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Tacoma at 2016 Etsy Maker Cities Summit

11 May Etsy-Maker-City-Summit

Etsy-Maker-City-SummitChampioning a new model for economic prosperity thanks to a growing number of creative micro-entrepreneurs – or “makers” – who have worked with local government to achieve success, Tacoma has been selected by Etsy to attend the 2016 Etsy Maker City Summit. Tacoma is one of just 13 cities, selected from hundreds of applicants across the United States and Canada, to achieve this honor.

“An Etsy Maker City recognizes that local manufacturing puts people and ideas at the center of commerce, and empowers them to build creative businesses on their own terms,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “This approach helps ensure that economic opportunity is inclusive and promotes entrepreneurship.”

Consulting session with Tacoma Manufacturing. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Manufacturing.

Consulting session with Tacoma Manufacturing. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Manufacturing.

On May 12 and 13, Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride, Stephen Jones of Tacoma Manufacturing, and Tim and April Norris of Tim+April will join 12 other “maker” communities at the Etsy Maker Summit in Brooklyn, NY.  The summit is designed to bring together creatives, and local governments supportive of their creative community, for the purpose of creating actionable initiatives to bring home and implement throughout the year.

“Stephen and Tim+April each applied separately, and shared their great talent and the support that the City of Tacoma provides to creatives through Spaceworks and other innovative programs,” said McBride. “We are honored to be selected.  Tacoma has such a rich foundation of talent, as well as a history of creating and manufacturing, and we want to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

Continuing Tacoma’s tradition of fine manufacturing, Jones designs and produces handcrafted goods in a co-working space located in the Nalley Valley.  He started his company, Tacoma Manufacturing, with a salvaged industrial sewing machine purchased from a military auction.  Jones now designs and manufactures products for a variety of brands, including his original brand, Black Anchor.

Tacoma Heart Map, designed by Tim Norris. Photo courtesy of Tim+April.

Tacoma Heart Map, designed by Tim Norris. Photo courtesy of Tim+April.

The Norris’s, a creative couple and the parents of twins, bring their backgrounds in design, architecture, art and music to make art and design objects for individuals and families who live a life of adventure.

Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods.

Etsy has a large, active and diverse global community of “maker” businesses. Etsy Maker Cities were selected based on a number of criteria, including community involvement, project ideas and alignment with the Make Cities initiative, which seeks to reimagine creative commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

Artist Trust in Tacoma

4 May Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 5.56.05 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 5.56.05 PM

Artist Trust is coming to Tacoma in May! Artist Trust provides Washington State artists of all creative disciplines the necessary support to launch and sustain successful careers, through financial grants, career training and professional resources. Join us for any or all of these four events:

Artist Trust on Tour: Tacoma

Where: Feast Arts Center, 1402 S. 11th Street
When: Thursday, May 19, 6 – 9 pm
Cost: FREE! Register here.

On Thursday, May 19, we’re hosting Artist Trust on Tour: Tacoma, bringing performance and workshops to Tacoma. It all starts with a multidisciplinary art event celebrating the work of artists across Washington State, showcasing Tacoma artist Chandler O’Leary, Olympia artist Anne de Marcken, and Peninsula artist Matthew Nienow. Come at 6pm for a happy hour, and performances will begin at 7pm. This free event will be held at Feast Arts Center and is open to the public! Your RSVP is requested at

The goal of Artist Trust on Tour is to celebrate the work of the artists from across the state, connect artists from different disciplines and regions, and create community among artists.


Artist Trust, Tacoma – How to Build Your Audience Online

Where: 1120 Creative House, 1120 Pacific Avenue
When: Saturday, May 21, 9 am – 12 pm
Cost: $30 for Artist Trust members/$35 for non-members. Pre-register here.

Looking to expand your audience? Refine your online brand? Tap into new markets for your work? Join Kelsye Nelson as she teaches artists of all disciplines how to effectively navigate the marketing world and optimize your social media presence.

Kelsye Nelson is an author and publishing professional. She teaches the Business of Digital Publishing course at the University of Washington and is the founder of Avasta Press. She’s also the co-founder and former CEO of, an online marketplace that connects writers to publishing professionals. Nelson helps authors across genres publish their books, offering invaluable experience in launch strategy, publishing on various platforms, marketing, and author platform building.

