Puyallup: News

New city council commission gives voice to Puyallup arts and culture community

The Puyallup City Council is providing a voice to its arts and culture community by establishing a new Arts & Culture Commission.

The commission will be made up of seven members and will work to raise community awareness and participation in fine and performing arts and culture.

“It’s about bringing the artist community together,” said Councilwoman Julie Door. “If they put their heads together they can promote arts.”

Aside from promoting art awareness, the commission is responsible for other duties, including working with donations and grants in support of arts and culture. Members also recommend “artistic and cultural endeavors and projects” and pieces of art for the city to permanently purchase.

The “Lotus Seeker” by Leo Osborn is well known in the community, said Door, and is an example of one of the permanent pieces the city owns after Jerry and Germaine Korum donated the art a few years back. “Beautiful Night” is another donated piece from Babette Kunkle.

The pieces were first displayed by Arts Downtown, Puyallup’s outdoor art gallery that provides locals with tours of sculptures and rotates its pieces every two years.

We have lots of local artists here. We’re looking for dance, music, artists, not just one particular aspect of arts. The commission will hopefully bring representatives from each community here.

Julie Door, Puyallup city councilwoman

“(The city) tries to purchase one piece every two years,” Door said. “With the arts commission, one of the many things they can do is make recommendations on which pieces can be purchased.”

Already, the city of Puyallup has an enthusiasm for arts, from dance studios to theater performances to art galleries. The Elite School of Dance studios in downtown Puyallup provide dance lessons in ballet, jazz and modern hip hop.

For music, the Northwest Sinfonietta hosts orchestra performances in Puyallup, while Puyallup’s Children’s Theater and Music Academy hosts music lessons and performances.

Puyallup’s City Hall, Pierce College campus and the Puyallup Activity Center have opportunities for art gallery viewings.

“We have lots of local artists here,” Door said. “We’re looking for dance, music (and) artists — not just one particular aspect of arts. (The commission) will hopefully bring representatives from each community here.”

Anyone is free to apply for a position on the Arts & Culture Commission, but a majority of members will be Puyallup residents. The Council is looking for artists to fill spots, too.

“We’re hoping to have two spots (for) artists on the board,” Door said. “It could be an artist, a dancer, a painter. We think it’s important for them to have a voice.”

Applications for the Arts & Culture Commission are available online at the city’s website or by calling 253-841-5480. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 4.

Allison Needles: 253-256-7043, @herald_allison