Yeah, but shrooms are legal in Denver now, so we'll still be second tier.


Of course artist can afford to live in Tacoma (for now anyway)


Notice the arts that are not mentioned, the arts that are not The Arts in the mind of Charles Mudede.

Of the performing arts, only popular music is mentioned, not the stage, not opera, not even drag. Neither Poetry nor Fiction are Arts in the carefully narrowed view Charles adopts; video games are not The Arts, be they triple-A, independent, or experimental. Architecture is not an Art, textiles are not Arts, film is not an Art.

No, the only things we can call The Arts are the sorts of things where young people take the fun kinds of drugs and then make sounds, or splash paints about, or make things with fire. These are the ones that count. These are The Arts.


And yet, we still have you, Charles.


Just as the Oil Barons didn't drive The Arts out of NYC, the Tech Barons won't drive it out of Seattle. It may not stay fun for the self rightious natives though. I mean, I think the cross section of people who regularly bring up that they live in Seattle and the people who appreciate that Seattle is substantially the birthplace of modern VR (and VArt, I'm coining it now) is just a sliver compared to the respective groups, but it's obvious to me as a Boston transplant that Seattle will, after some pain, come to represent much more than the echos of grunge and the self gratified seeds of a certain glass artist.

Look, Tacoma is nice, but nobody is going to go to Tacoma for art from beyond the Sound Transit service area. Frankly, Everette has a strong art program in the same way as Tacoma does, and it didn't even figure into this story. And while Tacoma has a fine art museum, Seattle has two fine art museums and a quite decent one... by west coast standards at least.

Don't get me wrong: Seattle's art and attraction game could use some work. Sure we have some unique gems in the rough (the pinball museum is great, but also not going to pull most people to fly here for a vacation) but most of our "main attractions" feel... well, let's just say that, beyond the museum of flight (which isn't really in Seattle actually), you can pretty well cover any of our museums comfortably in an hour or two. Compare that with, say, museums in Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, or even Denver (to name some places that aren't D.C, NYC, Chicago, or Philly but still have great arts) and Seattle has some weak museum game, and that does, ultimately mean people won't come as far lr as often for Seattle arts either.


I attend about 15 performing arts events a month in Seattle. There's no way Tacoma can pass the incredible quantity we have. Looks like you're pushing your anti Amazon, more taxes way too far beyond reality.


I was a Seattle artist who moved to Tacoma in July as soon as I realized I could buy (buy! Me, an artist!) a 4 bedroom house with a mortgage lower than a 2 bedroom apt on Capitol Hill. It’s sad not being in Seattle after 13+ years, but I certainly wasn’t the first artist to “give up” on Seattle and I know I’m not the last. The arts scene here is growing in all aspects (not just the fun drugs and paint splashing artists) - yes, it will take a while for bigger ancient institutions like opera to make their way down here (I say as an opera major) but the thing most artists have in common is that, even when they’re doing great, they’re not making that much money.


I’m a member of knife knights and I’d like to say this article sucks. Thank you. We will play any and everywhere, we’re a new band and this is our first tour. My name is OCnotes in case you were wondering. We ain’t got beef with no cities. We play where they pay us what we ask for. Ain’t nobody beefin with no cities bruh. On behalf of the knights thanks for the free promo but this article, whack, foot stance, whack,... you know the rest.


Oh the Seattle defensiveness. The idea that no one will want to venture past the light rail to come visit Tacoma is the most Seattle thing a Seatellite can say. Do yourself a favor. Go past the light rail. Get off the freeway and Go past the Tacoma Dome. Visit 6th Avenue. Old Town. See a show at the warehouse. Otherwise you just sound like an older sibling who became a lawyer and loves the money they make from being a lawyer but hates how much of their soul they've lost from becoming a lawyer. Meanwhile we are enjoying (slightly more) affordable housing, less traffic, and a city council that is actively trying not to repeat Seattle's mistakes. And the truth is, our Fates are tied. We're in this together. Seattle is not the only cool place to live. Y'all should be happy about that.


One of the absolute requirements for having a vibrant arts community that can bring in new talent is affordable living standards. It's not sufficient, but it is necessary.

Once your rents are no longer affordable on what artists make, then your city becomes a place for artistic consumption (yes, shows will still come, you'll be a stop on the tour, you'll have galleries that sell things) but not artistic production, except for only the most well-established and funded institutions.



The arts flourished in the ancient and medieval world not when the price of living was low, but when trade rose to the level where profits were high enough to support patronage.

And in several areas of the arts at least, it seems we're more likely to tilt back toward the patronage model (now with internets!) than to reestablish the bygone garrets-and-rotgut approach to supporting the arts that evokes so much nostalgia from people who really ought to know better.

And then there's always the Soviet approach. Personally I'm a fan of some of that output, but I see where not everyone can get into politically mandated kitch.


Sometimes I wonder who the conservatives really are--because who else would vaporize at the idea of cities evolving? Artists have been a migratory bunch everywhere and whenever. Someday, when Tacoma gets built-up and sweat equity is no more, then those looking for that will go and find it someplace else--and even circle back on itself given the time. It's called Change and it cannot be stopped no matter what (which is why conservatism is an inherently losing proposition).


This statement: “What became clear when the city killed a head tax that would have reduced homelessness in the city...” was offered as if it were accpeted fact. It most certainly has not been established that the head tax “would have reduced homelessness in the city.” It might have helped, assuming some excellent programs and execution, none of which have been evident previously. This was grossly opinionated and non fact based writing. Still, interesting, and I agree that Tacoma deserves more attention from an arts perspective.


Tacoma City Of Destiny ... Once the place for gangsters & outlaws to gamble , bootleg & so much more fun activities. Now the place for all the poor little rich kids to be successful hipster modernist gentrification implants. Thanks for making the rent go up ! 😜

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