended at Fred’s level of positivity and good cheer.”Mr. Lamb continues, “A Christmas Carol has all the best elements of live theatre. The different things we can do with the same story are limitless. The ghost story lets us as a theater company flex our technical muscles and pull out the stops where we excel. The redemption story gives the actors the purest character arc in all of theater. So you may have seen it before, but I promise you’ve never seen this one. We will surprise you!”


Ballet Northwest Present The Nutcracker

Ballet Northwest’s The Nutcracker, Olympia’s holiday favorite for 37 years, is returning to The Washington Center in December with breathtaking sets brilliantly created by local artist, Jill Carter. Ballet Northwest (BNW) is thrilled to be returning to live performances this season, with health and safety measures in place. The Nutcracker was last seen live in 2019. Last year due to the pandemic, BNW produced a film version of the holiday classic.

The Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier will be danced by professional guest artist Lucas Horns who danced professionally with Ballet West in Salt Lake City. Ballet Northwest company dancers Elina Brein and Nina Ivanenko will be alternating in the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Both have attended Oregon Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive in Portland. Brein is 20 years old and lives in Centralia. Ivanenko is 17 years old, lives in Lacey, and is enrolled in Running Start.

“Audiences from all over South Puget Sound have come to love our Nutcracker production in the beautiful Washington Center,” said Ken Johnson, co-artistic director at Ballet Northwest, the oldest dance company in the State of Washington. “Our dancers and audiences have been through so much these last couple years with the pandemic, so we’re excited to bring back this community tradition for all to enjoy at the holidays.”

Josie Johnson, co-artistic director for Ballet Northwest said, “We know that attending The Nutcracker at The Washington Center is a holiday tradition for many families in the South Sound, and we try and keep the choreography fresh and exciting. This year we have a few other surprises in store. Plus, the magic between audience and performers is something special that we’ve all missed.”

Over 150 people make up the cast, which features local dancers as young as 8 years old plus Ballet Northwest company dancers. Ballet Northwest’s dance company is comprised of over 60 dancers age 12 and older, drawn from Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and Mason counties.

For patrons 12 and older, the Washington Center is currently requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negtive COVID-19 test provided by a lab within 72 hours for entry to the Washington Center. Patrons age 18 and older must also show a photo ID.

WHEN: 7:30pm on Dec. 10 and 17; and 2pm on Dec 11, 12, 18, and 19.
WHERE: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St SE Olympia, WA 98501
HOW: Ticket Office – 360-753-8586 or order online at www.washingtoncenter.org.
PRICES: Tickets are $14 to $35, plus $4.00 service fee. Student, senior, and youth discounts available.

Jewelry Artistry on display at TAM

Tacoma Art Museum Visitors have a new way to appreciate studio jewelry with a display at Tacoma Art Museum that prominently and effectively highlights the technical and creative artistry of these small artworks. The Christopher and Alida Latham Display showcases a wide variety of works from TAM’s Northwest studio jewelry collection including pieces by Ken Cory, Flora Book, Laurie Hall, Keith Lewis, Ruth Pennington, Kiff Slemmons, Ramona Solberg, and Nancy Worden among many others. The new display designed specifically to highlight over 100 works in Tacoma Art Museum’s central building. 

“When people think of Pacific Northwest art, they often think of studio art glass. But the region’s history as a key hub for studio art jewelry is rich and not nearly as well known,” says Margaret Bullock, Chief Curator. “TAM is fortunate to have a growing collection that illustrates the creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship of the Northwest’s, and particularly Washington’s, jewelry artists.” 

“We are incredibly grateful to the Lathams for their generosity in supporting this reimagined display, which allows us to prominently feature works by artists of our region and beyond who have had an impact on studio art jewelry,” says David Setford, Executive Director.  

TAM continues to be a key hub for studio art jewelry in the Northwest. The collection has grown to over 280 works. Several donors have added to it significantly from their personal collections: Flora Book, Sharon Campbell, Mia McEldowney, and Ramona Solberg. There are also numerous other individual gifts that reflect the dedication and generosity of the studio art jewelry community—artists, collectors, organizations, and enthusiasts. . Started in 1998 with 43 works from the estate of celebrated jewelry maker and teacher Ken Cory, the collection is expansive in its references and reflections on pop culture, politics, and personal experience to the art of metalworking, sculpture, and jewelry-making.

The display is made possible through the generous support of Christopher and Alida Latham. Additional funding for the installation provided by ArtsFund and the Guendolen Carkeek Plestcheeff Fund for the Decorative and Design Arts.

