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The Next 50 Book and Preview

Seattle Center is pleased to announce a newly published book, The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy as well as some major program elements of The Next Fifty celebrating the World’s Fair 50th anniversary, April 21 – Oct. 21, 2012. The events, experiences, exhibits and performances offer audiences a broad range of informative, compelling, interactive and entertaining programs.

Today Seattle Center launches a newly published book, The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy, as it announces some major program elements of The Next Fifty celebrating the World’s Fair 50th anniversary, April 21 – Oct. 21, 2012. The events, experiences, exhibits and performances offer audiences a broad range of informative, compelling, interactive and entertaining programs.

The Future Remembered is one of the first visible manifestations of The Next Fifty. The book, created by Paula Becker, Alan J. Stein and the staff, presents a captivating look into 1962 World’s Fair and takes the reader through a half-century of change and evolution – on the grounds of Seattle Center and in the culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Like the 1962 World’s Fair, the 50th anniversary honors achievements in the region, while it focuses on future possibilities. It draws attention to eight focus areas highlighting the region’s leadership and innovation over the past half-century, as it compels participants to help create a vision for our next 50 years. Exhibitions, speaking forums, live entertainment, fun family activities, interactive experiences, competitions, and community discussions invite local and global audiences to debate our priorities, embrace our challenges and pursue possibilities for the region’s role in the world.

The Next Fifty key focus areas include:

  • Arts, Culture and Design, Apr. 21 – Oct. 21, 2012
  • History, Apr. 21 – Oct. 21, 2012
  • Sustainable Futures, Apr. 21 – May, 2012
  • Science and Technology, June 2012
  • Global Health, July 2012
  • Learning, Aug. 2012
  • Commerce and the Innovation Economy, Sept. 2012
  • Civic Action, Oct. 2012

Seattle Center  and Seattle Center Foundation are leading the anniversary effort, coordinating 19 committees comprised of community, business and civic volunteers, who continue to meet regularly to sketch out the events and activities. In addition, 304 leaders in our region have signed on to champion The Next Fifty as ambassadors, and 115 participating organizations are helping to support and promote an impressive range of program offerings.

Following is a preview of 2012 program highlights. As The Next Fifty planning committees continue to finalize program offerings, Seattle Center Foundation will publicize them and post them online at For more information on The Next Fifty planning, public outreach and partnership development as well as lists of ambassadors, participating organizations and ways to support the anniversary celebration, visit or call 206.684.7200.

The Next Fifty 2012 program Preview – Oct. 21, 2011

Planning continues on activities associated with each of the key focus areas. In addition, competitions, exhibits and opportunities for fun and learning will fill the Seattle Center grounds over the six months of the celebration.

History Programs

Anniversary Book: The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy traces the history of the 1962 World’s Fair and Seattle Center. Developed in partnership with and written by Paula Becker and Alan J. Stein, the 300-page, image rich hardcover book was released today.

Documentary: When Seattle Invented the Future, airing February 2012. The one-hour documentary, produced by Seattle-PBS affiliate KCTS 9, tells the story of how the Century 21 Exposition began as a promotional stunt to put Seattle on the map but wound up shaping the future of a city. When Seattle Invented the Future brings to life the excitement and ambition the Fair ignited.

History Exhibit, April 21 – Oct. 21, 2012, developed in partnership with MOHAI and – at Seattle Center, this exhibit includes the MOHAI Century 21 Collection of artifacts and the traveling exhibition Centuries of Progress: American World’s Fairs, 1853-1982.

Seattle Public Library Exhibit, The Site of the Future, Nov. 15, 2011 – Sept. 30, 2012,  traces the transformations of Seattle Center from its from its distant past through the Century 21 Exposition and to today.

Century 21 Radio Series, April 21 – Oct. 21, 2012. Jack Straw Productions, KUOW 94.9 FM, the Museum of History & Industry and Seattle Center Foundation are partnering to create four 5-7 minute radio documentaries on the social, cultural and historical aspects of the 1962 World’s Fair to be available online and heard on KUOW.

