When from alternative soul artist Whitney Mongé moved from Spokane to Seattle in 2007 to pursue an audio engineering degree, she rented an apartment in Pike Place Market's Stewart House. "I've been connected to the Market from the get-go," she says.
Though she'd sung and played guitar in church for years, Mongé hadn't considered pursuing a career as a recording artist. That changed when she noticed the Market's buskers.
"I'd seen a lot of people playing out here and thought, ‘That looks like fun." It took me a year to get out there and try it, and it was scary at first," she admits. "But once I got out there, I became aware that music was my calling."
Now a fixture of Pike Place Market's busking scene, Mongé has become an accomplished musician. She's made appearances on television networks CW11, PBS, ESPN, and various radio shows like NPR's Speaker Forum. She's released albums, gone on tour and was named the best street performer in the Northwest according to the Seattle Weekly in 2014.
Mongé says the busking community at the Market helped encourage her along the way. "The community down here is a great thing to be a part of. I've had a lot of support from vendors to other musicians and the public," she says. "Busking helps me do what I love."