4 local arts advocates receive AMOCAT Arts Awards

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, and Stella Haioulani have been selected to receive the Tacoma Arts Commission’s 2011 AMOCAT Arts Awards. The awards for Arts Patron, Community Outreach by an Organization and Community Outreach by an Artist, recognize organizations and artists who provide distinctive contributions to the arts in Tacoma.

In celebration of this year’s 10th anniversary of Art at Work Month, a fourth award category, Arts Leadership, was created to honor David Fischer of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

The “Arts Leadership” award goes to David Fischer, Executive Director of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA). Since joining the organization in 2006, David in partnership with BCPA staff, Board and volunteers, has led the Broadway Center in tripling its audience, quadrupling the amount of diverse programming it offers, and providing the state’s largest, most dynamic arts education program. Diversity and access are at the heart of BCPA’s future, and to ensure this focus, the organization has hosted eight community dialogues to address the programming needs of our community. David has also achieved a balance between bringing high-quality performances to Tacoma and ensuring broad access to such programming by offering a tiered pricing program and partnering with social service organizations to distribute over 27,000 free tickets to the community since 2006.

The “Arts Patron” award goes to The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation (GTCF) for their support of the arts in Tacoma. GTCF believes that the arts are an essential component to achieving a vibrant, compassionate, and engaged community, and this support is shown year after year through grants, awards, and various arts programming. Last year, GTCF invested nearly $500,000 in support of the arts, including over $74,000 in grants. GTCF continues to recognize and support local professional artists with its annual Foundation of Art Award, founded in 2008.

The “Community Outreach by an Organization” award goes to D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts for their continued commitment to providing performing arts instruction, education, and mentorship to underserved communities and lower-income families in Tacoma and Pierce County. D.A.S.H. uses the performing arts to reach hundreds of Tacoma’s youth each year, cultivating an appreciation for the arts, instilling self-worth and guiding them toward brighter futures. In addition, D.A.S.H. instructors offer their students character development guidance, one-on-one and peer mentorship, and an introduction to college programs. Participating youth are also required to maintain a 2.7 grade point average and complete community service projects every year.

The “Community Outreach by an Artist” award goes to established filmmaker, disk jockey, writer, poet and consultant, Stella Haioulani. Inspired on a daily basis by the limitless possibilities of creative expression, she has produced countless provocative and enriching programs with the aim of heightening awareness and generating positive change in the areas of social justice and equality through the arts. Stella is also the founder and CEO of Free Ya Mind, Inc., a company that serves to bridge the gap between businesses, organizations and urban communities by using the vehicles of visual and literary arts. In 2001, in the wake of 9/11, Stella created the Free Ya Mind Poetry, Spoken Word and Open Mic Show. Every month, for the last 10 years, Stella has hosted this event, encouraging artists of all levels to participate.

Awardees will be honored at the annual Art at Work Opening Party on Nov. 3, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Museum of Glass. In addition to honoring the awardees, there will be contemporary dance by BQdanza, fire dancing by Flair Entertainment, renditions of Tacoma-themed songs by TWO OLD, TWO NEW barbershop quartet and an iron and ice pour by Tacoma Community College. Appetizers and cake will be served and attendees will have an opportunity to view the museum’s galleries.

For more information, visit http://www.ArtAtWorkTacoma.com .