Archive | April, 2012

Stretch Your Financial Gift – Give BIG on May 2

30 Apr

In just two days, many local arts organizations will be participating in The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG event. GiveBIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier, more vital place to live. This is an especially crucial time to support your favorite arts non-profits in Tacoma and the region.

On May 2, 2012, pick your favorite nonprofit, rally your friends, and give online. Your gift will grow bigger, thanks to matching funds from generous GiveBIG sponsors!

GROW YOUR GIFT. Each donation made through The Seattle Foundation’s website to any of the 1,300 profiled nonprofit organizations between midnight and midnight (Pacific Time) on May 2, 2012 will receive a pro-rated portion of the matching funds (or “stretch”) pool. The amount of the “stretch” depends on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day. For example, if a nonprofit organization receives 3 percent of the total donations during GiveBIG, then it will receive 3 percent of the stretch pool.

WIN A GOLDEN TICKET. Throughout GiveBIG, donors will be chosen at random to have an additional $1,000 given to the charity that received their donation. The selected donor will also be eligible to win a Starbucks gift card worth $100!


Local Film. Local Fun. Produced in 72 Hours.

30 Apr
The Grand Cinema is proud to present The 72 Hour Film Competition Viewing Party on Friday, May 11, at the Rialto Theater. Woohoo! At this must-see annual event the Grand will screen 30 short films created by local filmmakers. Tickets are on sale now at 253.593.4474 or click here to purchase.

Photo courtesy of the Grand Cinema.

Last Thursday, participating filmmakers converged on the Grand to receive marching orders, then spent the next 72 hours out and about in Tacoma and Pierce County shooting their 5 minute shorts. The results will hit the big screen at the Rialto on May 11 – doors open at 6 pm and films begin at 7 pm.

This event brings together the stuff we love – great short films by rising local auteurs accompanied by fine swill and more than buttery popcorn to nosh on. Beer and wine, pizza by the slice and fancy cupcakes and desserts will be available for purchase. See you at the movies! Rialto Theater, 310 S. Ninth St. in Tacoma.

$11 Grand Members
$13 General admission pre-purchase tickets
$15 Day of event

Sponsored by Farrelli’s Pizza,  Katie Downs, Click! Cable TV, Weekly Volcano, Stella Artois, Puget Sound Playback, Mary Holste Design, Best Buy, Tacoma Arts Commission and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

Hope in Hard Times on April 29

27 Apr

In honor of National Poetry Month, join 2010-11 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker and writer Maria Gudaitis with special guest poets Hans Ostrom, Josie Emmons Turner, Allen Braden, and Elijah Muied as they read poems in response to “Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression”—an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. “The Museum, which celebrates and conserves images, words, artifacts and papers, is an appropriate, resonant location for this event that celebrates thoughtful writing about hope and suffering. Both the History Museum and poetry attempt to preserve community memories and individual experiences. Both also aim to preserve a sense of meaning associated with the human experience,” said Robacker.

The poets will engage exhibit stories, artifacts and images. Like the exhibit, the reading will touch on poverty and resourcefulness—distress and courage—to show how artistic voices add meaning to memories of important eras.

“The Museum’s exhibit bears witness to Americans living through the worst economic crisis in our history. Survival and celebration go hand in hand. Even in the darkest time, people wrote poems. We see this in the Bible, in Holocaust art, in the poems of Prague Spring and in poets under house arrest in China today. Art lifts spirits. And the South Sound could use a creative boost, because the current economic downturn has depleted us,” said Gudaitis. Continue reading

Buster Simpson on the Green Road to Public Art

26 Apr

Photo courtesy of Buster Simpson.

