Greater Tacoma community invited to free HOPE 253 event Aug. 13 at Tacoma Dome

The third annual HOPE 253 features headline musicians including Isaiah Thomas, Newsboys, Andy Mineo, Crowder, and David Garibaldi. The event transpires Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome (2727 East D St.) HOPE 253 — a partnership of more than 120 South Puget Sound organizations and corporations — invites the South Puget Sound to its third annual free community event for all ages, featuring a line-up of award-winning sports figures, musicians, artists and speakers. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Held each August since 2015, HOPE 253 is an annual, open-invitation, free-to-the-public, arena-style community event featuring headline artists and leaders of influence, all with a positive message for those living within the (253) area code and surrounding community. Made possible by the partnership and generosity of hundreds of local organizations and donors and thousands of volunteers, the sole aim of HOPE 253 is to be a purveyor of hope for a stronger, more connected, thriving (253).

Previously held at Cheney Stadium in 2015 and 2016, HOPE 253 set venue attendance records both years with crowds exceeding 10,000, filling the stands and seating hundreds more on the field, and prompting the move to the Tacoma Dome for 2017. “With double the capacity, three times the volunteers, and an expanded group of artists and guests, we are looking forward to sharing this inspiring night with more of our community than ever before,” said Lonnetta Cunningham, community liaison for HOPE 253.

The event’s significantly broadened 2017 stage line-up includes: Boston Celtics point guard, NBA All-Star and Tacoma native Isaiah Thomas; Grammy-nominated rock/alternative band Newsboys; Grammy-nominated “folktronica” artist Crowder; rap artist Andy Mineo; “beach-and-bayou” duo Pawnshop Kings; the HOPE 253 collaborative gospel choir; performance painter and America’s Got Talent finalist David Garibaldi; and local leader and global speaker Dean Curry.

“The (253) is an amazingly diverse community with a rich appreciation for a huge spectrum of artistic styles,” said Ryan Jordan, HOPE 253 director of production. “The goal in shaping this program is to include a range of guests who compellingly reflect and inspire hope, and among whom we hope every person can identify an artist or a style or a message with which they connect.”

Literally everyone is welcome to attend the event. Parking and seating will be available for attendees with disabilities. Activity bags will be handed out to kids. Spanish translation will be provided.

“Hope 253 lifts spirits and makes our community stronger and safer,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, who has attended the two previous events. HOPE 253 was conceived as a result of a 2014 lunch conversation among a group of community leaders.
“Demographic data showed rising suicide rates on our military base, high rates of divorce and domestic violence, high student dropout rates and homelessness and free lunch needs, kids being bullied and young people committing suicide because of it,” recalled Dean Curry, HOPE 253 founder and local pastor, who will speak at the event. “Agreement was unanimous: there was a lack of positive, hopeful, optimistic conversation in the community. There was a huge need for hope.”

“No matter where I go in the world, the (253) is my home,” continued Curry. “It’s where I was born, grew up, met my wife, and raised my kids. It’s the place and people I wake up thinking and caring about every morning and serving every day. We are a beautifully blended community of myriad stories and lives, each one unique. And the one need we all share is hope. That’s the single vision for HOPE 253 — to bring the (253) together for one united, inspiring night of music, art, encouragement, and hope.”

HOPE 253’s growing list of more than 120 community partners includes the YMCA, Northwest Leadership Foundation, World Vision, Northwest Furniture Bank, Tacoma Rescue Mission, and Korum for Kids Foundation, as well as churches of all sizes and denominations.

For more information about attending the event, becoming an event partner, or being an event volunteer, visit hope253.com. For information regarding directions, parking, and accessibility for disabled individuals, visit tacomadome.org.

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