Tag Archives: Heather Conklin

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.

Newest episode of artTown has landed

5 Mar

The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with the Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality – has released a new episode of artTown, a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest.

In this episode:

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at The Grand Cinema’s 253 Short Film Competition as one team writes, shoots, and edits a 253 second short film in 72 hours
  • Visit the unique studio of jewelry designer Cheryl DeGroot
  • Explore Floating Life Forms, a public art piece on the Thea Foss Esplanade created by Tacoma artist Ed Kroupa
  • Hear what inspires the beat in Antonio Gomez’s music
  • Learn how art is being used to engage community and energize public spaces in the Lincoln District Revitalization Project

Silong Chhun talks about his community engagement work in the Lincoln District.

Launched in 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 cityoftacoma.org/artTown

Watch segments or the full episode anytime on the City of Tacoma’s YouTube Channel

Percussionist Antonio Gomez.

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.

Click! ON Demand
Available for viewing anytime on Click! ON Demand’s TV Tacoma and TacomaArt & Culture menu listings

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang takes flight at TMP

11 Dec


Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s rendition of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a delight for all ages. I was able to attend the December 5th showing with my six-year-old in tow, and we both hummed and sang along with all of the songs. Luckily for us, everyone around us did too.

Gunnar Ray as Jeremy Potts, and Amelia Stiles as Jemima Potts showcased fantastic young talent. They had wonderful presence on-stage, and played the role of siblings well. Stephen Bucheit, as Caractacus Potts had good report with both his stage children and his on-stage love interest Truly Scrumptious, played by Allyson Jacobs-Lake.

The Baroness Bomhurst (Dana Johnson) and Baron Bomhurst (John Kelleher) played up the levity of the musical, adding just the right humor and zing for all of the adults in the audience, while having the physical comedy to make the children laugh along as well. The star of the show however, was definitely Chitty Chitty Bang Bang herself though. This fantastical car took on its own life, driving, floating, and even flying. All of the children in the audience thought that the car was actually moving (thanks to the amazing footwork of the supporting cast).

The audience was very engaged throughout both acts. I was a bit hesitant to see the length of the musical in regards to my little one, but she was happily entertained the entire time. As I looked through the audience at intermission, all of the other younger patrons were also excited to see the remainder of the show. Everyone was even encouraged at the end to sing along with the entire cast.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang continues through December 20.


What: A Charlie Brown Christmas
About:  Tacoma Musical Playhouse puts on a live-action performance of the classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Proceeds from this event go towards funding scholarships for Camp TMP Youth Honor Camp.
Where: Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Avenue
When: December 19 @ 11 am, December 20 @ 6 pm, December 21 @ 7 pm, December 22 @ 7 pm, December 23 @ 7 pm, December 24 @ 2 pm
Tickets: $10, available online or by calling (253) 565-6867
The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Tacoma Musical Playhouse through the Arts Anchor Fund.


Tac Art Comm Retreat This review was written by Heather Conklin. Heather is an art teacher at Lincoln High School and has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since January 2015.

%d bloggers like this: