Archive | August, 2012

A Luminous Festivus for the Autumn Equinox, Sept. 22

28 Aug

Tacoma’s 1st annual Lumins Celebratory Festival of Lights commences with the harvest moon, Autumn Equinox, September 22, in tandem with the Broadway Center‘s 2nd annual Fall Free for All, a full-weekend celebration of the arts in downtown Tacoma!

We can’t think of anything more gorgeous, under a fat, orange harvest moon, than a human procession carrying flickering luminaria lanterns through downtown to congregate inside the Pantages Theater for the finale of a most special, art-filled day. And everyone’s invited to participate! We got the lowdown on this awesome event from event organizer Adam Martin, founder of, a new alternative guide to what’s worth seeing/doing/experiencing in T-town.

Martin, a poet/seer on behalf of Tacoma, has declared a “Celebratory Festivus of Life in the Sound,” and says that in 2012, “the stage is set for our community to send a simple, elegant signal to our neighbors throughout the South Sound – and indeed to the world.

“Our community is rich in its own way, and embodies with abandon the deep appreciation of individuality and the peculiar and original kind of light shining in each of us.” After being inspired and enchanted three years ago by Olympia’s Luminary Procession (click the link to see some amazing lanterns), he came up with the idea of a light festival here. “Expressing [it] to Aaron Stevens of Broadway Center, he encouraged me to pursue the idea, and to incorporate it into Broadway Center’s 2nd annual Fall Free for All.  So the stage is literally set to be lit up…” The Fall Free for All is, of course, the stellar downtown event offering Tacoma a full weekend’s lineup of fabulous entertainment, arts and eats, with all (except the eats) free of charge. will be hosting several lantern-making parties up until the equinox event, and everyone is invited. Martin is currently seeking contributions of materials (see below): “Donations keep coming in and we should have enough to get going, and keep going. The goal is to surprise Free-for-All goers unawares that evening, light up Broadway with an elegance and height of spirit this town may not recently have experienced, and engulf them in the light that represents that of our extended community as a whole.” You can also sponsor the making of a lantern. For more information, click here, check out the party on Facebook., or contact Martin at 206.409.7700 or Continue reading

Show Your Stuff During Art at Work Month in November

25 Aug


11th Annual Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month

November 2012

What are you waiting for? Get set for Art at Work Month in Tacoma!

Do you want to contribute to the arts programming offered in Tacoma, build community, and benefit from free publicity?

Submit your arts activity for inclusion in the 2012 Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month online calendar!

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts activities happening during our eleventh annual Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month this November. We are looking for a variety of activities spanning all categories of art and culture including but not limited to music, visual art, literary art, dance, theater, and film. Last year, Art at Work was proud to host 268 events presented by artists and art organizations, with thousands of Tacomans showing them the love! Will you be hosting an arts event in November?

If you plan to host an exhibition, performance, class, workshop, reception, lecture, tour, artists’ market, celebration, meeting, presentation, or any other programming, let us know. We will list your arts event in an interactive and searchable online calendar of events on our soon-to-be revamped website at We will be promoting the many events going on throughout the month through newspaper and magazine advertisements and articles, email updates, television ads, and through a variety of social media outlets.

This month would not be possible without the participation of local businesses, organizations, and community members. We encourage you to participate by hosting your own arts activity or event.

Deadline for submissions is September 16, 2012. To qualify, your arts activity must be located within the City of Tacoma limits and occur during the month of November.

To participate, submit the following two items: Continue reading

Red Hot! Summer Exhibitions and Activities at TAM

18 Aug

It’s the hottest summer in recorded history in the Lower 48. Need a place to chill? We recommend Tacoma Art Museum, where you can enjoy a cool roster of exhibitions, activities and lectures throughout the summer.


The Marioni Family: Radical Experimentation in Glass and Jewelry
Through September 23, 2012
The Marioni Family celebrates the art and legacy of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most innovative and influential artist families: Paul, Dante, and Marina Marioni. The exhibition will showcase how each member of the Marioni family engages with form, materiality, and tradition in unique ways that have earned them international reputations and acclaim. Exhibition highlights include a retrospective survey of the work of Paul Marioni, one of the nation’s foremost innovators in glass art, a selection of works by his son Dante that underscores his world-renowned skill as a glassblower, and jewelry by his daughter Marina that showcases her humor and wit. Organized by Tacoma Art Museum.

Best of the Northwest: Selected Paintings from the Collection
Through March 2013
Best of the Northwest features highlights from the museum’s Northwest painting collection. Long-time favorites will join new arrivals in this snapshot exhibition of some of the museum’s best work by Northwest painters. Works range in age from the early 20th century through today and include a variety of painting media and styles. This exhibition was organized to coincide with publication of the museum’s handbook of the Northwest art collection which will be available late this fall. Organized by Tacoma Art Museum.

