Spotlights Stories

Common People Doing Uncommon Work for the Common Good

by Kate Poss in Community, Spotlight

There are people who see problems in their communities and say, “Somebody should DO something about that!” And then there are people who roll up their sleeves and come up with solutions. The sixth annual Thriving Communities gathering at the Whidbey Institute last week was a celebration of problem-solvers who prove that community needs are best met by community members themselves.

The theme this year was “Communities Poised on the Edge” and featured films and speakers addressing issues such as affordable housing, food security, local investing, diversity, mentoring new mothers, supporting people in their healing, and aging in place.

Calligraphy Illuminated on Whidbey Island

by Shawn Berit in History, Spotlight, Visual Art

The history of calligraphy is as old as the history of writing. Books were once handwritten and hand embellished by expert scribes. The calligraphic arts extended beyond the words and letter forms to include decorative motifs and illustrations with colored and gilded Illuminations. Yet, as is often the case, technological advances all but killed calligraphy when the printing press came into use.

In 1976, Whidbey Island resident Mary McLeod attended a seminar taught by Professor Lloyd Reynolds of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Reynolds is credited as the man who brought calligraphy to the Pacific Northwest, and he is certainly the man who instilled a life change in McLeod. From that one seminar, she was hooked. Her passion for this old and beautiful art steeled her resolve to learn all she could and master the techniques.