Arts & Events

Tacoma celebrates November’s Art at Work



As fall bids farewell and winter takes its place, it can be tempting to hole up indoors to escape the chill. Instead of accepting the cold as an excuse to keep you in the confines of your home this month, let it inspire you and your loved ones to explore the growing artistic culture buzzing throughout Tacoma.

Art at Work Tacoma is an online organization that offers a structured directory of all the art workshops, classes and exhibits that will be available to the public during the month of November within the local community.

For those looking to further their engagement in the artistic community, Arts Leadership Lab Tacoma will present TAC/TAC on Saturday, Nov. 16. The best part? You won’t have to even leave campus, as it will be held at the University of Puget Sound.

TAC/TAC is a conference focused on local arts education,  funding, online engagement, public art, creative small businesses and arts careers. It will allow independent artists, creative entrepreneurs and arts professionals to connect and engage in dialogue and learning through seminars, classes and forums throughout the day.

Another community initiative presented through Art at Work is FABITAT, Fab-5’s creative headquarters. Fab-5 is an initiative of the Northwest Leadership Foundation whose motive is to empower under-served youth through relevant urban artistic outlets such as DJing, legal graffiti, break dancing and other urban arts expressions.

FABITAT will host free open studio sessions from 4 to 9 p.m. (dates listed on, where anyone can explore and play with their art supplies, music equipment and dance space, complete with instructors who are ready to assist artists of any level to get acquainted and comfortable with the materials and creative gear.

Love to read and are searching for a community with which to share your thoughts and ideas about a book you’ve finished? King’s Books offers a variety of book clubs open to the public including but not limited to the Banned Book Club, Food Justice Book Club, LGBTQ Book Club, Graphic Novel Book Club and Vegan Book Club.

Along further literary lines, Tacoma poet laureate Lucas Smiraldo will lead Poetry at the Speed of Sound. This is a free written- and spoken-word workshop hosted at the Tacoma Public Library where participants will be guided through techniques for writing and performing poetry, with an emphasis on sharpening the power and confidence of a poem’s presentation.

Or perhaps a more physically enriching artistic experience is one to which you are more inclined. From Nov. 21 to Dec. 12,  STAR center will offer belly-dancing classes where participants will learn the seemingly impossible, fundamental movements of this traditional style of dance through choreographed segments, along with the relative cultural symbolism from its ancient Turkish and Middle Eastern roots.

On top of all the incredible workshops and classes that are offered this month, upwards of 80 exhibits (many of which continue past November) are listed on the Art at Work Tacoma website.

In addition, the website outlines tons of local events that will be held through the end of the month. These events include theatrical performances like the play Driving Miss Daisy, comedian Adam Ray who has appeared on such shows as Workaholics and Arrested Development and an open mic night at the Tacoma Comedy Club. It outlines musical, visual art, digital, film and dance events as well.

The importance of artistic adventure is paramount to a culturally enriched, diverse and supportive environment. Through the Art at Work initiative, it is hoped that participants will engage not only with their own self-empowerment, but with other members of the local community to create a cohesive sense of artistic appreciation and sponsor, allowing the already-blooming Tacoma art scene to continue to grow.