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Bainbridge Island nonprofit weaves together multi-cultural performances in all-ages venue

An aerial view of a stage with a grand piano and five musicians surrounded by an audience standing on one side and other audience members seated on another.
Lisa Hagen Glynn
Lisa Hagen Glynn
The audience surrounds pianist Jovino Santos Neto's Quinteto at a September 2022 concert at Bainbridge Island's Rolling Bay Hall, produced by WEAVE Presents.

When Liza Pascal moved her family from New York City to Bainbridge Island, Wash., she saw the need for a community performing arts space that celebrates America's multi-ethnic and multi-racial culture.

Pascal founded WEAVE Presents in 2019 and it received nonprofit status in 2021. Based in Bainbridge Island's refurbished Rolling Bay Hall, the performing arts organization hosts local and international musicians, community theater and more.

In an interview, Pascal told KNKX the name "WEAVE" is about the weaving of the many cultures that made America. Her vision for WEAVE Presents is to engage the Bainbridge Island community in the performing arts in a way that advances social and economic justice. Presenting multi-cultural performances by world class artists in an all-ages, family friendly venue seemed a great way to do just that.

This approach suits Pascal's skill set as well. She's a violinist and music producer who is intimately familiar with performance, production and venue operations. As an appreciator, or "receiver" of the arts, she aims to bring enriching experiences to the audience and honor the artists.

"My dream is for the whole community to really be as engaged with WEAVE as the artists are right now," Pascal said. "We decided to be very artist-centered and it turned out exactly that way."

Sustaining the community focus through the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't been easy. Most live music venues have struggled through the past few years, and many have closed. To help sustain WEAVE, Pascal launched a community funding campaign. She believes that Bainbridge Island residents who care about culture and equity will respond and support the organization.

"I want to bring everybody up and hopefully just increase the value that people put on cultural events," she said. "For an artist to feel that the community wants them there, for the venue and for the organization and the staff to feel that, and that there's so much partnership going on. I really want it to be collaborative."

Upcoming jazz performances at WEAVE include Beleza with flugelhorn master Dmitri Matheny and guitarist John Stowell on Jan. 21, and singer Greta Matassa's Quartet on Feb. 11.

Corrected: January 23, 2023 at 9:27 AM PST
Added WEAVE Presents founding year, removed detail that Pascal is a sound engineer. She studied sound engineering, but has never held that title.
Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.