Arts & Culture

Arts month: Tacoma Arts Month gets a new name and timing, starting with the opening party and AMOCAT awards on October 2.

Tacoma’s annual arts celebration has been given a new spot on the calendar and a new name: Now called Tacoma Arts Month, the 13th annual month-long celebration of the arts organized by the City of Tacoma’s arts commission takes place this year in October, kicking off with the annual party to announce the city’s AMOCAT award winners.

“We changed the timing in response to feedback from out arts partners,” said arts commissioner Amy McBride, noting that the move from November to October coincided better with openings of performing arts seasons and with National Arts and Humanities Month. The name change from Art at Work Month to Tacoma Arts Month also “seemed more inclusive,” said McBride.

The month-long event includes the annual artist studio tour on Oct. 11 and 12, as well as the free opening party from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Old Post Office building at 1102 A Street downtown, a location that has recently seen a spate of artistic re-invigoration from School of the Arts classrooms to art openings and exhibits.

Among the festivities at the party will be the city’s annual AMOCAT arts awards, presented at 7:45 p.m. by Mayor Marilyn Strickland. This year the winners are granting body ArtsFund for the Arts Patron award, the Asia Pacific Cultural Center for Community Outreach by an Organization, and letterpress artist Jessica Spring for Community Outreach by an Individual.

“Though I’ve been printing for a long time, the past 12 years in Tacoma have provided a fantastic community in which to grow as an artist, teacher and collaborator,” said Spring in the press release.

Also at the opening party will be music by Speed Queen and Okinawa Taiko Drums, Trash Fashion Runway by Tinkertopia and friends, a theater performance by Working Class Theater, poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo, and a tintype photo demonstration by Kyle Dillehay. On display around the building will be an exhibition of work by Jessica Spring and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Foundation of Art Award Exhibit, plus pop-up art exhibits by Beautiful Angle, Alice Di Certo, Isaac Olsen, Jeremy Gregory, Kristin Giordano, the C.L.A.W., and Poly Rev. The building’s resident artists Abby Kok, Alana Tamminga, and Katlyn Hubner will open their studios to the public for the evening, and there will be screenings of short films by Kat Ogden, Nick Butler, Kris Crews, Kate Walker and The Grand Cinema. The event will include appetizers, dessert and a no-host bar.

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