An interview with: Srivani Jade

Tell us your Kirkland background. How did you end up here?
I’ve lived in Kirkland since 1998; I followed my husband. He was an assistant professor at the time I moved here from Colorado, and is now the director of the Business program at UW Bothell. We lived in Bothell for a year, then we started looking for homes. We knew it just had to be Kirkland. I really enjoy the small town charm juxtaposed with the urban setting. I love the waterfront. We have a house here, our son was born here; over time we really have put down roots here. This is where I started my first career in engineering, and where I found my second career in the arts. It has been easy to do all this because Kirkland is a diverse and inclusive community.

What do you enjoy most about Kirkland? What do you find unique or special about it?
Charm. It’s hard to put your finger on it. What’s charming to one may not be charming to another. I come from a small engineering-centered campus town in India, and I can relate to a city like Kirkland much better than I can relate to a big city in India. I go to Bengaluru and I am lost. There's so much to see and do in Kirkland without all the big city bustle. I like that it is calm and green, and leads to the water. It suits my 'artist's temperament' all around!

What do you enjoy about Kirkland that has not changed over the years?
I’m really glad Kirkland has been able to maintain its unique charm over the years. I appreciate that, with all the investment Kirkland has been attracting over the years, it has not grown crazy busy. I like to think that some good sense has prevailed in recognizing and acknowledging what the spirit of Kirkland is and managing growth accordingly. I’m very happy we have attracted companies like Google here. I’m happy to see such a big company move to town,and happier still that it is being encouraged to develop in a way that it is well integrated into the larger Kirkland culture. I don’t think we’ve seen a major shift in traffic or culture because of it.

Inspirational Places

Where in Kirkland can people see the best of your discipline?
We don’t have a place in Kirkland that regularly features North Indian classical music, but I think the answer for perhaps all of the Eastside, and even Seattle,
would be the Namaste Kirkland series at Kirkland Performance Center. Ragamala presents classical music and dance from India, with some concerts on the Eastside. Pratidhwani is a really vibrant local artist
collective that also does good work in terms of Indian performing arts; many of their shows are also hosted at Eastside venues.

Where would you suggest a visitor go for a single class or workshop in your discipline?
In my discipline, they would pretty much have to come to me (laughs!). For arts in general, I would say go to Kirkland Arts Center. The City of Kirkland also offers classes and workshops, which we have utilized and enjoyed.

Do you have any favorite places in Kirkland to see art?
I’m a very incidental and casual observer of visual art.  It’s very rare that I would actually schedule an evening around it, but I love the wealth of public art we have in Kirkland. The Puddle Jumpers of Kirkland Marina and the Carousel in front of Kirkland Public Library (another favorite family haunt) are in so many of our family pictures. I like the energy of the artist co-ops on Park Lane. As for performing arts, I never feel we’re lacking in any way in terms of variety.  I am huge fan of Kirkland Performance Center. I’m amazed at the variety of shows we can go to right here in our little town that are high quality, from around the world,  and affordable, all without having to cross the bridge. We are also regular patrons of Studio East because our son is into theater.

Are there any special places you like to go in Kirkland for artistic inspiration?
I love the Kirkland Marina. Sometimes, you can find me on a bench there or under a gazebo with an electronic tanpura (digital version of my drone lute) or a
good book. You can also find me at  St James Espresso, opposite Kirkland Performance Center, enjoying the coffee and ambiance, and of course, music through my headphones. Bird-watching and walking the boardwalk in Juanita Bay park, and running up the steps in Crestwood Park are favorite family activities.