Ecological Public Art:  Making a Difference

The earth is in ecological crisis. Now more than ever, ecological public art can pose intriguing and critical questions about the state of our planet. On May 1 at the University of Puget Sound, art curator Patricia Watts and public artist Buster Simpson will discuss what makes a successful public art plan including selecting public art works that are both aesthetically rigorous and sustainable as infrastructure projects. Watts will discuss the public art selection process and Simpson will present the longer road to bringing larger environmental projects to fruition working with city, state, and federal agencies. Both are concerned with how these types of projects are planned for, funded, and that when they are completed, they are public art works that make a real difference for both people and the natural world.

Buster Simpson is one of the nation’s foremost ecological artists. For over 30 years, he has been engaging citizens in aesthetics, politics and the environment. Humor and rich metaphors distinguish his work, with many of his deceptively simple sculptures offering solutions to real problems. Beginning in Seattle in the 1970’s, Simpson helped establish the practice of public art as a profession, and still today, he “prefers working in public domains. The complexity of any site is its asset, to build upon, to distill, to reveal its layers of meaning. Process becomes part and parcel. Site conditions, social and political realities, history, existing phenomena and ecology are the armature. The challenge is to navigate along the edge between provocateur and pedestrian, art as gift and poetic utility.”

Patricia Watts is founder and West Coast curator of ecoartspace, a platform for artists addressing environmental issues in the visual arts. She has researched art and nature practitioners since 1994, has given lectures at art departments internationally, and has curated over 30 exhibitions. Watts was Chief Curator at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, CA, from 2005-2008.
WHO: Buster Simpson and Patricia Watts
WHAT: “Ecological Public Art: Making a Difference”
WHERE: University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner, Tacoma, WA 98416. Kittredge Building, Room 201
WHEN: Tuesday May 1, 3 pm

St{art} Momentum: PLU Exhibition Opens Tonight

25 Apr
WHO: Pacific Lutheran University Bachelor of Fine Arts students
WHAT: St[art] Momentum, the BFA Exhibition at Pacific Lutheran University
WHERE: Ingram Hall at PLU, 12180 Park Avenue S. in Tacoma
WHEN: Opening reception Wednesday, April 25, 5-7 pm; show runs through May 27, 2012. Regular hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 am – 4 pm, or by appointment
ADMISSION: Entrance is free and open to the public

Art by Tessa Heck.

Check out St{a}rt Momentum, an exhibition of art by Pacific Lutheran University Bachelor of Fine Arts students, opening tonight. “One of the great things about the work students have done is they’re really trying to push their mediums, think outside the box, and convey their artistic vision in really beautiful and unique ways,” student Kate Miller says.

The mounting of this show for the University Gallery is like no other PLU show this season. The exhibition is entirely student driven from the advertising, art installation and set up, to the catering.

“It’s the big final push out of the safety net. Instead of our professors motivating us and making us work hard, we have to be our own motivation and make ourselves work and put our best foot forward,“ says student Tessa Heck.

Art by Kate Miller.

The exhibition features the work of PLU art and design seniors: Meghan Arntson, Alisha Buoy, Amanda Candella, Lottie Carlson, Blair Chaney, Claire Cordeiro, Andrew Deem, Chelsea Flaherty, Joe Flood, Tessa Heck, Anna Holcomb, Kate Miller, Ayla Mull, Michael Parretta, Jill Peck, Jonathan Post, Jaeda Reed, and Rachel Stoneking.

“St{art} Momentum” is an excellent metaphor for where students are in their lives. For more information contact Amanda Brady, 253.535.7162.

Pow Wow Blowout, April 28

24 Apr

Photo courtesy of TCC.

The Annual Pow Wow at Tacoma Community College will be held Saturday, April 28, 1-8 pm, in the Student Center, Building 11. The TCC Native American Student Union helps plan this big event, an opportunity to show respect to tribal traditions, including the custom of providing food and shelter to visitors. Grand Entries at 1 and 7 pm feature a parade around the dance space; dancing and drumming will happen off and on throughout the day. Traditional food and merchandise will be available for purchase. This community event is free and open to the public.

