AM Part of Community at Pride!

AM is proud to have hosted an interactive booth at the July 8th Pride event in Tacoma. Our staff who participated and led the activities were deeply moved. Here, they share their thoughts and experiences of the day.

“During Tacoma Pride, I had the pleasure of helping host the Smash Art Community Art Project. Alongside Sherry and Marie we facilitated a fun and collaborative art-making effort. Pride-goers picked 3-5 colors of acrylic paint and generously applied them to a 4×4 canvas; those canvases were then “smashed” against large 11×17 canvases, each “smash” of the individual art adding to the collective completion of the large community pieces. The smaller pieces were theirs to take home. There was an electric energy at the crafting tables after people were told that their efforts were going to complete a community created art piece to commemorate 2023 Tacoma Pride. The beauty of abstract art is that there is no wrong way for the art to be when you’re finished, a message that goes well with the feelings I feel at Pride. The final pieces will be hung in the AM offices to remind us all of this important part of our community that we serve, and are allies to, every day.” ~Luke

It was an honor to partner with Rainbow Center in participating in Tacoma Pride 2023. I am thankful to the AM staff who arrived at Fireman’s Park to spend the day leading activities oriented around self-care and healing from trauma. Our visitors embraced the chance to do smash painting, gardening, and a poetry workshop! As folks came through to spend time with us, I felt the lightness in the air from a community united in the freedom of self expression and love. In preparation for Pride, my colleague and I painted two murals for our visitors to write a response to the prompt “What Pride means to me.” The outcome was beautiful. I was thrilled that a project like this could be a platform to amplify queer voices. Their words have created a vibrant tapestry to hang on the walls of our office space as a reminder that we stand with our LGBTQIA+ community, many of whom are colleagues, clients, and partners to AM.”  ~Annika

“Every year I have the opportunity to outreach and engage with others as my authentic, weird self during Tacoma Pride and the Tacoma Interfaith Service. The festivities reminds me that my growth as an embodied and spiritual being is rooted in community and the connections that we keep all the while serving this diverse and multifaceted County. I am always honored to find new ways of understanding the world through making meaning in our LGBTQIA+ spaces. AM played a strong role in supporting and outreaching these events this year, with the reminder that 40% of youth experiencing homelessness in the nation are LGBTQIA+. Making connections to those members significantly affected by houselessness means being present in ever evolving and shifting community spaces. I’m proud that AM took this step, and continues to care for my spirit as well as my community. Thank you AM!” ~Peter

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