Tag Archives: Lucas Smiraldo

Announcing Tacoma’s next Poet Laureate…

15 Apr Cathy Nguyen

The Tacoma Arts Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Cathy Nguyen as Tacoma’s 2015-2017 Poet Laureate.

Over the next two years, Nguyen will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events. She will also participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October, and help produce the 2017 Tacoma Poet Laureate Ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate.

“The Poet Laureate is an artist and activist who works both to amplify the literary voices of underrepresented community members and to enhance the shared written and oral narratives of the Tacoma community,” said Nguyen. “It’s necessary to me that social justice and equity are at the center of all that I do and create which, in the community context, means raising social consciousness, building civic advocacy, and engaging community members in shared learning and teaching through poetry and other forms of creative expression.”

As a wrap-up of National Poetry Month, the Tacoma Arts Commission and Tacoma’s current Poet Laureate, Lucas Smiraldo, will host a poetry and music event at which Nguyen will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held Friday, May 1, from 6 – 8:30 p. m. at B Sharp Coffee House (706 Court C in downtown Tacoma). Featured poets will include Nguyen, Smiraldo, 2011-2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate Josie Emmons Turner, 2010-2011 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker, 2009-2010 Tacoma Poet Laureate Antonio Edwards, Jr., and 2008-2009 Tacoma Poet Laureate William Kupinse. These poets and others will be joined by musicians Terry O’Hara and Bronson Bragg, vocalist Kathryn Burke, and there will be music compositions by Gregory Youtz.

Cathy Nguyen is an “artivist” who seeks to promote social equity and youth leadership through creative expression and community organization. A resident of Tacoma since 2010, Nguyen has worked to infuse the arts in a variety of human service and grassroots contexts.

In 2012, Nguyen created and coordinated “The RIOT”, a first-ever teen poetry/hip-hop program at STAR Center. In the years that followed, Nguyen worked to draw on and capture the voices of queer youth and young adults through a variety of arts, violence prevention, and leadership development programming at Oasis Youth Center. Currently, Nguyen integrates creative expression with youth and community development as a teen support group facilitator at BRIDGES, a center for grieving youth and their families, and as an organizer of Tacoma Stands Up, a grassroots initiative calling for an end to police brutality and social injustice through peaceful organization, where she has led Tacoma-wide rallies and arts events focused on community-building and social justice advocacy.

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

31 Mar
Stan Shaw and Michael Sullivan discuss Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Stan Shaw and Michael Sullivan discuss Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

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.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides

In this episode:

  • Get to know music director Sarah Ioannides and learn how her past experience is influencing her work with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
  • Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo explores our history and future at the Chinese Reconciliation Park
  • Historian Michael Sullivan and graphic artist Stan Shaw take an in-depth look at Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable and how it was influenced by Hammett’s time in Tacoma
  • Pianist Kim Davenport finds inspiration and contemplation at Thea’s Park
  • The 6th Avenue Yarn Bomber, Russell Valentine, Gwen Demarest, and Roberta Lowes give us a humorous look at knitting culture in Tacoma
Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Stan Shaw illustrates Samuel Dashiell Hammett’s The Flitcraft Parable

Launched in October 2013, the 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.

Online viewing:

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

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at the Chinese Reconciliation Park

Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at the Chinese Reconciliation Park

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.

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.

There’s a new poet laureate in town

12 Apr

 

The Tacoma Arts Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Lucas Smiraldo as Tacoma’s 2013-2015 poet laureate.

Over the next two years, Smiraldo will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events. He will also participate in Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month each November, and will help produce the 2015 Tacoma Poet Laureate Ceremony to announce the next poet laureate.

Lucas Smiraldo performs at the Art Slam. Photo by Jason Ganwich.

Lucas Smiraldo performs at the Art Slam. Photo by Jason Ganwich.

“My Tacoma experience has introduced me to a marvelous, rich community of grassroots, literary, academic, bilingual, hip hop, socially engaged, irreverent and compelling poets and word artisans who often change a room, or a mind, or a point of view with their work,” said Smiraldo. “I want to offer people of wildly divergent backgrounds a chance to savor poetry, write it, exchange it, and share it in community. The past four poet laureates have set an incredibly durable foundation for this honor, and I am deeply grateful to them for their gifts and for establishing such a passionate legacy of service.”

In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the Tacoma Arts Commission and Tacoma’s current poet laureate, Josie Emmons Turner, will host a poetry reading event at which Smiraldo will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held Tuesday, April 23, from 6 – 7:30 p. m. at the Tacoma Public Library’s main branch (1102 Tacoma Ave. S in downtown Tacoma). Featured poets will include Smiraldo, Emmons Turner, Tammy Robacker, William Kupinse, and Michael Magee.

Smiraldo is a Pacific Northwest writer, performing poet and twelve-time produced playwright. His performance credits include opening poet at Def Poetry Jam’s College Tour, featured poet at the National Black Pilot’s Conference, commissioned performances at the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass, and featured poet during Seattle’s Hip Hop Awards. He has recently joined forces with master griot and kora player, Foday Musa Suso, to present a unique performance of spoken word, song, and social and political narrative.

Smiraldo received the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Arts Projects funding in 2010 and Tacoma Artists Initiative Program funding in 2008 to create two spoken word projects combining film and music. In 2010, he created an original touring work in affiliation with collaborating writers, entitled “Eleven Days in the Life of Dr. King,” which explored Dr. King’s life through 12 original spoken works put to stage with music and choreography.  Smiraldo recently completed a new touring play with co-writer April Nyquist in affiliation with the Broadway Center titled “The Bridges: A Civil Rights Journey.”

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