Tacoma Arts Month: Engage, inspire and build in the 253

As we wrap up October — filled with pumpkin spice lattes and spooky disguises — we also reach the end of Tacoma Arts Month. This marks 16 vibrant years of art, culture and community in the Pacific Northwest.

Tacoma Arts Month celebrates creativity in various forms, showcasing the key to Tacoma’s identity. Throughout the whole month of October, the Tacoma Arts Commission has ensured there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it’s attending an exhibit, touring an art studio or watching a performance — events and activities can be found around every corner. The Tacoma Arts Commission added over 500 events to their calendar in 2017, including 70 Tacoma artists on tour! A celebration of the arts wouldn’t be complete without hundreds of community hosted events, displays and workshops. It’s not limited to only visual arts, but performing and literary arts like dance, theater performances, poetry readings, film screenings, lectures, hands-on experiences and more.

“They [can] range from intimate book clubs to large concerts, hands-on workshops to a Flamenco dance performance to tours and beyond,” said Naomi Strom-Avila, cultural arts specialist for the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality.

However, Tacoma Arts Month is not only dedicated to showcasing the community’s most popular work, but also to serve as an opportunity to help local emerging artists connect with members of the community.

“Tacoma has an abundance of extremely talented artists as well as community members hungry to connect with working artists,” Strom-Avila said.

What was originally known as “Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month”  in November 2002 has significantly changed over the past 15 years.

In 2014, Tacoma Arts Month had their name shortened to what we know it as today, and moved the event from November to October.

“The name change was to help bring clarity to what the event was about,” Storm-Avila said. “The move from November to October was in response to feedback from the community, especially from performing arts organizations, whose seasons begin in October.”

October also has drier days, fewer holidays and also happens to be National Arts and Humanities Month, so it all fits perfectly!

Tacoma embraces art and culture passionately, even outside of Tacoma Arts Month. So if you missed out, don’t worry! Tacoma still has abundant events and activities where you can enjoy all things art and culture. For even more art, check out the Tacoma Art Walk every third Thursday of the month, when the cost of entrance is free to the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum and the Museum of Glass from 5 to 8 p.m.

PHOTO BY LOGAN JENNY

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