City wants money for totem upkeep
A memorial totem pole carved in honor of slain woodcarver John T. Williams won’t go up Aug. 30 at Seattle Center as originally planned because the city wants money to maintain it.
Before the totem is erected, the John T. Williams Memorial Totem Project must provide the city with an endowment to care for it in the years to come, said Michele Scoleri, an aide to Mayor Mike McGinn.
Any donor who wishes to give a piece of artwork to the city must provide an endowment, Scoleri said. She said she’s currently working with the project’s board members to identify an appropriate maintenance figure.
Williams’ brother, Rick, who started the project in March with a team of Native American and First Nations woodcarvers (“Etched in memory,” RC, April 13), said he’s heard endowment figures of anywhere from $250,000 to $1.2 million. He said the project hasn’t raised anywhere near that much yet, so board members decided to delay erecting the totem until John’s birthday, on Feb. 27.
In the meantime, friends and family members plan to mark the anniversary of Williams’ death with a celebration and traditional blessing of what are now two completed 30-foot totems. The Aug. 30 event is open to the public and starts at 3:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park, next to Pier 57.
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