Arts and events in Tacoma

October may be Art Month, but in Tacoma, the arts never stop

By Morf Morford, Tacoma Daily Index

The arts may not be one of the first things that comes to mind when many of us talk about Tacoma. But in odd corners, 19th Century warehouses, in many neighborhoods, and even public schools, creativity is pulsing, even surging, barely visible to many of us.

It takes the right time, place and inspiration to nurture arts of all kinds. And in Tacoma, as you might imagine, the arts take shape and expression all their own.

A taste of Native art

George Zantua is of Native American heritage and is an enrolled member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. His grandparents taught him to see animals and nature as guides that lead him to have a vision of their life’s work. His artwork attempts to convey (in a surrealistic fashion) their spiritual and healing traditions.

The depiction of Eagle and Eagle Feathers in his art represents the blessings of vision, bringing with it the clarity and wisdom to see one’s most respectful and honorable path. Whales bring knowledge of creation of life and the resonance of community.

You can see how George frames art and belief through October at the Tahoma Center Gallery, 1323 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405.

For writers and literary minded

As most of us know, the Pacific Northwest is a haven for writers and artists of all kinds. When it comes to the written – or spoken – word, we in Tacoma have many fountains of inspiration. Writers in particular tend to draw inspiration from each other. One opportunity to do this is through “crawls” – where different writers, in different locations, share their latest work. One essential “crawl” is the Creative Colloquy Crawl (October 3) at various locations.

For poets, and other writers, check out Voices of Tacoma and these gatherings around the city –

  • Saturday, Oct. 14: Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets at Mad Hat Tea Co. (11:00a to 5:00p)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17: Gathering of Poets at Wheelock Library (6:30p to 7:30p)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25: Autumn Poetry Workshop with Celeste Schueler at Moore Library (6:00p)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Poet’s Corner at Arts at the Armory (11:00a to 5:00p)
  • Sunday, Nov. 12 Poet’s Corner at Arts at the Armory (11:00a to 5:00p)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15: Autumn Poetry Workshop with Jenny Bartoy at Moore Library (6:00p)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29: Gathering of Poets at a yet-to-be-confirmed library (6:30p to 7:30p)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13: Autumn Poetry Workshopwith Christina Vega at Moore Library (6:00p)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19: Gathering of Poets at a yet-to-be-confirmed library (6:30p to 7:30p)

Upcoming events

For other – or future – writing related events, keep an eye on this website.


For a truly independent, locally produced and passionately placed live theater experience, don’t miss any productions at Dukesbay.

“On a fateful night in 1899, a ship mysteriously sunk in the Tacoma harbor. Could the rumors of a curse on the ship be true?” That’s the inspiration for the upcoming performance at Dukesbay. You can catch it Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm, October 27 – November 19, 2023 at The Dukesbay Theater, 508 Sixth Ave. #10, Tacoma. You can see details and get tickets here.

Be prepared for stairs. And a memorable evening.

Classical Tuesdays in Old Town

For those with, or those who long to cultivate, a taste for Classical music, mark the second Tuesday each month for the free concerts in Slavonian Hall, 2306 N. 30th, in Old Town, Tacoma. You can see details on the performers here. These concerts are scheduled for October 10, 2023, November 14, 2023, December 5, 2023, February 13, 2024 and March 12, 2024.

And don’t miss March 14 at 7:00pm for a concert of the Puget Sound Concert Opera performing an evening of songs from the best of Musical Theater. It’s free and also at Slavonian Hall, Old Town Tacoma.

It may not be exactly art, but maybe it is

One of the fixtures of arts and celebration in Tacoma, for 60 years now, is the Tacoma Greek Festival. If you are looking for that “Mamma Mia!” or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” vibe, don’t miss this annual event put on by St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church (1523 S. Yakima, Tacoma). Yes, it is food – a traditional assortment of hand made Greek pastries and food booths offering gyros, calamari, Greek fries, souvlaki, and loukomathes, and dinners and side dishes like spanakopita, tiropita and dolmathes, but it is also far more than that. It all opens at 11am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 6-8. You can see details here.