Tacoma Comes Back Strong in 2013

The National Arts Program® has always thrived in the City of Tacoma, WA, which is why we were saddened to hear that the city would have to take a break from participating in the NAP after six years due to budgeting and staffing cuts. However, even with tight budgets and a smaller staff, coordinator Naomi Strom-Avila was determined to bring the exhibition back to the city in 2013.

While it’s definitely not an easy task to reintroduce the program after taking a year off, especially when working with such a busy base of participants like city employees, Naomi did a great job getting the word out and her dedication to the program definitely paid off! Not only was she able to increase the total number of pieces on display, she was able to grow the number of participants who took part in this year’s show. The Seventh Annual NAP Exhibition features 152 pieces of artwork which is up from their previous show, rivaling only their 2009 exhibition for their highest participation since joining the program.

Along with Naomi’s enthusiasm, the program also receives additional support from government officials like Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell and City Manager T.C. Broadnax, who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the awards reception on June 17th. The City Manager proudly held each of the award winning pieces while posing for pictures with the artists during the presentation. Assistant City Manager Tansy Hayward, Arts Administrator for the City of Tacoma Amy McBride and Tacoma Arts Commission Member Scott Ramsey were also on hand to show their support for the return of the program.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax displaying Haley Criswell’s piece entitled “When Elephants Fly” which won first place in the teen category.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax displaying Haley Criswell’s piece entitled
“When Elephants Fly” which won first place in the teen category.

In addition to providing employees the opportunity to once again display their artwork in the NAP exhibition this year, the city is inviting all the winners to take part in a second art exhibition after the show ends on August 30th. This show will allow all the winners to exhibit a larger body of their artwork in the city’s gallery space located in the Municipal Building. This extra show not only helps to keep the gallery space active, but provides another opportunity to display employee artwork throughout the year.