Cultivate Wonder and Care October 1 – 31, 2020

Community Engagement Projects

Ten Tacoma-based artists and teams are sharing out a message of care and compassion with our community on an intimate level. These artists are each producing a care project – some virtually and some physically – for the community to participate in for free. Follow along on the Tacoma Arts Facebook and Instagram channels.

Art supply kits for students in Tacoma Public Schools
We are pleased to support the provision of art supply kits and project prompts to 2,500 Tacoma Public Schools middle and high school students. These kits support arts education as well as self-expression and self-care during remote learning.

Mommy Art School curated by Anida Yoeu Ali

  • An exhibition of works by young artists (ages 5-12) during the pandemic
  • Hosted at The Garage Studio 1615 S. 17th Street, Tacoma, WA 98405
  • Opening: Saturday October 31, 2020; 3pm – 6pm
  • Exhibition runs Oct 31 – Nov 14, 2020 by appointment only
  • Email for more info

Mommy Art School was an arts workshop hosted by Anida Yoeu Ali for her children and their friends when Tacoma public schools shutdown in the middle of Washington State’s corona virus outbreak back in March 2020. This exhibition showcases a collection of wonderous works from the young artists of Mommy Art School. It is an opportunity to celebrate the ways in which parents and children came together to offer care through the creative experience of Mommy Art School while struggling with the challenges of the pandemic. Mommy Art School wasn’t just about the kids but also about all the mommies involved in making these online sessions happen for their child in the midst of COVID-19.

Exhibiting Artists:
Gabriela Hernandez Camacho, Nora Hanawalt, Maryn Hanawalt, Elisabetta Igama, Madeleine Igama, Maximo Igama, Syed Omaed Meer, Mira Nimura-Parmenter, Hana Sugano, Minara Sugano and Qatari Sugano.

NOTE from Anida: we know this will be a different Halloween and many kids will not be trick or treating; please feel free to attend our event in costume (with masks). We will have candy set out to share with kids and guests are encouraged to bring treats. The Garage Studio is an open air exhibition space so dress for the weather!

I Am Tacoma

LOCATION: 6224 E Mckinley Ave, Tacoma WA

Gerardo Peña

We are all monarch butterflies fluttering, coming together, all with different cultures and ancestries, but this ground is where we come together to honor our past and celebrate our present and our future as Tacoma under one sun and on this native land. As you become one with the butterfly, you become one with Tacoma.

Where Is Your Heart?

Jamika Scott

Where do you love? What makes you laugh? What makes you smile? For TACOMA ARTS MONTH, I want to photograph you as you talk about the people, places, and things bringing you joy. My heart is with family and friends. My heart is with writing and filmmaking. My heart is with equitable communities. My heart is with stunning sunsets. My heart is with Tacoma.

View Jamika’s short film, Where is Your Heart?, by clicking on this link.

Wonder and Care 253

Jefferson Mok

In 2020, our collective ability to gather safely has been dramatically changed. Now more than ever, we need spaces that permit sharing while also respecting health guidelines. This new project is an attempt at creating a permanent digital space that will serve as a community gallery to feature our expressions of wonder and care toward each other.

We are a City of vibrant murals, yet many of us are visiting public spaces less than we used to. Increasingly, we are mired in digital spaces that are tiring and devoid of moments that promote care or inspire wonder. Drawing inspiration from public display spaces like the gum wall in Seattle, the wall of padlocks in Paris, and locally, the supportive messages for detainees that hang outside the immigration detention center here in Tacoma, this digital project creates the same possibilities for our digital realm. More personally, this project honors the walls that until recently displayed pro-democracy messages in Hong Kong, where I was born. These walls have been shut down by government edicts, stifling people’s ability to raise up their voices what they truly want. We need these spaces back.

You are invited to take part in co-creating Tacoma’s first digital wall space. By design, this website scrolls horizontally, to recreate the feel of a wall space while challenging the conventions of typical webpages. A horizontal layout also contributes to a sense of narrative, unrolling like a scroll or a timeline.

The collective nature of this space means you are invited to contribute anything you would like to this gallery, whether it’s words or text, audio, or any kind of graphic or photos. Submissions can be received via We only ask that contributions promote care and wonder for the world we live in and the people we connect with. If you are unsure what you would like to contribute to this space, email me, and we can co-design something together. Periodically, I will also add small mixed-media art pieces of found text, audio, or imagery that reveal the heart of Tacoma. Ongoing care, a profound and growing sense of wonder. That is how we can feel more connected, even during this pandemic.

Going Home

Paige D. Pettibon (Salish)

Watch this video about Paige Pettibon’s Community Engagement Project here: This project is about the Lushootseed language and storytelling from youth in our Tacoma community.

The books mentioned in this video are Going home, Haboo, and You Circle. The oral stories in this video: Chipmunk and Basket Ogress, Skunk, Bear and Rabbit.

The video participants include: Amber Hayward, Amani Hayward, Avery Hayward, Roman and Patrick Sherman-Galeazzi, Soren Lake, Kayla Guyett. With music composed by Kayla Guyett played by Chris Briden.

For more resources visit:
– Puyallup Tribal Language Program:
– Lushootseed Research:
– Puyallup Tribal Language YouTube channel:

You'll Heal Tacoma

Jessica Spring of Springtide Press

These “You’ll Heal Tacoma” posters are holding up through the rain and will be available for your wonder, care, and delight.

With a nod to the “You’ll Like Tacoma” signage, “You’ll Heal Tacoma” is literally a sign for our pandemic times. Both an urgent call to action and a future prediction, more than 300 posters are rolled up to collectively spell the healing message in four foot letters. Tacomans are encouraged to take a poster, then replace it with their own message of healing in response to “How Will You Heal?”

Care is Free

Tamiko Nimura & Tamiko Nimura

A collaboration of Tamiko Nimura, Teruko Nimura, and Jessica Spring for mental health care packages to be given to Food is Free tables across our city.

When will we begin to act and care for our planet?

Saiyare Refaei

Saiyare Refaei in collaboration with Gerardo Peña, Speakthunder Berry, Elle Grey, and Beverly Naidus, in action last week and painting a mural at 350 Tacoma to raise the question, “When will we begin to act and care for our planet?”

Corre y corre sin detenerte / Run and Run without Stopping

Abby E. Murray, Tacoma Poet Laureate

Learn more about corre y corre sin detenerte (Run and Run without Stopping), an anthology of poems written by detained, undocumented youth in Pierce County. This year’s Tacoma Arts Month theme is “Cultivate Wonder & Care” and these poems give Tacoma a chance to care for youth in our community who are impacted by immigration policy and family separation. Read their poems. Hear them. Know who they are: teenagers, artists, athletes, thinkers– children of parents. A free download of this anthology is available at On October 20, a limited print release of corre y corre will be available for shipping anywhere in Pierce County; on October 25, shipping will open to the rest of the U.S. Stay tuned for more info as that release approaches. *correction: translators mentioned in the video should include Sonia Hemming (not Cummings) and Alex Peck.

Abby explains the poetry workshops that she’s been offering and introduces us to her latest work, an anthology of poems written by youth at the Selma Carson home. For more information visit: and watch this CityLine episode with Abby here.

Community Boombox

Daniel Garcia, Smokey Wonder

Smokey Wonder vibes out with some incredible special guests in alleyways and in the park this Tacoma Arts Month. Community members wore masks and kept social distancing in mind when they showed up. The Community Boombox brought sound, wonder, and care into Tacoma this year. Daniel Garcia’s Community Boombox brought live DJ experiences to the public sphere in pop-up performances that delighted passersby.