Who We Are

Kabby Mitchell III, Founder

Klair Ethridge, Co-Founder, Director

Julie Tobiason, Ballet Director

Vania Bynum, Co-Multicultural Dance Director

Erricka Turner, Co-Multicultural Dance Director

Joye Hardiman, Ph.D, Board President

Our Mission

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center’s mission is to provide our most deserving youth world class opportunities to achieve Artistic Excellence in the Performing Arts through  

  • Community classes and Pre-professional  classical ballet training
  • National and international mentors and intergenerational guest artists 
  • Whole person development  and community give back 

About Our Founder

Kabby Mitchell, III

"Kabby Mitchell III was in his early 20s when he became the first black company member of PNB, back in 1979; pictures of him from the time show a charismatic young man clearly at ease with being elegantly airborne. He danced with the company until 1984, reaching the rank of soloist. It was the beginning of a rich career that took him around the world — he performed with Nederlands Dans Theater, as well as Dance Theater of Harlem, PNB and other companies — but kept him rooted here in the Pacific Northwest, where he became a beloved choreographer, teacher, mentor and role model." -Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times

Board of Directors & Advisors

T.U.P.A.C. Board of Directors

Joye Hardiman, PhD, President   

Liza Rognas, Secretary 

Trish Corbert, Treasurer   

Pamela Lewis-Bridges  

Dr. Eric Clausell            

John Douville

Gilda L. Sheppard, PhD

Jimmy Shields

T.U.P.A.C. Advisory Board

Salmh Ayers

Marie Chong

Jade Solomon Curtis

Alease Fresian

Arif Gursel

Maxine Mimms, PhD

Travis Pope

A Look Inside the Studio


Our Students learn & execute mending as their parents take our Open African Dance Class.