Katy Evans ’07 on her work in Tacoma’s arts community, what she learned at Evergreen

October 6, 2017
Katy Evans ’07

TACOMA, WASH. (Oct. 6, 2017) — Katy Evans ‘07 wears many hats in the Tacoma arts community: non-profit executive, blogger, board member, and event producer, just to name a few. From nine-to-five, she serves as Assistant Executive Director at The Grand Cinema, where she leads the non-profit cinema and film center’s outreach and development efforts. In the evenings, she can most often be found at a steering committee meeting, arts reception, or film screening. This week, Evans and her colleagues at The Grand are especially busy, producing the Tacoma Film Festival at locations throughout the City of Destiny.

What do you do at The Grand?

I’m focused on outreach, engagement, fundraising and marketing, as well as all of our education programs and partnerships with folks like Tacoma Public Schools and Tacoma Action Collective. Basically, anything that is engaging the community, I’m doing a lot of that.

What did you do prior to coming to The Grand?

Primarily fundraising for the arts and the environment here in Tacoma. My first fundraising job was with the Museum of Glass. Then I worked for a really amazing grassroots literacy organization that fell apart when the economy collapsed. Before coming to The Grand, I most recently worked at University of Puget Sound and Metro Parks Tacoma.

What sort of projects do work on as a volunteer?

It’s mostly been a lot of cultural writing. Along with some friends I established a local arts and culture blog called Post Defiance. I also currently serve on the Metro Parks Arts and Heritage Advisory Council and the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Foundation board.

How did Evergreen help prepare you for the work you do in so many different spaces?

Throughout my professional and passion work, interdisciplinary thoughts and connecting ideas that don’t initially seem like they should go together has been how I’ve been able to succeed. Evergreen teaches people to think critically and to collaborate, so I use my evergreen skills constantly. I think a big reason people like working with me is that I’m curious and I’m always digging in, trying to figure out what we can do together to make whatever we’re working on more meaningful or more fulfilling.

What would you share with a student considering attending Evergreen?

Mostly, I would just tell them “you should go to Evergreen.” There’s no grades, there’s no prereqs, and you really get to dive into the things that you care about most. But, I’d also tell them that it’s a self-starting school, so you really have to be ready to look for that stuff on your own.

Any advice for current Evergreen students interested in working in arts and non-profit management?

Volunteer, reach out. Everybody’s got intern programs. We’re always looking for interns at The Grand. In particular, we run a lot of our marketing through our team of about five interns. It’s great real-world experience.

The Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) began yesterday, October 5, and runs through October 12. What are a few events or films you’re especially looking forward to?

I'm very excited for The Veldt, our virtual reality studio hosted this year at Kings Books. I'm also a huge fan of our shorts programming, it's the best I've seen at any film festival. We have lots of great, free workshops and panels throughout TFF showcasing local talent as well as expertise from around the country. Lastly, our parties and get-togethers are great. We go for informal, fun, low pressure parties and everyone has a great time, and makes new friends and connections.