Member Spotlight: Tamar Krames

Posted by Tamar Krames, Linda Lombardi, Jun 02, 2022

The Washington State Arts Commission, ArtsWA, nurtures and supports the role of the arts in the lives of all Washingtonians. As the Arts in Education (AIE) Program Manager at ArtsWA, Tamar Krames oversees a variety of programs and partnerships with a focus on equitable access to quality arts learning. Krames is a multimedia artist, National Board-Certified teacher, and arts administrator. Supporting innovative, community-based practices in schools has been at the core of her work for the past 20 years. Current projects include managing Arts in Education grants, providing support for teaching artists and PreK-12 arts teachers, and amplifying the creative practices of youth and educators. Krames holds a Master in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. 

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In the Wake of the Pandemic, Asian Americans Artists Confront Racism

Posted by Irene Mei Zhi Shum, May 11, 2021

Unleashed by anxiety over the pandemic, the nationwide rise in anti-Asian hate has served as a call to action for many Asian American artists to take a stand: To actively challenge the historic negative stereotype of the vice- and disease-ridden Yellow Peril; to dismantle the pernicious and divisive myth of the model minority that pits achievements by Asian Americas as judgements against other communities of color; and to advocate for social justice, equity, and inclusion for all. Located on opposite coasts, the work of photographer Mike Keo and multimedia artist Monyee Chau exemplify this new generation of Asian American activist-artists who are working within their respective communities to effect change. Both skillfully employ social media to raise awareness. Keo and Chau follow a long line of Asian American activist-artists and curators who deserve wider recognition. Most notably, in 1990 artists Ken Chu and Bing Lee and curator Margo Machida founded Godzilla: Asian American Art Network, an influential collective of artists and curators in New York City.

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Member Spotlight: Kathy Hsieh

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Sep 28, 2020

Kathy Hsieh is the Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, overseeing investments funding, and racial equity opportunities for community. Hsieh has transformed the City of Seattle’s arts funding program and helped the agency earn the Seattle Management Association’s first Race and Social Justice Management Award. Kathy shared with us her insights about how she became involved with the arts, her office's response to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as her recommendations for arts leaders looking to promote cultural and racial equity in their work. 

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Member Spotlight: ArtsEd Washington

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Sep 15, 2020

ArtsEd Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making arts education equitable and accessible to every K-12 student in Washington State. Danielle Gahl has been the Executive Director since 2017, but beginning in September 2020, she will be stepping down from that role and continue to run Internal Operations for the organization. Courtney Clark stepped up from the organization’s Board and became the Interim Executive Director in July 2020 after being furloughed during COVID-19 from Seattle Opera as the School Programs Manager. “It’s easy to send out an email that tells everybody what you’re doing; it’s a lot harder to do it. We’ve been focusing our efforts for a while now on walking the walk before we start talking the talk. ... The work of ArtsEd Washington is an everchanging landscape as the world of education is ever evolving. We choose to advocate through an equitable lens of equality that The Arts Matter! And FOR All!” 

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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Black Owned Homes as Solutions to Cultural Space

Posted by Ms. Elisheba Johnson, May 08, 2020

Cultural space doesn’t just live in traditional retail space. Cultural space is born where culture thrives. While on the surface it seems that four artists created the Black art center Wa Na Wari, it is actually the continuation of the legacy of Frank and Goldyne Green, who were cultural space activists before there were words for this type of work. We don’t always think of our family homes as cultural spaces, but this Green home, and their other five properties, operated in this way. After the passing of Frank Green, artists Inye Wokoma, Jill Freidberg, Rachel Kessler, and I wondered what it would mean to rent it for a year as a cultural center. This social practice project was about the act of reclaiming so much of what has been lost in Seattle’s Central District. Our formerly redlined neighborhood has experienced drastic gentrification and displacement of our Black community. A neighborhood that was at one time 80% African American is now less than 10% Black. Wa Na Wari explores what it means for Black people to reclaim space in gentrified communities. Wa Na Wari is an art house and a community organizing effort. It is a model for how black homeowners can stay in their homes while also convening around black art. 

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