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Tacoma Arts Month

31 days of celebration starts today

Photo credit: Christian Carvajal

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Who doesn't love an entire month devoted to the arts? October in Tacoma is Arts Month and it's all inclusive fun.

Tacoma Arts Month begins, as such things should, with a party. In this case, the opening night gala will be held in Tacoma's historic Armory, 715 S. 11th St., at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. It's a blowout of poetry, music and dance, with multimedia art exhibits by such local talents as muralist Christopher Jordan and photographer Jennifer Chushcoff. Tacoma's poet laureate and self-described "youth artivist," Cathy Nguyen, will perform, as will contemporary dance troupe the BareFoot Collective. Music will be provided by guitarist, cellist, and electronic musician Ken Jacobsen. The Asia Pacific Cultural Center contributes a Samoan village dance, and Tim and April Norris present the cutting edge design artistry of TMN Creative LLC. Best of all, the entire three-hour extravaganza costs nada, with appetizers and dessert thrown in for good measure. The gala honors AMOCAT Arts Award winners, as selected by the Tacoma Arts Commission.

More than 50 artists and studios will be part of Tacoma Arts Month, where you can try your hand at a variety of creative activities. Photo credit: Christian Carvajal

Speaking of free, guess how much you'll pay for the Tacoma Studio Tour? That's right: bupkes. The grand excursion gets underway at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and visits 35 studio locations around the city. You'll get to know over 50 artists and studios, with hands-on activities and demonstrations of techniques. You may even find yourself purchasing a one-of-a-kind artwork for your own along the way. A full Studio Tour schedule, including interactive map, is available on

As you attend these and other Tacoma Arts Month events, be sure to post a photo to the social medium of your choice under the hashtag #TacomaArts. Not only will it make you seem even smarter and cooler than you normally are, it enters you in a month-long contest for one of three fabulous prizes.

Let's talk about some of Tacoma's preeminent artists and arts organizations and how they're celebrating the onset of autumn. Friday, Oct. 2, Tacoma Little Theatre invites you to Boeing Boeing, a sexy, jet-speed farce about the amorous adventures of a Frenchman who finds a way to (metaphorically) juggle three flight attendants. If that doesn't butter your croissant, "consider yourself at 'ome" by attending Tacoma Musical Playhouse's production of Oliver! Yes, it's the time-honored story of a poor English orphan who mostly just wants better gruel.

On Oct. 3, a ticket to the Museum of Glass (1801 Dock St.) secures passage on a Chihuly Walking Tour of downtown Tacoma, highlighting sculptor Dale Chihuly's numerous art installations. Matt Braunger (Up All Night) plays the Tacoma Comedy Club that night. Pacific Lutheran University hosts Norway's Stavanger Cathedral Choir Oct. 4 at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Regency String Ensemble at 8 p.m. Oct. 6. At 7 p.m. Oct. 5, head to Tacoma Little Theatre for a free preview of the 2015-2016 stage season, with presentations by the artistic directors of TLT, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, and Lakewood Playhouse. (Speaking of Lakewood Playhouse, you have two weekends to catch its well-reviewed ensemble production of A Few Good Men.) Johnny Mathis plays the Pantages (901 Broadway) Oct. 8 in support of arts education.

Whew! We're fresh out of column space, and that only covered the first week! Visit for an up-to-the-minute calendar of events, including the Tacoma Film Festival, comic actor Jay Mohr, John Ratzenberger aka Cliffy from Cheers, and Blue Mouse's Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now, that's what we call a Rocktoberfest.

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