If you’re part of the art or business community in downtown Tacoma, you probably know Angela Jossy. A self-described ‘Duchess of Downtown’, she seems to work on more projects than any three people should take on. One of the more interesting projects she’s been involved with is the ART BUS. I managed to get Angela to take time out of her busy schedule to help me with the triumphant return of 5 Question Friday. Here she is.
1. What is ART BUS?
ART BUS is a tour of art exhibits in the downtown vicinity of Tacoma WA. We do it every Third Thursday during Tacoma’s Art Walk. The cost is $10 to ride and $20 to be a VIP and get a gift bag with gift certificates and discounts to Tacoma businesses. ART BUS is sponsored in part by The Weekly Volcano. Every month we have a different celebrity guest tour guide and we typically invite people who know a lot about Tacoma like city council members, arts commissioners, civic leaders, community leaders and etc. We also feature a different artist each month with our ART BUS buttons, which serve as the ticket to ride.
2. How did you get started with the ART BUS?
ART BUS is an idea that we tossed around for a while because the galleries are really too far apart to actually walk to them during art walk. People used to joke around that it was really more of an art drive than an art walk. So in March of 2010 I decided to make it so and we’ve been rolling ever since!
3. Where in Tacoma is the most under-appreciated art location?
ALL of Tacoma’s art locations are under-appreciated. A large percentage of people who live in Tacoma, let alone people outside the area, don’t even realize what an exciting art scene we have here. Far from being sedate and high brow, our art is exciting, inspiring and sometimes even shocking! This is not your Grandma’s art scene and its sprouting through everywhere – not just art galleries but restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, vacant storefronts and even dentists offices! If you give them a wall or an empty space of any kind, Tacoma’s artists will give you something to talk about over the water cooler.
4. What other projects are you working on?
I’m working on a fundraiser for the Go Red Campaign called the Love Squared Acoustic Dinner Party in February. I have a new blog I unveiled in December called the Duchess of Downtown Tacoma Blog. And I’m working on a 26-week cross-promotional project for small independent businesses because I feel the biggest impediment to people shopping local is know what to buy and where. So I’m going to use the most powerful mechanism at my disposal to change that – word of mouth advertising. I’m going to introduce people to the business owners, what they do, why they do it and how you can support them. Please find and friend me on Facebook if you’d like to hear more about that. I feel strongly that the one tangible thing that is within my power to do to help us politically, environmentally and economically is to support our local businesses. Remember, 75% of the money you spend at a local business stays and circulates in our community.
5. What’s next for the ART BUS?
We just found out recently that ART BUS received a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission. The way that grant works is you spend the money and they reimburse you so we are looking for a sponsor to match it. Then we can do more regional marketing, get a banner for the side of the bus, get a portable PA system and things like that to make it even better than it is already. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of ART BUS should contact me at email@example.com.
I’d like to thank Angela Jossy for taking part in 5 Question Friday. You can follow ART BUS on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tacoma-ART-BUS/151270941559625 or check out their website at http://www.TacomaARTBUS.com
5 Question Friday is a weekly feature at TacomaStories.com where I give a 5 Question Interview with someone in Tacoma. If you’d like to participate in 5 Question Friday or would like to suggest someone, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.