The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced this year’s AMOCAT Arts Award winners: ArtsFund (Arts Patron), Asia Pacific Cultural Center (Community Outreach by an Organization), and Jessica Spring (Community Outreach by an Individual). The AMOCAT Arts Awards honor those who provide distinctive contributions to the arts in Tacoma.
The cast of HAIR The Musical. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. Photo Courtesy of Broadway Center.
Arts Patron – ArtsFund
This award goes to ArtsFund for their work to strengthen the community by supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy and grant making. ArtsFund has been directing funds to Pierce County arts organizations since its inception in 1969, and has invested over $6.5 million in grants into the arts sector in Pierce County.
“ArtsFund grants are a stabilizing force in our arts community, providing a reliable source of funding and support for the operating costs of our organizations,” said David Fischer, Executive Director of Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
ArtsFund is committed to helping develop the next generation of community and civic leaders, and offers a nonprofit board leadership training course as well as ongoing meetings for the cultural sector. Through ArtsFund’s policy and advocacy efforts, Building for the Arts, a statewide capital grant program, has distributed $5,323,675 to Pierce County arts organizations. And, through one of its newest initiatives, power2give.org/PugetSound, a regional arts crowdfunding platform, ArtsFund is generating new support for an increasingly broad range of arts organizations.
Performers at APCC’s annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration.
Community Outreach by an Organization – Asia Pacific Cultural Center
This award goes to Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) for their deep and ongoing commitment to developing a greater understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Tacoma and vibrancy of Asia Pacific cultures. APCC represents 47 countries and cultures of Asia Pacific, offering programs and services that honor the distinct artistry, business protocols, history and social practices of each.
Established in 1996, APCC’s mission is to bridge communities and generations through arts, culture, education, and business. APCC serves over 40,000 people annually through multiple community-based programs including the annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration.
APCC is active in many school districts throughout the Washington, teaching students in grades Pre-K through 12th grade about the Asia Pacific countries, their people, cultures, languages, foods, arts, crafts, geography, and history. In addition, APCC administers the only Asia Pacific Youth Program in Tacoma-Pierce County to address the needs of hard-to-reach Asia Pacific youth who are failing academically due to a lack of culturally competent services for students and families.
On a daily basis, APCC presents a diverse array of culturally-focused programs including tea ceremonies and classes on language, cooking, dance, music, martial arts, wood carving, storytelling, and crafting. APCC has an on-going partnership with JBLM, presenting cultural demonstrations on the bases and providing basic cultural training to military service members before they deploy to Asia Pacific countries.
Jessica Spring’s, ‘You’ll Like Tacoma’ prints.
Community Outreach by an Individual – Jessica Spring
This award goes to Jessica Spring for her commitment to bringing the art of letterpress to Tacoma. She started setting cold type on a phototypesetting machine as an undergraduate English major, beginning a lifelong interest in typography. She learned to set metal type in 1989 and has been a letterpress printer since. Her work at Springtide Press—artist books, broadsides and ephemera—is included in collections around the country and abroad. Collaborations are an important part of her work, either printing for other artists or teaching students traditional letterpress printing, typography and book arts. She has a master’s degree in fine arts from Columbia College Chicago.
“Though I’ve been printing for a long time, the past 12 years in Tacoma have provided a fantastic community in which to grow as an artist, teacher and collaborator,” said Spring.
Spring is deeply committed to sharing the craft and history of letterpress printing and believes that is best done hands on, as evidenced through her work in helping found and sustain Wayzgoose, Tacoma’s own letterpress and books arts festival, for the past 10 years. She has taught printmaking, run the Elliott Press at Pacific Lutheran University for a decade, and is half of the creative duo behind the Dead Feminists broadsides, a series of letterpress prints highlighting historical feminists.
Awardees will be honored at the annual Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party on Oct. 2, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Tacoma Post Office Building (1102 A St.). Mayor Marilyn Strickland will present the awards starting at 7:45 p.m.
In addition, there will be live entertainment at this event that includes music by Speed Queen and Okinawa Taiko Drums, Trash Fashion Runway by Tinkertopia and Friends, theater performance by Working Class Theater, poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo, and a tintype photo demonstration by Kyle Dillehay. Attendees can explore an exhibition of work by Jessica Spring and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Foundation of Art Award Exhibit. The newly-renovated building will also host a series of pop-up art exhibits by Beautiful Angle, Alice Di Certo, Isaac Olsen, Jeremy Gregory, Kristin Giordano, the C.L.A.W., and Poly Rev. Resident artists Abby Kok, Alana Tamminga, and Katlyn Hubner will open their studios to the public for the evening. There will also be screenings of short films by Kat Ogden, Nick Butler, Kris Crews, Kate Walker and The Grand Cinema. The event will include appetizers, dessert and a no-host bar.
This free public event is presented by the Tacoma Arts Commission and Spaceworks Tacoma and is sponsored by Click! Cable TV, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Tacoma Weekly, Northwest Public Radio, KPLU, Weekly Volcano, Premier Media Group, and Exit133.