Benefits organized to aid the Spoonman

Artis the Spoonman, popular busker at Seattle's Pike Place Market, was released from Providence Hospital May 23 after suffering a heart attack May 16.

Noted internationally for his appearance in the rock band Soundgarden's Grammy-winning video about him, "Spoonman," Artis plays lively folk music with wooden and metal spoons, occasionally knocking them against his cheeks to produce a popping sound.

The arts community rallied last Sunday and Monday at the Northwest Folklife Festival with a pass-the-hat benefit on the KeyArena steps. It raised $3,272.10 to help the entertainer pay his medical bills. Artis, who has no health insurance, was spotted at the festival Friday and Sunday, though he did not perform.

An account has been set up at Key Bank for people to donate money. Gifts can be mailed or presented in person to the Ballard branch of Key Bank, 1536 N.W. Market St., Seattle, WA 98107. Other branches of Key Bank also can process donations. Earmark donations for the Artis the Spoonman Fund.

There also will be a "Keep Artis Fine and Funky!" benefit at the Fremont Fair, Saturday, June 22.

Paul de Barros: 206-464-3247 or