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Make It Tacoma
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Arts Scene

Tacoma has often been described as one of the hotspots for artists in the Pacific Northwest. Glass Blowing. Sculpture. Theater. Painting. Music. You name it, we’ve got it. The world-renowned Chihuly Bridge of Glass greets visitors as they arrive to Tacoma. Just steps away, the Museum of Glass is the premier showcase for art and glass in the Puget Sound region and includes works by native son, Dale Chihuly. You can enjoy cultural exhibits at other downtown museums such as the Tacoma Art MuseumWashington State History Museum, LeMay- America’s Car Museum and the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.

Tacoma has an eclectic theater and music scene. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tacoma has a lively lineup of theater, music and dance performances each year. It is also home to the Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma SymphonyTacoma Opera and more. Tacoma’s neighborhoods districts regularly host musical events at their jazz clubs, piano bars, cafés and restaurants. Smaller local venues, such as the Tacoma Little Theatre and Tacoma Musical Playhouse, provide options for a great night out in the neighborhoods.

With such a vibrant arts community, it is no surprise that Tacoma is particularly supportive of creative enterprise. Programs like Spaceworks Tacoma that matches artists and creative entrepreneurs with vacant spaces to activate Tacoma. Spaceworks Tacoma makes no- and low-cost temporary space, training, and technical assistance available to artists, creative entrepreneurs, organizations, and community groups who are transforming Tacoma into a stronger, more active city. Each October, Tacoma celebrates its cultural life through its Tacoma Arts Month, a month-long series of art workshops, studio tours and special exhibits.

If you’re an artist or thinking about launching an arts-related business in Tacoma, be sure to sign up for the Tacoma Arts Listserv, a collection of current news and information on the Tacoma arts scene.

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Biz Spotlight:

Amy Reeves

Tacoma Metal Arts Center

In Business Since 2009
Number of Employees 14

There’s a constant flow of creativity at Tacoma Metal Arts Center, thanks to the creative teachings of Amy Reeves and her dedicated staff. This multi-talented entrepreneur manages an art gallery and offers instruction in jewelry-making and metal arts.

In December of 2009, after participating in Metal-Urge that summer, a City of Tacoma-sponsored arts event with over 100 metal artists at 24 Tacoma venues, Amy decided to use her skills as a jeweler and teacher and open a school. “The Tacoma Arts Commission encouraged me to take the leap,” says Amy.

Originally from Bainbridge Island and Seattle, Amy spent years sharing her skills in art and teaching along the I-5 corridor, making the commute from Seattle to Olympia. In 2004, she decided to move to Tacoma since it was a good, central location. “Tacoma is an easy city to live in,” she says.

This year, Tacoma Metal Arts Center is celebrating two years of being in business. “Tacoma’s Art at Work month grows every year, bringing new people to my shop, and the City’s arts grants – as well as their overall support of local business and the arts – have also been very valuable to me.”

Today, Amy’s business employs 14 contract instructors and supports the Tacoma arts community with a broad range of classes and services. One of her favorite parts about doing business in Tacoma is the broad range of students it brings to her classroom. “I serve a really diverse base of class attendees, even more so than in Seattle or Olympia.”