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Tacoma AF Music Series

Local bands, solo performers and poets coalesce in support of Write253

Local folk/bluegrass musician Forest Beutel is one of the organizers and performers of the upcoming Tacoma AF Music Series. Photo courtesy of Forest Beutel

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When was the last time you went to a live show and local poets performed between sets? If your answer is never, or at least never in our mid-sized city of Tacoma, you're not alone. That's about to change, though, as the multi-genre, mixed artform "Tacoma AF Music Series" kicks off June 15 in support of Write253.

"I am a huge fan of cabaret-type shows that feature artists from different backgrounds, styles, and art forms on the same bill," said Michael Haeflinger, executive director of Write253. "I think having different types of bands along with poets will help to create a conversation among the artists and their work."

The Tacoma AF Music Series is comprised of four music shows held over the course of the summer. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Write253, a youth literary arts organization providing writing opportunities in the greater Tacoma area. Haeflinger and Tacoma AF sponsors MoveToTacoma and musician Forest Beutel curated the lineup of local artists themselves. Participating musicians span a wide range of style and genres, including dance, folk, gospel, hip-hop, punk and rock and roll. Here's the lineup:

June 15

Americana-folk band The Silver Dollars, bluegrass and folk musician Forest Beutel, the female-led rock band Sister Madame and poet Jessie Fouts will take to the stage at The Swiss. 8 p.m., Friday, June 15, The Swiss, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, $10

July 26

Electro-soul dance music by Mirrorgloss, the punk-folk vibes of The Rusty Cleavers and poetry by Christina Butcher awaits you at The Valley. 8 p.m., Thursday, July 26, The Valley, 1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, $10

Aug. 2

Singer-songwriter Stephanie Ann Johnson, the Stingy Brim Olde Time Blues Band and poet Michael Haeflinger will perform at Airport Tavern. 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, Airport Tavern, 5406 S. Tacoma Way, $10

Sept. 21

Alternative-rock musician Carrie Akre, rock band Mister Blackwatch and a still unnamed local poet will grace the stage of Tacoma Brewing. 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21, Tacoma Brewing, 1116 Court E., Tacoma, $10

"I'm excited to see some of Tacoma's best bands, some of whom I've seen, but many who are new to me," said Haeflinger. "The music series will help raise exposure of our organization (Write253) with an audience that we don't typically see. As a youth serving organization, we don't spend a lot of time at 21+ venues talking about youth writing, so this is pretty cool."

Since it was founded in 2011, Write253 has been working to provide meaningful and transformative writing opportunities to school-aged youth in Pierce County. The organization holds summer writing and film camps and organizes public readings and workshops at public schools and arts venues across Tacoma.

A few of Write253's ongoing programs are the Remann Hall Writing Club, which consists of bi-weekly writing workshops for incarcerated youth at the Remann Hall Detention Center, the annual Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) teen poetry slam and after-school writing clubs for middle and elementary school students attending Tacoma public schools.

For more information about Write 253 or to purchase tickets for the Tacoma AF Music Series, visit

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