A talented and engaging speaker, Nelson has presented talks and workshops on publishing, marketing, entrepreneurialism, and startups at conferences and events, including Book Expo America, the Whidbey Island Writers’ Conference, Northwest Bookfest, and Book Publishers Northwest. She has a BA in writing and art activism from Evergreen State College and completed graduate coursework in the publishing arts program at Antioch University. When she isn’t helping writers achieve their publishing dreams, Nelson is at work on a new novel, “The Secret Life of Sensei Shi,” and “Book Lush,” the what to drink with what to read guidebook.


Artist Trust, Tacoma – Office Hours

Where: Feast Arts Center, 1402 S. 11th Street
When: Saturday, May 21, 12 – 3 pm
Cost: FREE!

Office Hours is a free grantwriting support program for artists of all disciplines looking for advice on how to apply for funding from Artist Trust. Our staff will walk you through the application process, provide feedback on your grant, and answer any questions you have.

Come talk about grants with Artist Trust staff in a free, one-on-one, low pressure environment!


Artist Trust, Tacoma – From the Studio to the Gallery

Where: Feast Arts Center, 1402 S. 11th Street
When: Saturday, May 21, 1 – 5 pm
Cost: $30 for Artist Trust members/$35 for non-members. Pre-register here.

This workshop is designed for visual artists who have been working on developing a body of work and are now interested in taking it to the next level. In this workshop we will look at ways of mounting, hanging, and presenting your work. We will discuss best practices for working with galleries. We will review gallery lighting and also work on tailoring your show statements and artist bios to best fit your work. Students are encouraged to bring in some actual pieces or images of their work. It’s time to get excited about the show you have been working towards!

2015 by the numbers

18 Apr

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support our community through arts funding, public art, community programming, technical assistance, stewardship, and advocacy.

The City’s investments in arts and culture have far-reaching impacts on our community; here’s an overview of what was accomplished in 2015:

Full Funding Block

Public Art Block

Programs and Activities Block

Leveraged Grants Block

Arts Commission Block

You can read more about the 2015 accomplishments of the Tacoma Arts Commission here.

Find out more about how the Tacoma Arts Commission serves our community at

$5 tix to arts events? Yes, please!

1 Apr

TeenTixThe Arts & Culture Coalition of Pierce County and the City of Tacoma are working with TeenTix in hopes of bringing TeenTix to The 253 ($5 day-of tix to arts and culture events for teens 13 – 19)! The most important part of this feasibility study is hearing from Pierce County teens about how the arts fit into their lives now, and if/how that could change if TeenTix was introduced here in Pierce County.

Please pass the word of this survey on to any Pierce County teens you know and encourage them to fill it out!

All survey participants are entered into a drawing for hyperlocal, arts-related prizes/experiences including:

  • Vouchers for two Glass Fusing Workshops at the Museum of Glass
  • Tickets to the Tacoma Concert Band
  • Passes to the Tacoma Art Museum
  • Vouchers for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
  • Gift certificates to the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts

NOTE: This survey is ONLY for teens (13 – 19) who live in Tacoma/Pierce County. The link for the survey is:


About TeenTix:

TeenTix was founded in 2004 by Seattle Center and in partnership with ten of the resident arts organizations on the Seattle Center campus. In 2006, TeenTix began adding partners outside of Seattle Center. Currently, 60 arts organizations throughout the Puget Sound region participate in the TeenTix program, including Seattle Symphony, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle International Film Festival, EMP Museum, 5th Avenue Theatre, and ACT Theatre. To date, TeenTix has facilitated the sale of over 70,000 arts tickets to teens.

Any teenager (13-19 years old) can sign up for a free Teen Tix pass. The pass entitles them to purchase $5.00 day-of-show tickets at any TeenTix partner organizations. But TeenTix is about much more than cheap tickets. They also provide opportunities for teens from all backgrounds to engage deeply with the arts, such as arts leadership training in The New Guard: Teen Arts Leadership Society, and arts criticism training through the TeenTix Press Corps. Over 80 teen contributors make the TeenTix blog Seattle’s best source of youth-centric arts coverage.

Reminder: Deadline to Apply to Artscapes March 21st

15 Mar

Spaceworks Tacoma


This is just a friendly reminder that the DEADLINE to apply for Artscapes is March 21st, 2016, by 5pm.

Spaceworks Tacoma is seeking artists and artist teams from the Pacific Northwest who:
• Can develop a site responsive, temporary, public art display.
• Can successfully and fully activate a public space that is visible 24/7.
• Is an experienced artist seeking a unique location to exhibit artwork.
• Can create an enticing destination-quality visual display for passersby.

