Your Guide to November 2020 Events in Tacoma

Zoolights, the Tacoma Film Festival, and More Major Happenings
November 4, 2020
Wandering down paths lit with 3-D animal light installations will remain a holiday tradition this year at Zoolights, opening November 27. (Courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium)

Need something to look forward to in the midst of the second-most anxiety-inducing election of our time and the global pandemic? Of course you do. Below, you'll find this month's biggest Tacoma events online and in-person, from the Tacoma Film Festival to Zoolights to a Tacoma City Ballet performance.

Events are online unless otherwise noted.

NOVEMBER 4-30

VISUAL ART

Liberation Arts Exhibit
Check out portraits of icons, anime, horror, and nature from the Black-led Liberation Arts Project, a collective of incarcerated artists in Washington state. All proceeds from the artwork will benefit the artists directly and can be viewed online or in-person by appointment.
Alma Mater (and online)

NOVEMBER 6-15

FILM

Tacoma Film Festival 2020
Tacoma plays host to independent filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest and throughout the world in an intimate festival intent on examining community and showcasing perspectives from a diverse group of moviemakers. This year's online event will feature over 150 films, including Gilda Sheppard's documentary centerpiece Since I Been Down, about the immoral three-strikes law passed in Washington State in the early '90s that allowed persecutors to imprison youth.

NOVEMBER 6-28

FILM

HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from years past in the second volume of streamable compilations.

NOVEMBER 7

MUSIC

The Muse Hour with Lila Downs
Listen in and ask questions during an online discussion of current issues faced by Latinx communities with Latin Grammy Award-winning artist Lila Downs, who will perform a few songs as well. 

PERFORMANCE

The Trees: A Choreography by Tacoma City Ballet
The Tacoma City Ballet will stream a live pas de trois performance on Alma Mater Tacoma's YouTube channel.

NOVEMBER 7-8

MUSIC

Peace by Piece, with Chic
Seattle jazz and blues musician Chic Street Man, Maestro Lockington, and Northwest Sinfonietta musicians will join together for a program of soulful works, including Schubert’s Adagio from String Quintet in C.

NOVEMBER 7-11

COMMUNITY

Auburn's Salute to Veterans 2020
Starting with a vehicle procession in Veterans Memorial Park and followed by a week of video tributes and other online activities, this COVID-safe Veterans Day celebration will take the place of Auburn's annual Veteran's Day Parade.

NOVEMBER 7-21

COMMUNITY

Fort from Home: November
Got a hankering for Victorian-era knitting, cooking, or blacksmithing? The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's November online workshops have your ticket.

NOVEMBER 10

VISUAL ART

Women of the Studio Art Glass Movement
Christina Westpheling, the Tacoma Art Museum’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, will share some of her favorite glass pieces by women artists in the museum collection. 

NOVEMBER 11

COMMUNITY

The Story of Dorie Miller & African Americans in The Navy
In honor of Veterans Day, Dr. Regina T. Akers of the Naval History and Heritage Command and Megan Churchwell of the Puget Sound Navy Museum will lead an online program highlighting the story of Dorie Miller, a Black Storekeeper Third Class with the US Navy who was recently honored as the namesake for an aircraft carrier.

NOVEMBER 13

COMMUNITY

Zoobilee Re-Imagined
Join the Point Defiance Zoo online for an evening of animal appearances and silent and live auctions, and, if you like, a special food and drink menu to go from Table 47. 

MUSIC

Hell's Belles
Join AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles—endorsed by lead guitarist Angus Young himself—for a night of your favorite face-melters online, courtesy of Emerald Queen Casino. 

THROUGH NOVEMBER 15

COMMUNITY

Supermall Time Capsule
In 1995, to mark the opening of its South Sound and Auburn locations, the Outlet Collection buried the original building lease, site development plans, and one of the shovels used during the ceremony in a time capsule. They've dug it up and put the items on display for the Auburn mall's 25th anniversary, on view through November.
The Outlet Collection (Auburn)

FESTIVALS

Día de los Muertos Festival
The Tacoma Art Museum's annual Día de los Muertos celebration will take place virtually over the course of two weeks. Families are invited to share their commemorative altars and enjoy those submitted by others.

