Tag Archives: Metro Parks

2016 AMOCAT Arts Award winners announced

19 Sep

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced this year’s AMOCAT Arts Award winners: Metro Parks Tacoma (Arts Patron), Tacoma Youth Symphony Association (Community Outreach by an Organization), and Christopher Paul Jordan (Community Outreach by an Individual). The AMOCAT Arts Awards honor the people and organizations that positively impact the community with their passion, innovation, and commitment to the arts.

Play in Peace program at Wright Park on Friday May 20 2011 followed by a Peace March to McCarver Elem. School in Tacoma, Wa. Photo By Russ Carmack

Play in Peace program at Wright Park on Friday May 20 2011 followed by a Peace March to McCarver Elem. School. Photo By Russ Carmack

Arts Patron – Metro Parks Tacoma

This award goes to Metro Parks Tacoma for its ongoing commitment to serving and partnering with the greater Tacoma community.

From historic statues in Wright Park, and cultural pieces gifted from Tacoma’s Sister Cities that grace Point Defiance, to contemporary works that inspire visitors and beautify non-traditional mediums ranging from concrete walkways to conversation benches, amphitheater seats and community center exteriors, Tacoma’s parks provide an array of public art experiences throughout the community.

While performing and visual arts have long been part of the park system, opportunities for individuals to hone their personal skills through classes has expanded greatly since the inception of the Metro Arts program. Beyond individual exploration and development in the arts, the program provides access for the entire community to participate in free events and coordinates community projects to unite diverse audiences through shared art experiences.

Metro Parks’ contributions to our creative culture in Tacoma is evident in its commitment to making sure all forms of art can be experienced and enjoyed by our community. Their commitment to access is demonstrated by the Board’s recent adoption of a 1 percent for public art policy on all capital projects totaling more than $100,000, helping ensure even greater access to arts, as well as increasing opportunities for artists in our community.

Tacoma Youth Symphony string trio

Tacoma Youth Symphony string trio

Community Outreach by an Organization – Tacoma Youth Symphony Association

This award goes to Tacoma Youth Symphony Association for its deep and ongoing commitment to nurturing and serving youth across the region.

For over 50 years, the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association has provided nurturing, all-inclusive programs for young musicians. What started as one orchestra of less than 100 students in 1963, has grown into an internationally recognized youth orchestra organization comprised of five orchestras and over 400 students from all over Western Washington. The members of the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association range in age from seven to 21, and represent more than 100 schools in 20 communities. One of the largest youth orchestras in the United States, the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association also offers theory classes, a chamber music program, brass and woodwind ensembles, summer music camps, and harp and bass training programs.

Tacoma Youth Symphony Association is also committed to serving the surrounding community. Each year, the Tacoma Youth Symphony, the top orchestra, offers Discover Music Concerts for fourth graders from around the greater Tacoma area. These free concerts are designed to introduce school children to classical music and reach nearly 2,000 students. In addition, the Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra and Tacoma String Philharmonia do annual school tours, performing for underserved student bodies throughout the community. The Tacoma String Symphony performs each year in retirement communities and the Tacoma Junior Youth Symphony performs at the Victorian Country Christmas.

Committed to education, the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association education specialist and several Tacoma Youth Symphony Association conductors visit schools throughout the school year, where they coach and conduct in band and orchestra classrooms and provide musical demonstrations in classrooms. Tacoma Youth Symphony Association also offers a String Orchestra Festival each March for middle and junior high school string programs. The String Orchestra Festival draws approximately 1,200 students each year from schools all over the Puget Sound area for a day of performance in a non-competitive environment. Schools also have the opportunity to play together in a festival orchestra.

Christopher Paul Jordan in studio.

Christopher Paul Jordan in studio.

Community Outreach by an Individual – Christopher Paul Jordan

This award goes to Christopher Paul Jordan for his work in bridging audiences through the fusion of art and community organizing.

Jordan’s documentary, MEANWHILE: The Lasting Impact of Juvenile Records, was instrumental in provoking legislative change to state policies that previously allowed the selling of records of system-involved youth to private for-profit companies, often blocking access to housing, education and jobs for Washington’s most vulnerable youth.

