Tag Archives: Hilltop artists

2014 Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party & AMOCAT Arts Awards

26 Sep

Presented by the Tacoma Arts Commission and Spaceworks Tacoma


Thursday, October 2, 6-9pm
Tacoma Post Office Building
Awards start 7:45, Post Hall (4th floor)

Get out and have some fun while helping us kick off Tacoma Arts Month in style. Enjoy a stellar line-up of entertainment, art exhibitions, appetizers, dessert, and no-host bar. Help us honor the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Award winners and funding recipients. It’s all free and open to the public – pack up the family, invite your friends and come help us celebrate!  RSVP here, find it on Facebook, or just show on up.


Experience this giant line-up of happening in the newly-renovated Tacoma Post Office Building and help us honor the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Award winners and funding recipients.

The night’s arts and entertainment includes:
• Music by Speed Queen
• Exhibits of work by Jessica Spring and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Foundation of Art Award honorees
• Pop-up exhibits of work by Beautiful Angle, Isaac Olsen, Alice Di Certo, Kristin Giordano, The C.L.A.W., and Poly Rev
• Okinawa Taiko Drums
• Tintype photo booth by Kyle Dillehay
• Mini-theater performances by Working Class Theater
• Open studios of Abby Kok, Alana Tamminga, and Katlyn Hubner
• Trash Fashion Runway by Tinkertopia and Friends
• Poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo
• Screenings of short films by Kat Ogden, Nick Butler, Kris Crews, Kate Walker, and The Grand Cinema

2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards, starts at 7:45 in Post Hall (4th floor):

Arts Patron – ArtsFund
Community Outreach by an Organization – Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Community Outreach by an Individual – Jessica Spring

2014 Tacoma Arts Commission funding recipients:
Arts Anchor Fund
The Grand Cinema, Hilltop Artists, Museum of Glass, Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Symphony, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association

Arts Projects
Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, DASH Center for the Arts, Fab-5, Fort Nisqually Foundation, King’s Bookstore, Local Life, Monkeyshines, MLKBallet, Northwest Repertory Singers, Classical Tuesdays in Old Town, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Second City Chamber Series, Sister City Council of Tacoma, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Maritime Fest, the BareFoot Collective, University of Puget Sound, Washington State Historical Society

Tacoma Artist Initiative Program
Sean Alexander, Carla Barragan, Bill Colby, Alice Di Certo, Kyle Dillehay, David Domkoski, Oliver Doriss, Josie Emmons Turner, Sarah Gilbert, Erin Guinup, Meghan Mitchell, Mark Monlux, Kat Ogden, Scott Scoggin, Erik Steighner, Noah Struthers

Event Sponsors
Click! Cable TV, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Tacoma Weekly, Northwest Public Radio, KPLU, Weekly Volcano, Premier Media Group, Exit133

Questions? Inquiries? 
Call Naomi Strom-Avila 253.591.5191

“Lost Tribes” in Seymour Conservatory at Wright Park

31 Mar

Certain places offer such a splendid harmony of history, architecture and overflowing natural verdure that they seem to invite the siting of art work there. In Tacoma, one of these places is the W.W. Seymour Conservatory, which is presenting the Lost Tribes of Hilltop, an exhibition of glass art by the Hilltop Artists, April 10 through May 24, 2012. The jewel-like dome of the 104-year-old conservatory is set amidst the idyllic landscaping of Wright Park providing a focused and inspired backdrop for the dazzling contemporary glasswork of these skilled student artists.

In Lost Tribes of Hilltop, 83 artists aged 12 to 20 take inspiration from the natural world – and a broad imaginative leap – to create glass objects that embody the archaeological relics of a tribe of their own creation. In effect, each of these tribes – including Raven, Wolf, Cheetah, Snake, and Iguana – has created its own mythos, and even a petroglyph illustrating the story of its origin. These vivid works in glass reflect a tribe’s connection to nature, the cultural significance of food, the sacredness of water, and the values shared by all.

The non-profit Hilltop Artists program was established in 1994 by Tacoma native and Pilchuck School founder Dale Chihuly, and the late Kathy Kaperick. At the time, Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood was beset by high crime and gang activity that impacted the community and its youth. Hilltop Artists offered a diverse group of young people an exciting yet challenging outlet for their promise, drive and talent. Today, the program serves more than 500 students a year, and student art is made available for purchase to the public and private organizations. The glassblowing program is tuition-free and all supplies are provided. Please watch this award-winning video by Tyler Kalberg and Adam Pranica to discover the difference Hilltop Artists is making in young lives.

Last September, the organization was honored by an invitation to present on their Arts Connect Program at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI’s mission is to connect the best minds “to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.” Congratulations, Hilltop Artists! Continue reading

It’s True – Artists Invigorate Neighborhoods

24 Feb

Tuesday was a hot night for Fabitat, Fab-5‘s super-tight creative lab on the Hilltop – and for Spaceworks Tacoma. The event was an exceptionally cheery fundraiser: hard to believe, but Fab-5 has been at it for 12 years mentoring local youth in the creative arts, and this was their first call for support, ever. Not only that, but the busy studio at 1316 Martin Luther King Way, which they occupied via a Spaceworks residency in 2011 and recently signed the lease for, is the team’s first-ever homebase. The Five’s dedication and leadership in igniting young minds through the visual and performing arts is the stuff urban dreams are made of. Attendees at Tuesday night’s event jostled to pledge support (you can make a donation here), and to sign the group’s door, graffiti-style.

Musician Nate Dybevik is an expert in piano restoration. Photo courtesy of Nate Dybevik.

At Spaceworks, such win-win situations (free space for creative entrepreneurs = potential paying tenants for landlords) are always cause for celebration. Fab-5 is but one of several Hilltop artists-in-residence who in the past year have activated a once dormant commercial zone and seeded the area around the Fulcrum Gallery with fresh life. Nate Dybevik also recently signed the dotted line and gained a permanent address for his “piano museum” (he is a musician who rebuilds pianos) and music studio. During its tenure, Toy Boat Theatre performed a miraculous facelift on a sterile office space, drew new audiences to the neighborhood with six months of high-caliber drama, and left an indelible mark before moving on.

We thought it was time to catch up with these Spaceworks alums and hear about their experiences in their own words.

* * * * *

The transformation of the 1300 block of “Hilltopia” in 2011 wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the Marie Thorp Wilson Trust, owners of the Thorp Building (where two of the four original. rent-free residency spaces are now leased by Fab-5 and Dybevik). According to Thorp family member Jeanette Sorenson, while the Trust’s intention has been to sell the Thorp Building, “It has been a blessing to have [it] occupied, especially by groups that appreciate the opportunity to try their wings at a business venture….By opening the building to the Spaceworks program, [it] has changed from a vacant, cold building to a lively, warm building that shows its true character.”

Sorenson admits to initial hesitation about the venture. But “after interviewing Rebecca [Solverson] and Amy [McBride, City of Tacoma Arts Administrator], it became clear that this would be a good way to occupy the trust building along with helping the K Street community grow in a positive way.” Sorenson’s family ties to Tacoma run deep: as a young man her grandfather, Theodore Martin Thorp, followed his cousin, Thea Foss, from Wisconsin to Tacoma. In 1967, her father, Bud (“Blind Man”) Thorp, “built the Thorp Building on property he had purchased when he was discharged from the Army Air Corps, a decorated airman.” Spaceworks is grateful to help usher in a new wave of activity at the Thorp Building.

Continue reading

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