Archive | December, 2015

20 Arts Projects funding recipients announced

29 Dec
Arts Projects funding helps support hands-on arts programming at the Children's Museum of Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Tacoma.

Arts Projects funding helps support hands-on arts programming at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

The Tacoma Arts Commission recently awarded $50,000 in 2016 Arts Projects funding to 20 Tacoma organizations in support of public outreach projects in the fields of music, dance, theater, literary, visual, film, cross-disciplinary, and cultural arts. The awards ranged in value from $1,000 to $5,000.

Children of the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers begin a dance performance. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

Children of the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers begin a dance performance. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

“These organizations represent a cross section of the incredibly dynamic, thriving arts community in Tacoma,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Mike Sweney. “We are thrilled to be able to support projects that will benefit talented artists and diverse audiences throughout the city.”

Funded projects include the production of six diverse cultural and arts festivals, historical arts and crafts demonstrations, visual art programs for families, contemporary dance performances, two theater productions, four music performance series, poetry writing and performance workshops for youth, poetry readings, visual art exhibits and lectures, and an international film festival.

Revealing a steamroller print, created by Charles Wright Academy, at Wayzgoose. Photo by Aaron Locke.

Revealing a steamroller print, created by Charles Wright Academy, at Wayzgoose. Photo by Aaron Locke.

Funded organizations include Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Assemblage Theater, Barefoot Collective, Centro Latino, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Feast Arts Center, Fort Nisqually Foundation, Foss Waterway Seaport, Hilltop Business Association, King’s Bookstore, Northwest Repertory Singers, Old Town Business and Professional Association, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Second City Chamber Series, Sister Cities Council of Tacoma/Pierce County, Sixth Avenue Business District, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Little Theatre, Washington State Historical Society, and Write@253.

The Arts Projects funding program supports high quality community projects with a strong focus on arts that are accessible and affordable to the public. Arts Projects is one 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

The Year of the Monkey will shine again (with your help)

18 Dec

Monkey cup

If you are like most people we know, this past February was bittersweet. It marked the final year in the 12-year cycle of Tacoma’s beloved Monkeyshine Project – a community event designed to get our community out and exploring our beautiful city while celebrating Chinese New Year. The community banded together to make the final year go out with a bang. But when it was all over, we were left wondering, “What’s next?”

Well, if you haven’t heard the news already, the anonymous artists behind the Monkeyshine Project are back for round 2!

Monkeyshines began in 2003 when a group of anonymous artists in Tacoma banded together to produce glass balls and medallions emblazoned with the Year of the Monkey logo. On Chinese New Year 2004, 200 pieces of artwork were hidden throughout the city.  The artists have been creating glass gifts for 12 years, and this year, the Year of the Monkey, marks the beginning of a new cycle of the 12 year Chinese New Year calendar.

To kick off this auspicious event Monkeyshine organizers are bringing back the big daddy himself, the monkey that started it all. They’d like to FILL the city with glass gifts, and with your help they will be able hire local artists to produce over 1,000 pieces of glass.

Consider become a part of Tacoma’s history by donating to The Monkeyshine Project. For every donation of $100 or more, Monkeyshines will thank you with an exclusive 2016 Year of the Monkey candle cup. The cups are available now for pick-up at Creative Forces in the Hotel Murano, and at Sonia’s Clothes to live in, in Proctor. Any donation amount will help the artists create more gifts to distribute around the community.

Let’s help bring back this amazing community event! 

Donations are gratefully accepted through PayPal in the following ways:

Donate $100 to receive a 2016 Year of the Monkey candle cup


Donate any amount to this project

Questions? Contact

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang takes flight at TMP

11 Dec


Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s rendition of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a delight for all ages. I was able to attend the December 5th showing with my six-year-old in tow, and we both hummed and sang along with all of the songs. Luckily for us, everyone around us did too.

Gunnar Ray as Jeremy Potts, and Amelia Stiles as Jemima Potts showcased fantastic young talent. They had wonderful presence on-stage, and played the role of siblings well. Stephen Bucheit, as Caractacus Potts had good report with both his stage children and his on-stage love interest Truly Scrumptious, played by Allyson Jacobs-Lake.

The Baroness Bomhurst (Dana Johnson) and Baron Bomhurst (John Kelleher) played up the levity of the musical, adding just the right humor and zing for all of the adults in the audience, while having the physical comedy to make the children laugh along as well. The star of the show however, was definitely Chitty Chitty Bang Bang herself though. This fantastical car took on its own life, driving, floating, and even flying. All of the children in the audience thought that the car was actually moving (thanks to the amazing footwork of the supporting cast).

The audience was very engaged throughout both acts. I was a bit hesitant to see the length of the musical in regards to my little one, but she was happily entertained the entire time. As I looked through the audience at intermission, all of the other younger patrons were also excited to see the remainder of the show. Everyone was even encouraged at the end to sing along with the entire cast.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang continues through December 20.


What: A Charlie Brown Christmas
About:  Tacoma Musical Playhouse puts on a live-action performance of the classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Proceeds from this event go towards funding scholarships for Camp TMP Youth Honor Camp.
Where: Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Avenue
When: December 19 @ 11 am, December 20 @ 6 pm, December 21 @ 7 pm, December 22 @ 7 pm, December 23 @ 7 pm, December 24 @ 2 pm
Tickets: $10, available online or by calling (253) 565-6867
The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Tacoma Musical Playhouse through the Arts Anchor Fund.


Tac Art Comm Retreat This review was written by Heather Conklin. Heather is an art teacher at Lincoln High School and has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since January 2015.

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