Today, Jordan co-directs the grassroots youth organization Fab-5, which empowers young people as creative leaders who inspire change in their surroundings. He co-founded FABITAT which, for five years, has served as a drop-in interdisciplinary creative lab for youth year-round.

Jordan’s collaboration with Tacoma Action Collective through the #StopErasingBlackPeople  campaign built partnerships among Black artists, archivers, and HIV prevention organizers nationwide to give visibility to the impact of the U.S. AIDS Crisis on African Americans.

Jordan’s efforts this year include co-establishing Hue Collaborative, a cohort of 10 artists of color working in public art and currently completing an 1,800 square foot mural commission for the People’s Community Center; co-founding the Breaker Studio Gallery to highlight and support artists of color and community organizers in Tacoma with exhibition and convening space; and using social sculpture to advocate for increased affordable housing in the Hilltop neighborhood, where Jordan was born and is based.

Jordan is currently working on a statewide visioning project with the League of Education Voters, striving to push for progress in the dialogue about the future of education in Washington state by convening the voices of those who stand in the opportunity gap.

Awards Celebration

Awardees will be honored at the annual Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party on Sept. 29, from 6 – 9 p.m., at Asia Pacific Cultural Center (4851 South Tacoma Way). Deputy Mayor Ryan Mello and Council Members Keith Blocker and Marty Campbell will present the awards starting at 8 p.m.

In addition, there will be live entertainment at this event that includes contemporary dance by the Barefoot Collective, cultural dance performances by Asia Pacific Cultural Center, poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Cathy Nguyen, music by Champagne Sunday, cirque and aerial performances by Vuelta la Luna, and juggling by Saylor Purtle. Attendees can also experience an exhibit of Wayzgoose steamroller prints and a series of multimedia art exhibits by Matanofo Porter, Denis Maina, Saiyare Refaei, Jorge Garcia, and Kristin Giordano; film screenings by The Grand Cinema and Spaceworks Tacoma; a life-sized kaleidoscope installation by Tinkertopia; hands-on art making with Tacoma Art Museum; an interactive photo booth with Metro Parks Tacoma; and more. The event will include appetizers and a no-host bar.

This free public event is presented by the Tacoma Arts Commission and Spaceworks Tacoma and hosted by Asia Pacific Cultural Center. Event sponsors include Northwest Stage, Artist & Craftsman Supply and The Grand Cinema. Tacoma Arts Month premier sponsors are The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Click! Cable TV. Media sponsors include Crosscut, KNKX, Northwest Public Radio, ParentMap, Sounds Fun Mom, South Sound magazine, Tacoma Weekly and Weekly Volcano. The social media sponsor is ARCADE.

Creative Space Tacoma

19 Nov

Creative Space Tacoma


Join us for a community conversation about creative vitality and its relationship to space.

Date: Thursday, December 4
Time: 4:30 – 7 pm
Location: Tacoma Post Office Building, Post Hall, 1102 A Street, 4th floor
FREE! Appetizers and drinks will be provided
RSVP: Hayli@gtcf.org or (253) 383-5622

Space for creative activity is an important ingredient for flourishing neighborhoods and cities and may include traditional venues such as museums and performance halls and non-traditional venues such as churches, parks and coffee shops. Artist live/work enclaves, affordable housing, co-working spaces, special events, and creative businesses activate space, giving life to streetscapes and definition to communities.

How do we build our neighborhoods to include a sustainable creative life-force?
How do we best use our existing assets?

What strategies do we currently employ to engage the creative community?
Where are the gaps?

Special guest Michael Seiwerath, executive director of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation will share how they transformed a police parking lot into a beautiful destination including affordable housing, performing arts space, community meeting space and local retail. 12 Avenue Arts just celebrated its grand opening in Seattle and is pivotal to a movement making Capitol Hill a designated arts district.

Wendy Holmes and Teri Deaver from Artspace, the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation will discuss creative place making and announce the launch of Artspace’s new market survey about creative space needs in Tacoma that will enable people to make their specific needs known.

Enjoy refreshments and meet representatives from local organizations and creative space providers including Spaceworks Tacoma, Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office, Tacoma Housing Authority, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Metro Parks Tacoma and more.

This free public event is hosted by the City of Tacoma, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Artspace with the generous support of JPMorgan Chase.

