TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced this year’s AMOCAT Arts Award winners: Foster’s Creative (Arts Patron), Southeast Asian Comedy Collective (Community Outreach by an Organization), and Kristina Batiste and Reid Ozaki (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 Foster’s Creative for its devotion to strengthening the local arts scene, highlighting Tacoma’s neighborhoods, and fostering a sense of vibrancy through the narration of meaningful stories and crafting of enduring art for the Tacoma community.
Foster’s Creative has collaborated with numerous local businesses, non-profit organizations, and artists. Their marketing campaigns and events often serve as platforms for fostering collaborations between these three sectors, creating unique and intriguing avenues for local businesses to positively impact their communities through investment, networking, and giving back.
In 2023, Foster’s Creative worked on a project known as “Ten of Us” – a multifaceted, community-oriented initiative featured over 40 visual artists, musicians, hip-hop artists, and storytellers, all coming together to celebrate Tacoma through a film, art book, and series of events. They were joined by the influential Tacoma brand eTc as a collaborator, emphasizing their consistent goal of fostering collaboration and connection, even in their internal projects.
Community Outreach by an Organization Award
The Community Outreach by an Organization award recognizes the Southeast Asian Comedy Collective (SACC) for its work in creating an environment in which Southeast Asian comedians can thrive, effectively challenging stereotypes and nurturing a more receptive atmosphere for diverse voices and experiences to flourish.
SACC works in upending commonly held stereotypes by highlighting the diverse cultures and identities of what it means to be Asian in America. With a collective of identities across cultures, generations, and upbringings the collective is using their voices to share unique experiences and perspectives with the world through comedy.
SACC works with artists, production teams, and venues across the nation to produce comedy events. This includes the annual Southeast Asian New Year Comedy Celebration, Last Friday: A BIPOC Comedian and Pop-Up Kitchen Comedy Social, and Seasons Celebration Comedy Show.
SACC founding members include Meanroth Ny, Sydarith Bo, and Silong Chunn – all long-time Tacoma residents.
Community Outreach by an Individual Award
The Community Outreach by an Individual award recognizes Kristina Batiste and Reid Ozaki, founders of the Tacoma Pottery Salon, which has succeeded in its mission to build a community, provide educational opportunities, and preserve the history of pottery in the Northwest.
The Tacoma Pottery Salon provides a space where potters of all backgrounds and experiences come together, exchange ideas, and celebrate the diversity of the craft. The salon creates a nurturing space where pottery artisans can connect, learn, and expand their pottery horizons.
While the salon’s success has grown, attracting more participants and guest potters, Batiste and Ozaki are dedicated to maintaining its intimate atmosphere. Batiste was awarded funding to support the 2023-2024 season through the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Tacoma Artists Initiative Program.
The 2023 awardees will be honored at Kaleidoscope, the annual Tacoma Arts Month opening party, on Thursday, October 5, from 6:30 – 9 PM, at STAR Center (3873 S. 66th St.). At-Large Council Member Kiara Daniels, At-Large Council Member Olgy Diaz, 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 including music performances by Jaziré and Cassio Vianna; dance performances by Metro Arts Tacoma and Sophie Marie Schatz; poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Christian Paige; visual art by Roxann Murray, Kalvin Satiacum, and Yoshi Nakagawa; screenings of short films by Donovan Wilson and Melinda Raebyne; printing project with Write253 / Line Break Press; cultural activities with Asia Pacific Cultural Center; poetry with Burl Battersby; collaborative mural making with Mary Mann; ceramics project with Kristina Batiste; crafting activity with Toolbox Laboratories; STEAM-based activity with FabLab; lantern making with Tacoma Light Trail; tree ID exercise with Tacoma Tree Foundation; demonstration with Alchemy Skateboarding; selfie station by Metro Arts Tacoma; and more. The event will include appetizers and refreshments by Trini Plate.
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 KBTC, KNKX, Northwest Public Broadcasting, ParentMap, Preview, Showcase Magazine, South Sound Business, South Sound Magazine, and SouthSoundTalk.