PORT ANGELES — Commotion — dancing, spinning, cake-pan drumming — comes back to the library tonight, and the staff don’t mind at all.
In fact, the Port Angeles Library, that temple of books, videos and computers at 2210 S. Peabody St., has excellent acoustics for tonight’s community drum circle, said Erran Sharpe, its ringleader.
And Margaret Jakubcin, assistant director of the whole North Olympic Library System, is one of the encouragers of the free party.
It’s officially called the Art Blast, and it starts at 6 p.m. with snacks, drinks and an opening reception with the library’s new crop of featured artists: Hideko Goecker, Ines Epperson, Jean Sigmar and Martha Collins. Their work will stay on display through May 2.
Then comes the physical education portion of the evening.
Jakubcin happens to be a poi spinner; she and her teenage son, Torrey, have a troupe called Thin Ice, and they will give a half-hour demonstration of their art — which is also a dance — at 6:30 p.m.
Poi, which are weighted balls on tethers, can be twirled and swung into patterns that enchant the viewer as well as the spinner.
Jakubcin, who’s been spinning for years, will have loaner poi on hand for teaching people how to get going.
“Once you’ve started, the play aspect takes over, and you just learn as you go,” she said, noting that tonight’s workshop is most appropriate for adults and older children.
Lightweight ribbon sticks will be available for younger children who want to play along.
Jakubcin is open to offering more workshops in and around Port Angeles and has at least one planned July 27 for teenagers at the library.
“I would love to see a whole core of poi spinners who could be in parades together and do flash mobs,” she said, adding that spinning can happen in any environment where there’s plenty of elbow room.
Immediately after the spinning tonight, Sharpe will invite everybody into the drum circle, with its big medicine drum — which has room for four players at once — and a supply of djembe and conga drums.
“I’ll have lots of hand percussion stuff, like maracas, shakers, bells and wood blocks . . . and those 5-gallon water bottles from Olympic Springs make a pretty good sound,” Sharpe said.
He’ll also get out the aluminum Bundt cake pan, which “has a beautiful ring.”
Sharpe, a licensed mental health counselor, has been drumming steadily for a decade; he’s also a square- and contra-dance caller with 30 years of experience cuing swings and ladies’ chains.
Good mental health
He’s found that drumming, like dancing, is good for mental health.
“If you’ve never put your hands on a drum before and you’re interested, you can do it,” Sharpe said.
He forecast that tonight’s drum circle will go for about 90 minutes, with an all-rhythms, no-stress basis.
“I’ll have some really easy stuff to get people started . . . There’s no wrong way to do this,” he added. “And it’s a great way to feel good.”
To learn more about tonight’s Art Blast and other North Olympic Library System activities at the Port Angeles, Sequim, Clallam Bay and Forks libraries, phone Jakubcin at 360-417-8505 or visit www.NOLS.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at email@example.com.