Olympia’s LoveOly Winter Fest

Mark your calendar for Sunday, November 28, 2021 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) for LoveOly Winter Fest 2021, noon to 6 p.m. at 5th & Washington. Enjoy live music and performances, activities for kids and families, festive seasonal lighting and a Winter Refreshment Station featuring locally produced craft beer, cider and other holiday libations. Don’t miss horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday storytelling and a unique shopping experience of specialty goods and hand-crafted gifts made by local artists and makers. (If you are an artist or maker, click here to learn how to participate.)

LoveOly Winterfest kicks off a month of holiday fun for friends and family to enjoy.
Throughout December, come on ‘Downtown for the Holidays’ to enjoy:
• Holiday lighting, unique art installations and decorations throughout Downtown,
including over a mile of garland decorating storefronts!
• Twinklefest – Take a self-guided tour through decorated downtown storefronts! Visit
olytwinklefest.net for more information.
• Experts call for SNOW outside The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
• We’re setting out Nutcracker-Themed Selfie Scenes for Holiday Cards with your
Family & Friends, including Land of Sweets at the Washington Center, a Gingerbread
House at 5th and Capitol and Winter Wonderland at Legion and Capitol.
• Enjoy 12 days of Complimentary Parking Downtown from December 12 – 24,
courtesy of the City of Olympia.
• Back by popular demand: LoveOly Holiday Edition, Shop & Dine Promotion,

November 26 – December 24! Download the passport here or get one when you visit
any participating shop or restaurant and start shopping and dining! Every time you
make a $10 or more purchase, you’ll receive a sticker on your passport. Get five
stickers and turn in your passport for your choice of a branded Love Oly gift, your
choice of scarf, deck of playing cards, or a journal!

The Olympia Farmers Market: Holiday Market

The change of season at The Olympia Farmers Market means beautiful fall and winter produce and wonderful handcrafted items from some of your favorite local artisans. Shop local first and grab a handmade centerpiece, holiday inspired table runner, hand blown glasses and wood serving tray to present the perfect farm-to-table meal. The Market will have plenty of baked goods, cheeses, jams, sauces, seafood, fresh and cured meats and more to create memorable holiday meals!
Holiday Market Hours at The Olympia Farmers Market runs every Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm, November through December 19th. You’ll find fresh produce, artisan foods, inspired art and jewelry, practical and whimsical gifts – something for everyone on your holiday list! The Market will be closed December 25 and 26 and will reopen Saturday, January 8, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. January, February, and March the Market will be open every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

ABOUT THE OLYMPIA FARMERS MARKET: In operation since 1975, The Olympia Farmers Market is home to over 100 vendors from the South Puget Sound area. Now open year-round, over 150 days a year, we see approximately 500,000 visitors a year. We have a dedicated staff and a volunteer Board of Directors who are committed to our mission “to promote and encourage the development of local, small-scale agriculture and ensure a dynamic market balance for small, local growers and others to make available their products to residents of this community.” We are proud to be an active component of the Olympia community for 45 years.

Centrally located on the waterfront of downtown Olympia, in close proximity to the Hands on Children’s Museum and WET Science Center, area residents and visitors can enjoy local farm fresh produce, artisan foods, wine, plant starts, cut flowers, fresh and cured meats, dairy, fresh baked goods, seafood, jams and preserves, confections, handcrafted gifts, local arts and more, with restaurants and plenty of covered seating, all set to live music.

Olympia Farmers Market

Oly Ortho Has A New Home for Spinal Care

Olympia Orthopaedic (Oly Ortho) Associates Spine Center recently made a big move. And now, the whole family fits under one roof. In the beginning of September of 2021, Oly Ortho moved into a new, specially designed building, to finally have their physicians, nurses, medical assistants and administrative staff working in the same location.

The new home for Oly Ortho, located on 9th Ave. of southwest Olympia, comes with many advantages. Benefits include room for functionality, opportunity for easier collaboration, better patient care and convenience, such as being within a short walking distance of other colleagues, their westside clinic and partners Rapid Orthopaedic Care Urgent Clinic and Olympia Surgical Center. Not to mention, the design of the new Spine Center comes with even the smallest of perks— newest partner Drip Espresso has their own coffee corner with Batdorf & Bronson coffee, fresh salads, sandwiches and baked goods in the lobby of the building for staff and patients to enjoy. 

