GO Arts

Everything new on the walls, stage, screen and streets of Tacoma and South Puget Sound.

NOTICE: GO Arts has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved GO Arts.
Visit the new section.

Category: literary


Spoken word artist and activist Walida Imarisha performs at UPS with Fab-5 crew


Walidah Imarisha. Courtesy photo.
Walidah Imarisha. Courtesy photo.

Walidah Imarisha, a spoken word artist, educator, writer, and innovative voice on issues of youth and justice, will perform with the Fab-5 artistic youth group next Thursday, April 25, at the University of Puget Sound.

The performance is free.

Imarisha, a teacher in Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s women’s studies program and Southern New Hampshire University’s English department, will address how educational systems often alienate youth through a hidden racism.

“Students feel marginalized, silenced, invisibilized, demonized, criminalized, without that being said explicitly,” Imarisha told UPS Professor Dexter Gordon in a recent interview. “They’re not learning about themselves and everything they do learn about themselves is negative. Many young, brilliant folks have dropped out of school because they were saving their spirits. And we have to see that as a survival tactic.”

Fab-5 is a Tacoma youth organization that offers creative outlets for underserved urban youth, including DJing, spoken word and writing, breakdancing and visual art. Read more »


Lucas Smiraldo is Tacoma’s new Poet Laureate; will read at library next Tuesday

Spoken word artist Lucas Smiraldo has been chosen to be Tacoma’s new Poet Laureate for 2013-2015. The two-year post has been running for five years and is awarded by the Tacoma Arts Commission. It involves community readings, workshops and events, the first of which is a reading next Tuesday in the Tacoma Public Library main branch featuring past and present laureates.

Smiraldo, who performs as Vanilla Soul, is a prolific writer, performance poet and playwright who has collaborated with many other Pacific Northwest artists in varied disciplines. A former education director at the Broadway Center for Performing

Read more »


Write@253 holds workshops, homework help, anthology projects on Tacoma’s Hilltop

Write@253, the Hilltop-based community writing center, is really hitting its stride with workshops, projects and ongoing homework help for all ages. Here’s what’s coming up

Writing Workshop for Health Care Professionals: Join writing teacher Judy Cromett to embark on a journey of discovering—or re-discovering–the rich rewards of writing.  The series began last week but there are five more Tuesdays to go: April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18. 7-9 p.m. Cost: $120 but scholarships available.

Write@253, 1310 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Tacoma. To register or for more info: Mary Fox, mfox@tacomacc.edu

PLU@253: Join letterpress artist Jessica Spring and her students from Pacific Lutheran University’s Elliot Press for a series of free letterpress workshops. Students will ink type and press the type to paper to produce an image and make journals, bookmarks, paper and even T-shirts. The series began last week but there are two more Wednesdays to go:

May 8, and June 12. 3:30-5:30 p.m. Free, supplies provided. Read more »


Free writing workshops for youth courtesy of Write@253 this Saturday on Tacoma’s Hilltop

Since it began last year Write@253 has been steadily encouraging Tacoma’s young people to write, and write well. Made up of professional writers and instructors, and helped out by students, the non-profit group is modeled on the hugely successful San Francisco group 826Valencia, which grew from a storefront to a national non-profit with sub-groups in New York, Seattle and many other cities. They’ve been offering kids aged 11-18 help with writing, both in schools like First Creek Middle and at their Hilltop storefront location – and this Saturday and next they have free writing workshops focused on Tacoma itself.


Read more »


Poetry Out Loud finals in Tacoma this weekend include finalists from Stadium High and Annie Wright

Every year, over 350,000 high school students around the country compete in reading poetry out loud, exploring its depths and learning rhetorical techniques for public speaking in a program organized by the National Endowment for the Arts. This year the Poetry Out Loud finals are here in Tacoma at Theatre on the Square this Saturday night.

Among the 13 regional winners competing are two local students: Anup Chamrajnagar from Stadium High School and Garnet Burk from Annie Wright.

The event will include a brief appearance by Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken and Sam Green, the inaugural poet laureate.


Read more »


Ballet, art, music, film and fun all meet at Tacoma City Ballet’s 10th Mid-Winter Masquerade Ball Soirée, Saturday night at the Merlino Building

Masks by Tacoma City Ballet director Erin Ceragioli for the TCB Mid-Winter Masquerade Ball this Saturday. Courtesy photo.
Masks by Tacoma City Ballet director Erin Ceragioli for the TCB Mid-Winter Masquerade Ball this Saturday. Courtesy photo.

The Jan Collum Ballroom in the historic Merlino Building is perfect for a party: a sweeping balcony, gold Art Deco molding, the exotic whiff of ballet resin in the air. So that’s exactly what Tacoma City Ballet does every six months or so – transform its main rehearsal space into an elegant party scene filled with dance, music, fine art, film and food. On this Saturday, the next soirée has an added bit of fun: a masquerade ball.

Along with work by local photographers like Bill Hinsee, Jessie Felix, Denise Knudson and Scott Nelson, films by Ellington Tynes, poetry by Sandra King and original choreography by TCB’s Erin Ceragioli, Travis Goldman and Joel Myers, there’ll be live music by Touché: Eclectic Quintet, and guests are encouraged to dress up with masks.

Read more »


Calling all poets: Women poets invited to reading, and new Tacoma Poet Laureate sought

Two opportunities are coming up for local poets. Current poet laureate Josie Emmons Turner invites South Sound women poets to join her in a reading at Tacoma Community College’s The Gallery, based on the current exhibition’s theme of Greek and Roman mythology. Up to 20 poets will be selected to read at 7 p.m. on April 19 in the gallery, and poems may be later published in a chapbook. Submissions should include up to three unpublished poems on the theme, no longer than two pages, in a Word document and labeled with name, address, email and phone number in the upper left-hand corner. Use 12 point Times New Roman or Georgia fonts only. Submit to facebook.com/josieemmonsturner by Feb. 28.

Any Tacoma poet, male or female, is invited to submit an application for the fifth annual Tacoma Poet Laureate program, run by the City of Tacoma Arts Commission. The chosen laureate holds the title for two years, receiving a $2,000 stipend for advancing and actively contributing to Tacoma’s literary community in meaningful ways through readings, performances, workshops, presentations, publications and/or special projects, and participating in associated programs. Read more »


Newbery book ultra-short film competition opens for Tacoma Public Library festival

Calling all filmmakers, of any age! The Tacoma Public Library is joining in the annual national 90-second Newbery Film Competition and Festival this year, asking for submissions of films that tell the story of a Newbery medal or honor book in just 90 seconds, with screenings of the best videos on February 23.

Anyone can make a film – adult or child –with the only rule being that it needs to tell the complete story of a Newbery winning or nominated book (not just a trailer) in a ridiculously short 90 seconds or under. Submissions are posted as YouTube videos,

Read more »