Zeitbike and Other Highlights of Bike to Work Month

23 Apr

It’s time to dust off your helmet, pump up those tires and get ready to chalk up some commuter miles! May is Bike to Work Month and you’ll find a slew of local events throughout the month celebrating pedal power. And don’t forget to log your commute trips at for a chance to win great prizes!

In honor of Bike to Work Month – and with a nod to the acclaimed exhibition, HIDE/SEEK – Tacoma Art Museum presents RIDE/SEEK on Third Thursday, May 17. Bike to TAM to enjoy an evening of bike-related programs and art activities, from 5 to 8 pm. In partnership with the City of Tacoma, this year’s Zeitbike installation at TAM will feature bicycle-themed letterpress art by Beautiful Angle, Wayzgoose, and Stadium High School students, on view throughout the month of May. Enter to win a poster of the featured work! On Third Thursday, May 17, the museum will screen the film Bill Cunningham New York, a cinematic profile of the noted veteran New York City fashion photographer and dedicated cyclist.

On Saturday, April 30th, The Tacoma Bike Swap returns to the University of Puget Sound Memorial Fieldhouse. Whether you’re looking for a super-light road bike, a cushy cruiser, or hope to sell the kids’ old bikes cluttering your garage, this event has something for you. The Bike Swap will feature free flat repairs by Tacoma Bike, $7 helmet sales and fittings with Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Safety, and bike maintenance clinics by REI. Interested in being a vendor? Email to register.

Don’t miss Bike to Market Day on Thursday, May 5th, opening day of the Farmers Market on Broadway.  Stop by the City of Tacoma booth for $7 helmets and free helmet fittings and fresh tips on how to make biking in Tacoma work for you!

And don’t forget about the annual Bike to Work Commuter Challenge sponsored by REI! This year the Challenge has been expanded to the entire month of May. Cyclists who register their commute trips at are eligible for great prizes.

On Friday, May 20th, celebrate a successful Bike Month with Downtown On the Go at the City’s 2nd Annual Bike Commuter Picnic and Fashion Show.  Watch local cyclists strut their stuff on the catwalk during the Bike Fashion Show! Free lunch will be provided for the first 50 cyclists who RSVP to with their name and employer by Friday, May 13th.

Remember, bicycling is far better for the environment, your health and your cash flow than driving your car!

Symphonic Blockbuster April 28th

20 Apr

The Tacoma Concert Band proudly presents “Symphonic Blockbusters,” a dazzling season finale featuring renowned flute virtuoso Jim Walker, on Saturday, April 28, 7:30 p.m., at the Pantages Theater.

Jim Walker

Jim Walker is one of the most sought-after flutists in the world, for both concert and studio performance. He is equally at home with a symphony orchestra, a jazz ensemble, or a concert band, as principal flutist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic or a member of his acclaimed jazz quartet Free Flight. The late Jean Pierre Rampal’s “favorite jazz flute player,” Mr. Walker has also distinguished himself as a composer and as the teacher of many of the finest young flute players performing today.

Mr. Walker has performed on well over 600 motion picture soundracks during his career covering everything from A.I. to Zoolander and movies like Last of the Mohicans, Legal Eagles, and Lethal Weapon in between.

In addition to several solos with Mr. Walker, the Tacoma Concert Band will perform rousing music by such composers as Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Copland. The concert will be conducted by TCB music director Robert Musser, together with guest conductors John Falskow and Lawrence Bradley.

Strike up the Tacoma Concert Band.

The all-volunteer Tacoma Concert Band is in its 31st season as the Northwest’s premier symphonic band. Comprised of 60 of the region’s finest wind and percussion players, the TCB has won several local and international awards and has made two successful tours of Europe.

Tickets for the April 28 concert begin at $16, with substantial discounts for seniors, students, and military personnel.  They can be purchased from the Broadway Center Box Office or by calling 253-591-5894 or 1-800-291-7593.

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