For patients traveling far, the convenience of a single location is key. Instead of having to chop up treatment with multiple, tedious appointments, much can be taken care of in one stop. Concerning collaboration, one of the prime benefits for patients is the combined services between two Neurosurgeons, Orthopaedic spine surgeons, Interventional Pain Management Physician, Physiatrist (physical medicine & rehabilitation specialist) and more. This means services like assessments of people’s spinal issues like chronic back or neck pain, herniated discs, pinched nerves and spinal fractures, procedures like Kyphoplasty, physical and chiropractic therapy and follow-ups after surgical care will be addressed by top specialists. 

With this transition, the opportunities of spinal care that Oly Ortho can provide are just beginning. Jessica Forsman, VP of Business Development and overseer of the architecture and design of the new building, says they look forward to spring or summer of 2022 for a belated grand opening where, depending on the course of the pandemic, they can invite the public to tour and experience the new Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Spine Center. 

To learn more about the physicians and services of Oly Ortho, visit their website: https://olyortho.com/spine/.

Natalie Benson

Sound Family Medicine Opens a Senior Clinic on South Hill

Seniors in the South Sound will soon have access to a new level of health care. Sound Family Medicine is opening the Senior Clinic, a concierge-style health care experience. The clinic will provide patients with 30 and 60 minute appointments so they can spend more time with their doctor.

Dr. Sean Stout and Tracie Jefferson, PA-C see this new way of delivering health care to seniors as a way to match health care to changing life needs, in a welcoming environment. Located at 3909 10th St SE in Puyallup, the Senior Clinic offers appointments as long as one hour to patients, so seniors can spend as much time as they need with their doctor.

“The Senior Clinic gives us a unique model that allows us to focus on the quality of overall care, freeing my team and me to spend the time needed to fully address the whole health picture,” Stout said. “We’re combining modern science with the traditional personal physician model to offer the best outcomes to our patients.”

Patients at the Senior Clinic get a dedicated team of health care professionals who meet daily to discuss their best health outcomes, an on-site pharmacy and lab, Plus they have access to a community center for health seminars, cooking classes, exercise classes and more.

“I’m very excited that we can offer this level of personalized care to seniors in the South Sound,” Strout said.

Sound Family Medicine is a physician-owned and operated private family practice that has served residents of East Pierce County since 1984. The staff strives to provide the best health care possible to patients and cultivate a doctor-patient relationship built on trust.
For more information on the Senior Clinic, visit theseniorclinic.com.

Oly Fed’s President CEO Lori Drummond to Retire in June 2022

Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed) has announced that after over 38 years of service to the bank, Lori Drummond, president and chief executive officer, will retire from the financial institution on June 30, 2022. OlyFed’s board of directors has selected Joshua Deck, executive vice president and chief operating officer, to succeed Drummond in the top post; however, she will remain on the bank’s board of directors.

Born in Arizona, Drummond moved to Washington State shortly thereafter, so she has always considered herself a lifelong Washingtonian. In 1977, Drummond’s family moved to Olympia and after earning a degree in business administration from Washington State University, at the urging of her father, Drummond applied for the receptionist position at OlyFed and in 1984 so began her career at the bank.

Drummond was a quick study and in 1987, she advanced to Marketing Director and to executive-level management in 1991, eventually being named president and CEO in February of 2008 – the first woman ever to hold OlyFed’s highest leadership position. Under Drummond’s leadership as president and CEO, the bank has more than doubled in asset size, added a branch in Yelm, expanded with wealth management services through OFS Financial, added services for small businesses, added focus on commercial real estate lending, instituted new technology advancements, and enhanced bank wide culture, all while providing record-level support to the local community.

In fact, Drummond has amassed a long, diverse and impressive resume modeling OlyFed’s people-first values and commitment to civic involvement, serving on the board of directors for several organizations including: Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, United Way of Thurston County, Rotary Club of South Puget Sound, Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County, St. Martin’s University, Washington State Heritage Center Trust, Northwest Financial Association Trust, RoundTable of Thurston County and the Washington Savings League. Lori holds dear the “Distinguished Leader” recognition she received from the Thurston County Chamber Foundation in 2017. Drummond believes that Deck will continue that spirit of leadership as the eighth president of the 115 year-old organization.

Deck is a former commissioned bank examiner with experience in compliance and regulatory management. He joined OlyFed in 2011 as vice president/risk and compliance manager and quickly advanced to higher levels of responsibility and in 2020 was named executive vice president/chief operating officer. Deck serves on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, and with the Community Bankers of Washington (CBW). Last year he was honored with South Sound Business Magazine’s “40 Under 40” award for his contributions to OlyFed and the community.

