Announcing Tacoma’s next Poet Laureate…

15 Apr Cathy Nguyen

The Tacoma Arts Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Cathy Nguyen as Tacoma’s 2015-2017 Poet Laureate.

Over the next two years, Nguyen will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events. She will also participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October, and help produce the 2017 Tacoma Poet Laureate Ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate.

“The Poet Laureate is an artist and activist who works both to amplify the literary voices of underrepresented community members and to enhance the shared written and oral narratives of the Tacoma community,” said Nguyen. “It’s necessary to me that social justice and equity are at the center of all that I do and create which, in the community context, means raising social consciousness, building civic advocacy, and engaging community members in shared learning and teaching through poetry and other forms of creative expression.”

As a wrap-up of National Poetry Month, the Tacoma Arts Commission and Tacoma’s current Poet Laureate, Lucas Smiraldo, will host a poetry and music event at which Nguyen will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held Friday, May 1, from 6 – 8:30 p. m. at B Sharp Coffee House (706 Court C in downtown Tacoma). Featured poets will include Nguyen, Smiraldo, 2011-2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate Josie Emmons Turner, 2010-2011 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker, 2009-2010 Tacoma Poet Laureate Antonio Edwards, Jr., and 2008-2009 Tacoma Poet Laureate William Kupinse. These poets and others will be joined by musicians Terry O’Hara and Bronson Bragg, vocalist Kathryn Burke, and there will be music compositions by Gregory Youtz.

Cathy Nguyen is an “artivist” who seeks to promote social equity and youth leadership through creative expression and community organization. A resident of Tacoma since 2010, Nguyen has worked to infuse the arts in a variety of human service and grassroots contexts.

In 2012, Nguyen created and coordinated “The RIOT”, a first-ever teen poetry/hip-hop program at STAR Center. In the years that followed, Nguyen worked to draw on and capture the voices of queer youth and young adults through a variety of arts, violence prevention, and leadership development programming at Oasis Youth Center. Currently, Nguyen integrates creative expression with youth and community development as a teen support group facilitator at BRIDGES, a center for grieving youth and their families, and as an organizer of Tacoma Stands Up, a grassroots initiative calling for an end to police brutality and social injustice through peaceful organization, where she has led Tacoma-wide rallies and arts events focused on community-building and social justice advocacy.

Fourth episode of Tacoma’s own ‘artTown’ TV show now available

31 Mar Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable
Stan Shaw and Michael Sullivan discuss Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Stan Shaw and Michael Sullivan discuss Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with its Community and Economic Development Department’s Arts Program – has begun airing a new episode of “artTown,” a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides

In this episode:

  • Get to know music director Sarah Ioannides and learn how her past experience is influencing her work with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
  • Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo explores our history and future at the Chinese Reconciliation Park
  • Historian Michael Sullivan and graphic artist Stan Shaw take an in-depth look at Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable and how it was influenced by Hammett’s time in Tacoma
  • Pianist Kim Davenport finds inspiration and contemplation at Thea’s Park
  • The 6th Avenue Yarn Bomber, Russell Valentine, Gwen Demarest, and Roberta Lowes give us a humorous look at knitting culture in Tacoma
Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Launched in October 2013, the series features diverse perspectives on a variety of creative disciplines. Offering a more holistic look at creativity in Tacoma, “artTown” stretches beyond what people might traditionally think of as “creative” – such as fine art, music or dance – to spotlight other creative areas of interest that have flourished in Tacoma like food, fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more.

Online viewing:

Watch “artTown” anytime at cityoftacoma.org/artTown.

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at the Chinese Reconciliation Park

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at the Chinese Reconciliation Park

TV Tacoma air times:

Mondays at noon
Tuesdays at 1 a.m.
Wednesdays at 8 a.m.
Thursdays at 6 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 5 p.m.
Sundays at 5 a.m.

TV Tacoma is aired on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems. On Click!, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where TV Tacoma can be found on Channel 21. On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 within Tacoma city limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. TV Tacoma is not on the Comcast system in University Place, but is accessible anywhere on the Internet at tvtacoma.com.

Future episodes will be produced in part based on some of the audience feedback culled via social media, email at maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org or phone at (253) 591-2054.

Sneak peek inside 1120 Creative House!

18 Mar

Originally posted on Spaceworks Tacoma:


Video by Kris Crews
of Crews Photography & Video

1120 Creative House GRAND OPENING
Third Thursday, March 19, 2015, 5-9pm
1120 Pacific Ave. (2nd floor), Tacoma WA

Event on Facebook

View original

2015-16 Arts Anchor Fund and TAIP Recipients Announced

18 Mar Acrylic painting by Christopher Jordan for COLORED Series. Photo provided by Christopher Jordan.

Nine Arts Organizations and 16 Artists Funded by Tacoma Arts Commission

RJ Oki and Trent Quoicho blowing at the Museum of Glass as part of a collaboration with Team Chihuly.

RJ Oki and Trent Quoicho blowing at the Museum of Glass as part of a collaboration with Team Chihuly. Photo provided by Hilltop Artists.

