Tag Archives: Tacoma Arts Live

Tacoma’s 2019-2021 Poet Laureate is…

9 Apr

2019-2021 Tacoma Poet Laureate Abby E. Murray.

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced the selection of Abby E. Murray as Tacoma’s 2019-2021 Poet Laureate. Over the next two years, Murray will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events to advance the literary arts in Tacoma.

“My admiration for the literary arts community in Tacoma is as genuine as my love of home. As a military spouse and poet who’s spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to belong, I want to increase the reach and impact, geographically and socially, of poetry as a survival skill. We are a fragmented nation. I want to help weave us together, one poem at a time.” – Abby E. Murray

Pass the Torch: Tacoma Poet Laureate Celebration

As a wrap-up of National Poetry Month, 2017-2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate Kellie Richardson and the Tacoma Arts Commission will host Pass the Torch, a poetry and music event at which Murray will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held Wednesday, April 24, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Tacoma Arts Live, Studio 3 (901 Broadway). Featured poets will include Murray, Richardson, 2015-2017 Tacoma Poet Laureate Thy Nguyễn, and emerging poet and University of Washington Tacoma student Byron Gaines II. Light refreshments will be served and attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a hands-on project. Pass the Torch is hosted by Tacoma Arts Live.

About Abby E. Murray

Abby E. Murray is a poet, instructor, editor and activist. She was born in Puyallup, Wash. but spent years moving from state to state with her husband, who is still active duty in the U.S. Army. She recently returned to the Tacoma area when he was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. She earned a bachelor of arts degree at Seattle University, a master of fine arts degree at Pacific University and a doctorate degree at Binghamton University. She also taught creative writing at universities and community colleges in Colorado, Georgia, Washington and New York.

Because Murray identifies as a conflicted pacifist indirectly impacted by military service, her poetry, essays and community endeavors often focus on the lasting ramifications of violent conflict beyond the combat zone. She is the editor of Collateral, a literary journal that publishes creative work exploring this experience, and is passionate about creating platforms to amplify voices of marginalized writers and artists. War reaches into all our lives, she says, which is why she teaches poetry and writing workshops to the public and military families, trauma survivors, and the undocumented and detained. She also teaches creative writing at Tacoma School of the Arts and argumentation to army colonels on fellowship to the University of Washington from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Murray has several chapbooks published, including Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife (2012) and How to be Married After Iraq (2018), and her first full-length collection of poems, Hail and Farewell, recently won the Perugia Press Poetry Prize and will be released in fall 2019. She considers her poetry to be her most tested and trusted survival skill.

About the Tacoma Poet Laureate Program

Information regarding the Tacoma Poet Laureate program, founded in 2008 by Urban Grace Church and transitioned to the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program in 2011, is available at cityoftacoma.org/poet.

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32 community Arts Projects funded in 2019

20 Dec

2018 Louder Than A Bomb – Tacoma teen poetry slam presented by Write253. Photo provided by Write253.

The Tacoma Arts Commission recently awarded $100,000 in Arts Projects funding to 32 Tacoma organizations in support of 2019 public outreach projects in the fields of dance, craft, film, music, visual, literary, cross-disciplinary, and cultural arts. The awards range in value from $1,200 to $5,000.

“It is exciting to see such depth and breadth in arts programs that will be happening throughout Tacoma this next year. We are thrilled to be able to financially support this community-based work.” – Heather Conklin, Tacoma Arts Commission Chair

Funded projects include the production of eleven diverse cultural and arts festivals; two visual arts workshop series; an arts and culture podcast series; a screenwriting workshop; two filmmaking projects; a film festival; a historical arts and crafts demonstration series; three visual arts, culture, and music education programs; three dance workshop series and performances; six music performance series; a poetry writing and performance program for youth; and community engagement events.

A successful Monkeyshines hunter shows off their treasure. Photo provided by Monkeyshines.

Funded organizations include Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Barefoot Collective, Centro Latino, Channel 253 LLC, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation, Classical Tuesdays in Old Town, Destiny City Film Festival, Dru Films, Eastside Neighborhood Advisory Council of Tacoma, Fort Nisqually Foundation, Happy Fox Studio, Hilltop Business Association, Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, King’s Books, Latinx Unidos of the South Sound, Metropolitan Glass, Orchestral Recital Series of Tacoma, Peace Works United, Sister Cities Council Of Tacoma, Sixth Avenue Business District, Tacoma Arts Live, Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Girls Rock, Tacoma Ocean Fest, Tacoma Refugee Choir, Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, Ted Brown Music Outreach, Vietnamese American Community Association, Washington State Historical Society, and Write253.

Centro Latino Latin dancers at the 2018 Hilltop Street Fair. Photo provided by Centro Latino.

The Arts Projects Funding Program supports high quality community projects with a strong focus on arts that are accessible and affordable to the public. 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/funding.

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