Are you an Alpha Phi alumna?

The Seattle Alpha Phi Alumnae Chapter recently got a makeover and they have a new board made up of Alpha Phis from around the country. They are a group of women who are excited to rekindle your love of Alpha Phi.

Vice President of Membership, Cassie E. Andrews writes: “As collegians we learned that joining Alpha Phi isn’t only for four years, but for life. As alumnae we are the stewards of the vision our original ten founders had as a women’s leadership organization.  As a chapter, we are going to provide social, networking, and philanthropic events to the alumnae in the Seattle area. Whether you joined at a local chapter or one across the country, we welcome you to reinvest yourself in Alpha Phi. I am from New York and am very rarely able to attend events sponsored by my initiating chapter, but have found that same sisterhood among Alpha Phi alumnae I have met in Seattle.”

Click here to learn about the chapter and events they are hosting in the upcoming months.


MAX unveils website and Fall classes

Last week, the Magnolia Art Experience (MAX), a 501 (C) 3, launched a brand-new website with online registration for upcoming Fall classes. The board has worked all summer adopting by-laws, creating policy for Magnolia’s new art non-profit, developing organizational structure as well as doing outreach at the Farmer’s Market, Summerfest and Magnolia Chamber events and meetings. The website is the latest accomplishment as they continue their MAX mission:

“Magnolia’s place for creative arts exploration and expression – A place where creativity, imagination and the arts flourish,where all are welcome. A safe place to encourage, nurture and develop the artist in each of us.”

Check out their new website for class listings and more information.

MAX will have several events, art and writing classes and gallery shows this Fall. They would love to talk to you about the MAX mission, their events and development as Magnolia’s (and, the larger community’s) gathering place for art and creativity.

The site was designed by designer Rachel James under the guidance of the Board. MAX is housed at Magnolia United Church of Christ 3555 W McGraw St, Seattle, WA 98199.

Chamber consultants reveal recommendations

By reporter Steven Smalley

The Magnolia Chamber of Commerce has the gears of business working overtime in an attempt to improve the retail climate in the neighborhood. Last Thursday night a group of over 60 people met at the Magnolia United Church of Christ to hear from consultants hired to give their take on the overall picture.
The branding consultant went first. The newly designed blue logo with wavy lines to indicate water reads, “Discover Magnolia.”

“Discover Magnolia came from a group of residents, business owners, and Chamber members, who got together to come up with the identity,” says Greg Carnese, Executive Director of the Chamber. “Other neighborhoods have identities, Magnolia has not really had one. Our close proximity to water was incorporated. The idea was included to form the new brand graphic.”
The idea was to embrace the whole of the Magnolia area including Discovery Park, Interbay, and Fisherman’s Terminal, according to Carnese.
“Through a recent survey we learned residents want more businesses – more reasons to stay here – more restaurants, more retail,” Carnese continued. “Part of what we’re trying to do is to have the people who live in Magnolia, stay in Magnolia. This is in conjunction with attracting others who live outside of the community. The idea is to help the businesses be successful.”
A retail business consultant, Beth Dufek from Downtown Works, was next at the meeting. She opened a few eyes to the good and the needy of business enterprises in the Village. “Retail is a tough business,” she said.
“In a survey, Magnolia residents said a lack of restaurants is a concern to keep them here in the neighborhood,” Carnese explained. “Many go to Ballard for their dining experience. They’re also asking for a greater diversity of retail.”
Dufek laid out the positive aspects of the Village she observed: It looks like a real downtown, she said. It had a good scale and range of cuisine. From the survey she mentioned Magnolians thought highly of the events in the Village. Plenty of free parking was a plus as well.
Then there were the drawbacks: Not easy to reach, no signs pointing the way, and not supported by local residents.
“The downside of the business experience in Magnolia, according to the consultant, is the buildings look tired – the businesses look sad. Things look a little worn out. The business community could use a facelift,” Carnese said.
Dufek had suggestions. She said to capitalize on the unique charm of the area, add murals to the big walls such as the ones on Serendipity Cafe or Uptown Espresso, fill empty storefronts, and encourage more housing in the Village.
In closing, Carnese was upbeat.
“There are so many young families here now. There’s a population explosion going on here in Magnolia,” he said. “The businesses that are here are doing pretty good.”

UPDATE: 32nd Avenue empty storefronts

By Reporter Steven Smalley

“What’s going on with the blighted buildings by Ace Hardware,” someone always wants to know. Good news. The project to build a four-story mixed-use structure (2406 32nd Avenue West) is moving forward. Project architect Neal Thompson of Roger H. Newell says it’s just a matter of lawyers hammering out an agreement with a neighboring business.
“That is the last thing that we need to get the (city) permit,” he says. “It’s an easement issue with US Bank for shoring and shoring tiebacks. We’re in the process of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. We have to get the permit issued by sometime in December. This is the last thing that the city needs for them to sign off. Everything else has been completed.”
You heard it here.

Expressive Journeys art therapy and mental health counseling, Magnolia

A sponsored post from our friends at Circle of Art Studios

Kayla Helenske, MA, LMHCA is co-owner of Circle of Art Studios where she teaches art classes and operates her art therapy and mental health counseling practice, Expressive Journeys. The studio is conveniently located adjacent to Interbay with easy access from Magnolia, Queen Anne and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Helenske supports individuals in moving forward and growing healthier lives and relationships through holistic and creative processes. For over 15 years Kayla has been weaving her love of art, healing and community through her own art process, teaching art, facilitating art therapy groups and meeting with individual clients and families. Helenske focuses her practice in working primarily with children, teens and women with a multitude of presenting symptoms such as anxiety, depression, loss and grief, emotional regulation, life transitions, self-esteem and social skills.

Art therapy is a means of utilizing art materials to allow thoughts and feelings to move as you dialogue with your inner canvas through lines, shapes and colors giving image to what the experience feels and looks like in your body. The art allows the maker to capture a moment- a tactile representation of thoughts, feelings, as well as further connect and reflect upon what is working, not working or perhaps missing from their life. The process of creating also allows for a cathartic experience, expelling built up stress, anger and/or grief. The actual feelings of anger, sadness and grief are emotions experienced by everyone. Withholding these feelings and suppressing them can impact our physical and mental health, as well as relationships with others. As a client centered and strength based therapist, Helenske also intertwines mindfulness in her practice guiding clients to note how they feel before, during and after art making which is often accompanied with witness writing their thoughts.

Along with meeting with individual clients, Helenske offers group work including Women’s Identity and Stress Reduction, Intuitive Painting Classes and The Art of Friendship: A Social Skills Group for kids. Friends and families can also schedule private sessions to come together to process loss and grief, transitions or reconnect as a family through art making.


Circle of Art Studios offers a multitude of services including mixed media and pottery classes for kids and adults, art+wine events, raku parties, team-building events and birthday parties. If you are looking to reconnect with your friends and family, let Circle of Art Studios help you host your next gathering. Please visit for more information.

You can learn more about Kayla Helenske and her practice, Expressive Journeys via Circle of Art Studios’ website and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.



Don’t miss Fatima’s Fall Festival!


All are invited to Our Lady of Fatima’s Fall Festival, Saturday, September 24, from 6-9:00pm.

Enjoy a fun-filled family event full of outside rides, indoor activities, bouncy houses, cake walks, face painting, cotton candy, prizes and treats for all ages. Take a night off and treat yourself to dinner, drinks, a cup of coffee and dessert at the Festival. This is truly a Fatima tradition and a big part of Fall in our Magnolia community. Share this Event with everyone. Grab your friends and family and have some fun!



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