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Shop Tacoma-Made Gifts and Pop-Up Mall At 2nd Annual Downtown Holiday Haul Crawl

6 Dec

holiday haul crawl.jpg

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Once again, Tacoma’s Downtown Holiday Haul Crawl invites one and all to its 2nd Annual event. This day will be full of events, giveaways and holiday specials at local boutiques and restaurants. The museum district event draws dozens of local vendors and Tacoma-based artisans with one-day deals.

Haul Crawl Pop-Up Mall

satori stocklist hello cupcake bags

In addition to resident businesses, Stocklist Goods and Satori partnered up once again to bring additional vendors to their Pop-Up Mall:

Free Haul Crawl Parking

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Being a Working Artist in Tacoma, Artist Trust Workshop

4 Dec

Diana Leigh-Surma working on her Artscape mural at the Valhalla Hall demolition-site in the Hilltop Business District. Photo by Kris Crews.

In this round table discussion, artists Lisa KinoshitaMasahiro Sugano, and Asia Tail discuss how to make it as an artist in Tacoma. Moderated by Artist Trust Program Manager Katy Hannigan, the panel will talk about the opportunities, challenges, and resources for Tacoma artists and share their own experiences as working artists.

Audience members are invited to ask questions and share their own perspectives. A happy hour precedes the discussion honoring 2017 Artist Trust grant recipients from Tacoma.

Open for artists of all disciplines at all career stages

Free Registration

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Call For Submissions

1 Dec

Commerce Street Transit Center, a multi-city transportation hub, is located next to one of the largest public performance and gathering spaces, Theater Square. TRANSFORM aims to collect community input and feedback to create a cultural and transportation plan for future development.

Creative Colloquy is partnering with Spaceworks Tacoma to present an impactful writing opportunity:

We want you to share your thoughts about the proposed revitalization project soon to undertake Tacoma’s Theater District called TRANSFORM.

TRANSFORM is a project by Pierce Transit, City of Tacoma and Broadway Center for The Performing Arts, aimed at revitalizing Tacoma’s Theater District.  The idea is to develop a plan to redesign the transportation and cultural hub framed by 9th and 11th Streets between Broadway and Pacific Avenue into a vibrant district at the core of our Downtown.

As residents of Tacoma, what are your feelings on this project? Do you believe there is value in re-energizing our Theater District or not? How and why?

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Spaceworks Info Sessions

29 Nov

Tiffanny Hammonds works on Artscapes mural “5 Stages” at the corner of 11th & Market. Photo by Kris Crews.

Starting in December 2017, Spaceworks Tacoma will begin offering monthly info sessions at various locations around Tacoma. Meet the staff, ask questions and learn about all the opportunities Spaceworks has to offer. We will present information about all our programs including:

Incubator, Artscapes, Coworking and Special Projects

Info Session

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
6:00-7:30 PM
Tacoma Arts Community Center
1102 S. 11th St.
Tacoma, WA 98405
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Thank You, Tacoma

22 Nov
Spaceworks Tacoma NEON Annual Fundraiser 2017

Jaison Rivera painting live during Spaceworks’ fundraiser NEON 2017. Photo by Scott Haydon

With the holiday season upon us we wanted to take a moment to express the gratitude we have for the continued support we have from our community. Continue reading

November 2017 Art Walk, Spaceworks Picks

9 Nov

Opening Reception
“Present / Tense” Exhibit

November 16, 2017, 5 PM – 9 PM


Left: Malayka Gormally “Signs” (detail). Right: Tom Gormally “US” (sculpture detail photo). Photos by Mark Woods

Spaceworks Gallery

950 Pacific Ave. Suite 205, Tacoma, WA

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“Present / Tense” features paintings, sculptures, and drawings by Malayka Gormally & Tom Gormally. Spaceworks Gallery is honored to bring this exhibit to Tacoma, and we invite you to join us for the opening reception or during regular gallery hours.

Malayka explores emotional strength, connection, and conflict between people of disparate races, generations, and political beliefs. Tom critiques the current political and social zeitgeist.

Read more about the artists and current exhibit >>


Social Media for Social Good

November 16, 2017, 7 PM – 9PM
$5 ($3 goes to Tacoma Urban League)

social media social good

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Anthony Duenas Takes Native American Myth to the Street

9 Nov

A thunderbird by Anthony Duenas. Spaceworks photo

by Lisa Kinoshita

Artist Anthony Duenas was born and raised in East Tacoma, but his roots are embedded with the Puyallup Indians, a tribe whose history in the Puget Sound region spans thousands of years. “I am Native American, an enrolled Puyallup tribal member,” he said in an e-mail interview. Duenas’s artwork centers on contemporary interpretations of Northwest native mythology rendered in the graceful curvilinear style of Coast Salish. He has created original outdoor murals and collaborative art around Tacoma including in the McKinley neighborhood, the Lincoln District and the Dome District.

“The more I got into the Coast Salish art form, the more I wanted to return the art form to the area,” he said. “I don’t want to lose the stories and myths of my tribe, and surrounding tribes.” Located on bustling city streets and near businesses, Duenas’s wall-spanning paintings energize neighborhood landscapes while bringing indigenous culture and storytelling to the surface of public awareness.  Continue reading

Applications for Neighborhood Innovative Grant Program Due December 15

8 Nov
High Five - TART

For its 5-year anniversary celebration, Spaceworks Tacoma hosted High Five! a community festival at People’s Park. Partial funding was provided by the City of Tacoma through the Neighborhood Innovative Grants program. Photo by Kris Crews.

