Kim Davenport: Paths of Artistry

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Kim Davenport's self-effacing personality hides a wealth of interesting accomplishments, from her career as a concert pianist to her role in documenting Tacoma's history to her adoption of innovative classroom technologies.

Kim Davenport, lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & SciencesKim Davenport, lecturer in UW Tacoma’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, is one of those people whose self-effacing personality hides a wealth of interesting accomplishments.

Many people at UW Tacoma today know her as one of the faculty who teach in the first-year core curriculum. One of her classes, Listening Outside the Box: Concert Music in the 21st Century, exposes students over a ten-week period to “classical music” through in-class performances and concert attendance. Students create a final assignment using the web tool FOLD (see FOLDing in Creativity: How a Web Tool Reinvigorated a Course).

Davenport brings a wealth of experience to her role as UW Tacoma’s in-house music lecturer. She has piano performance degrees from UW in Seattle and Northwestern University. She is one half of Duo Alea, a piano-bass clarinet ensemble she forms with her father, noted bass clarinetist Michael Davenport. Together, they have made several recordings of new and seldom-performed works. They also operate Alea Publishing & Recording, which specializes in publishing sheet music for bass clarinet and other instruments.

When she first started working at UW Tacoma, it wasn’t in a musical or teaching capacity. Davenport was a program administrator for, among others, Urban Studies and the Center for Urban Waters. She served as an academic advisor and a student recruiter.

She is also a private piano instructor. “Most evenings when I’m done here at UW Tacoma, I go back to my home studio and teach. I have students of all ages: the youngest is eight and my oldest is 52,” said Davenport.

Somewhere amidst all that activity, Davenport has time to research and publish books on Tacoma history. Her first is Tacoma’s Theater District, published in 2015 as part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing. The book provides a pictorial record of Tacoma as a theater town, host to such venues as the Tacoma Theater, with the largest stage on the West coast at the time, and the Pantages Theatre, developed by Seattle’s vaudeville magnate Alexander Pantages, and now part of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

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Written by: 
John Burkhardt / June 30, 2016
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or