Tacoma Moon Festival Celebrates Eight Years

Traditionally, the Tacoma Moon Festival is an annual outdoor celebration hosted by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation at the Chinese Reconciliation Park. The festival’s goal is to honor the rich diverse cultures of the Puget Sound region over the last one hundred and fifty years.

This year, though, the eighth annual Tacoma Moon Festival will not be a live, in-person event. Instead, imagine a beautiful graphic representation of the Park that you can visit from home on any electronic device. As you move around the map on your screen, visitors will be able to: stop by the welcome information booth and take a video tour with docents that have intimate knowledge of the park and its history; visit the Ting to watch a wide selection of dance and musical performances from Tacoma’s most beloved heritage groups and local talents; learn about resources and programs in the community; and pick up a recipe for mooncake or download a fun activity for the kids at a vendor booth.

The festival will also feature an online Asian Teahouse, with experts sharing brewing techniques, buying tips, and tasting workshops. Additionally, Beer and Wine Garden will offer special Moon Festival libations for local Tacoma in-store pickups. 

The festival posters for this year feature a Jade Rabbit, which is traditionally a symbol of selflessness, piety, and sacrifice in Chinese culture. The Jade Rabbit is this year’s festival mascot to promote symbols of healing and the virtue of giving in our communities. Festival t-shirts, posters, and other merchandise with this special design will  be available for order. The new Moon Festival  website will be unveiled on Thursday, October 1, 2020 and will remain online permanently. To learn more, please visit CRPF’s festival info page.

Experience Art Safely with the Tacoma Art Museum

Since their closing on March 13th, the Tacoma Art Museum has been working hard to create a reopening strategy. Now, we’re pleased to announce the tentative reopening of TAM on October 9, 2020. New procedures will be in place to offer an art respite and nearly contactless experience for visitors, so you can enjoy the artistry while staying safe.

“We know that it will be a different experience for visitors with these precautions in place, but the ability to enjoy the galleries and exhibitions will not be diminished,” says David Setford, TAM’s Executive Director. “These new healthy museum procedures will enable long-awaited public access to art for visitors.”

Though TAM’s doors will be open again, other opportunities and events will continue to be offered digitally through at least the end of 2021. TAM”s website will continue to offer free at-home art making activities, access to TAM’s permanent collection online, and other new programs, so be sure to check out the website for a purely at-home art experience.

In accordance with state guidelines, TAM will require the use of masks for staff and visitors ages 5 and older. Visitors will also be spaced six feet (two meters) apart and will follow a dedicated path through the Museum.

To allow for enhanced cleaning, Museum hours will change to 10 am – 5 pm Friday through Sunday. The Museum Store will be open during museum hours and will limit visitors to 5 at a time. Temporarily, TAM’s Art Studio, café, and hands-on gallery interactives will be unavailable, as will access to the lockers and coat check.

If you or your family would like to visit, here are a few tips you should know!

  •  Wear a mask to enter and visit the Museum. Masks will also be available free of charge at the welcome desk.
  • Leave coats and large bags at home if possible, as coat check and lockers will not be available.
  • Follow the predetermined one-way path through the Museum to help ensure compliance with visitor spacing and capacity limitations.
  • When needed, utilize the contactless and motion-activated hand sanitizer stations that will be available at various locations in the Museum.

For more information, and to purchase advance timed admission tickets, visit www.tacomaartmuseum.org.

Page to Screen: the Tacoma Little Theatre

While we may not be able to enjoy a live theatrical performance right now, Tacoma Little Theatre is finding creative ways to continue to perform! Tacoma Little Theatre’s Page to Screen program welcomes local playwrights to have their scripts performed in a virtual stage reading.

On Saturday, October 3, Tacoma Little Theatre is excited to present James A. Gilletti’s The Final Assignment, directed by Pug Bujeaud and featuring some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest actors.

The Final Assignment follows a young college graduate on the last day of his internship with a radio station. When a fellow reporter no-shows at the last minute, the intern gets tapped for a mobile news unit post at the corner of Elm and Houston Street as President Kennedy’s motorcade passes the Texas Schoolbook Depository. What follows is a sequence of events that will push this young man’s capabilities to their limits, force him to confront his greatest fear, and change his life irreversibly. 

