Tag Archives: featured content

Help Welcome 2018 By Volunteering for First Night

12 Dec
First Night_2014_10.JPG

Fur and wig-clad First Night revelers strike a pose in front of glowing Artscape by Barbara De Pirro on Commerce St. and 11th. (2014)

First Night is Tacoma’s New Year’s Eve festival, an all-ages family-friendly celebration held in Downtown Tacoma’s Theater District. The affordable admission price ($10-$15) includes access to museums, music, art, drama, dance and a whole day and night of activities. 

To make this event possible and successful, help is needed by generous volunteers.  As a volunteer you receive a free button to access the Tacoma Art Museum, Glass Museum, Children’s Museum, and all events on First Night!

If you are interested in helping with the event
please click on this link to fill out a short form

Volunteer Roles available

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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
Facebook Event Continue reading

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

Fish Tank – Fall 2017 Entrepreneurs Show Off Their Businesses

21 Nov

Fish Tank_Fall_2017_Crews_92

At Fall 2017 Fish Tank, Spaceworks celebrated 10 businesses that developed new launch strategies through its Incubator training program. The entrepreneurs showcased skills from dance to film tech to lingerie design.

During a public showcase the entrepreneurs shared their wares, performed, and talked about upcoming launches. They also gave a quick overview of their business offerings during 60-second pitches.

See this Fish Tank in photos by Kris Crews → Continue reading

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 shari.hart@cityoftacoma.org 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.”

Continue reading

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



Fish Tank Event Showcases Newest Entrepreneurs in Spaceworks Network

2 Nov
Fish Tank Fall_2017_Crews__54

At the Spring 2017 Fish Tank event, program participants Erika and Noah Baird showed off their costume design skills. Costume models: Theresa Hopper, and Gritty City Sirens performers Ava D’Jor and Heather Hostility. Photo by Kris Crews.

Spaceworks Tacoma invites the public to the free event on

Fish Tank Entrepreneur Showcase

Saturday, November 18, 1-4pm

1120 Pacific Ave (second floor)

Register    —    Facebook Event

Nine new businesses will launch soon in Tacoma thanks to their participation in Spaceworks Incubator program. On Saturday, November 18th, 2017, Spaceworks invites the community to discover the creativity and vision of these entrepreneurs at Fish Tank Entrepreneur Showcase. Continue reading

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