The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced the recipients of this year’s AMOCAT Arts Awards, which honor the people and organizations that positively impact the community with their innovation and commitment to the arts.
The 2019 awardees will be honored at Kaleidoscope, the annual Tacoma Arts Month opening party on Oct. 2 at the Eastside Community Center (1721 E. 56th St.). Mayor Victoria Woodards, District 3 Council Member Keith Blocker, and At-Large Council Member Lillian Hunter will present the awards starting at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s winners are:
The Arts Patron Award goes to the volunteer community members who led the Tacoma Creates Campaign for their multi-year planning and advocacy work to pass the first cultural access program in Washington state. Tacoma Creates is designed to make Tacoma’s neighborhoods and communities more vibrant and interesting places, create outlets and opportunities for youth to open their minds, open more doors, and make arts and culture more sustainably accessible to the broader public.
The Community Outreach by an Organization Award goes to Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center for helping bridge the gaps in dance education for marginalized communities in Tacoma. The center was the long-planned vision of the late Kabby Mitchell III, who was the first black soloist dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and co-founder, Klair Ethridge, also a former dancer. Mitchell and Ethridge recognized the inequity of classical ballet education for historically marginalized children and were determined to provide them high quality dance instruction in Tacoma.
The Community Outreach by an Individual Award goes to Aya Hashiguchi Clark and Randy Clark for their commitment to changing the local landscape of theater in Tacoma. The Clarks founded Dukesbay Productions in 2011 with the goal of producing more culturally and racially diverse theater in Tacoma, and in 2013 built the Dukesbay Theater, a 40-seat venue in the Merlino Arts Center.