The Final Assignment features the various talents of Joel Thomas, Mason Quinn, W. Scott Pinkston, Randy Clark, Steve Tarry, Ronnie Allen, Gretchen Boyt, Frank Roberts, Paul Richter, Jess Allan, and James A. Gilletti.

This event will be live-streamed for free on October 3, 2020 at 7:00pm, so be sure not to miss it! To watch the performance or to donate, join the live-stream by visiting www.tacomalittletheatre.com, or by following the link to YouTube (https://youtu.be/-O8DYII1CXg).

Exercise Your Green Thumb All Year Long

As the days begin to get shorter and the drizzly days that accompany the Pacific Northwest autumn season begin to set in, it is important to find ways to stay active and keep your spirits high. Gardening creates a sense of purpose and is a very rewarding activity because it allows people to experience success, build confidence, and connect with their physical environment. It’s very satisfying for seniors with dementia to nurture plants and it’s an activity that people feel naturally connected to.

Transitioning your gardens and raised beds from summer to fall is a great way to keep enjoying the outdoors and keep up your gardening all year long.

Many vegetables thrive in colder months and are also a great way to spruce up your cooking! A few greens that you can enjoy in the fall are spinach, lettuce, and kale. Don’t forget your favorite root crops such as carrots, beets, onions and radishes.

The beginning of autumn is also an optimal time to begin harvesting herbs like rosemary, basil and sage, which actually develop their strongest flavor before blooming. You can snip them early in the morning and store them somewhere dry. What could be better on a cold afternoon than a warm bowl of soup garnished with fresh herbs from your garden?

If your passion for gardening is fueled by flowers, there are some beautiful annuals that can make your garden come alive with fall color as well. Some good fall annuals include pansies, verbena, and mums, which are great for borders, mass plantings, and containers.

The two most important steps you can take to help make sure your garden and planters are ready for the colder months ahead are:

1. Add some mulch

Mulching late in the season can block weeds, keep in moisture, and insulate the soil. Mulch also prolongs the growing season, which will allow your garden to prosper. Another tip to remember is that leaves are a great substitute for mulch and can offer the same benefits. They add nutrients and soil as they breakdown.

2. Clean up and prune

It is important to trim and check spent plants for pests and diseases. If you do not see any sign of mildew or fungus on existing plants, you can even bury them and let them continue to act as mulch.


Fall Fashion Trends

Fall 2020

As the leaves begin to fall, we start to pack away our summer clothes and look at fresh fall clothes and accessories.

Check out this list of our favorite fall trends to consider whether you are shopping online or in stores this fall.

Brightly Colored Handbags

Loud and proud, bright and bold. This look can bring a pop of color into any outfit. This bright accessory change will encourage you to walk into fall catching attention.

Skirt Suits

Skirt suits are uncomplicated, sophisticated, and versatile. Dress this up or dress it down. A skirt suit look can be paired with simple pearls and pump heels or substantial jewelry and chunky heels. Express your style by pairing your favorite accessories with this apparel.

Brown and Beige Slouchy Leather Boots

Easy to wear with any outfit, slouchy leather boots add a warm touch to a fall outfit. These boots present a feeling of a billowy motion.

Cowl Neck Dresses

The cowl neck from the 90’s is back! Minimalist, comfortable, and flattering, this design gives a jolt of life to any attire. The cowl neck silhouette appeals to reveal femininity, especially when paired with satin or suede.

Neutral Tones

Neutral colors highlight the beauty and simplicity of fall 2020. Dressing in these shades emphasizes the beauty of a natural elegant aesthetic.


A Pearl of a Dining Experience :Chelsea Oyster Bar

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar in Olympia offers its dining patrons a truly special experience — fresh local seafood sustainably farmed at its namesake Chelsea Farms. Owners Shina Wysocki and Kyle Lentz offer their dining patrons an experience that reflects the heart and soul of the family’s shellfish farming legacy.

Upon your visit, expect an authentic casual-chic Pacific Northwest dining experience. This lovely space, with a recently expanded dining room, allows guests a place to celebrate a unique occasion or meet a friend or two for one of the best happy hours and ‘bites’ in the South Sound. General Manager Amilia Forsberg and her team are known for going the extra mile to make guests feel special. “We love that our customers have made us their destination to celebrate their wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and marriage proposals; we love helping to make the occasion memorable.” says Amilia.

