MAWP; or Music and Art in Wright Park, for those less into brevity,
dates back to the early 1990’s in the heart of Tacoma. The event's
humble origin can be traced to an unassuming record store, Mother
Records, and its charismatic owner, Ken Johnson.
Inspired by a performance of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra at
historic Wright Park, he thought, “Wonder if I could do that? But
While simple in theory, it took a lot of time and energy to accomplish
this little dream. The initial effort to get the ball rolling was expended
by primarily Ken and Mother Records co-owner, Kelly Mickelsen. In
years after, the burden would fall on the shoulders of Ken alone.
It was no small feat to organize these events. His efforts included but
were not limited to: convincing the City Council to allow such an
audacious undertaking, booking the bands to perform, promoting the
show through various avenues of advertising, and soliciting sponsors
to secure and maintain the necessary budget to manage all of this, all
while still allowing enough funding left over for staging, a sound
system and security. A tremendous amount of Ken's life was poured
into the show every year for nothing more than a love of local music;
a fun and free opportunity for the public and the performers alike.
That inaugural event way back in 1993 is a vague memory now. For
over 20 years Music and Art in Wright Park has offered a free and
creative outlet for the fans, artists and performers. And while he tried
to get away from it all or take a break from the event, Ken remains to
this day the heart and soul behind the organization, and the reason that MAWP is able to provide such a stellar show every year.
It is our sincerest hope that with this compilation of local music
spanning the last several decades that this same spirit is embodied. The bands here represent a handful of the groups that have played the Park show over the years, or contributed to the local music and art scene. There wasn’t enough room or time to cover everything. The
possibilities are endless and hundreds more groups are equally as
deserving. So with foresight in mind we named this Volume 1. It is a long overdue tradition to add to the MAWP legacy.
All donations go to the future productions of Music and Art in Wright
Park. Thanks for your support!
released July 15, 2014
Produced by Cody Foster & John Purkey
Executive Producer: Ken Johnson
Mastered by Tony Reed fer free at Heavyhead Studios, Port Orchard