Artscapes temporarily places 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, mural, or multi-media art installations in storefront windows, outdoor spaces, and an outdoor video gallery in the City of Tacoma. The program offers an artist stipend to support the creation of new work and site-specific projects, or the installation of existing work. Since launching in 2010, Spaceworks has commissioned 125 art installations! Click here to view them all.

• Any individual artist or artist team in…

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An opportunity now for Crafts of the Past

11 Feb Families get hands-on at Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.
Families get hands-on at Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

A family get hands-on learning how to make a cyanotype photo at Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is seeking traditional artists and crafts people to share their knowledge and skills with the public in the museum’s Crafts of the Past program.

03_Fort Nisqually Foundation

Sashes made by Darryl Hall using the finger-weaving technique. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually.

Crafts of the Past supports a different artist-in-residence demonstrating mid-19th century crafts every weekend May – September. Past featured arts and crafts have included silver inlay, powder horns, Native American beadwork, Native American basket weaving, scrimshaw, blacksmithing, spinning and dyeing, weaving, hand sewing, musical instruments, historical illustration, calligraphy, and puppetry.

02_Fort Nisqually Foundation

Native American basketry hat by Judy Bridges. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually.

Artists-in-residence set up a display of their work and are available to talk with visitors from 11 am – 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday for one weekend. Artists demonstrate their craft and are encouraged, if appropriate, to provide a hands-on learning opportunity for the public.

An honorarium of $200 per day is paid to the artist-in-residence. There is also a maximum $50 reimbursement for supplies for the public hands-on activity. In addition, artists-in-residence are invited to sell artwork on commission through the museum store, and to participate in the Artisan Market during the Arts of the Fur Trade event later in the year.


Punch and Judy Performance by Kelsey Sample. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually.

Applications are available online and are due February 26, 2016.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Crafts of the Past through our Arts Projects funding program.


Artist Trust ‘Pop Up Studio’ at Feast Art Center

11 Feb

Spaceworks Tacoma

667318-250 Event artwork by Rebecca Chernow, photographed by Ian Lewis.

Join Artist Trust and artist Darcy Anderson to envision the future of Tacoma’s art scene! This Pop-up Studio is an opportunity to share your vision of the future, make some art, and connect with other local artists and supporters.

Facilitated by Frances McCue and Lisa Fitzhugh from Creative Ground, and in creative collaboration with a local artist, this workshop is the third in a series of Pop-up Studios where we’ll engage through creative activities with artists and arts supporters to imagine a vibrant future in Washington State alive with happy, productive, supported artists.

Help influence the future of Artist Trust and the Washington State arts community! And enjoy free snacks! Space is extremely limited so please RSVP to this free event today.

RSVP here for this free, fun, community-focused event!
Artist Trust Pop-up Studio – Tacoma
February 18th, 5-7:30pm
Feast Art…

View original post 8 more words

Are you a pluviophile?

9 Feb Jennifer Chushcoff documents work at a cranberry bog for her book WA is Water. Photo provided by artist.
Jennifer Chushcoff documents work at a cranberry bog for her book WA is Water. Photo provided by artist.

Jennifer Chushcoff documents work at a cranberry bog for her book WA is Water. Photo provided by artist.

What do misty mornings, cranberry bogs, and waterfalls have in common? They are all featured in Jennifer Chushcoff’s new book, WA is Water. Her exploration of water in our state is a visual, scientific, and spiritual journey through native ecosystems large and small. WA is Water encourages audience participation, by sending in submissions to the Rain Glossary, images to the WA is Water Facebook page, and highlighting poems on the topic.

Jennifer Chushcoff on the Washington coast, gathering data and images for her book WA is Water. Photo provided by artist.

Jennifer Chushcoff on the Washington coast, gathering data and images for her book WA is Water. Photo provided by artist.

Chushcoff’s triplicate approach to the subject is intriguing and informational. The macro photography lends an intimate feeling which is supported by the poems, while the scientific facts lend an academic credibility to the project. I enjoy the juxtaposition of research and whimsy present in this project and in its creator.

Name the Rain
Do you have a word for a specific kind of rain? If so, post it on the WA is WATER Facebook page. It may end up in the Name the Rain Glossary! You will receive an attribution if your word and definition are selected for the book.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Jennifer Chushcoff’s work through the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program.


Tacoma Arts Commission member Traci Kelly. Photo by Dane Gregory Meyer.

Traci Kelly moved to Tacoma in 2004 and joined the Tacoma Arts Commission shortly after. Her degree is in sculpture, but she appreciates the range of arts the City of Destiny has to offer.


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