The Fair: An Education Experience, Fall 2011. Denny International Middle School social studies students will produce audio stories based on student research and oral histories in partnership with Jack Straw Productions, MOHAI and KBCS 91.3FM.

Seattle World’s Fair Audio Tours, April 21 – Oct. 21, 2012.  These free audio tours of the Seattle Center grounds, developed in partnership with Jack Straw Productions, MOHAI and, available online, explore the history of the World’s Fair.

Century 21 Oral Histories. Seattle Center Foundation, KCTS 9, Jack Straw Productions,  MOHAI, and other partners will collect personal stories throughout the six-month celebration.

Book-It Special Edition, Adaptation of The Future Remembered in the Book-It style.  Beginning Oct. 2011. Book-It Repertory Theatre adapts short-stories from the history book, The Future Remembered and perform them throughout the Northwest. The Seattle premiere is on Nov. 15, 2011, 6:30 p.m. at Intiman Playhouse. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Walking Tours, April 21 – Oct. 21, 1st and 3rd Saturdays and 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month during The Next Fifty. Campus walking tours conducted in partnership with the Seattle Architecture Foundation and the Museum of History & Industry.

School Curriculum developed with and KCTS9, this new curriculum module will be available online for all Washington State 6th grade history classes and educators in 2012. Available to download now at

World’s Fair Employee Reunion Picnic, summer 2012, date TBA.

Seattle World’s Fair Tour iPhone App, available in 2012, a virtual tour of fifty 1962 World’s Fair sites on the Seattle Center campus.

Online Story Sharing, currently active. This new website includes a dynamic new feature in partnership with Intersect, KCTS 9, MOHAI and that allows people to share their stories and images of the World’s Fair and connect with people who were there at the same time, creating a collective story from a momentous event in our region’s history.

Century 21 Digital Collection. Seattle Public Library is hosting an online portal to its own and other digital collections of photos, ephemera and more from the 1962 World’s Fair, linking to collections from the Museum of History & Industry, University of Washington, and archives of Puget Sound and City of Seattle.

Pacific NW Historians Guild Conference, May 11 – 12, 2012. The 2012 Pacific Northwest Historians Guild Conference brings together historians of all types to present research in a moderated forum setting at Seattle Center. Presenters, grouped into panels,  will consider specific aspect of the World’s Fair.

Docomomo WEWA & Historic Seattle Lecture Series, June 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2012. Docomomo WEWA, which promotes appreciation and awareness of modern architecture and design in western Washington, will host a series of lectures on the Seattle World’s Fair.

Washington Museum Association Conference, June 13 – 15, 2012, The annual conference of museum professionals will focus their annual meeting on The Next Fifty: Innovation, Inspiration and Sustained Futures for Museums.

MOHAI Remembering Century 21 Conference, Sept. 29, 2012. The Museum of History & Industry will hold a culmination of five seminars that  reflect upon and remember the events of the Century 21 Exposition from the perspective of the community.

Events, Programs & Partnerships

Earth Day, April 22, 2012, launching The Next Fifty Sustainable Futures theme.

NFFTY Future of Film Expo and Festival, April 27 – 28, 2012. A multi-faceted two-day event, featuring films that focus on sustainability and a trade show for young film-makers.

Electric Vehicle Car Rally, May 19, 2012. Celebrating electrification of the Stevens Pass Greenway, Seattle Center will be the launch site for a rally across the Cascade Mountains from Seattle to Wenatchee along U.S. Route 2, the nation’s first EV-ready National Scenic Byway.

Seattle Works Volunteer Event, May 25, 2012. This annual rally attracts approximately 1200 volunteers, with several projects on the Seattle Center campus.

