Every November for the past 10 years, Tacomans have celebrated the city’s vast array of arts and culture during Art at Work Month. A truly community-based celebration, this year’s Art at Work Month includes more than 300 community-hosted arts and culture events, exhibits and workshops for all ages happening throughout the month. Every day on the calendar, there is something new to see, do and experience whether it be music, theater, dance, visual arts, film, readings, lectures or workshops. The event kicked off on Nov. 1, with a free opening party at Tacoma Art Museum, 6-8:30 p.m. The public came out to enjoy appetizers, dessert and a no-host bar amid music by Tacoma Youth Symphony and the museum’s current exhibits. Highlights of the opening party were the announcements of Tacoma Arts Commission’s 2012 funding recipients and Mayor Marilyn Strickland’s presentation of the AMOCAT Awards. “The awards come from nominations brought forward from Arts Commissioners throughout the year,” said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “I think it provides unexpected, yet well deserved, validation to the awardees.”
This year’s recipients are:
KeyBank, winner of the “Arts Patron” award for its investment in the arts in Tacoma, which includes a gift from the KeyBank Foundation to make admission free to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, contributions to extend programming at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State History Museum to audiences that are traditionally underrepresented, and gifts to support ArtsFund as well as in-school programs operated by the Museum of Glass and Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. The Grand Cinema, winner of the “Community Outreach by an Organization” award for their ongoing collaborations with local artists, organizations and schools to bring unique and relevant films and film programming to Tacoma. Katy Evans, winner of the “Community Outreach by an Individual” award. A writer, editor, civic advocate and fundraiser working to encourage engagement in local culture from citizens of all ages, abilities and means, Evans works in resource development for Metro Parks; edits and writes for the online magazine Post Defiance; and builds opportunities for neighborhood investment through Spaceworks Tacoma, Campus MLK and Tacoma Cash Mob. A graduate of the Evergreen State College, Evans’ efforts include completing hundreds of successful fundraising projects; writing and publishing articles highlighting Tacoma culture; developing a neighborhood communications plan to connect youth with creative opportunities; and organizing events that bring advocates together to improve and celebrate Tacoma’s creative civic landscape.
“I feel blessed to have found a hometown where I can so easily invest my passion and energy,” Evans said. “Every day, Tacomans show me that they can do anything they set their mind to and I love ferreting out and showcasing that local inspiration any way I can.” Following the Nov. 1 kick-off, Art At Work Month officially began throughout the city and continues up to, and including, Nov. 30. Studio Tours are a very popular aspect and one of the signature events of Art at Work Month. This year, more than 55 artists and collaborative studios are participating, allowing the public in to see where and how local artists ply their trade. During these free, self-guided tours the studios will hold demonstrations of the artistic process and have hands-on activities for visitors, who can also ask questions and purchase original artworks. There is more to do at the 30 classes and workshops on tap: learn Irish or ballroom dance, take a writer’s workshop or bookbinding class, learn the basics of glassblowing or jewelry making … and this is just a sample. There is also more than 70 art exhibits on view at Tacoma museums, galleries and local businesses and on top of all this, a wealth of shows and performances – Chelsea Peretti at Tacoma Comedy Club, Grammy nominated Nappy Roots at Jazzbones, holiday glass fusing at Manitou Art Center… See everything to do at http://www.artatworktacoma.com. All events are open to the public and many are free.