Pat Bako, Author at Cornish Alumni
Cornish Alumni Association Council (CAAC) has been Activated!
Category: Alumni Author: Pat Bako Date: 3 years ago Comments: 0
Picture of seniors on an upper level silhouetted in front of a large window at Cornish College Commencement at McCaw Hall

Photo Credit Winnie Westergard

The Cornish Alumni Association Council has been activated!

The mission and vision of the Cornish Alumni Association is to strengthen the Cornish alumni and student voice in communities both inside and outside of Cornish. 

We welcome our first slate of Council Members Marilee Kimball, Design ‘00, Owner of 321Foto, Joslyn Balzarini, Design ‘00, Senior Interior Designer, Principal at B+H Architects, and Kathleen Le Coze, PP ‘13, School of Law Advancement Program Coordinator at Seattle University and Cornish Trustee. 

Members will be involved in shaping Alumni Relations, planning get togethers, sharing news, and being ambassadors. Members commit to serve a two year term which may be renewed for an additional two years. 

Has reading about the Cornish Alumni Association Council piqued your interest? We are still looking for several additional members. Lean in, we would love to have your involvement! Reach out to Pat Bako, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at

Alumni Led Mentorship
Category: Alumni Author: Pat Bako Date: 3 years ago Comments: 0
Picture of Art Faculty Erin Elyse Burns with Art Senior at the BFA opening at Cornish College of the Arts

Congrats to all of the mentors and mentees who participated in this inaugural program. 

After carefully pairing alumni mentors and student mentees, what started as a group of strangers quickly turned into a dedicated group of alumni mentors from all departments leading to robust networking and authentic connections.
We are currently recruiting our next group of mentors, and we hope you will consider joining us for this life-changing program. You will be paired with one senior with similar interests, and begin meeting in January of 2022 through May. The minimum commitment is 1 hour a month and you may meet virtually. We invite you to join in!
Fill out the Mentor form and be a part of this impactful program. 
Sign up! Be a Mentor.  Be a Mentee

Campus Ch ch ch changes!
Category: Alumni Author: Pat Bako Date: 3 years ago Comments: 0

Photo of set design and prep, pre-covid. Photo Credit Winnie Westergard


How times change!


Cornish is actively working on updating our campus spaces with several notable projects nearing completion.


Have you noticed the progress on the building at the corners of Boren and Lenora? This is a construction project called The Ivey at Boren, and is named after Cornish alum William Ivey (September 30, 1919 – May 17, 1992) an American painter, described by the Seattle Times as “the Dean of Northwest Painters”. The Ivey is the future home of a public facing, street-level gallery, and much anticipated state-of-the-art lecture and events hall next to the Raisbeck Performance Hall. Have you heard of the Myers Sound System? Well, the lecture hall at The Ivey will have one. IYKYK!


These new spaces help cement our future as a resonant and relevant college of the arts and design and will be used in so many ways to connect with our community and the entire neighborhood of South Lake Union. 


Major renovations are currently underway on the first floor of MCC, our Main Campus Center, for the new Jon and Mary Shirley Fabrication Studio that replaces the old sculpture lab. The anticipated opening for this new facility will be Spring 2022. 


Detailed information for these projects can be found here. Check it out!

Alum Highlight: Alex Martin
Category: Alumni Author: Pat Bako Date: 3 years ago Comments: 0

Alum Highlight – Alex Martin, Dance ‘96

We’re honored to highlight our alum Alex Martin, Owner of Synchronicity Events. Alex graduated from Cornish in 1996 and has helped shape the Seattle arts community ever since! Read on to learn more about Alex, her passions, and her events business. 

The following is an interview with Alex Martin, Dance 1996 (she/her). Owner Synchronicity Events

Describe growing up and your childhood.