The GRAMMY MusicTech Summit ’12, June 2, 2012, brings local and national leaders in the music and technology fields together at EMP Museum. The summit focuses on the next 50 years in digital music – the challenges and promise within this medium, and sustainable solutions for the industry and consumers. Musicians, developers, organizations and journalists will meet to discuss and explore the ever-changing world of music and technology in a unique combination of panels, “TED talk” style seminars, hands-on workshops, and live entertainment.

Global Health Conferences Opening Events, July 9, 2012, in partnership with Life Sciences Innovation Northwest.

Party with a Purpose, July 15, 2012.  Equal parts global health awareness raiser and cocktail bash, the Party is the must attend event of the year for young professionals. Presented by the Washington Global Health Alliance.

The Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade, July 28, 2012, themed on The Next Fifty with a replica of the 1962 Seafair Skipper Pin.

Seattle Marathon 10K Run for The Next Fifty, Aug. 25, 2012. In Seattle Marathon style and benefiting The Next Fifty, the 10k walk/run will start and end at Seattle Center, traveling through downtown Seattle and past Pike Place Market before turning around to head onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The course then heads north on Aurora through Queen Anne, turning back around and exiting at Mercer to finish near the International Fountain.

Seattle Public Schools Back to School Rally, Aug. 2012. The rally and fair launch the AGREE campaign to strengthen education in our city. It is presented as part of The Next Fifty Learning Month.

Pacific NW Tea Festival, October 2012. Tea historically has played an important role in politics, civic action and the economy.  This event is tied thematically to Civic Action month.

Seattle Takes Care, monthly during The Next Fifty. Seattle Center will host volunteer projects that engage the community in helping our neighbors here and abroad.

Art & Design Calls

Art Call: International Competition, closedThe Arts, Culture and Design Committee received over 280 proposals for temporary and youth-led arts, culture and design projects within The Next Fifty’s unifying theme: Illuminating Today’s Challenges, Imagining Tomorrow’s Possibilities.

URBAN INTERVENTION: The Howard S. Wright Design Ideas Competition for Public Space. Begins fall, 2011.
In partnership with AIA Seattle, this international competition seeks designs for  a “green lid” at the heart of Seattle Center.

Seattle City Light Artist in Residence, begins fall, 2011. SCL is seeking an artist-in-residence for its conservation projects. The artist will create a project illuminating City Light’s conservation and sustainability efforts for display at Seattle Center’s Next Fifty anniversary celebration in 2012.

SPU  1% for Art – Temporary Projects. Four temporary art projects, sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities, at various locations on the Seattle Center campus – to be launched during the Sustainable Futures month of The Next Fifty.

Exhibits & Displays

Young Social Entrepreneurs Photo Exhibit – presented in partnership with ASHOKA Youth Ventures and Davis Freeman Photography.

World Vision Exhibit – a unique, multi-media, interactive exhibit on global health issues that allows people to choose multiple “life-lanes” and experience different outcomes.

Trash Fashion Future Exhibit and Show, date TBA. Sourced from a dumpster near you, the RE Annual Trash Fashion Show provides a platform for local fashion designers to craft panache from trash and their models to flaunt designer detritus on the catwalk as the MC announces the surprising source and vision behind each fashion.

Close-in/campus Partnerships

Nirvana at EMP Museum, April 16, 2011 – April 22, 2013. EMP is proud to present the world’s most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana. The exhibit features rare and unseen artifacts and photography from the band, their crews and families.

August Wilson Monologue Competition, April 3, 2012. Seattle Repertory Theatre will host the August Wilson monologue competition in honor of this Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who called Seattle his home. Washington State high school students will perform three-minute monologues from August Wilson plays. The top three performers will receive prizes and a paid trip to New York City to participate in the National Finals in May 2012.

Help! Seattle Children’s Theatre, April 12 – May 13, 2012. Who were they before they became The Beatles? The setting is Liverpool, in the late 1950s. All you have is a guitar, a dream, and a new sound. With songs performed live on stage, we witness the early collaboration of teens that became the most popular band in the world. This dynamic story delves into struggles of friendship, jealousy, and the insatiable, burning passion for music.