Founded in 1906, OlyFed is the South Sound’s only locally owned and operated mutual bank with eight regional branch locations. Throughout its 115-year history, the institution has demonstrated consistent financial integrity, earning a five-star rating from independent research agency Bauer Financial for 33 consecutive years. Only one percent of the nation’s banks have earned Bauer’s top rating for so long and with such consistency. To learn more, visit

Puyallup teacher named 2021 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion

 Puyallup teacher named 2021 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion

KBTC recently announced Amy Reed-Ferguson, a kindergarten teacher at Puyallup School District’s Pope Elementary School, is one of 11 educators from across the country to be named a PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion.  

The award, established in 2018, recognizes and celebrates passionate educators who work with young children from infants to second graders, and offers professional learning and networking opportunities provided by PBS KIDS and KBTC, a service of Bates Technical College. 

Reed-Ferguson was selected for her deep experience with tools and resources available from PBS KIDS through the station, and her creative approach to applying them in the classroom, said KBTC’s General Manager DeAnne Hamilton.  

“Amy is passionate about supporting young learners and truly believes that KBTC and its PBS KIDS resources are a partner in her teaching journey, as well as her own lifelong learning,” said Hamilton. 

As part of a two-year cohort, Reed-Ferguson will have the opportunity to participate in a collection of community building, leadership and professional development activities.   

Hamilton said, “KBTC is excited to spotlight the importance of early education and professionals in the field like Amy. She is making a difference for our youngest learners. We are honored to partner with and celebrate her as someone who is passionate about teaching and is using media to help students understand and relate to the presented material.” 

The program honors those who positively impact young learners. As they continue to move through the uncharted territory of pandemic-impacted learning, including the proliferation of hybrid teaching environments, PBS KIDS and KBTC continue to support skill-building within the classroom, in person and at home. 

According to a statement from PBS, this year’s honorees were chosen for their passion and devotion to early education, strengthening the ecosystem in which children learn and innovating the teaching experience as we know it. Through the Early Learning Champions program, PBS KIDS aims to create a unique environment that includes professional learning and networking opportunities for educators, while fostering relationships between them and their local PBS stations like KBTC. 

Read the full list of the 2021 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions here

WA529 Plans Have Added Perks

Studies show that students who know they have the college savings available to them are nearly seven times more likely to attend higher education than those who don’t.  Starting a WA529 GET or DreamAhead account can put students on the path to a brighter future through higher education. 

What are WA529 plans?  In the simplest description, the Washington College Savings Plans, or WA529, are a collection of 529 college savings plans offered by the State of Washington.

The first program, created in 1998, is Guaranteed Education Tuition, or GET, which entails paying tuition in advance at a set price. The value of GET units is guaranteed to keep pace with in-state college tuition and fees at the state’s highest-priced university (currently UW Tacoma).

Even after more than 23 years, the GET program continues to evolve and improve to ensure that it equitably meets the needs of those enrolled.  For example, recent adjustments have been made to limit the annual increases to the unit purchase price and those limits were retroactive.  This means that GET account owners who bought units during the last two enrollment periods (July 2019 to June 2021) have either had additional units deposited into their accounts, or soon will, to make up for the adjustment. 

For the first time in the program’s history, the 2021-22 GET unit price has been set at $114.01, which matches the 2021-22 GET Unit Payout Value.  “In addition to creating an unprecedented opportunity for GET savers this coming enrollment year to literally ‘purchase tomorrow’s tuition at today’s price,’ the cost of units in future enrollment years should be more affordable,” said Rodger O’Connor, Associate Director for Marketing and Communications for WA529.

The second WA529 plan is the DreamAhead College Investment Plan, a Bronze Award winner by Morningstar, Inc.  In this college investment plan, for which enrollment is open year-round, returns are tied to the performance of the financial market. Account owners select one of two saving options: year of enrollment portfolios, which gradually grow more conservative the closer the student gets to attending college, or static portfolios, that always let the account owner set the strategy.

DreamAhead savings and GET units can be used nearly everywhere—including out-of-state institutions, private schools, community colleges, trade and technical schools, and even to cover the cost of an apprenticeship.  Since 1998, more than 55,000 students have used GET in all 50 states and 15 countries worldwide.  The benefits of the two WA529 plans are vast.

For more detailed information on these programs or to get started visit Wastate529.wa.gov.