From Social Service to the Arts
After 5 years working in institutions for the most extreme homeless and mentally ill persons, Luna Park founder Bob Redmond decided to work on creative solutions to systematic human problems. Jobs in public media for the next 5 years (including Music Director at KBCS 91.3 Bellevue/Seattle, on-air host and engineer at WFUV 90.7 New York City, and editor of Seattle’s street newspaper, Real Change) provided experience in delivering meaningful messages to mass audiences.
In 1997 Bob co-founded the non-profit Eleventh Hour Productions, which produced the Seattle Poetry Festival and other community arts events for 10 years. Bob went on to positions in event production and public programs at Experience Music Project and was founding Program Director of the Capitol Hill Arts Center in Seattle. Since 2004 he has curated arts programs for Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music and Arts Festival. In 2002 Bob founded the sole proprietorship Engine 51, which has eventually grown into Luna Park LLC.
Why “Luna Park”?
Our namesake, Luna Park, was founded on Coney Island in 1903 by Elmer “Skip” Dundy and Frederic Thompson, two entrepreneurs with experience on side-shows, international expositions and World Fairs. They teamed up to create immersive, artistic attractions that crossed boundaries between theatre, spectacle, and rides.
One of these attractions, called “A Trip to the Moon,” became a hit and was the foundation of the original Luna Park, the second major amusement park on Coney Island. Luna Park drew hundreds of thousands of people a day through its gates and transformed the business of public gatherings. Dundy and Thompson also opened the Hippodrome in Manhattan in 1905, again creating new ways to bring people together to experience arts and entertainment. Almost immediately (and before copyright laws), Luna Parks were opened up in every corner of the world. Some of them still exist today.
At Luna Park LLC we aim to find ways to combine popular and artistic cultures, with the goal of making creativity a part of our common language and everyday experience. When that happens, people might just think something heretofore crazy really might be possible—like humans could take a trip to the moon, or that we can solve the myriad problems surrounding us today.
With 30 years of combined experience in arts programming, festival production, and stagecraft, we speak right- and left-brain with equal fluency. The core team of Luna Park is rounded out by the best events, communication, and multimedia professionals in the region.