Crafts of the Past at Fort Nisqually

23 Apr
An artisan provides a spinning demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photos By Russ Carmack.

An artisan provides a spinning demonstration during Crafts of the Past.
Photos By Russ Carmack.

During the next five months, guests of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum will get a close encounter with the creativity of daily life in the 1800s when the popular Crafts of the Past program returns for a third year.

Each weekend from May 3 through September 28a different artist will be “in-residence” at the Fort with displays and demonstrations of their work. Most will also offer guests the opportunity to try the craft themselves. Featured crafts include Native American basketry, metal engraving, millinery, botanical illustration, broom making, and blacksmithing.

“Many of the things people needed for daily life in the 1800s — from what they wore to the tools they used — were produced by crafts people whose work was both functional and beautiful,” said Fort Nisqually’s site manager Mike McGuire. “This is a chance to see artists in action and learn directly from them.”

What: Crafts of the Past
Where: Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 5400 N. Pearl, in Point Defiance Park
When: Saturdays & Sundays, May 3 – September 28
Cost: Free with museum admission (admission: Free – $7)

Crafts of the Past is sponsored by the Fort Nisqually Foundation and made possible with funding from the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the Tacoma Arts Commission.

An artisan gives a woodworking demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

An artisan gives a woodworking demonstration during Crafts of the Past. Photo provided by Fort Nisqually Foundation.

Artisans for May:

May 3-4 – Steve Baima follows in the tradition of the 18th and 19th century gun makers who embellished their wares with intricate metal engravings. Steve was mentored by accomplished artisans, and has been perfecting his craft through years of practice. Guests will have the opportunity to try their hand at engraving lines on soft brass. Steve is the president of the Cascade Mountain Men and the Washington Historical Gunmakers Guild.

May 10-11 – Heather Kibbey and Mickey Pederson have each been spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and tatting for more than 40 years. Both Mickey and Heather are regular volunteers at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and often mentor other volunteers. Guests will see them spin and weave, and have the opportunity to try their hand at using drop spindles or weaving on a loom. On Saturday, guests will also get to see how the whole process begins — with the sheering of sheep — thanks to a small flock of visiting sheep.

May 18 (Sunday Only) – Judy Bridges, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is descended from five fur traders and their Native American wives. Her baskets use both traditional and modern materials. She took up basketry in the early 1990s, studying with both native and non-native teachers. She has been teaching and demonstrating basketry for more than a decade. Judy will demonstrate basketry techniques such as plaiting, twining and coiling. Guests can examine baskets under construction and handle raw materials.

May 24-25 – Victoria Anderson had her first experience with making a cyanotype photographic print as a child with a kit she got from a science store. As a college student, Victoria explored the process more deeply, learning to make her own photo-sensitive paper and fabric. Cyanotypes use ultraviolet light (e.g. sunlight) to create a photographic image, and were one of the earliest forms of photography to appear in the mid-1800s. It was quickly utilized to make images of plant specimens. Guest will have the opportunity to make their own prints of leaves, buttons, or lace. The botanical uses of this craft connect it to the current exhibit, “Dr. Tolmie, the Naturalist.”

May 31-June 1 – Alan Archambault has been creating historical illustrations for more than 50 years. Before the advent of photography, images of places and events were often created by artists. Such illustrations are an important resource for historians. Alan, a former museum director, understands their significance and has worked to keep the craft alive. Alan is also an accomplished calligrapher. Younger guests can enjoy coloring illustrations, and older guest can try their hand at illustration or calligraphy.

2014 Schedule

May 3 & 4 – Metal engraving

May 10 & 11 – “Sheep to Shawl” sheering, spinning, and weaving

May 18 – Native American basket weaving

May 24 & 25 – Cyanotype photographic prints

May 31 & June 1 – Historical illustration and calligraphy

June 7 & 8 – Native American beadwork

June 14 & 15 – Broom making

June 22 – Collecting botanical specimens

June 28 & 29 – Fingerweaving

July 5 & 6 – Blacksmithing

July 12 &13 – Botanical illustration

July 19 & 20 – Woodturning

July 26 & 27 – Banjo making

August 2 & 3 – Culinary arts – cheese making

August 9 & 10 – Punch and Judy puppetry

August 16 & 17 – Basket weaving

August 23 & 24 – Textile arts


Tacoma’s own ‘artTown’ TV show launches today

11 Oct

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We’re proud to announce the launch of ‘artTown,’ a new TV series showcasing Tacoma’s creative community.

