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Creative Community Projects in Lincoln

6 Jul

The Tacoma Arts Commission is offering a free workshop and $500-$5,000 grants for creative community projects in the Lincoln District. Any Tacoma resident with a creative idea for a community project is welcome to attend the workshop and apply for the grant, including neighborhood activists, teachers, creative professionals in the arts (visual artists, filmmakers, designers, performers, musicians, etc.), do-it-yourself entrepreneurs, storytellers, and practitioners of folk art, outsider art, healing arts, culinary arts, martial arts, or gardening arts.

The workshop will be held Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Lincoln District Project Office (750 S. 38th St. in Tacoma) Tacoma Pierce County Health Department Auditorium, 3629 S D St, Tacoma, WA 98418. Workshop attendees will learn more about community engagement and creative projects, see inspiring examples, take a neighborhood walk, meet possible collaborators, and participate in brainstorming sessions for their own projects. Lunch will be served.

RSVP to Asia Tail at or (253) 591-5206 for the workshop. Grant applications are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. More information on this opportunity is available at  More information about the Lincoln Neighborhood Revitalization Project is available at

Nominations sought for 2016 AMOCAT Arts Awards

27 Jun amocat_award_color_v2

amocat_award_color_v2The Tacoma Arts Commission is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 AMOCAT Arts Awards.

Since 2004, the AMOCAT Arts Awards recognize those in our community who provide distinctive contributions to the arts. The honorees work hard to support and build our community by innovating in artistic excellence. Each exhibits vision, dedication, and action in creating a lively arts community in Tacoma.

The three award categories are:

  1. Community Outreach by an Individual – Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an individual
  2. Community Outreach by an Organization – Community outreach, engagement and involvement in the arts in Tacoma by an organization
  3. Arts Patron – A community partner who significantly supports or contributes to the arts in Tacoma

“Arts, culture, and creativity are essential keys to Tacoma’s distinctive identity. They enrich people’s lives, enhance communities, and have a significant economic impact on our city.  Nonprofit arts and culture is a $64.72 million industry in Tacoma – one that supports 1,735 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $6.58 million in local and state government revenue,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “The AMOCAT Arts Awards recognize the people, organizations, and patrons in our community who invest their energy and passion into building a vibrant future through arts and culture.”

To make a nomination, simply fill out the online nomination form. Nominations are due by July 31, 2016. The Tacoma Arts Commission will review all nominations and select one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee’s community impact as well as the quality of the work being done by the nominee, not by the number of times the nominee has been nominated. Mayor Strickland will present the 2016 AMOCAT Arts Awards at the Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party on September 29.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Individual, past winners include: Lynn Di Nino, Jared Pappas-Kelley and Michael S. Lent, Laura and Matt Eklund, Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn, Linda Danforth, William Kupinse, Oliver Doriss, Stella Haioulani, Katy Evans, David Domkoski, Jessica Spring, and Connie K. Walle.

In the category of Community Outreach by an Organization, past winners include: Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass Education Programs, Arts Impact, Tacoma School of the Arts, Barefoot Studios, Victory Music, King’s Books, Hilltop Artists, Fab-5, D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, The Grand Cinema, Puget Sound Book Artists, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, and Tacoma Public Library.

In the category of Arts Patron, past winners include: Sound Transit Art Program, Pierce Transit, Sixth Avenue Business District, The Weekly Volcano, Hotel Murano, City Arts, Urban Grace Church, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Key Bank, Erivan and Helga Haub and family, ArtsFund, and University of Washington Tacoma.

Additional information about the AMOCAT Arts Awards can be found online.

Tacoma Arts Month is coming. What do you have planned?

23 Jun ActivityCall_BannerPhotos


Call for Arts Activities
15th annual Tacoma Arts Month
October 1 – 31, 2016

Will you be hosting an arts event in October? 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 2016 Tacoma Arts Month online calendar!

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts activities happening during our 15th annual Tacoma Arts Month this October. 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.

If you will be hosting 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 There is no cost to you. We will be promoting the many events going on throughout the month through newspaper and magazine advertisements and articles, electronic newsletters, television ads, radio 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.

The deadline for submissions is August 7, 2016. To qualify, your arts activity must be located within the City of Tacoma limits and occur during the month of October.

To have your event listed:

1. Fill out the online Tacoma Arts Month Activity Submission form. Note: If you are submitting multiple events, please fill out a form for each event.

2. (optional) Email a digital photograph to be used for promoting this event. Image must be at least 150 ppi. Email digital images to Please put “Activities_Your Event Namein the subject line.

Questions? Contact Naomi at or by calling (253) 591-5191.

NEON Art Party: Full Event Program

8 Jun

Spaceworks Tacoma

This Saturday, June 11th is the NEON Art Party. Over 75 Spaceworks artists and entrepreneurs are showing off their work, creating a gigantic Tacoma-spectacle that will illuminate the Carpenters Building. Check out the full event program below. Buy your tickets in advance and save money! There are only a few days left! Tickets at

NEON Program

5:00   VIP Pre Party 
6:00   Doors Open. Entertainment & Silent Auction 
7:30   Silent Auction Closes 
7:30   Keynote Speaker and Raise the Paddle 
8:00   NEON Runway Show 
8:30   DJ Dance Party 
10:30 Last Call

-Music by Clemm Rishad, Nate Dybevik, and Ken Jacobsen
-Dance by Sound Movement Art Center
-Theater by Inside Out Shakespeare and Tacoma Actors Repertory Theater

Art Installations 
-Galen Turner, Kris Crews, Jennifer Robbins, Elizabeth Gahan and Michael Laine

Runway Show
-Emceed by Darcy Anderson of Tinkertopia
-Featuring Polyrev, Erika Ray, This Then…

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Sixth episode of Tacoma’s ‘artTown’ TV show now available

31 May
Umi Wagoner and Perris Wright of eTc

Umi Wagoner and Perris Wright of eTc

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.

