Arts groups help out in the wake of Katrina

In the aftermath of any national disaster, whether 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina, the local community steps up and donates their dollars. Many local arts organizations are fundraising for Hurricane Katrina victims either through posted links on their websites for the American Red Cross or collections at performances.

The Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) will screen Jim Jarmusch's classic funky film "Down by Law" this weekend to help raise money for the hurricane relief fund. From Friday through Sunday, they will do two screenings nightly with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Red Cross.

A singularly appropriate pick, "Down by Law" features Tom Waits, John Lurie and a pre-Oscar Roberto Benigni in an odyssey through the poorer parts of Louisana. Like all of Jarmusch's films, this one is hard to classify. The director called his 1986 flick a "neo-beat-noir-comedy" and it was warmly received by Seattle film festival goers when it originally played this town.

The NWFF will be collecting additional donations at the screening, while Brown Paper Tickets will give ticket buyers purchasing advance tickets the option to add an even greater donation for the Red Cross.

The "Down by Law" event is sponsored by New Yorker Films and Brown Paper Tickets. For more information, go to NWFF's Web site, www. "Down by Law" will be shown at 7 and 9:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Sept. 18, at NWFF, 1515 12th Ave. Advance tickets are available by phone at 800-838-3006.

While nobody denies the need down south, many nonprofits fear a repeat of 2001's terrific drop in donations. As local attention turned to 9/11 relief efforts and the economy tanked, nonprofits of all types saw their own donations drop. Of course, the need for help locally didn't go away in the wake of 9-11 and the resulting pressure on many small organizations led to serious cutbacks and even a few closures.

So, as important as giving to the hurricane relief effort is, don't forget a couple of local fundraisers to support the arts.

Over at the NWFF, they want your body, not your money, for their ongoing work parties to clean up their space in preparation for their 10th anniversary. The work parties, with lunch provided, will be held Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Then, on Sept. 21, the NWFF promises "the party of the decade" to celebrate 10 years of showing strange, weird and often wonderful cinema. The $10 tickets ($5 for NWFF film forum members) are available now for the "BIG 10th Anniversary Party" through Brown Paper Tickets.

Another local institute, Theatre of Puget Sound, helps support many local small groups and fringe theatres. TPS has teamed up with Northwest Playwrights to create "Beyond the Frame," an evening of small plays inspired by big art. Each contributing playwright has created a short play based on a work of art.

For example, Ki Gottberg has written "The Three" based on the Renaissance painting "The Three Graces" by Raphael, while Paul Mullin took Seattle artist Jacob Lawrence's "Pool Parlor" as the inspiration for his play of the same name.

Seven playwrights contributed 10-minute plays for "Beyond the Frame", which will be held Thursday, Sept. 15, through Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Seattle Center House. Tickets range from $10 to $25 and will help support TPS's ongoing efforts. For more information on "Beyond the Frame," call 770-0370.

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