The Tacoma Arts Commission has awarded $255,000 to nine Tacoma-based arts organizations through its Arts Anchor Fund program, and $40,000 to 16 Tacoma artists through its Tacoma Artists Initiative Program. The Arts Anchor Fund program awards range in value from $20,000 to $40,000 each, and the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program awards are $2,500 each. Funding for both programs is for the 2015-16 biennium.

“Supporting a diverse group of local artists and arts organizations helps build a creative community,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Traci Kelly. “Funding the arts at multiple levels means our city gives everyone opportunities for meaningful engagement and expression.”

Arts Anchor Fund Program Awards

Students from Tacoma Art Museum's after school off-site outreach programs visit the museum to tour the galleries. Photo provided by Tacoma Art Museum.

Students from Tacoma Art Museum’s after school off-site outreach programs visit the museum to tour the galleries. Photo provided by Tacoma Art Museum.

The 2015-2016 Arts Anchor Fund program award recipients are: Hilltop Artists, Museum of Glass, Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association and The Grand Cinema.

In 2014, these nine organizations served 500,654 people, provided free admission to 124,209 people, and generated an estimated $9.55 million for the local economy.

Flame-working demonstration as part of Museum of Glass' Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire program. Photo by Greg Owen.

Flame-working demonstration as part of Museum of Glass’ Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire program. Photo by Greg Owen.

The Tacoma Arts Commission established the Arts Anchor Fund program in 1995 to provide financial support to major local not-for-profit arts organizations that significantly improve the quality of life for Tacoma. These arts organizations serve Tacoma’s community through regularly scheduled performances, exhibits and events, and school and outreach programs.

Tacoma Artists Initiative Program Awards

Acrylic painting by Christopher Jordan for COLORED Series. Photo provided by Christopher Jordan.

Author, Acrylic painting by Christopher Jordan for COLORED Series. Photo provided by Christopher Jordan.

The 2015-2016 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program funded artists are: Saign Charlestein, Jennifer Chushcoff, Matthew Coté, Kristin Giordano, Michael Haeflinger, Whitney Henry-Lester, Christopher Jordan, Jeremy Mangan, Janet Marcavage, Tim Norris, Chandler O’Leary, Isaac Olsen, Nichole Rathburn, Holly Senn, Emilie Shimkus and Gregory Youtz.

Catabomb, textile sculpture by Nichole Rathburn. Photo provided by Nichole Rathburn.

Catabomb, textile sculpture by Nichole Rathburn. Photo provided by Nichole Rathburn.

Funded Tacoma Artists Initiative Program projects include a spoken word album and poetry reading; a podcast series exploring varying perspectives on Tacoma; production of a series of short films showcasing poetry; performance and recording of instrumental and vocal songs; production of a book of poetry and photographs; and the creation and exhibition of two- and three-dimensional visual art including metal art, photography, mixed media, paintings, printmaking, illustrations, and textile and paper sculptures.

The Tacoma Artists Initiative Program was established in 1999 to assist artists with the generation of new work, and to share their talent with the public in a free and accessible format.

Fall Haul, sketchbook drawing by Chandler O'Leary. Photo provided by Chandler O'Leary.

Fall Haul, sketchbook drawing by Chandler O’Leary. Photo provided by Chandler O’Leary.

The Arts Anchor Fund program and Tacoma Artists Initiative Program are two of three funding programs administered by the Tacoma Arts Commission. For a complete listing of funding programs and information about the Tacoma Arts Commission, visit cityoftacoma.org/arts.

1120 Creative House GRAND OPENING

11 Mar

Originally posted on Spaceworks Tacoma:

Third Thursday
March 19, 2015, 5-9pm
1120 Pacific Ave. (2nd Floor)
Event on Facebook

1120Spaceworks_72 The space is fully staged, and ready for art work to go up everywhere!

Buzz has steadily grown about the recent creative activity in the 1120 Pacific Avenue building. Artists, designers, and entrepreneurs have filled up 12 studios (listed below), activating the entire second floor. The open architecture of this 1970’s-modernist office space provides an unusually complimentary setting for the arts in downtown Tacoma. This grand opening is the first opportunity for the public to explore phase one of Spaceworks’ largest project to date.

Event will include:

View original 116 more words

Tacoma Maritime Fest returns this July

5 Mar 2014 Tacoma Maritime Fest attendees add to the community mural on a shipping container.
2014 Tacoma Maritime Fest attendees add to the community mural on a shipping container.

2014 Tacoma Maritime Fest attendees add to the community mural on a shipping container.

The only annual celebration of Tacoma’s historic waterfront will return to the Thea Foss Waterway on July 18 & 19 this year. The 23rd annual Maritime Fest will take place at its customary location at the Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street.  This year’s festival will continue to honor the historic working waterfront and maritime trades, as well as reintroduce the public to the modern waterfront – a place that also caters to recreation and dining.

