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2022 AMOCAT Arts Award Winners

2022 AMOCAT Arts Award Winners Announced


September 16, 2022



Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


2022 AMOCAT Arts Award Winners Announced


TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced this year’s AMOCAT Arts Award winners: Grit City Magazine (Arts Patron), Real Art Tacoma (Community Outreach by an Organization), and Tamiko Nimura (Community Outreach by an Individual). The AMOCAT Arts Awards honor the people and organizations that positively impact the community with their passion, innovation, and commitment to the arts. 

  • Arts Patron Award

    The Arts Patron award recognizes Grit City Magazine for its devotion to sharing Tacomans’ life stories in an artistic way and raising up those in the creative community, providing opportunities for local creatives to be published.

    The effects of their efforts are far-reaching. Grit City Magazine supports the work of Tacoma’s arts and culture landscape, shares about Tacoma’s neighborhoods and communities as vibrant and interesting places, and creates outlets and opportunities for people to open their minds.

    Grit City Magazine was founded on the notion that Tacoma has good stories to tell. They explore the places that define it, pay homage to the history that built it, and celebrate the people who make it what it is today. This is a city of makers and craftsmen, artists and philosophers, natives and newcomers, dreamers and doers, and above all, grit. If you have a story to tell, they want to hear it. 
  • Community Outreach by an Organization Award

    The Community Outreach by an Organization award recognizes Real Art Tacoma for being an all-ages arts and music space that promotes artistic creation in the community. Real Art Tacoma helps emerging artists, bands, vendors, and community members feel included and supported on the local music scene in Tacoma.

    Real Art Tacoma is a 501(c)(3) all-ages creative arts and music event space. They provide space for young people to exist, express themselves, build community, and to be empowered through art, music, and the free exchange of ideas. Real Art Tacoma serves people of all ages with a heavy emphasis on youth of Tacoma, and beyond. They created a space to have music and art be accessible to people of all ages and not just for those individuals that are 21+ in a bar atmosphere. For Real Art Tacoma, music, art, and culture should be enjoyed by everyone and not be inhibited by age restrictions.

    Art is an inherently positive thing and giving that access to everyone seeking to participate in the culture is a very amazing and positive thing. Having no age restrictions on the creative community allows Real Art Tacoma to foster creativity and talent at early ages and have youth participate with their peers and grow. 
  • Community Outreach by an Individual Award

    The Community Outreach by an Individual award recognizes Tamiko Nimura for her commitment to changing the local landscape of literary arts in Tacoma to better represent the complex identities of our community members. Through her concerted efforts to tell history with a depth of intention, Tamiko is fostering a space where our community can learn, grow, and heal.

    Tamiko Nimura is a creative nonfiction writer and public historian. Her training in literature and American ethnic studies (MA, PhD, University of Washington) prepared her to research, document, and tell BIPOC stories. Her work often deals with memory, silence, family, race, and history—not necessarily in that order.

    As a creative writer, she has published personal essays in places like The Rumpus, Full Grown People, and Off Assignment. Tamiko received a GAP Award from Artist Trust and a 2021-22 Tacoma Artists Initiative Project grant for her memoir-in-progress, Pilgrimage: A Japanese American Daughter’s Reckoning Through Memory And History.

    Her two published books in public history are Rosa Franklin: A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice (Washington State Legislature Oral History Program, 2020). Her second book is a co-written graphic novel, titled We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (Chin Music Press/Wing Luke Asian Museum, 2021). She also contributes regularly to HistoryLink. In 2016, Tamiko began to work with Michael Sullivan and the Washington State History Museum to organize a walking tour of Tacoma’s historic Japantown and a Japanese American Day of Remembrance in Tacoma each May. The commemoration has become an annual event.

    As an arts writer, Tamiko’s goal has been to uplift and amplify the voices of other BIPOC artists, especially those in the South Sound. She’s written profiles and interviews published in Discover Nikkei, Seattle’s International Examiner, and KNKX. She’s also covered the Tacoma arts scene for Open Space SFMOMA and Washington State Artist Trust. Her arts writing has also appeared in exhibits in Santa Clara and is forthcoming at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle.

The 2022 awardees will be honored at Kaleidoscope, the annual Tacoma Arts Month opening party, on Wednesday, October 5, from 6:30 - 9 PM, at STAR Center (3873 S 66th St). Mayor Victoria Woodards, District 3 Council Member Keith Blocker and District 1 Council Member John Hines will present the awards starting at 6:30 PM.


In addition, there will be live arts and cultural performances at this event including dances by Metro Arts Tacoma, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Vision Step Team; poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lydia K. Valentine; reading by Tamiko Nimura; music by Real Art Tacoma; performance by The Playground Kiki; cooking demonstrations by Chef Holly; visual art on display by Mauricio Robalino and Rachel Heimbigner; photo booth by Truth Koroi; photo selfie station by Metro Arts Tacoma; projection mapping by Permaculture Lifestyle Institute; make and take printing project by Write253 / Line Break Press; interactive video gaming experience by Suzanne Skaar; activities and crafts by Tacoma Water, Safe Routes to Schools, and EnviroChallengers. The event will include appetizers by Jan Parker Cookery and a no-host bar. Masks are required.


This all-ages, free public event is presented by the Tacoma Arts Commission in partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma. Tacoma Arts Month’s media sponsors are Crosscut, KBTC, KNKX, Northwest Public Broadcasting, Parent Map, Preview, South Sound Business, South Sound Magazine, Showcase Magazine.