In hindsight, I much prefer the subtitle to this fabulous project: “Art Changes A City.” I lived for ten years next door to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, and saw firsthand how art changed the city. The museum is an extraordinary building complex located on an industrial waterfront sitting on a former superfund site.
I made it my mission to photograph the building in all its moods and all times of day and night, in the rain and in snow. The project culminated in a solo exhibition of my work at the Museum August 2011 – January 2012
20/20 Tacoma In Images and Verse
In 2009 I participated in an “ekphrastic” photography-poetry event at a local art gallery. Poets we were asked to write poems inspired by the art in the gallery. I was so taken aback by the power and beauty of the poems inspired by my photos that I wanted to explore the possibilities even more. In 2010 I collaborated with poet Michael Magee and a group of 20 poets. We asked the poets to submit poems drawing on my photographs of Downtown Tacoma, WA.
The project culminated in an exhibit and public reading at the Tacoma Art Museum in December 2010.
The David Serko Project
My brother David Serko died on November 23, 1992, from complications of AIDS. I was with him at the moment he took his last breath. It was an incredible event to witness and be part of. The weeks leading up to his death I describe as the “richest” days of my life. I have never felt so alive.
The morning David died, I made a promise to myself … one day, I would tell the story of his life and death. I didn’t know how, when, or in what form this story would take, but I knew for certain that one day I would do it… I had no choice. It had to be told.
The David Serko Project is the fulfillment of that promise.
My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg (the original solo performance play)
“What you created and performed that night in memory of your brother David transcends my ability to articulate. That’s when you know you’ve reached others — when there are just no words….” J.P.
A dying man’s final wish sets in motion his brother’s twenty-year quest to fulfill that wish. The solo performance play, My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg is the story of that journey. Based on a true story, the media-rich and often humorous play touches on universal aspects of the human condition offering a powerful message of hope and inspiration.
Footnote a documentary film
“Footnote” traces the remarkable 26-year journey of a photograph, a final wish, and a promise, demonstrating the enduring power of love and the capacity four simple words have to heal and inspire.
Vashon World AIDS Day
Vashon World AIDS Day was formed in 2018 to acknowledge and celebrate lives lost to AIDS on Vashon Island, WA. One of the goals of the project was to find ways to engage young people and share the story of AIDS during the “plague era” of the 1980s and ’90s. Central to the project was the highlighting the role activism played in changing attitudes and policy during that time. Activists helped usher in the therapeutic breakthroughs that now allow people with HIV to live relatively normal lives.
What we thought would be a one-year effort turned into a second year in 2019. Each year the programs included work in public schools, community engagement programs, and music.
A box of old family photographs prompts an unexpected conversation between an ailing grandfather and his young grandson. OUT!, a new play by Peter Serko, weaves a tale emerging out of the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. OUT! explores the vital role family memory and history play in our lives. OUT! reaffirms the capacity of hope and love to heal and the power of four simple words: “Listen to your heart,” have to transform and inspire.
Written by Peter Serko
Directed by Chris Boscia
Cast: Dedra Whitt Dakota, Gabriel Dawson, Kevin McMurdo, David Mielke, Cate O’Kane, and Alma Villegas
The Church Slavonic E-Tutor
Church Slavonic is the liturgical language of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and in many places throughout the diaspora. Other than a few out-of-print booklets of Church Slavonic grammar, nothing existed to make it easy for English speakers to learn basic Orthodox prayers. In 1998 drawing on my own very limited knowledge of Church Slavonic, I enlisted the help of a friend who spoke Russian and who grew-up hearing and reading Church Slavonic, he also happened to be a recording engineer. We recorded him slowly reading various Orthodox prayers. I took prayers in Slavonic printed in liturgical books and broke the audio recordings into short snippets that could easily be repeated while reading along with the text. If nothing else phrases and entire prayers could be memorized through repetition.
The downloadable Etutor program was built with Macromedia (the creators of Flash) Authorware. Authorware is no longer supported since Adobe bought Macromedia. The Etutor website includes streamable audio files and other materials to help with basic Church Slavonic grammar and pronunciation.
The Church Slavonic Etutor program is no longer supported. The website is fully functional but is no longer maintained.