 A menu to satisfy the landlubber or the most adventuresome diner, ‘Chelsea’ offers a delectable assortment   of fresh food from the sea, as well as a few superbly done mainstays. Discover what many Olympians believe to be the best clam chowder, fish and chips, and burgers in town. Be sure to try the delicate and sweet geoduck tartare. Though geoduck is farmed locally and shipped all over the world, it is a delicacy all too difficult to discover on menus in the South Sound.

Be sure to explore Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar and check out the takeout menu which includes dinners and cocktail kits to go!


For Additional Information
Chelsea Oyster Farms

Possibilities Realized at Pierce College

“Recognition is nice, but being a finalist makes us reflect on our work and what we can do to get better,” says Dr. Michele Johnson, Pierce College Chancellor.

That’s the forwarding-looking approach of the college as it was named one of the ten national finalists for the 2021 $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Finalists were selected from the nation’s 1,000 community colleges after a rigorous process involving more than 30 experts.

Finalists are expected to develop strategies that propel all students to complete college and then to succeed after graduation. In 2019, the Aspen Institute honored Pierce College as a Rising Star for “exceptional levels of improvement.” That $100,000 prize was donated to the college foundation to benefit the three campuses at Fort Steilacoom, Puyallup and Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Pierce College started with goals of access and open doors, the Chancellor said. Then data showed graduation rates lagging behind enrollment. Trustees and the Chancellor vowed to double graduation rates.

“We really know our mission and strive to measure it,” Dr. Johnson said. “We are not afraid to share data. We know we have made progress, but it would be bittersweet if we get a top prize and we haven’t closed the student completion gap.”

A careful study of the numbers revealed that the largest groups of students having difficulty progressing to graduation are single parents and African American males. Others facing challenges include Pell grant students with financial challenges, second language learners and students in the LGBTQ community.

“We had to ask, ‘What’s the lived experience of these students?’ and focus on the whole system to help students have a plan of resources to get to the final place,” Dr. Johnson said. “For us it’s about ‘possibilities realized,’ creating quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world.”

During 2020 the Aspen Institute will send a team of national experts on virtual site visits. A jury will convene in early 2021 to select the winner of the $1 million award.


For Additional Information
Pierce College

Jennifer Weddermann: Architect/Metal Artist

That’s the advice of Jennifer Weddermann, a Tacoma architect who also designs and fabricates metal art. She founded Weddermann Architecture in 2010 in the aftermath of a major recession. Now her certified woman-owned firm is finding its path through the effects of COVID-19.

Weddermann’s notable buildings include the Tacoma Police Department Headquarters as well as the popular children’s playgrounds at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and The Farm at SillyVille at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. She has also designed private homes and the large Hanna Heights Apartments project in Tacoma’s theater district.

Her metal art pieces can’t be missed. A major installation at the entry of the Tacoma Children’s Museum is big, colorful and whimsical. A large Point Ruston sign continues the whimsy, embracing a nautical theme.

In Seattle, look for a giant metal angler fish in the South Park neighborhood. She has also installed a new piece of corporate art in the Alki neighborhood.

“Now we’re going for more community-related projects that affect the most people in a positive way,” Weddermann said of her COVID-era work. Weddermann is especially pleased with artistic metal gates designed for the YWCA Pierce County domestic violence shelter. She donated a panel to a Smithsonian exhibit organized to show how beauty impacts healing.

Architectural design can be desk work. That’s not the case with the metal art, which can involve extensive physical labor.

Why metal as a medium? In a furniture design class in graduate school, Weddermann discovered that her limited budget wouldn’t cover the cost of expensive wood.

To create her graduate class project, she took her $10 to a junk yard and loaded a cart with a pile of rolled steel pieces—a lot of pieces. That experience affected her choice for her future artistic work. “Steel is cost effective. If I make a mistake, I grind it out,” Weddermann explained. “Steel is strong and fluid with a lot of potential.”

“That pile of metal activated the creative side of my brain,” she said. Now the community benefits from her creativity.


