Tag Archives: Schools

Tacoma teachers, while you were out. . .

We were having our second summer. We did some of the things we wished we had done before September 1. We ate sporadically and drank too many pops. We slept in, visited our aunties and uncles, and had sleepovers. We had a fun time. Now we are ready to be back in school.

Ethan, JorjaAnn, and Shane toured the city during the Tacoma teachers' strike.

Today we realize how important you all are to us. We are excited to see you, wear our uniforms, learn, and talk to our friends. We’re also happy for you and proud of the work you did to secure your contract. Happy teachers make learning fun.

Lucky Find: Hand Blown Hilltop Artists Bowls

A few weeks ago we stumbled across an advertisement on Craigslist that we could not ignore. A lady on Bainbridge Island was selling glass bowls that were hand blown by Hilltop Artists in 2003. We felt it was only right to make the drive to bring them home.
When we arrived at her beautiful home in the middle of the woods, we learned that the bowls were much bigger than we could have imagined. And they were special. She had worked for Hilltop Artists at the time they were created and they were gifts to her. She said that working for Hilltop Artists was her first “real” job after college and that these two bowls were just a few from her collection.

The two hand blown glass bowls were made in 2003 by Hilltop Artists.

Both bowls have minor imperfections, but that’s what we expect from students learning to perfect their craft. We feel so fortunate to have these little pieces of history in our home.

Students involved in Hilltop Artists have been making glass pieces for over fifteen years. It is an organization that benefits at-risk youth and was created with the help of artist Dale Chihuly. The program has grown to include three area schools. Students can participate during the school day and after school at Jason Lee Middle School and Wilson High School and after school at Franklin Pierce School District’s Ford Middle School. There is also a six-week summer program.

Hilltop Artists has periodic glass sales at Jason Lee Middle School. All proceeds from the glass sales go to help fund the program and provide scholarships for participating students. The next glass sale is Saturday, June 11. Check their website for more information.

The bottom of the red bowl reads "Happy Birthday 2003 Hilltop Artists."

The bottom of the purple bowl reads "Hilltop Artists 2003."

Will we keep the bowls? We don’t know, but we know for sure that we won’t sell them. 

Every once in a while the time is right to pass on a unique item. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for a worthy charity auction or someone who needs gifts from the past.

Ivory’s Mural

Reverend Ivory Crittendon's building used to house a post office and a bar.

Ivory’s mural is painted on a vacant building at 2143 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The improvement was recently done by local artists as a part of Tacoma’s Safe and Clean Community-Based Mural Program. Reverend Ivory Critterdon, the owner of the property, has high hopes for its future. He wants to clean up and level the grass field adjacent to the wall so community members can have a nice place to bring their families, a gathering spot of sorts.

Reverend Ivory and his wife Billie founded Christian Brotherhood Academy, the school across the street from the mural. “I believe in education,” he said. That is why his portrayal on the mural is gifting books to children. Also pictured on the mural is Ivory’s long-time friend, Morris “Mr. Mac” McCollum, owner of Mr. Mac, a classy clothing store on 12th and MLK. Mr. Mac’s likeness on the mural is tossing balls and musical instruments to children.

Reverend Ivory welcomes newcomers to his church, Brotherhood Church of God, also across the street from the mural. “We have lots of white sisters and brothers,” he said, smiling, “but we sing pretty heavy.”

Ivory's likeness on the mural passes books to school children.

Ivory's long-time friend, Mr. Mac, is pictured passing out sports equipment.

Ivory's Mural brightens up the corner of 21st and MLK.