Our Views: Celebrate Tacoma during Art at Work Month

November is Art at Work Month around Tacoma with more than 400 events slated to happen throughout the city to showcase the roster of arts and cultural programs the city has to offer. And there are lots of them.

Ponder the fact that our city of 200,000 has not one but four destination museums – Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, America’s Car Museum and the Washington State History Museum. All of these draw people from around the state as well as from around the world. Tacoma also has three landmark theaters under Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, along with a top-notch symphony, an awesome opera company, two successful community theaters and too many thriving grassroots arts efforts to tally.

No one can accidently spill crumbs from their crafted muffin from Corina Bakery without hitting the shoes of someone connected with Tacoma’s arts scene. Sure, the city has its favorite artsy son in glass guru Dale Chihuly, but he has countless other siblings in the arts that are making the City of Destiny an arts and culture hub.

Explore that community at Art at Work Month by visiting any or all of the music, dance or theater performances; visual art exhibits; literary readings; lectures; workshops; film screenings and cultural events highlighted this month. Art is, after all, also a growing economy in the city. Nonprofit arts and culture combine for

a $64.72 million industry in Tacoma, according to a 2011 study. Arts support 1,735 full-time equivalent jobs in the city and generate $6.58 million in local and state government revenue. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations, which spend $34.86 million annually, leverage $29.86 million in additional spending by arts and culture audiences.

Just a reminder: Election endorsements

Here is a recap of Tacoma Weekly’s candidate endorsements. Election day is Nov. 5.

Connie Bacon is a proven leader who knows what it takes to boost Tacoma’s standing as an international shipping hub. She deserves to retain her seat on the Port of Tacoma Commission.

Victoria Woodards is a “no-brainer” winner over her “challenger,” long-time gadfly and activist-turned-convict Robert “the Traveler” Hill.

Long-time community activist and small business advocate Patricia Lecy-Davis deserves a seat on the Tacoma City Council. She has long championed the needs and concerns of her district, proving that she has the passion and knowledge to do even more good things for Tacoma.

Joe Lonergan gets our nod for the South Tacoma’s District 5. Lonergan is a true champion of his district, which is often overlooked in citywide issues.

Proposition 1 is tough to call. Tacoma needs to get its roads fixed. Streets have long been ignored in the city, and it would be prudent for the city’s Transportation Improvement District and the Sustainability Task Force to run their course and develop recommendations about such issues before $10 million flows into a street fund.

The city committee processes should run their course, even after two years of researching road-repair options to not only lay all the options out but also build on the new foundation of trust that, quite frankly, still needs to cure before city leaders ask for more trust with tax dollars. On the regional level, surrounding cities recognize Tacoma has bad road. But the city’s decades of neglect should not be solved at the expense of Tacoma’s neighbors. Tacoma’s troubles should be solved by Tacomans.

The above opinion represents the view of Tacoma Weekly's editorial board.


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