Tag Archives: Fort Nisqually

Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past

30 Jul

Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past event is fun for any age. Our family has attended Crafts of the Past before and each time there is something new and fun to see. The children and adults all could participate in the crafts and events. Each of the many stations were well staffed, with individuals that were highly skilled in the various crafts they were demonstrating. Each of the craftspeople were helpful and willing to assist each participant in their learning of the new craft.

While at Fort Nisqually, we could practice playing the tin whistle, work through various puzzles created by the local blacksmith, watch a master calligrapher and try our own hand at calligraphy, practice scrimshaw on piano keys, help prepare the day’s supper, cut some wood, check out the root cellar, sew a pretty flower, and make a banjo from a gourd.

Each of the hands-on events was interesting, engaging, and showcased a skill or trade that could be learned and practiced. At every station, each person in our party was asked to participate, encouraged to ask questions, or helped with the task given. Audience engagement was encouraged and the children with us (ages 6 and 9) loved every minute and wanted to stay longer.

As a family, we have attended previous Crafts of the Past events and the Brigade Encampment. We are planning on attending the Candlelight Tour (October 5 & 6) and the Christmas Regale (December 1.) These are just a few of the many events that the Fort has each year. All events can be found on their website: https://www.metroparkstacoma.org/fort-events/.


What: Crafts of the Past
About:  Modern practitioners of 19th century artistic traditions share the methods and materials of their work through demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. 
Where: Fort Nisqually, 5400 N. Pearl Street (located in Point Defiance Park)
When: Saturday, August 4 @ 11 am – 5 pm – featuring blacksmithing, leather work and gun engraving
Saturday, September 1 @ 11 am – 5 pm – featuring photography, basketry, wood turning and blacksmithing
Tickets:  Free with general admission ($8 adult, $7 military/senior, $5 youth, Free ages 3 and under, $22 family)

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past program with Arts Projects funding.


Tac Art Comm Retreat This review was written by Heather Conklin. Heather is an art teacher at Lincoln High School. She has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since January 2015, currently serving as Vice Chair.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.


Third episode of Tacoma’s own ‘artTown’ TV show now available

6 Oct


Guitarist-singer-songwriter Nolan Garrett and the legendary Jerry Miller.

Guitarist-singer-songwriter Nolan Garrett and the legendary Jerry Miller.

The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with its Community and Economic Development Department’s Arts Program – are proud to announce the launch of a new episode of “artTown,” a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest.

This episode features:

  • Viewpoints and musical riffs from emerging guitarist-singer-songwriter Nolan Garrett and the legendary Jerry Miller, one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time
  • A look at Tacoma’s hot metal arts scene with Amy Reeves of Tacoma Metal Arts Center, John Simpkins of Fort Nisqually, Ed Kroupa of Two Ravens Studio, and Saign Charlestein
  • An exploration into letterpress arts with Jessica Spring of Springtide Press, sweet pea Flaherty of King’s Bookstore, and Margaret Bullock of Tacoma Art Museum
  • A visit to the working studios of local artists Angela Rockett, Lynne Farren, Lynn Di Nino and Mauricio Robalino
  • music composed by Isaac Solverson
Hot off the press at Springtide Press.

Hot off the press at Springtide Press.

Launched in October 2013, the quarterly series 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 food, fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more.

Those who want to immerse themselves more fully in Tacoma’s creative community are invited to participate in Tacoma Arts Month, which features hundreds of events held throughout the entire month of October.

Online viewing:

Watch “artTown” anytime at cityoftacoma.org/artTown.

Saign Charlestein at work in his metal arts studio.

Saign Charlestein at work in his metal arts studio.

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 tvtacoma.com.

Future episodes will be produced in part based on some of the audience feedback culled via social media, email at maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org or phone at (253) 591-2054.

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