Tag Archives: Connie Walle

2015 AMOCAT Arts Award winners announced

14 Sep

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced this year’s AMOCAT Arts Award winners: University of Washington Tacoma (Arts Patron), Tacoma Public Library (Community Outreach by an Organization), and Connie K. Walle (Community Outreach by an Individual). The AMOCAT Arts Awards honor those who provide distinctive contributions to the arts in Tacoma.

Arts Patron – University of Washington Tacoma

"Maru" by Gerard Tsutakawa on the University of Washington Tacoma campus. Photos courtesy of UW Tacoma.

“Maru” by Gerard Tsutakawa on the University of Washington Tacoma campus. Photos courtesy of UW Tacoma.

This award goes to University of Washington Tacoma for its ongoing commitment to serving and partnering with the greater Tacoma community. UW Tacoma’s contributions to the arts in Tacoma began 25 years ago at the campus’ founding, when 15 faculty members were hired to create an interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum. Since then, the university’s impact on the community can be measured by the work of its faculty, students and alumni; a dense network of partnerships and collaborations; and a growing public art collection.

UW Tacoma’s connections to the Tacoma arts community include glass art classes hosted at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma School of the Arts classes held on campus, and a partnership with Spaceworks Tacoma to support creative entrepreneurs. Recent collaborations include an innovative community-based theater production by UW Tacoma faculty and Toy Boat Theatre, and the hosting of a portion of the City of Tacoma and Tacoma Art Museum’s Pop-Up Art Putt! golf course.

UW Tacoma’s investment in developing the campus and Prairie Line Trail, with a commitment to aesthetic design and adaptive re-use, has encouraged a more walkable and beautiful community. The campus proudly displays a diverse art collection including works by Pablo Picasso, Dale Chihuly, Gerard Tsutakawa, Dawoud Bey, Buster Simpson and many others.

Community Outreach by an Organization – Tacoma Public Library

William Kamkwamba, author of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, at Tacoma Public Library. Photo courtesy of TPL.

William Kamkwamba, author of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, at Tacoma Public Library. Photo courtesy of TPL.

This award goes to Tacoma Public Library for its deep and ongoing commitment to creating opportunities for interactive and dynamic lifelong learning through the lens of arts and culture.

Tacoma’s public libraries are hubs of community activity where citizens can gather together to tell and create stories, listen to and create music, experience art, play chess, access the internet, and escape with a great film. The libraries bring readers and writers together to share a love of stories through book talks and signings, discussion groups, and the community-wide reading program: Tacoma Reads Together.

The Handforth Gallery at the Main Library provides an opportunity to experience visual art created by local, regional, national and international artists, as well as to hear artists talk about their work and learn more about the art forms through demonstrations.

The Tacoma Public Library provides free performing arts opportunities for the public including music concerts, puppet shows, magic acts, silent movies, jugglers, clowns, and acrobats. The Main Library’s StoryLab encourages students to expand their digital creativity through workshops in sound production, voice-over, film production and editing, beat-making, digital drawing, and song writing.

Community Outreach by an Individual – Connie K. Walle

Connie K. Walle.

Connie K. Walle reads from her poetry.

This award goes to Connie K. Walle for her commitment to elevating the literary arts in Tacoma and the South Sound. Walle is a poet, the founder and president of Puget Sound Poetry Connection (PSPC), and facilitator for the Distinguished Writer Series, which has been a staple of Tacoma’s literary arts community for 25 years and counting.

The Distinguished Writer Series provides a platform where poets of national regard share their work with the South Sound community, and where local writers of all levels and backgrounds can share their work in a constructive and supportive environment.

Under Walle’s leadership, PSPC has spearheaded multiple projects including literary publications, a teen writing contest and poetry workshops. She also hosts poetry critiques and produces a weekly e-newsletter promoting poetry-related opportunities throughout the region. PSPC, along with collaborating partners, are producing the first ever Tacoma Poetry Festival on October 16 and 17, 2015.

“What do I get out of this? Great poetry. Good friends. Good teachers,” said Walle. “Our group is the most generous and friendly reading in the state. No matter what the level of writing or reading, our people always make newbies feel welcome and encourage them to return. I set pretty high standards for our group and somehow they find a way to exceed it.”

The Distinguished Writer Series meets at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of every month at King’s Bookstore (218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma). The event is free and open to the public. All ages and levels of writing are welcome.


Awards Celebration

Awardees will be honored at the annual Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party on Oct. 1, from 6 – 9 p.m., at the historic Tacoma Armory (715 S. 11th St.). Mayor Marilyn Strickland will present the awards starting at 7:45 p.m.

In addition, there will be live entertainment at this event that includes music by Ken Jacobsen, contemporary dance by the BareFoot Collective, Samoan Village Dance by Asia Pacific Cultural Center, poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Cathy Nguyen, and more. Attendees can also explore a series of pop-up multimedia art exhibits by Christopher Jordan, Isaac Olsen, Jennifer Chushcoff, Nichole Rathburn, Janet Marcavage, Tim + April Norris, Terese Cuff, Elizabeth Gahan, Diana Leigh Surma and Judd Cohen. The event will include appetizers, dessert and a no-host bar.