Through the City of Tacoma’s 2017 Neighborhood Innovative Grant Program, community groups within Tacoma’s eight Neighborhood Council districts can apply – now through December 15 – for grant funding supporting neighborhood improvement activities or projects.

Upcoming Informational Meeting:

November 9, 2017
4:30 – 5:30 PM
Tacoma Police Department Sector 4 Substation (400 E. 56th St.)

Please RSVP to or (253) 591-5208.

Facebook Event

Most grants requested and approved are in the range of $500 to $8,000. Each Neighborhood Council will select the projects to be funded within their respective Neighborhood Council district, limited to available funds in each Neighborhood Council.

Download Application

“If you have an innovative idea to engage with your community and improve your neighborhood, we invite you to apply for a small grant to make it happen,” said Program Manager Shari Hart. “Over the years, we have funded hundreds of impactful projects through this program.”

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Two Young Artists Shoulder the Grief of the World

3 Nov


by Lisa Kinoshita

Tiffanny Hammonds, 20, and Saiyare Refaei, 24, are two artists who articulate their feelings about life, grief and personal growth and put them on full public display. Their vibrant mural, 5 Stages, “encapsulates our version [of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five] stages of grief,” said Refaei. Incorporating writings by local poets, the two chose to step away from the famous Swiss-American psychiatrist’s study of the universal response to grief, instead creating their own 5-rung ladder of emotional response:

  • Shock
  • Anger
  • Acceptance
  • Action
  • Gratitude

(Kübler-Ross’s grief sequence was denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).


Located at 953 Market St. in downtown Tacoma, the artwork stretches across an entire commercial building and can be perused by car commuters and pedestrians on the street. Images of children, flowers and cartoon figures are interwoven with writing that encourages an active response to negative circumstances (including but not limited to, death).  The wall “has been a turning point in Tacoma murals to uplift truth and possibilities. We wanted to continue that momentum,” said Refaei.

Optimism and leadership come naturally to these young artists. Refaei was introduced to street art while studying in Oaxaca, Mexico, during her sophomore year at Pacific Lutheran University. She returned a year later on a research grant, “Where I interviewed artists trying to understand if national trade agreements (particularly NAFTA) had influenced or changed the way they do art. In that process, I learned that murals can be a way share art with everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status.” It also motivated her to organize her first outdoor mural at PLU.

Refaei_Hammonds_Artscapes_2017_Crews_23Refaei and Hammonds learned the intricacies of making legally-sanctioned graffiti at Tacoma’s FABITAT art center, headed by Kenji Stoll and Christopher Paul Jordan. Hammonds attended high school at Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA). “We are both involved with Fab-5 [the leadership at FABITAT] in different capacities,” said Refaei. “Tiffanny has been involved with Fab-5 for at least the last seven years, [going] from student to instructor.”

The two meticulously planned out their massive downtown painting. “The five stages enabled us to pace [the work] in a strategic way, to make the wall interactive, and also helped us go through the process of grieving so many things that have happened over the course of this past year.”


The creation of the mural progressed in phases that correspond to the five stages of grief. For step 1)shock, the artists painted the wall a vivid red. For steps 2)anger, and 3)acceptance, they put out a call to local writers requesting short poems written around those themes. For phases 4)action, and 5)gratitude, “We chose visual representation of real people living and working near the mural site who are constantly going above and beyond to do good work; reminding us to keep an open mind and see the world through a child’s eye; to love ourselves and share our harvest with others.


“Even the most random things remind us to keep moving forward, and enjoy the little life-giving things that make our day amidst the heartache and turmoil in this world,” said Refaei. The artists wish to thank contributing writers: Danielle Jordan, Quinn Brenfleck, Whikid Matticuless, Juliet Meggs, Jessica Rychael, Vanessa Williams, Lennée Reid, Quenessa Long, and Gloria Muhammad.

5 Stages, by Saiyare Refaei & Tiffanny Hammonds, S. 11th & Market St. (S. 11th side of  the building), 
through 2017

All photos by Kris Crews



LiftPort Space Elevator Lands in Tacoma

26 Oct

Artwork ©2017 LiftPort Group

By Lisa Kinoshita

In 2000, I was invited to an award ceremony in Seattle hosted by the Foundation for the Future, a then-new and obscure organization co-founded by a Swiss physicist and inventor, Walter Kistler (1918-2015). Being a stranger to the intersecting worlds of high-tech, science and entertainment, I expected to find a banquet room full of sci-fi geeks celebrating one of their rumpled best. To my chagrin, the recipient turned out to be the great biologist and social theorist, Edward O. Wilson, and the prize was $100,000, plus a 200-gram medallion made of solid gold.

The Foundation for the Future is just one of a slew of under-the-radar, Seattle-area brain trusts and high-tech companies investing in high-stakes, future-based research that purports to change the course of science (and by extension, humanity). While Google, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic grab headlines in a battle-of-the-billionaires’ race to commercialize outer space, serious research is going on right in our own backyard.  The creator of a new Artscapes installation, and president of the LiftPort Group, Michael Laine, shares an insider’s perspective.

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