Summertime ... and the listenin’ is easy – at least, in the South Sound it is. And not just listening, but looking and creating too: The local arts scene goes outdoors this summer with all the usual concerts, movies, plays and festivals. There also are new events, such as the reworked Urban Art Festival, jazz in Kent, the returning SiteWorks dance festival and a site-specific theater event in Port Gamble. Almost all are free. So put on the sunscreen and enjoy the art.
URBAN ART FESTIVAL
The recession has meant the loss of several Tacoma arts festivals: Showcase Tacoma, the Glassroots Festival. The Urban Art Festival was about to go the same way, when different organizers stepped up and collaborated with the also-suffering Hotrod-o-Rama to create an all-new UAF outside of the Swiss tavern. The “Iron versus Art” Urban Art Festival features a pre-1973 car show, live painting and glass blowing, DJs, craft vendors and live bands from Vicci Martinez to the Georgetown Orbits.
When: 12-7 p.m. Aug. 1
Where: Outside of The Swiss Tavern, S. 19th and Jefferson streets, Tacoma
PUYALLUP MEEKER DAYS FESTIVAL
This annual festival fills 15 city blocks with three live entertainment stages, food, arts and crafts, historical booths, kids’ activities and more.
When: Noon-9 p.m. June 19, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. June 20, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. June 21
Where: Pioneer Park and the Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian, Puyallup
Information: 253-840-2631, www.puyallupmainstreet.com/meekerdays.html.
JAZZ AND ART IN KENT
Art indoors and jazz under the stars with Michael Powers and Pearl Django. Bring lawn chairs or blankets.
When: 5 p.m. June 25
Where: Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St., Kent
Information: 253-856-5150, www.ci.kent.wa.us/senioractivitycenter
ART ON THE AVE
Organized by the 6th Ave Merchants Association, this annual festival gets bigger and better with local artists, performance art installations, craft vendors, food, live music and more. The theme: local fashion.
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 12
Where: 6th Avenue between Cedar and Trafton Streets, Tacoma
Information: 253-988-1154, www.artontheave.org
FORT NISQUALLY 19TH-CENTURY FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Bring a picnic and the whole family, and enjoy the games, music and dancing of the mid-1800s.
When: 6 p.m. July 24
Where: Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma
Information: 253-591-5339, www.fortnisqually.org
RENAISSANCE FANTASY FAIRE
It’s back: that crazy meet-up of all things Renaissance, medieval, fantasy and anything else you want to dress up as. Performers include Celtic fiddlers, magic shows, belly dancers, trick horse-riding and more.
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Aug. 1-16
Where: Maris Farms, 24713 Summer Buckley Hwy., Buckley
Information: 800-587-0172, www.washingtonrenfaire.com
PROCTOR ARTS FEST
The North-end neighborhood festival is in its 13th year: crafts, a juried art competition, local chefs and musicians, a dog show, dance, kids’ activities and more.
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: North Proctor Street at North 26th Street, Tacoma
FROST PARK CHALK OFFS
Join in or watch as artists, kids and passers-by pick up a stick of chalk (or many) and compete for local prizes or just the glory of it all. Then vote online for your favorite.
When: Noon-1 p.m. every Friday
Where: Larry Frost Memorial Park, South 9th and Commerce streets, Tacoma
Cost: Free (chalk provided)
Information: www.feedtacoma.com to vote
OLYMPIA WATERFRONT PUBLIC ART TOURS
July 11- Sept. 5.
Meet the artists whose works grace Percival Landing and find out more about Oly’s public art on this artist-led walking tour.
When: 11 a.m.-noon every Saturday through September
Where: Meet at the bell in front of Olympia Farmers Market near the traffic circle.
OLYMPIA “HERE TODAY” TEMPORARY PUBLIC ART
Local artists create temporary outdoor public art works celebrating the community in a variety of media.
When: 24/7, Aug. 1-31
Where: Downtown Olympia. See Web site for details.
Information: 360-709-2678, www.olympiawa.gov
SECOND CITY CHAMBER SERIES AT LAKEWOLD GARDENS
June 18, July 16
A string quartet plays French Impressionist harmonies, a violinist and pianist thunder through Beethoven. Enjoy a picnic on the Wagner Mansion terrace in the beauty of Lakewold Gardens.
When: “Impressionism” (Debussy, Turina, Ravel), 7:30 p.m. June 18
“Love and Obsession” (Beethoven, Kreisler, Schoenberg, Franck), 7:30 p.m. July 16. Gardens open 6:30 p.m.
Where: 12317 Gravelly Lake Drive S.W., Lakewood
Information: 253-572-8863, www.scchamberseries.org
OLYMPIC MUSIC FESTIVAL
June 27-Sept. 6th
Now in its 26th year, the annual chamber music festival presents concerts every weekend through summer in their historic dairy barn; sit inside or bring a blanket for the lawn. (Kids will love the donkeys.)
When: Concerts 2 p.m., barn doors open 1 p.m.
Where: 7360 Center Road, east of Quilcene
Information: 360-732-4800, www.olympicmusicfestival.org
OLYMPIA MUSIC IN THE PARK
Olympia’s downtown Music in the Park Summer Concert Series is in its 30th year. Music ranges from Afro-Cuban to hot-club jazz, Americana to R&B and reggae to rock and roll.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays through July and August
Where: Sylvester Park, Capitol Way South and Legion Way, Olympia
Information: 360-357-8948, www.musicintheparkolympia.com
TACOMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Professionals, amateurs and students can join in this community orchestra for an outdoor concert of classics. This year’s program includes selections from Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony. Says director John Falskow: “It’s just a way to bring people together, make music and have fun.”