This free public event is presented by the Tacoma Arts Commission and Spaceworks Tacoma with support from the Historic Tacoma Armory and is sponsored by Click! Cable TV, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Tacoma Weekly, Northwest Public Radio, KPLU, Weekly Volcano, South Sound magazine, and ARCADE.

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Gods, Goddesses, Myth: regional women poets read at TCC

8 Apr

What: Gods, Goddesses, Myth poetry reading
Where: The Gallery at Tacoma Community College, 6501 S. 19th Street, Building 4
When: Friday, April 19, 7 pm
Cost: Free

Join 2011-13 Tacoma Poet Laureate, Josie Emmons Turner on April 19 as she hosts a reading by 14 regional poets on the theme of Gods, Goddesses, and Myth.

According to Turner, the idea for the reading germinated upon seeing the current exhibition, Greek and Roman Mythology, at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College. “The exhibit has such a wide range of artists presenting an extremely diverse spectrum of understanding about an ancient topic. I wanted the opportunity to add the poet’s voice and present another dimension in conjunction with the show,” Turner stated. “I am very excited that such an extraordinary group of poets responded to the idea.”

Participating poets are: Peggy Barnett, Glenna Cook, Julia Cousineau, Caroline Hunter Davis, Maria Gudaitis, Mary Hake, Patricia Kennedy, Patty Kinney, Kay Mullen, Tammy Robacker, Marjorie Rommel, Josie Emmons Turner, Connie Walle, Juniper White, and Carolyne Wright.

This reading will be the last formal presentation of poets by Turner in her position as Poet Laureate. Turner and the incoming 2013-15 Poet Laureate, along with past Poet Laureates Tammy Robacker and William Kupinse will give at reading at the Tacoma Public Library, April 23 at 6 pm.

The Gods, Goddesses, and Myth reading is supported by the Tacoma Arts Commission Poet Laureate Program and the Gallery at Tacoma Community College.

About the poets
Peggy Barrett was born in 1945 and grew up in Queens, New York. After receiving a BA in Fine Arts from The Cooper Union, she opened a photography studio in New York in 1968. In 2006, she sold her studio and moved to Woodinville. Her book, On Your Left! is a poetic memoir dwelling on the specifics of unending change.

Glenna Cook was born in Olympia, Washington, and lived most of her life in Tacoma. After raising her family and retiring from U.S. West Communications, she graduated from Tacoma Community College and University of Puget Sound, which is where she began writing poetry. She has been published in a variety of Northwest journals and reviews.

Juila Cousineau always returns to the beautiful city of Tacoma after her travels and has been a resident here most of her life. She is a published short story and children’s writer and has her own humor column in a local paper. Poetry is fast becoming a new passion of hers.

Caroline Hunter Davis lives near the Salish Sea where she grew up collecting waves and words. The world first made sense when she listened to myths and she’s been listening and writing ever since.

Maria Chong Gudaitis is a Korean-Lithuanian essayist, poet, and designer who lives south of Tacoma. In 2012, Maria published a limited-edition, local Poetry Month anthology and served as a News Tribune reader columnist. Her essays and poetry appear regularly at her blog, www.mairagudaitis.com.

Mary Hake is a 2010 graduate of the Creative Writing Program of the University of Washington, Seattle. She currently divides her time between working with students and raising her three children.

Patricia Kennedy has published poems in online journals, regional anthologies, and at the Washington State History Museum with the encouragement from the Pot Luck Poets and other friends. She is the co-sponsor of the Gig Harbor Library’s Poetry Series.

Patty Kinney’s work has been published by The Sun, hipMama, www.occupypoetry.org and other journals and anthologies. She holds a MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her chapbook How To Talk To Your Schizophrenic Child will be published in 2013.

Kay Mullen’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She believes the poet’s pallette embraces the reality that all ideas come from the five senses. Poetry includes all colors, shades, shadows and light of the human spirit.

Tammy Robacker is former Poet Laureate of Tacoma 2011 and author of  The Vicissitudes. She is currently working on her second collection of poetry Villain Song.

Marjorie Rommel’s work has appeared in numerous regional journals. She is a member of Auburn’s Striped Water Poets and has provided leadership for the South King County literary community for decades. She received her MFA in poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop at PLU.

Josie Emmons Turner is the 2011-2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate and is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop where her mentors included Lola Haskins and Susan Ludvigson. She cherishes the opportunity to have spent two summers of masterclass sessions with Marvin Bell. Turner’s work has been published in a variety of journals.

Connie Walle is a life-long Tacoma poet. She is the founder and president of the legendary Puget Sound Poetry Connection.

Juniper White is a mom, writer, teaching artist, and letterpress printer who cultivates handwork in Northwest communities.

Carolyne Wright has been a contributing editor for the Pushcart Prizes and a senior editor for Lost Horse Press. She is a Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop, Madeline DeFreees, Richard Hugo, and William Stafford.

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