It’s easy to feel like Nancy Guppy, ’82, is a personal friend even if you have never met her. For 15 years, Western Washington viewers invited her into their homes every Sunday night when she was a cast member on the local television comedy show, Almost Live! While the show ended in 1999, she remains a familiar Seattle face both as a performer and arts advocate.
Guppy’s family ties have always been colored purple and gold because her parents and older sister are alumni. “I always loved the cozy nooks and crannies on campus,” she says. She was a Gamma Phi Beta sorority member while she earned a degree in speech communications. Guppy discovered her love of performing after graduation, which led to Almost Live! “It was a great experience with wonderful people,” she says. It also forever endeared her to Seattleites. Guppy is back in front of the camera as host and curator of Art Zone, a weekly television show that promotes local artists and events. The half-hour program began its fourth season in February and airs on Channels 9 and 21.
“I don’t believe that art is a luxury,” Guppy says. “Art is just about ideas. What artists do is open windows for us to look at things in slightly different ways.” One of Guppy’s favorite things is highlighting local artists telling short, often humorous, personal stories. “Some of these people have been around a long time and they deserve to be seen,” she says. Guppy is passionate about spotlighting the next generation. “A lot of them are so young that I kind of want to adopt them,” Guppy laughs. “It’s like I’m the arts den mother.”—Deanna Duff is a Seattle-area freelance writer