My parents went back to the land in the mid-70s, and I spent my baby years on their remote property in the highlands above Tonasket, Washington … and then the bulk of my childhood and teen years in Okanogan, Washington. It’s a small town with an interesting and diverse mashup of hippies, ranchers, orchardists, native folks (the Colville reservation is just across the river), and Latinx families who originally arrived to work in agriculture but are now a huge part of the community. I spent a lot of time at the swimming pool, at the local dance studio (ballet, tap and jazz!) then later in the art room at high school, in rehearsal with the community musical theater productions and the community orchestra (I played violin) and browsing for long afternoons at the thrift store. In high school I was the art geek, the music nerd, the dance diva all rolled into one!

Tell us about why you decided to pursue art and why Cornish? 

On a trip to Seattle when I was 14, my family was driving through Capitol Hill and we passed the original Cornish building on Roy Street … and my parents said “Oh, honey, look there’s Cornish. It’s a college where they teach art!” I was floored, because I had no idea going to college to study art was even an option. In my mind I was like “OK … IT’S FINAL. THAT’S THE COLLEGE FOR ME”. I never wavered. Many tense discussions with my folks later, I prevailed and enrolled in the Dance department in 1993. I thought it was heaven.

What was your most important takeaway from Cornish?

My fellow students and I worked so hard and through pure force of will and the coaching of our professors, we reinvented our bodies, we re-programmed our nervous systems with whole new patterns of moving, we built new sensitivities to balance, touch, rhythm, new methods for invention and composition. But the thing that sticks with me the most is the incredible skills I gained in collaboration and facilitation. I feel confident I can walk into any room and meet new people, and if we all want something to happen, we can definitely make something happen TOGETHER! That carries across all the things I’ve done, not only artistic endeavors.

What is your current career and how did your art lead you there?

For about a decade after graduating I was actively performing, choreographing, and producing dance. I was co-director of BetterBiscuitDance and one of the co-founders of Open Flight Studio in Seattle. And during that time, to cover expenses I made some money as a costume designer, and I also started a side-hustle taking contract work to help nonprofits with their benefit auctions and events. Events have been my main money-making gig for about 20 years now! I launched a new business, Synchronicity Events, 3 years ago with a strong vision to help local non-profit orgs hold their Best Event Ever. Currently, I have 8 employees and we’re producing roughly 75 events each year (most of our events have been virtual and via livestream since March 2020, of course).

When I’m envisioning an event, I feel a super-strong connection to my training in choreography I’m in charge of planning how people will move through a space and through a defined block of time. What’s the rhythm, what’s the composition, what do we encounter first and second and third, what’s the narrative, what are we learning as we go, what do we want to occur? So I think I take quite a different angle on experience design than event planners who come from a visual-design background. My events are built in all dimensions, and in time, and with an emotional arc.

Tell us your vision for the future of our arts world.

This has been such a brutal time for performing artists and audiences! I am watching closely to see how our local arts presenters are tip-toeing in to the fall 2021 season and navigating public safety while trying to fill their auditoriums, and it makes me eager to see how site-specific work and less “traditional” ways to deliver the work to audiences may rise to more prominence. I put the quotes around “traditional” because let’s get real, people always danced outdoors and danced everywhere and danced WITH each other, and they always will … dancing indoors on stages (for an audience sitting still) only dates to the French court of Louis XIV, and who really needs that anymore?

Our world is in a massive shift due to climate destabilization, and as our global societies live through the coming decades, I know artists can make work that provides a balm and a point of reflection and renewal. I also think artists can provide road maps to help people build new identities, courage, resilience. I hope artists can forge even more powerful visions, and more innovative ways to bring the work to audiences, and more thoughtful partnerships, and more flexible communities who are not banking on any type of “normal” to succeed. I think that artists who are more enthralled with facilitating a collective expression and empowering a community (rather than making an individual statement) may rise in the future. We shall see!

What else would you like us to know?

My employees like to rib me for having “A Degree In Dance” … and I love it! I’ve been consistently grateful for the education I received at Cornish. I believe there’s more insight, more ability to analyze and strategize, more sensitivity, more business skills, and more people skills packed into my education than if I had spent my college years doing anything else.\

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