Madama Butterfly Simulcast with Seattle Opera, May 5, 2012. Seattle Opera will simulcast the opening night of Madama Butterfly, the beloved opera by Giacomo Puccini, at KeyArena. This public viewing will offer the magic of a full opera performance to thousands of additional patrons.

King Tut at Pacific Science Center, May 24, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013. Step into one of history’s most treasured stories in Tutankhamun: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs. The exhibit features more than 100 objects from King Tut’s tomb as well as artifacts from ancient sites representing some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. This will be its final stop before the exhibit is dismantled in Egypt.

Narrative Stage at the Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25 – 28, 2012. The Next Fifty is the Cultural Focus in 2012, with history programs highlighted through films, panel discussions, and presentations developed in collaboration with Jack Straw Productions, MOHAI, HistoryLink, and Seattle Center Foundation.

Seattle Science Festival with Pacific Science Center, June 2012.  Pacific Science Center and collaborators from across the region join forces to present the first-ever Seattle Science Festival. The month-long series of events includes science and technology-related activities offered at venues around Seattle, a distinguished lecture series featuring science luminaries, and a large-scale Science Expo at Seattle Center featuring hands-on exhibits, experiments, demonstrations, games, and performances to engage, educate and entertain audiences of all ages.

Avatar at EMP Museum, June 4, 2011 – Sept. 3, 2012. Get a first-hand look inside the spectacular world of Pandora through AVATAR: The Exhibition. Developed in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, AVATAR: The Exhibition will feature authentic props and costumes, interactive displays, concept models, and sketches from the blockbuster film.

Special Dance Production by Mark Morris – Nov. 2012. Pacific Northwest Ballet has commissioned Mark Morris to create a work dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

SIFF, during The Next Fifty. Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), in partnership with The Next Fifty, will host a series of films and forum discussions. The series will highlight The Next Fifty focus areas. Keep an eye out for announcements on ways young people can explore The Next Fifty through the medium of film.

Global Channel. Broadcasting hundreds of events occurring at Seattle Center during The Next Fifty, including arts performances, panel discussions, and conferences using the only interactive webcast platform, One to the World™. The Next Fifty Global Channel will allow the world to experience and interact in the celebration. Accessed through multiple platforms, the channel will include previews of upcoming events, live interactive webcasts through Q&A, SuperChat and Skype, and on-demand broadcasts of past events, showcasing them to a worldwide audience.

Global Classroom. Seattle Center will host diverse organizations and entities who will lead conversational, interactive programs for in-room and online audiences based on the themes of The Next Fifty. Using One to the World™ interactive technology, the class will be broadcast to the world over the internet to create an environment that involves a global online audience.

People, Passion, Purpose (P3): A Learning Odyssey, Oct. 2011 – June 2012. P3 asks what can we learn from the people of Washington State about how we as individuals learn, how we pursue our greatest passions, how we support learning in our community and therefore move civilization forward into the next 50 years.  The project follows 25 people of all ages and walks of life as they work to intentionally pursue their deepest passion over nine months. They are paired with mentors to support them as they challenge their own assumptions, imagine new possibilities, and muster the courage to expand beyond who they are to learn and grow. Participants will document their experiences.  Selected findings will be shared publicly during The Next Fifty.

Classroom of the Future asks K-12 youth to create their own models of how, where and with whom they would like to learn. Notions of physical space, integration of technology, and daily work structures come into play as well as ideas about modes of learning, topics of study, and the teacher/student relationships. The hope is that fresh visions of learning may help expand our thinking and create change towards better learning in this nation.

Participants can enter their work in any of the following categories: Individual, Pairs, Group, or Intergenerational (where adults and youth collaborate on the design).  Submissions will be organized into an exhibition on view in August 2012 at Seattle Center. Selected entrants may also be invited to present their ideas at a related event.