NOVEMBER 17

VISUAL ART

Native Portraiture: Power and Perception
Join Faith Brower, Tacoma Art Museum’s Haub Curator of Western American Art, for a discussion of the museum's ongoing exhibition Native Portraiture: Power and Perception and its role in resituating Native history in truth rather than Western romanticization. 

NOVEMBER 18

VISUAL ART

Cocktails with Curatorial
After a cocktail tutorial for a cozy tipple with Salers Gentiane Aperitif (all the provisions for which will come in your preordered cocktail kit from Field Bar & Bottle Shop), drink your drink and hear from Faith Brower as she discusses her role as a curator for the Tacoma Art Museum. After that, Jessica Wilks, Zoe Donnell, Ellen Ito, and Stephen Rue will discuss the work that goes into getting an exhibition ready for the public.

NOVEMBER 21

FILM

Future Retro West Coast Premiere
Warren Miller's new outdoor film will have you longing for the slopes. This *exclusive* online premiere is available only to West Coast-dwellers and includes red carpet events, coupons, giveaways, and more.

FOOD & DRINK

3 B's Brewfest
The three "B"s in question stand for the winning combo of "brews," "blues," and "barbecue." Enjoy all three in the Elks Temple's spacious Spanish ballroom, with beer tasting, barbecue dinner, and blues performances on the big screen.
McMenamins Elks Temple

MUSEUMS

Just the Ticket: Train Travel in Washington State
History enthusiasts can ogle archived printed materials and objects that provide an idea of what railroad travel was like in the Pacific Northwest back in the day. 
Washington State History Museum

NOVEMBER 22

COMMUNITY

Steve's Local History: 10 dates that shaped Tacoma
Author and journalist Steve Dunkelberger, the man behind the loosey-goosey educational series Steve's Drunk History, will explain how 10 days of Tacoma's past shaped its present. 

MUSIC

The Muse Hour with Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi
Rhiannon Giddens will blend her 19th-century American minstrel banjo tunes with Italian pianist Francesco Turrisi's traditional Sicilian tamburello rhythms before joining the audience for a Q&A (virtually). 

NOVEMBER 23

READINGS & TALKS

Tacoma Sister Cities November Book Club
The Tacoma Sister Cities program will focus on the small French village of Biot with some tasty treats and a book club discussion of Philippe Besson's Lie With Me (translated by former teen queen Molly Ringwald, of all people), about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France.
King's Books 

NOVEMBER 26

FILM

The 21st Annual Animation Show of Shows
Celebrate the art of animation and bide your time until a new iteration of the Animation Show of Shows by checking out gems from previous years online, including the dreamy French number The Man Who Planted Trees.

FOOD & DRINK

Thanksgiving Dinner at Elks Temple
Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner specials alongside McMenamins' regular menus.
Elks Temple

SPORTS & RECREATION

Tacoma City Turkey Trot
Instead of taking place in the Proctor District, Tacomaites are invited to run this annual Turkey Trot from wherever they are, and to post pictures online afterward. 

NOVEMBER 27-JANUARY 3

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Zoolights
Holiday traditions don't get more classic than strolling through the zoo when it's transformed into a luminous wonderland of 3-D animal light installations. Displays from previous years have included hammerhead sharks and sea turtles, a majestic polar bear family, and a giant Pacific octopus. You can see this year's lit-up creatures by following a guided path laid out for social distancing. 
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

NOVEMBER 27-ONGOING

VISUAL ART

René Lalique: Art Deco Gems from The Steven and Roslyn Shulman Collection
Art Deco fans can delight in over 200 works by 20th-century glass artist René Lalique. 
Museum of Glass

ONGOING

VISUAL ART

Nw Collage Society: Suffrage Celebration Show
This exhibition of 24 digital collages, created by the Northwest Collage Society for the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment, is available to view online until early 2021.
Washington State History Museum

Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting
This exhibition on the women's suffrage movement focuses both on the national and regional story of the fight for the 19th amendment.
Washington State History Museum