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30 Americans Free Community Festival
January 8, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The nationally acclaimed exhibition 30 Americans made its West Coast debut at Tacoma Art Museum in September 2016 and has been widely appreciated by local visitors. Enjoy a free day to see it before it leaves Tacoma! Participants can help make a collaborative mural, take part in dance, hear spoken word, tour 30 Americans and TAM’s other exhibitions, and more.

TAM sent out a call to local artists and creatives to gather the best local talent for this festival. Selected by our 30 Americans Community Advisory Committee, this unforgettable line up is one you don’t want to miss!


Schedule of Events

10 am – Festival Begins

11:30–Noon – Tag Team Poetry in 30 Americans galleries by Jacqueline Ware and Georgia McDade from the African American Writers’ Alliance

1–2 pm – Basquiat Bebop performance by Stephen Griggs Jazz Ensemble

Listen to dynamic renditions of the jazz that inspired artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, including compositions by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. The band will introduce tunes with biographies and references to Basquiat’s paintings. The Steve Griggs Ensemble has created original site-specific programs of jazz and stories that have twice won the ASCAP/CMA award for Adventurous Programming in Contemporary Music. They have performed at the historic Panama Hotel, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Bumbershoot, Jazz Alley, Vashon Island Allied Arts, and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

1–3 pm – Breaking Stereotypes/Redefining Identity workshop with Beverly Naidus and Carol Rashawnna Williams

2–3 pm – Artmaking Inspired by dance with Barbi Leifert

3–3:30 pm – Interactive Dance Performance by Chris Daigre

4 pm – Festival Ends

Ongoing (10 am – 4 pm)

  • Kehinde Wiley-inspired portraits with Jasmine Brown
  • Collaborative mural with Shurvon Haynes
  • “What does it mean to be an American?” community response activity


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30 Americans Free Community Festival is generously supported by Portland (OR) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; Tacoma (WA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; and Tacoma Arts Commission. Seasonal support provided by ArtsFund.


Glenn Ligon, America, 2008. Neon sign and paint, Edition of 1 plus AP, 24 × 168 inches. Courtesy of the Rubell Family Collection.  A group of 30 Americans artists, left to right: Rashid Johnson, Nick Cave, Kalup Linzy, Jeff Sonhouse, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, Barkley L. Hendricks, Hank Willis Thomas (front row), Xaviera Simmons, Purvis Young, John Bankston, Nina Chanel Abney, Henry Taylor, Mickalene Thomas (front row), Kerry James Marshall, and Shinique Smith. Photo credit: Kwaku Alston.