Ms. Monkey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Monkeyshines

Ms. Monkey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Monkeyshines

In this episode:

  • Explore the robust theater education programming at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Little Theatre, Tacoma Youth Theatre, and Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
  • A behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous group of artists have been spreading joy and a sense of community through Monkeyshines.
  • Hear how Tacoma Jazz Association and JazzClubsNW are bringing world-class live jazz performances and education opportunities to Tacoma.
  • Learn how eTc, FameTakers, and Ryan Loiselle are all doing their part to spread local pride through their lines of Tacoma-themed apparel.
  • Painter and sculptor Asia Tail opens her studio at 1120 Creative House and finds inspiration in the natural world and her Native heritage.
  • Theatrical producer Aya Hashiguchi shares the inspiration behind some of the plays she writes and produces for Dukesbay Productions.
Aya Hashiguchi of Dukesbay Productions draws inspiration from her daily coffee

Aya Hashiguchi of Dukesbay Productions draws inspiration from her daily coffee house experience

Launched in October 2013, the series has earned numerous awards and 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 fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more.

Online viewing:
Watch “artTown” anytime at

Watch the full episode anytime:

Kareem Kandi of Tacoma Jazz Association and Danny Kolke of JazzClubsNW

Kareem Kandi of Tacoma Jazz Association and Danny Kolke of JazzClubsNW

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


Calling Tacoma Artists for the 2016 Tacoma Studio Tour

27 May Randy Jones talks with visitors at his studio.
Lois Yoshida gives a Sumi painting demonstration during the Tacoma Studio Tour.

Lois Yoshida gives a Sumi painting demonstration during the Tacoma Studio Tour.

Tacoma Studio Tour
October 15 & 16, 2016, 11 am – 5 pm

Are you a professional artist that lives in Tacoma and/or has a working studio in Tacoma? Do you want to open your studio to the public, demonstrate how you make your work, host a hands-on activity, and help raise the visibility of the arts in Tacoma? Apply to participate in our 15th annual Tacoma Studio Tour!

Bill Colby shares some printmaking techniques with visitors at his studio.

Bill Colby shares some printmaking techniques with visitors at his studio.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking professional artists who are willing to open their studios to the public for the Tacoma Studio Tour, one of the features of Tacoma Arts Month this October. The emphasis of this tour is on raising visibility of the arts and providing artistic opportunities for the community to connect to the arts. We encourage artists to have work for sale. Studios will be open on Saturday, October 15th and Sunday, October 16th from 11 am to 5 pm. Artists can choose to be open on Saturday, Sunday, or both days. The Tacoma Arts Commission will produce extensive electronic publicity materials including email newsletters, blog posts, and an interactive website and map. We will also produce a printed brochure for the Tacoma Studio Tour. The studio tours are free to both the artists and visitors.

Due to very positive feedback from both visitors and artists alike, we will be bringing back the Studio Tour Passport this year. The purpose of the Passport is to encourage people to attend multiple studios and studios they’ve never been to before by incentivizing attendance. Studio Tour artists are encouraged, but not required, to donate a small art item that can be included in the prize packages.

A private entity, ART BUS, is working on plans to provide a bus tour of studio locations. Studio Tour artists will have the opportunity to opt-in to being a stop along the bus tour route for a fee. More information about this optional service will be provided to all Studio Tour artists later this summer.

Randy Jones talks with visitors at his studio.

Randy Jones talks with visitors at his studio.

Deadline for applications is Sunday, June 26, 2016, midnight. Applicants will be juried in a competitive process by a sub-committee of the Tacoma Arts Commission and selected based on the quality of artwork and the overall diversity of the work presented, as well as geographic diversity of the studios.


To qualify:

  1. You must live within the City of Tacoma limits and/or your working studio must be located within the City of Tacoma limits
  2. You must provide a demonstration of your art form and/or provide a hands-on activity for attendees
  3. You must actively promote the Studio Tour to your own contacts

If you would like to be a guest at another studio, the above guidelines still apply. A studio is defined as a location where artwork is created on a consistent basis.


Questions? Contact Naomi Strom-Avila at 253.591.5191 or


To apply, submit the following three items:

  1. Online Studio Tour Application
    Go to and fill out the online application form.

Please submit the following two items by email to with the words “Studio Tour_Your Last Name” in the subject line.

  1. 5 Work Samples
    Digital images only. Original work and slides cannot be accepted. We will use the images in materials produced for Tacoma Arts Month.
    • File Format Submit only “High” quality JPEG files (do not use GIF, TIFF, or other formats.) Do not embed the images into PowerPoint or submit moving image or audio files.
    • Image Size Images must be at least 300 ppi resolution. Images smaller than 600 pixels per side are not recommended.
  2. Resume (if you have not participated in the Studio Tour in the past 2 years)

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!


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