Marie Watt: Lodge
Through October 7, 2012
Blankets, Stories, and Communities
Marie Watt is a nationally recognized mixed media artist whose work explores human stories and ritual implicit in everyday objects. The exhibition will feature a range of work from the past decade, including portrait blankets of Jim Thorpe, Ira Hays, Susan B. Anthony and Joseph Beuys. Work also includes stacked blanket sculptures and Engine, a felt cave-like structure that honors the act of storytelling and the storytellers in the artist’s life. Organized by Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University

Chihuly: Gifts from the Artist
Open for extended exhibition
Tacoma Art Museum’s extensive permanent collection of artwork by world-renowned glass artist and Tacoma-native Dale Chihuly is in a gallery of its own. Tacoma boasts more installations of Chihuly’s artwork than any other city in the world. Organized by Tacoma Art Museum.


Sip ‘n’ Sew
Thursday Ignite, August 23, 5:30 pm

Inspired by the work of Marie Watt, make your own felt wine bag and learn about textile craft while enjoying good company and festive food and drink. Cost: $45 ($35 for members) includes all supplies, hors d’oeuvres, and a flight of wine. Click here to purchase tickets.

Free Arts in the Park at the Puyallup Farmers’ Market
Saturday, August 25, 10 am-2 pm in Pioneer Park and the Plaza at City Hall, Puyallup
There’s a whole lot of art going on in Puyallup, and if you haven’t checked out the busy farmers market and fantastic sculpture garden downtown, now’s the time! Valley Arts United presents Arts in the Park in cooperation with supporting organizations. On the Rotary Stage, Tacoma Art Museum invites all ages to participate in a community art creation inspired by current exhibitions. All supplies are provided, and artist assistants will be on hand to help out. Stop by, create art, and learn more about our upcoming exhibitions and programming; then check out the other booths and activities at the one of the largest farmer’s market events in Washington State.

Baubles ‘n’ Bubbly
Thursday Ignite, September 13, 5:30 pm

Looking for a unique, wearable, personally meaningful accessory? Create your own found-object jewelry art in the style of Marina Marioni while sipping and munching on delicious, inspiring refreshments. Cost: $45 ($35 for members) includes all supplies, hors d’oeuvres, and a flight of sparkling wine. Participants are encouraged to bring their own found objects to incorporate into their piece. Click here to purchase tickets.

“Know More Art” Lecture Series Continue reading

A Block Party for Tacoma

15 Aug

Who: Local Life and Downtown Tacoma Neighbors
What: 3rd annual Downtown Block Party
Where: Between 7th & 9th in Opera Alley, downtown Tacoma
When: Saturday, August 18, 3 – 10 pm
Cost: Free!

Photo provided by Downtown Block Party.

On August 18th, Downtown Tacoma’s Opera Alley will host what is quickly becoming one of Tacoma’s most loved events. The vision behind the Downtown Block Party is giving attendees the chance to feel what it would be like to make their neighborhood a better place by working collaboratively and creatively.

The Downtown Block Party is a unique experience in Tacoma. Instead of vendor booths, the event is overrun with artistic demonstrations and activities. From the moment a party-goer steps into the Euro-styled Opera Alley, the atmosphere asks them to participate in the life and activity around them. Musicians set the heartbeat of the event by laying down improvised grooves. Meanwhile participants can paint, craft, dance, eat, and drink. They may choose to put on old shoes, step in paint, and dance on linens – that is if one of the open community murals didn’t grab their attention first.

It’s hard to put into words the spirit of the party. Spontaneous blues-dancing one minute, people getting down with their best hip-hop or hula-hoop moves the next. Whatever the case, it will be hard for them to leave at the end of the night without a sense of inspiration to think outside-the-box about their own neighborhood.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support this event through Arts Projects funding.

Photo booth fun at the 2011 Downtown Block Party. Photo provided by Downtown Block Party.

For more information visit

Tacoma Filmfest Poster Contest: And the Winner Is…

14 Aug

The official Tacoma Film Festival poster design for 2012 has been announced, and the winner is graphic artist Cameron Taylor of Hundred, WV. Each year, the Grand Cinema’s poster contest sets the tone and provides (a trailer of sorts?), for one of Tacoma’s fave cultural events. The 2012 Tacoma Film Festival opens Thursday, October 4, and runs through Thursday, October 11, with screenings at the Grand Cinema, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Blue Mouse Theater and the University of Washington-Tacoma.  The official Tacoma Film Festival program will be available on Thursday, Sept. 13.  For more information visit

“It is never an easy task choosing from over 70 submissions of amazing graphic design work, but it has to be done each and every year for the Tacoma Film Festival,” said Philip Cowan, Grand Cinema Executive Director. “The poster contest is just as much a tradition as the festival itself. Entries were received from many local artists along with some worldwide entries this year (Jamaica, India and France). The talent selection was incredible.”

