In its 19th year, First Night Tacoma is Pierce County’s annual family friendly New Years celebration. Each December 31, the streets of downtown Tacoma and many of its local businesses, theaters, and restaurants become venues for all manner of performing arts. This year, friends and families explored more than 20 venues through seven downtown blocks, and anchoring the northern end, Campus MLK kept the chill away with an explosive line-up of incredible performers in the Graffiti Garages.
Many Campus MLK partners were represented, as well as some new friends. Everyone came together to enjoy the vibrant space, experience some amazing music and dance, and articulate intentions and plans for the new year.
Write @253 hosted a lounge area, served hot chocolate, tea, and treats, and displayed writer’s prompts, encouraging spectators to write stories and poems.
Fab-5 worked with friends from The Graffiti Truck to show kids and families some graffiti and stenciling techniques.
DJ SaveOne spun hits for b-boys and girls of all ages all night, as well as ran sound for all the performing artists.
Savi Suazi and Whikid Matticuless, a local rap duo known as The Koomaniacs, kicked off the night with a funky, raucous set.
Write@253 shared songs and poetry from Harrison and Maria.
MLKBallet instructors Lorraine Constantine and Joel Myers activated nearly the entire garage, dancing a stunning duet in the round.
Q-Dot warmed up the crowd with his unique style, incorporating contemplative piano with energetic, impassioned hip hop.
Last, Rockwell Powers closed out the evening with a very personal set sharing his love for Tacoma and hip hop through an inspired performance.
A huge thanks to our talented friend Scott Haydon who took all the magnificent photos in this post.
It was a powerful night, a true realization of the vision behind Campus MLK, and a real opportunity for friends new and old to celebrate hip hop culture, Tacoma, Hilltop, and 2013. All of us at Campus MLK can’t wait to see where the new year takes all of us.
A very happy new year to all of you!