I asked Jamie Howell of Icicle Creek Center for the Arts to reflect on his creative talents and community-building efforts in North Central Washington. Here’s what he wrote:
When I hired Oly Mingo back in the early 2000s, he was making sandwiches at Lemolo Cafe. And when he wasn’t making sandwiches, he was making movies. I had encountered him previously at the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival, the eager youngster asking more questions than anybody else, and that was what made me remember him when it came time to expand Howell at the Moon Productions. You can spot passion and Oly embodies it on so many levels.
When he started, he didn’t know the basics of Photoshop, but he dove into it and everything else we threw at him with a gusto for learning. As a result, I watched him blow past me in terms of his ability with graphics and, more importantly, motion graphics, over the years we worked together. Much of the best work that came out of Howell at the Moon Productions was inspired and instigated by the beautiful shots and magical treatments that Oly brought back to the office.
I believe Oly Mingo to be a creative talent of the highest order. Better still, he uses his artistic abilities to communicate a joy and respect for life that benefits us all. He has consistently managed to strike that critical balance between working hard, learning at every turn and fueling his own creative fires, all while keeping his family, friends and community close.
Today, he jumps at every opportunity to share his passion with the next generation. He teaches and delivers the keynote speeches at our Young Filmmakers Camps at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts each summer and he’s perfect for the job because he is proof positive that there are challenging, rewarding career paths available to young people who are willing to follow their passions. He has launched the Promising Young Filmmaker’s Award as part of the Leavenworth Film Festival.
I was impressed the first day I met Oly. That sentiment has only grown over the decade I’ve watched him work. There’s a brand-new baby in the Mingo family now. I think it’s a testament to the Valley itself that creatives of Oly’s caliber can not only imagine, but actually call our Valley their home for life.
Development Director/Artistic Director for Film
Icicle Creek Center for the Arts