Beaver, deer and other friendly Pacific Northwest denizens are framed by totems under a twilight sky in Taylor’s nostalgic artwork – check it out around town, soon!

Auditions Open for Northwest Repertory Singers

13 Aug
Northwest Repertory Singers, one of the region’s finest choral ensembles, will hold auditions on Monday, August 13 and Monday, August 20, from 6:45 to 8:45. Visit  or call 253.365.3042 to schedule your audition date and time!

In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival

8 Aug

Margaret Morris of the Northern Star dance group performs at the 2011 In the Spirit Festival. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market and Festival, the region’s largest Native American arts event, returns to the Washington State History Museum this weekend for its biggest celebration yet. This popular outdoor festival will feature a mix of performances by new and returning Native American artists, and for the first time, free museum admission.

Festival activities take place inside and adjacent to the museum. Through partnership with The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education & Cultural Center, Native American dancers, musicians and storytellers will perform in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater. In the plaza, adjacent to the amphitheater, some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented artisans, including weavers, printmakers, carvers, and beaders, will gather to display and sell their exquisite works.

“Festival participants and families will have an opportunity to experience these cultural traditions, purchase fine art and jewelry, and support Pacific Northwest Native American artists,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “As we enter the final days of this year’s In the Spirit exhibit, closing August 26, the festival gives visitors a chance to celebrate the culture and artists in a vibrant, public forum.”

The day’s schedule is full of standout performances, including returning favorite Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers and a group new to the festival, Scatter Their Own, from South Dakota. Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations inside the museum on basket weaving, carving and how to make a dream catcher. All artists participating in the events are skilled masters of their craft and offer adults and children alike an introduction to generations of knowledge and tradition. Continue reading

Pack up a picnic and soak in some music

6 Aug

It’s summer and we’re finally getting some warm, sunny days. What better way to soak in the most of this summer bliss than to spend your evenings at a line-up of outdoor concerts.

Tacoma Concert Band and Franke Toby Jones are both hosting a series of free outdoor concerts and it all happens in August. The Tacoma Concert Band will be performing 5 consecutive nights from August 8th to August 12th throughout the South Sound area. Alternatively, every Thursday night in August at 6:30 p.m. Franke Toby Jones will be hosting free concerts featuring multiple musical groups.  All concerts are FREE, all ages are welcome. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, picnic, and enjoy!

Tacoma Concert Band Summer Concert Series:
August 8, 7:00 pm

Sylvester Park – Legion Way SE & Capitol Way S., Olympia

August 9, 6:30 pm
Franke Tobey Jones lawn – 5340 N. Bristol, Tacoma

August 10, 6:30 pm
Fircrest Park – Electron Way & Spring Street, Fircrest  

August 11, 6:00 pm
Johnson Farm – 9306 Otso Point Road, Anderson Island 

August 12, 6:30 pm
Northwest Landing Clock Tower, 1495 Wilmington Drive, DuPont


Franke Toby Jones Summer Concerts on the Lawn:
All concerts at Franke Tobey Jones lawn – 5340 N. Bristol, Tacoma

 August 9, 6:30 pm
Tacoma Concert Band –
Comprised of 60 players, the Tacoma Concert Band performs a wide range of music including works of J. S. Bach, Alfred Reed, Richard Wagner, Gustav Holst & John Philip Sousa.

August 16, 6:30 pm
Voetberg Family – The Voetberg family band plays bluegrass, gospel, country, folk and jazz. Ranging in age from 9 to 22, they have garnered 10 WA State fiddle championships, 8 WA State Music Teachers Association awards for keyboard and vocal performance, 20 regional fiddle championships, 12 Top Five placements at the National Fiddle Competition and the title of 2007 National Young Adult Fiddle Champion. 

August 23, 6:30 pm
Hook Me Up – Hook Me Up is a popular and dynamic quartet performing a wide variety of contemporary and standard jazz, Latin, funk, swing, rock ‘n roll, original tunes and a few things you wouldn’t expect to hear from just 4 instruments.


August 30, 6:30 pm
 A Touch of Class  – This 20 piece swing dance band plays fabulous and well-known standards and loved ballroom music from the 1930s and 1940s. A Touch of Class has been together for 20 years and has performed far and wide in the Puget Sound area including at the Elks Lodge, Puyallup Fair, Puyallup Meeker Days, Fort Lewis, Kiwanis auction dinners, senior communities, charity functions and more.

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