Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

AMOCAT Arts Awards

Recognizing people and organizations who positively impact the community with their passion, innovation, and commitment to the arts.

AMOCAT Arts Award recipients are nominated by the public. The Tacoma Arts Commission selects one finalist in each award category based on the breadth and depth of the nominee’s community impact as well as the quality of work being done by the nominee.

There are three categories for recognition:

    • Arts Patron
    • Community Outreach by an Organization
    • Community Outreach by an Individual

2022 AMOCAT Arts Awards Winners
Community Outreach by an Individual
Tamiko Nimura

Photo credit: Tamiko Nimura, pictured center
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.

Contact information:, Twitter, and Instagram

Community Outreach by an Organization
Real Art Tacoma

Photo credit: Real Art Tacoma
Real Art Tacoma is a 501(c)(3) all-ages creative arts & 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.

Contact information: Real Art Tacoma, Instagram, and Facebook

Arts Patron
Grit City Magazine

Photo credit: Grit City Magazine
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.

Grit City Magazine wrote that mission statement in September of 2017 just before they launched the magazine. They had no idea if any of this would work out but they were 100% certain that the stories they saw unfolding all around them were worth sharing. It was just a matter of getting them in front of people.

A lot has changed in the last five years—globally, locally, personally—but that conviction hasn’t wavered a bit. The core of what they do hasn’t changed. There are amazing people all over this city with the most captivating stories you’ll ever hear, artists with the most mind-blowing talent, and writers with the ability to make the common and mundane feel unique and inspiring.

Those people deserve to be seen and their skills deserve to be celebrated. From day one when Grit City Magazine staff were sitting at Bluebeard on 6th Ave scribbling ideas on napkins, they wanted the magazine to be a platform for the people of Tacoma to share their stories.

Contact information:, Instagram, and Facebook

2022 AMOCAT Arts Awards Nominees
Community Outreach by an Individual
Anthony Dluzak
Curtis Ashby
Dave Wendleton
Erik Hanberg
Frances and Mario Lorenz
Jamie Kinoshita Brooks
Kristina Batiste
Lucien Vedego
Rosemary Ponnekanti
Roxann Murray
Steve LaBerge

Community Outreach by an Organization
Art Battle Tacoma
Brooks Dental Studio
Tacoma Light Trail

Arts Patron
Rebecca and Jack Benaroya

Past AMOCAT Arts Award Winners
Community Outreach by an Individual
Aya Hashiguchi Clark and Randy Clark, Jackie Fender, Michael Haeflinger, Christopher Paul Jordan, Connie K. Walle, Jessica Spring, David Domkoski, Katy Evans, Stella Haioulani, Oliver Doriss, William Kupinse, Linda Danforth, Lance Kagey & Tom Llewellyn, Laura and Matt Eklund, Jared Pappas-Kelley & Michael S. Lent, and Lynn Di Nino.

Community Outreach by an Organization
Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (T.U.P.A.C.), Tacoma Little Theatre, Monkeyshines, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, Tacoma Public Library, Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Puget Sound Book Artists, The Grand Cinema, D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, Fab-5, Hilltop Artists, King’s Books, Victory Music, Barefoot Studios, Tacoma School of the Arts, Tacoma Art Museum & Museum of Glass Education Programs, and Arts Impact.

Arts Patron
Tacoma Creates Campaign, MultiCare Health System, Tacoma Housing Authority, Metro Parks Tacoma, University of Washington Tacoma, ArtsFund, Erivan and Helga Haub and Family, Key Bank, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Urban Grace Church, City Arts, Hotel Murano, The Weekly Volcano, 6th Avenue Business District, Pierce Transit, and Sound Transit Art Program.

Arts Leadership
David Fischer

Banner image: AMOCAT Arts Award design by Chandler O’Leary


To sign up for the Tacoma Arts Month newsletter, enter your contact information below.

Marketing Toolkit


ʔuk’ʷədiitəb ʔuhigʷətəb čəɫ txʷəl tiiɫ ʔa čəɫ ʔal tə swatxʷixʷtxʷəd ʔə tiiɫ puyaləpabš dxʷəsɫaɫlils gʷəl ʔutxʷəlšucidəbs həlgʷəʔ.
We gratefully acknowledge that we rest on the traditional lands of the Puyallup People where they make their home and speak the Lushootseed language.

© 2022 City of Tacoma  |  This site includes PDfs Download Adobe Acrobat Reader   |   Privacy Policy