Tacoma Little Theatre Presents: Fall Classes!

Tacoma Little Theatre’s Peter Pan Jr., 2017

Looking for an engaging activity for a child or family member interested in drama and performing? Tacoma Little Theatre has just opened registration for their fall classes! To make sure that students and staff are safe, and have an opportunity to experience the Performing Arts, the Theatre is using a Virtual Camp model. 

Virtual Performance (Grades 1-8)— September 28th- November 4th

Tacoma Little Theatre is excited to put on another virtual performance this Fall! Students will participate in one of the two following programs:

  • Dracula The Play. This exciting play focuses on young Harker as he meets and navigates the world of Count Dracula. Harker’s friends Mina, Remington and Lucy all find themselves dealing with Dracula on their own! Will Harker and friends defeat Dracula before he moves into Tacoma! This class will need a minimum of 8 students for this production to run.  If more than 12 enroll, the show will be Super Happy Awesome News.
  • Super Happy Awesome News, The Musical. Two siblings launch rival good news networks and find themselves competing for the title of happiest news show. Soon, their correspondents are in a whirlwind of ecstatic musical reporting – from joyful weather forecasts, to cheerful cooking segments and blissful political updates! But, when vulnerability starts peeking through the euphoric facade, they’re left wondering: is there room for raw honesty on a super happy broadcast? This class will meet Mondays and Wednesdays for 2 hours. This class will need a minimum of 12 students for this production to run; if less than 12 enroll, Dracula will be performed. 

Improv (Grades 6-12)— October 1st- November 5th

In this virtual class, you will explore what happens when you give in to “Yes and…” Practice new acting skills and techniques that will help you in your staged and scripted performances, and even some things that might apply to everyday life! Being flexible and ready to adjust as needed. All classes will meet via Zoom.

Beginning Tap (All Ages)— September 29th- November 3rd

This course is best for those who have less than a year of tap or need a big refresher on tap terms. Students will learn basic sounds and work together choreographing a short number.   

Intermediate Tap (All Ages)— September 29th- November 3rd

This course is best for those who have over a year’s tap experience. Students will work on harder tap combinations, brain teasers, and choreograph a number.

British Dialect Class (Ages 18 and up)— September 29th- November 3rd

Have you ever gone to an audition, or looked into auditioning for a show and it required a British Dialect? Join the Tacoma Little Theatre for this six week course as students learn all about standard British (commonly used in most shows) and a few other dialects as well. Classes will be held via Zoom. 

For more information, prices, and to enroll, visit https://www.tacomalittletheatre.com/blog/2020/fallyouth.

ChuSeok Festival Celebrates Its Fourth Year

The Annual ChuSeok Festival, hosted by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, is celebrating its fourth year this September by hosting an online interactive event! The festival will be a series of activities throughout the third week of September as Facebook Live events. Each daily program will start at 11 a.m. and last approximately 30-45 minutes depending on the event. Be sure to get the family involved and join in on cultural learning through the engaging activities offered!

The 2020 line up will be as follows:

Sept 14: Day 1 will feature Man Sung Performing Arts as they open the week-long series with dance and instruments ushering in blessings for the events. These dances will be done as the performers are walking around carrying various instruments and playing them to make sweet sounds.

Sept 15: Day 2 will teach the audience about varying Korean mannerisms. The presentation will take attendees back to their roots and teach the younger audience members about mannerism and how to act appropriately and respect others as Korean.  These important lessons ensure that the Korean youth understand who they are as Koreans.

Sept 16: Day 3 will include demonstrations, showcasing Korean Ink painting with Korean Mook Wha style.  Featured Artist Sun Watkin is a very talented Korean artist in the Pierce County community who is passionate about keeping Korean culture alive.

Sept 17: Day 4 will feature Song Pyun rice cake making. Attendees will learn to make this very special dessert, a perfect fit for the ChuSeok festival.

Sept 18: Day 5 will close with a Tea Ceremony performed and led by Ms. Patsy Surh O’Connell & Friends. This traditional ceremony is a fitting way to wrap up APCC’s fourth annual Chu Seok Festival Celebration.

For more information, check out the Asia Pacific Cultural Center Facebook page