The City of Tacoma’s Media and Communications Office – in partnership with its Community and Economic Development Department’s Arts Program – announces the launch of “artTown,” a cultural documentary-style TV initiative exploring Tacoma’s emergence as a major creative hub in the Pacific Northwest. The quarterly series offers segments featuring diverse perspectives on a variety of creative disciplines. The show launches today – you can view anytime online or watch tonight at 8 p.m. on TV Tacoma.

“In developing the concept for ‘artTown,’ we wanted to offer a more holistic look at creativity in Tacoma,” said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “In addition to what people traditionally think of as ‘creative,’ such as fine art, music or dance, we also plan to spotlight other creative areas of interest that have really flourished in our city like food, fashion, innovative education practices, architecture and more. You’ll see some of that in this first episode.”

The inaugural episode features:

music composed by local artist Isaac Solverson
J.D. Elquist and Travis Pranger from Feather and Oar
Pacific Avenue Streetscape artists Elizabeth Conner and Daniel Martin
graphic designer Art Chantry and letterpress artist Lance Kagey of Beautiful Angle
Metro Parks historian Melissa McGinnis
Tacoma School of the Arts instructors Robin Jaecklein and Kareem Kandi
Arts EnviroChallenger teaching artist Meredith Essex
illustrator and designer Sean Alexander
glass artist Sarah Gilbert
dance choreographer Carla Barragan
jazz musician Kareem Kandi
Old Town Dock public artist Chandler O’Leary
and much more….

Online viewing:

Watch “artTown” anytime on the City of Tacoma’s website.

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 6 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.

It will also be available through Click! ON Demand’s TV Tacoma and TacomaArt & Culture menu listings.

Future episodes will be produced in part based on some of the audience feedback culled via social media, email at mco@cityoftacoma.org or phone at (253) 591-5152.

Dedicated to Public Art

6 Nov

Sedum plants blanket this sculpture’s 6ft. diam. canopy which is insulated with roofgarden materials.

What: Dedication of Sempervivum
Where: STAR Center, 3873 S. 66th Street, Journey Hall
When: November 10, 2 pm
Cost: Free

Inspired by the natural history of Metro Parks’ STAR Center, Tacoma’s newest public art piece, Sempervivum by local artist Lisa Kinoshita, will receive its formal dedication on November 10. The Tacoma Arts Commission and Metro Parks invites anyone who is interested in learning more about this piece to meet the artist at this free, public event.

“My outdoor art installation pays tribute to the wetlands that existed in the area during its early-20th century heyday,” said Kinoshita. “This sculpture trilogy seeks to link the past to the future, celebrates South Tacoma’s fascinating natural heritage and highlights the sensitive balance between humans and their surroundings.”

Botanist Keith Shawe and fabricator Quinn Honan break ground for the Sempervivum sculptures at the STAR Center. Photo courtesy of Metro Parks.

Sempervivum, Latin for ever + living, consists of three large forms combining steel, live plants, and green roof technology, and pays homage to the natural history of STAR Center’s site. The area, which originally was covered by extensive wetlands, was home to elk and flocks of migratory waterfowl and was affectionately known as “The South Tacoma Swamp”. But, as the region industrialized and became an important commercial link for the railroads, the wetlands were filled in.

“It has been rewarding to work with the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program on this project, helping to increase public art opportunities for Tacoma artists and to increase art in our parks for everyone to enjoy,” said Tareena Joubert, manager of Cultural and Community Services for Metro Parks. “Lisa has been a delight to work with and her zest to create amazing and meaningful artwork for this community is impressive.”

Sempervivum, a $25,000 commission, was made possible through a partnership between Metro Parks and the City of Tacoma’s Public Art: In Depth (PA:ID) program which trained a group of professional Tacoma artists on best practices and provided hands-on experience for working in public art. Artists in the PA:ID program had the opportunity to compete for public art projects with Metro Parks, Sound Transit and the City of Tacoma. Continue reading

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