Will Fremont still be the Center of the Universe when the Empty Space Theatre moves to First Hill? The news broke Monday that the Space will move to Seattle University's new, $6.75 million Lee Center performing arts facility (opening in February), where it will serve as theater in residence. The deal—which gives the Space rent-free use of a 150-seat, flexible black-box theater—will take some financial burdens off the cash-strapped company, which won't begin its 2006 season until June. In exchange, SU gets on-campus internships for arts students and the opportunity to co-produce an annual playwriting festival and other events. Joshua Okrent, president of the Fremont Arts Council, admitted, "It brings a pain to our collective heart to lose the Empty Space, but we still have the Solstice Parade, we are still watched over by our beloved Troll, and we maintain our viselike grip on the best sushi happy hour in the entire city." STEVE WIECKING
Seattle International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival are "working toward becoming sister festivals in every way imaginable," says PSIFF Executive Director Darryl Macdonald. The two parties have long had a sibling relationship—Macdonald founded SIFF, and Seattle's new artistic director, Carl Spence, has worked at both. But with the launching of the SIFF-A-Go-Go Travel Program, they're closer than ever. The program offers Seattle film fans package deals to several world-cinema events, starting with PSIFF. For $1,799 (or $2,798 for two), SIFF will whisk you to the second half of PSIFF, Jan. 5–16, and give you the VIP treatment at the Wyndham Palm Springs festival central and the chance to share an elevator with who knows who (authorities won't comment on Reese Witherspoon's rumored PSIFF appearance). "It's not a fund-raiser!" notes SIFF's Tara Morgan. "They gave us a group discount." To find out more, call 206-315-0664 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. TIM APPELO
FROM CD TO D.C.
The Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas has been singled out by Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center to participate in a national program benefiting 36 culturally specific arts organizations nationwide. The nonprofit CD Forum presents thought-provoking programs on the role of African Americans in American culture. During the first year, CD Forum directors and Kennedy Center representatives—including its president and renowned arts consultant, Michael Kaiser—will meet monthly to work on strengthening the forum's infrastructure. Networking opportunities between the 36 arts groups involved will give additional support as each becomes a more vital part of their communities. "Ideally," said CD Forum's executive director, Stephanie Ellis-Smith, "after that year, we'd have the tools to share that information with our peer groups [in Seattle], who would benefit as well." RACHEL SHIMP