When: Rehearsals: 7-9 p.m. July 22 and 29 in TCC building 3. Concert: 11 a.m. Aug. 1.
Where: Concert in quad are in middle of TCC campus, South 19th and Mildred Streets, Tacoma
Information: 253-460-4374, firstname.lastname@example.org
KWJZ SMOOTH FESTIVAL
Jazz at the winery features Roger Smith, Novello, Jazz Attack and more.
When: 2 p.m. Aug. 1 and 2
Where: Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 NE. 145th St., Woodinville
Information: 800-745-3000; www.wineryconcerts.com
TACOMA CONCERT BAND
As always, the Tacoma Concert Band dishes up the goods in five outdoor concerts of Sousa and other band favorites. Bring the lemonade and hot dogs, of course.
When and where: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at North American Lake Park, 9222 Veterans Drive S.W., Lakewood; 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at Sylvester Park, Capitol Way South and Legion Way, Olympia; 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at Franke Tobey Jones Estate, 5340 N. Bristol, Tacoma; TBA, Aug. 15 at Johnson Farm, 9306 Otso Point Road, Anderson Island; 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Clocktower Park, 1408 Palisade Blvd., DuPont
Information: 253-584-0616, www.tacomaconcertband.org
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
For its 10th birthday year, the funky, alternative-venue Shakespeare in the Parking Lot brings the comedy “Twelfth Night” to a variety of venues. Be prepared for audience participation.
When and where: 6:30 p.m. July 9 at Curran Apple Orchard, 3920 Grandview Drive, University Place; 2p.m. July 12 at Art on the Ave, 6th Avenue between Cedar and Trafton Streets, Tacoma; 7 p.m. July 16 at Sanford & Son, 743 Broadway, Tacoma; 2 p.m. July 19 at King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma
Information: 253-318-5182, www.sitpl.org
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
July 22, 24
Wooden O Shakespeare productions in Seattle parks are always fun, with plenty of slapstick and natty scenery. Plus, the kids can run around when they’re bored. This year they return to Federal Way and SeaTac; see Web site for full Seattle listings.
When and where: 6:30 p.m. July 22, “Taming of the Shrew” at Steel Lake Park, 2410 S. 312th St., Federal Way; 7 p.m. July 24, “Richard III” at Angle Lake Park, 19408 International Blvd., SeaTac
Information: 206-733-8222, www.seattleshakespeare.org
“PORT GAMBLE ANTHOLOGY”
The Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance and Academy of International Education in Japan collaborate to create the Port Gamble counterpart to Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology,” a series of vignettes set in 1915 Port Gamble and staged at various venues including the general store, graveyard, theater, Walker-Ames mansion and town square.
When: 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 22
Where: Various venues in the old part of town near the General Store, Port Gamble
SITEWORKS DANCE FESTIVAL
The biennial outdoor site-specific contemporary dance festival SiteWorks brings inventive dance from 14 different groups to the plazas, pools and steps around the Museum of Glass.
When: 4 p.m. June 11-12, 2 p.m. June 13-14
Where: Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma
Information: 253-627-2273, www.barefootcollective.org
DANCE THEATRE NORTHWEST
June 6-Aug. 8
Okay, it’s not technically outside, but the Dance Theatre Northwest students do a great job bringing ballet, jazz, tap and more to all kinds of venues in their annual Celebrate Summer series.
When and where: 1:30 p.m. June 6 at Franke Tobey Jones Estate, 5340 N. Bristol, Tacoma; 7 p.m. June 20, 4 p.m. June 21 at Mt. Tahoma High School Auditorium (“Les Sylphides”), 4623 S. 74th St., Tacoma; 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma
Cost: Admission varies
Information: 253-565-5149, www.dancetheatrenorthwest.org
LACEY OUTDOOR CINEMA SERIES
July 11-Aug. 8
Movies under the stars combine with “Lacey’s Got Game” competition in Huntamer Park.
When: Movies start at dusk. July 11: “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D,” July 18: “Inkheart,” July 25: “Kung Fu Panda,” Aug. 1: “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Aug. 8: “Ironman” and “Incredible Hulk”
Where: Huntamer Park in Woodland Square, corner of 7th Ave. S.E. and Woodland Square Loop, Lacey
Information: 360-491-0857, www.ci.lacey.wa.us/events
METROPARKS TACOMA OUTDOOR MOVIES
July 25 – Aug. 29
Outdoor movies in Tacoma parks alternate or combine with live bands and, on August 22, a celebration of one year of bond project work at Vassault Park.
When and where: Music starts at 7 p.m., movies at dusk. July 25: Hybrid plus “Kung Fu Panda” at Ethnic Fest, Wright Park. Aug. 1: Danny Versnon and the Devils at South Park. Aug. 8: Miho and Diego plus “Surf’s Up” at Portland Ave. Aug. 15: Banda Rincon at McKinley Playfield. Aug. 22: Jonathan Harris plus “Twilight” at Vassault Park. Aug. 29: Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Jazz Orchestra at Centre at Norpoint Summer Bash.
Information: 253-305-1000, www.metroparkstacoma.org
TUMWATER’S SCREEN ON THE GREEN AUGUST 7-28
Friday evenings in August at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course sees the 4th annual Screen on the Green. Bring a picnic, buy snacks and drinks there or eat at River’s Edge Restaurant. Low-backed chairs are allowed, but no grills, umbrellas or pets, please. Dress for the movie theme if you like.
When: Gates open 7:30 p.m., movies begin at dusk. Aug. 7: “Get Smart,” Aug. 14: “Yes Man,” Aug. 21: “Bolt,” Aug. 28: “Bedtime Stories”
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568