Tag Archives: Fab-5

19 Arts Projects funding recipients announced

27 Jan
A duo does a dance routine during the final round of Fab-5's AfterLIFE breakdance battle

A duo does a dance routine during the final round of Fab-5’s AfterLIFE breakdance battle. Photo provided by Fab-5.

The Tacoma Arts Commission recently awarded $50,000 in 2014 Arts Projects funding to 19 Tacoma organizations in support of public outreach projects in the fields of music, dance, theater, literary, film, urban, visual arts and cultural arts. The awards ranged in value from $1,000 to $4,000.

“The breadth and quality of grassroots arts programming in Tacoma is consistently impressive,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Traci Kelly. “The range of community-based programs reflects our diverse neighborhoods and interests. We are proud to support this outstanding group of organizations.”

Funded projects include the production of five diverse cultural and arts festivals, visual art programs for families, urban art classes for youth, contemporary and multidisciplinary dance events, a variety of music performances, an international film series, poetry readings and workshops, arts components to a national conference and a community-wide guerrilla art project.

Punch and Judy performance by Kelsey Sample at Ft. Nisqually's Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Ft. Nisqually.

Punch and Judy performance by Kelsey Sample at Ft. Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Ft. Nisqually.

Funded organizations include the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, DASH Center for the Arts, Fab-5, Fort Nisqually Foundation, King’s Bookstore, Local Life, Metropolitan Glass, MLKBallet, Northwest Repertory Singers, Old Town Business and Professional Association, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Second City Chamber Series, Sister City Council of Tacoma, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Maritime Fest, the BareFoot Collective, University of Puget Sound, and the Washington State Historical Society.

The Arts Projects funding program supports high quality community projects with a strong focus on arts that are accessible and affordable to the public. Twenty-three Arts Projects applications were submitted to the Tacoma Arts Commission with requests totaling $92,400.

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 cityoftacoma.org/arts.

Art at Work Month kickoff this Monday

25 Oct
What happens when molten iron is poured into 300# blocks of ice? Come check it out.

What happens when molten iron is poured into 300# blocks of ice? Come check it out.

Come celebrate with us. You know you want to! Join the Tacoma Arts Commission in a free community celebration of the arts as we kick off Tacoma’s 12th annual Art at Work Month.

Art at Work Opening Party and AMOCAT Arts Awards
Monday, October 28

6 – 8:30 pm
Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street, Tacoma
Free and open to the public

We’ll keep you entertained with:

the BareFoot Collective will  be dancing us into Art at Work Month. Photo by Michael Hoover.

the BareFoot Collective will be dancing us into Art at Work Month. Photo by Michael Hoover.

music by Taxi Driver
molten iron pour by Tacoma Community College
contemporary dance by the BareFoot Collective
urban arts by Fab-5
poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo
films by Kat Ogden and Carla Barragan
museum displays and marine life touch tanks

You will even have the opportunity to contribute to Diane Hansen’s soon-to-be-installed public art piece, The Locks, by personalizing a padlock to hang on the installation. We’ll provide the supplies, you provide your sentimental love of Tacoma.

Enjoy appetizers, dessert, and no-host bar while experience the newly-renovated Foss Waterway Seaport including a new public art piece, Lot 411 by Bret Lyon.

Help us honor the 2013 funding recipients and AMOCAT Arts Award winners – Erivan and Helga Haub and family, Puget Sound Book Artists, and David Domkoski. Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell will present the awards beginning at 7:15 pm.

This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Dress warmly – we’ll be over the water and it’s fall.

The Art at Work Opening Party is sponsored by Foss Waterway Seaport and NW Stage. Art at Work Month is generously sponsored by Click! Cable TVThe Greater Tacoma Community FoundationKPLUPremier Media GroupTacoma Weekly, and Weekly Volcano.

American Voices: Walidah Imarisha and Fab-5

10 Apr
Fab-5 members Kenji Stoll, Eddie Sumlin, and David Long (from left), with Walida Imarisha, at the Fab-5 community center Fabitat. Photo by Ashley Solus.

Fab-5 members Kenji Stoll, Eddie Sumlin, and David Long (from left), with Walida Imarisha, at the Fab-5 community center Fabitat. Photo by Ashley Solus.

What: New Faces, New Voices: The Role of Youth in Educational Justice
Where: University of Puget Sound, Schneebeck Concert Hall
When: Thursday, April 25, 7 pm
Cost: Free, tickets not required

Walidah Imarisha, a spoken word artist, educator, writer, and innovative voice on issues of youth and justice, will perform with the Fab-5 artistic youth group on Thursday, April 25, at University of Puget Sound.

The spoken word performance New Faces, New Voices: The Role of Youth in Educational Justice will take place from 7 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

Imarisha will address an educational system that she sees as suffering from a virus that is “much more insidious” in the ways that it damages young people than in the days of overt racism—because prejudices have been driven underground.

“Students,” she told Professor Dexter Gordon in a recent video interview, “feel marginalized, silenced, invisibilized, demonized, criminalized, without that being said explicitly. They’re not learning about themselves and everything they do learn about themselves is negative. Many young, brilliant folks have dropped out of school because they were saving their spirits. And we have to see that as a survival tactic.”