Maritime Fest is a free community event for people of all ages.  Familiar activities include the popular Port of Tacoma tours, toy boat building and remote control boats; and a range of boats from tugs to classic wooden boats, will be on display. Building on last year’s success, they are bringing back their Arts Initiatives, including a found art sculpture contest for adults, and a community-created mural on a sail for children, led once again by local artist Kate Cendejas. Other features include live music and entertainment all weekend, and free entrance to the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.

Also returning for its 11th year is the wildly popular Quick and Dirty Boat Building Contest.  This contest features local teams of three who have six hours to build a boat from scratch and race it around a course. You don’t want to miss it!

Maritime logoFor more information about Maritime Fest, including parking and transportation details, please visit www.maritimefest.org.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to help support the Arts Initiative portion of Tacoma Maritime Fest through Arts Projects funding. Other event sponsors include: Port of Tacoma, Belina Interiors, City of Tacoma, Foss Waterway Development Authority, Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, Tacoma Community Boat Builders, Tacoma Waterfront Association, Downtown Tacoma Courtyard Marriott and many others.

Announcing the launch of the Laureate Listening Project

27 Feb
2013-15 Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo records a poem for the Laureate Listening Project.

2013-15 Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo records a poem for the Laureate Listening Project.

The City of Tacoma and Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo are proud to announce the launch of the Laureate Listening Project. In this interactive online audio anthology, community members from Tacoma and greater Pierce County reflect on the importance of a particular place in their own life through poetry. Audio recordings of these poems, centered on the “spirit of place” theme, are linked to a Google map so users can search by a particular poet or location and listen to work inspired by the site.

“Poetry is most powerful when it’s done in community,” said Smiraldo. “We have many communities in Tacoma and they don’t intersect and interconnect enough. The Laureate Listening Project is an exercise in community building and community voice.”

Smiraldo worked with various nonprofit and cultural organizations including the Tacoma Public Library, Peace Community Center and Peace Lutheran Church, Northwest Leadership Foundation, The Conversation, B Sharp Coffeehouse, The Center for Spiritual Living, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, and Smiraldo’s own monthly event, Live at the Auricle, to record poems from a diversity of Pierce County residents. Currently, the Laureate Listening Project hosts over 55 poems. Additional poems will be added periodically.

Smiraldo will host an open mic to showcase alumni of the Laureate Listening Project on March 20, 7 p.m., at B Sharp Coffeehouse (706 Opera Alley). At least 30 alumni will share their poems from the project during this free public event.

The Laureate Listening Project and additional information about the Tacoma Poet Laureate program is available at cityoftacoma.org/poet.

Individuals who are interested in having their short spoken works included in the project can contact Smiraldo at vanillasoul@clear.net for more information and to schedule a recording session.

The Laureate Listening Project was conceived and organized by Smiraldo in collaboration with the Tacoma Arts Commission. Funding for the Laureate Listening Project is made possible by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Mapping capability is made possible by the City of Tacoma.

Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra Spotlights Talented Young Musicians

25 Feb
Patrons gather after the concert to congratulate student soloist Anna Harris.

Patrons gather after the concert to congratulate Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra student soloist Anna Harris.

On February 21st, I had the pleasure of attending the Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra under the baton of Conductor Dale Johnson.  These exceptionally talented young musicians performed a very exciting concert.

Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra is one of six orchestras presented by the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association — making it one of the top youth orchestra associations in the country.  Because of their size, and more importantly, their dedication to excellence, TYSA provides young musicians the opportunity to play as part of a large orchestra starting at a young age.  The Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra is the penultimate orchestra in TYSA, with musicians ranging in age from late middle school to early high school.

Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra student soloist, Claire Turner.

Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra student soloist, Claire Turner.

The program I attended featured late 19th and early 20th century composers evoking a “Celebration of the New World.” The highlights of the evening were two pieces for solo violin and orchestra.  The first, Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate, featured an electrifying solo performance by high school junior Anna Harris.  In the second, soloist Claire Turner, also a junior in high school, skillfully played a delightful finale to Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26.  These gifted soloists were backed by approximately 75 of their peers with a full orchestra.  The music was breathtaking.

During intermission a patron remarked to me, “You can’t listen to this music and not have hope for the future.”

Tacoma is very fortunate to have the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association – an organization that inspires excellence and provides unique, high caliber opportunities for young musicians in our community. TYSA truly is a community treasure.

COMING UP

What: “Rhapsody in Blue” by Tacoma Youth Symphony (TYSA’s most senior level orchestra)
Where: Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th Street
When: Sunday, March 13:00 pm
Cost: Main floor tickets are $8.00 before the concert and $10.00 at the door.  There are 100 free student festival tickets available at the door. Balcony tickets are $16 – $19.
More information: www.tysamusic.org, (253) 627-2792

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association through the Arts Anchor Fund.

____________________________________________________________

This review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Scott Campbell. Scott is the Managing Director of Tacoma Youth Theatre. He is the winner of two Emmy Awards and has worked as a writer; television producer; media consultant; communications director, and theater director, actor, and designer. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2014.

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