Billy Thomas

Billy Thomas is the former owner and publisher of OLY ARTS magazine, the south sound’s premier mutli-platform arts publication, reaching 30,000 readers each month. He is an Olympia native and has been an advocate for local arts and businesses for many years. He worked for The Olympian and The News Tribune newspapers for six years, learning publishing and advertising. Before purchasing OLY ARTS, Billy was the Director of Marketing and Sales for the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, promoting the Center’s mission to inspire audiences and artists of all ages through live performances, enriching the vibrancy of our community. When not focused on arts media, Billy enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, taking in as many sunny days as he can in the Hood Canal area.

Articles

  • Letter From the Publisher: Support the Arts in 2020
    2020 is almost here, and we’d like to ask you to make a resolution to support the arts with us. Since we opened in 2016, OLY ARTS magazine has continued to expand its FREE coverage and offerings to our community. We hope that you will be able to take part in one or more of …

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  • Family Spirit Makes Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee’s Second Location Twice as Sweet
    By Billy Thomas There’s an old saying that goes, “the family that scoops gelato together, stays together.” Okay – maybe that’s not exactly how the original goes, but at Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee, the modified phrase rings true. The local, family-owned company that’s known for serving sweet treats in downtown Olympia opened its second storefront …

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  • Op-Ed: Art Tells the Truth
    By Ned Hayes and Billy Thomas On August 24, OLY ARTS helped organize a day-long reading of Volume I of the Mueller Report at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. A number of local, theatrical artists and elected officials participated in the successful event. Some in the artistic and reader communities have asked why our organization involved …

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  • The Mueller Report at Washington Center
    By CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL On April 18, 2019, after almost four weeks in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on the subject of foreign involvement in the election of President Donald J. Trump were released to Congress and the public — albeit heavily redacted — by the Department of Justice. …

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  • 2019 Washington Center Anacker Scholarship Announced
    By Billy Thomas The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, one of Olympia’s premier performing arts spaces since 1985, has announced their recipient of the Anacker Scholarship for the Arts. The scholarship is provided each year to a graduating high school senior from Thurston County who plans to study and pursue a career in the …

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  • Arts and Culture Events This Memorial Day Weekend
    By Billy Thomas As the weather continues to warm up, and the sun — that’s that bright thing in the sky, for those of us who have forgotten, due to its infrequent presence — begins to shine brighter, the promise of a long weekend is a reprieve from the slog. For readers who are looking …

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  • City of Olympia Seeking Citizens for Heritage Commission
    By Billy Thomas The City of Olympia announced on Friday that it is looking for citizens interested in serving on the Heritage Commission. “The commission provides a structured way for citizens to share opinions and perspectives, study issues, develop recommendations, and provide the Olympia City Council advice from the citizen perspective,” said Kellie Purce Braseth, …

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  • Ben Moore’s Space Set to Transform into ‘Percival Place’
    By Billy Thomas South Puget Sound Community College announced that it has partnered with the City of Olympia to transform the former Ben Moore’s restaurant into Percival Place at Ben Moore’s. The special event location will provide the college the opportunity to return to downtown Olympia, bringing with it its mission of education and workforce …

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  • Pop-Up Art Coming to Olympia Storefronts
    What’s the best way to address empty storefront space in downtown Olympia? Fill it with art. The Olympia Artspace Alliance (OAA) has proposed an ambitious new project to do just that. Beginning this May, the alliance will set out to create a series of three temporary installations that will show local artists in vacant, downtown-Olympia …

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  • Harlequin Announces Transformative Season
    By Billy Thomas Last Saturday, Harlequin Productions hosted its 2020 season announcement party. Over 200 subscribers, donors, sponsors and guests attended the event, flooding the theater’s lobby and mainstage space. They were greeted by Harlequin board members and staff, including the theater’s artistic director, Aaron Lamb, and managing director Hap Clemons. Attendees enjoyed live music, …

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  • 2018 State of the Arts
    By Billy Thomas and Lydia Boss, special contributor Artist Trust is a nonprofit dedicated to helping Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive. Its mission is to support and encourage artists working in all disciplines to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Founded in 1986, it was formed by a group of artists and arts lovers who …

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  • Broadway Olympia Productions Asks for Public Support to Continue Season
    By Billy Thomas On Valentine’s Day, while many couples were doting over chocolates and flowers, and local businesses were declaring their love for their customers in email campaigns and on social media, Broadway Olympia Productions shared an unexpected and alarming Facebook post. “This is a call for help from the community. If you enjoy and …

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  • Well-Traveled Musical Highways…and Snowplows
    By LUCY VOLKER and BILLY THOMAS February’s performance by the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Lovers Lane, has a fun and romantic tone. “As this concert is just before Valentine’s Day,” says conductor and musical director Huw Edwards, “Lovers Lane was a catchy title that fits the concert and our overall theme, with roads and journeys.” For its 66th …

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  • 2019 Percival Plinth Project Begins
    By Billy Thomas The City of Olympia Percival Plinth Sculpture Project kicked off in early February with a call for up to 16 sculptures to be displayed on outdoor pedestals, or plinths, at Olympia’s Percival Landing. The temporary art installations will be displayed for up to one year, during which time people may get up …

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  • Harlequin Productions Revives Holiday Classic The 1940s Radio Hour
    By Billy Thomas This holiday season, Harlequin Productions goes back in time to present the return of The 1940s Radio Hour. First gracing the Harlequin stage 22 years ago, Radio Hour inspired the launch of the iconic and successful Stardust series. The show replaces Stardust in Harlequin’s 2018-2019 lineup. Aaron Lamb, acting artistic director for …

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  • Rodents of Unusual Size Swarm the Capitol Theater
    By Karen Lunde and Billy Thomas Imagine a 20-pound rodent that looks like a weird cross between a beaver and a rat. It has enormous orange teeth and a skinny tail. It lives in swampy, tidal areas and dines mostly on aquatic plants. It procreates prolifically. You’ve got yourself a nutria, and it’s the subject …

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  • Elizabeth Lord Presents HOMESICK
    By BILLY THOMAS for OLY ARTS As summer begins, master storyteller Elizabeth Lord invites you to join her on a journey into Camp Galilee, a (fictious) Christian summer camp on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Lord’s new one-woman show will be on stage at Olympia Family Theater in mid-June, and brings her audience with her …

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  • Olympia Celebrates 18th-Annual Comics Festival
    by Billy Thomas for OLY ARTS On Saturday, June 2, 2018, comic book creators, readers, and collectors will once again gather in downtown Olympia to celebrate the Olympia Comics Festival. The annual festival celebrates and showcases the medium to bring awareness to its artistic and literary quality. This year’s festival is set to offer a …

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  • Billy Thomas
    Billy Thomas is the former owner and publisher of OLY ARTS magazine, the south sound’s premier mutli-platform arts publication, reaching 30,000 readers each month. He is an Olympia native and has been an advocate for local arts and businesses for many years. He worked for The Olympian and The News Tribune newspapers for six years, …

    Read more