Thelma Jackson, education consultant to five Washington governors and owner of Foresight Consulting, will open the evening with an introductory talk. This is the final in a series of three public events titled American Voices: Invisibility, Art, and Educational Justice and presented by the Race and Pedagogy Initiative at University of Puget Sound, with support from the Catharine Gould Chism Fund.

Walidah Imarisha teaches in Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s women’s studies program, and Southern New Hampshire University’s English department. One half of the poetry duo Good Sista/Bad Sista, she uses her art and scholarship to explore identities and to examine methods of control—historic and contemporary.

As a lecturer, organizer, and poet, Imarisha has toured the country, regularly challenging people to consider issues that are not often a part of public conversations. One tour involved a talk by Imarisha on “Why are there so few black people in Oregon?” Imarisha told the Women of Color zine that the answer stems from the historical creation of institutions designed for “white, straight” men. She says it is essential for that process to be understood today.

“If we don’t see this [process], then we can’t see why students of color are dropping out at twice the rate of white students, and why LGBTQ students of color are dropping out at an even higher rate,” she told the online magazine. “This is not history—this is the foundation for the institutions that shape our lives every day in the here and now. And it affects and constricts all of our lives.”

Imarisha has facilitated poetry and journalism workshops in community centers, youth detention facilities, and women’s prisons. She was one of the editors of Another World is Possible, the first anthology about the 9/11 tragedy, as well as the first editor of the political hip hop publication AWOL Magazine. She spent six years on the board of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, and helped to found the Human Rights Coalition, a group of prisoners’ families and former prisoners in Pennsylvania.

Fab-5, a Tacoma youth organization started in 2000, aims to cultivate a sense of community by providing creative outlets for underserved, urban youth. At the group’s Hilltop center Fabitat, workshops in DJing and music production, creative writing and spoken word, breakdancing, and visual art are held throughout the year. Fab-5 is involved in educational programming with public schools, after-school centers, and juvenile detention facilities. At University of Puget Sound, Fab-5 has a hip hop radio show on the student-run station KUPS.

For more information about American Voices: Invisibility, Art, and Educational Justice contact the Race and Pedagogy Initiative at 253.879.2435 or visit www.pugetsound.edu/raceandpedagogy.

Fab-5 hits new high with indoor graffiti commission

11 Jan
Art in 3-D: dedication party for the new Fab-5 mural at DCI headquarters in Kent.

Art in 3-D: opening party for the new Fab-5 mural at DCI headquarters in Kent. The art work extends through two floors and into the backrooms.

Fab-5 is taking graffiti art to new heights and kicking off 2013 on a high note: team artists Kenji Stoll, Chris Jordan, Troy Long and Travis Galindo recently completed a $90,000 art commission at the Kent, WA, headquarters of global electronics company, Digital Control Incorporated (DCI). They’ve created a multi-dimensional, two-story indoor mural that wraps around corners and hovers colorfully over workstations. It’s a work that’s sure to redefine “graffiti” and catapult it to a new level – one that integrates spontaneous, free-form painting with elegantly designed work space.

Located in the neighborhood of the Boeing Co., DCI headquarters is about as big as an airplane hangar, and it provided Fab-5 with an unimaginably exciting palette. The warehouse is a model of swank industrial design with large central spaces where there are no cubicles – instead, banks of large, lush plants and crystal-clear window dividers section off work areas. Because the company specializes in electronics, the place is immaculate – but in the most appealing way. Dogs are allowed visiting privileges, there is a pingpong table on the mezzanine, and for focused quiet time, there is a submarine-size tropical aquarium that is filtered from beneath by small, living mangrove trees. The company is a leading designer of drilling guidance systems with offices in Germany, China, India, Australia, and Russia.


Spaceworks alums Chris Jordan and Kenji Stoll at the dedication of the Fab-5 mural.

The challenge for Fab-5 was to create a visual environment that dozens of engineers and designers would all be amenable to working in (plastered in graffiti?), and that would complement the space’s clean architectural style. Oh, and a deadline of two months – that alone would keep the Five in respirator masks and working around the clock last summer.

The result of their efforts: an immersive environment that is over the top, and hard to describe. On the walls, cumulous clouds of color give birth to silhouettes of gadgets related to drilling guidance systems; Jordan and Stoll, the team’s liaisons, spent hours interviewing the engineers about their work and its components, and recorded motifs that would be catalysts for thought. Color and design merge to create a dynamism that keeps the eye moving from floor to ceiling and around corners. They didn’t hold back; as Jordan pointed out, going for generic graffiti effects would have doomed the work to the pleasantly dull realm of chain restaurant art. At the mural dedication, visitors were plainly awed by the work. Most importantly, the clients, founders Peter Hambling, and John and June Mercer, were elated.

We caught up with Kenji Stoll to ask him how the commission was executed, and how the four artists in Fab-5 managed to keep the collaboration rolling smoothly. Continue reading

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