Come to NEON to Build a Brighter Tacoma

spaceworks neon 2016 PR

On June 10th, 2017, Spaceworks will be hosting its annual fundraiser NEON, offering an opportunity to dress up, and enjoy a party of colors and creativity. Live art and entertainment will fill the evening at Tin Can Alley while attendees win local art and small business experiences in auctions, raffles, and games.

Spaceworks Tacoma invites you to

NEON: Spaceworks Annual Fundraiser
June 10th, 2017, 6PM (5PM – VIP Happy Hour)

Tickets: $40 general admission or $125 VIP (couples’ discount available)
Please join us in Creative Cocktail Attire pinterest icon


Tin Can Alley
2620 E G St, Tacoma, WA 98421
Event Contact: Kate Monthy 253.682.1741 x102

“Spaceworks is an innovative program that is helping to build up the creative and entrepreneurial landscape in our city,” says program manager Heather Joy. The program began in 2010 as a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. She says that people still rave about last year’s event and that this year’s NEON will be even better.

Related Post: Why Neon? by Lisa Fruichantie

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Naomi and JP Strom-Avila enjoy the live auction under the neon lights made by Galen Turner at NEON 2016. Photo by Scott Haydon.

“This year NEON will be stepped up a notch in terms of performance,” says Joy. “For example, we booked a local band The Happy Sinners for VIP Happy Hour entertainment. But we also have a fun surprise in store. Our mystery musical guests will be a crowd favorite for sure as well as the drag queens selling raffle tickets!”

Related Post: Galen Turner’s 2017 NEON Artscape Installation

Over the course of 7 years Spaceworks has supported nearly 100 entrepreneurs who started new creative businesses or learned how to grow their existing businesses through its program, Creative Enterprise. Through another one of its programs, Artscapes, Spaceworks commissions some murals and large-scale art installations in places like the Woolworth windows on the corner of 11th and Broadway among many others. Spaceworks also supports short-term artistic projects, leases studio spaces at the 1120 Creative House, and hosts exhibitions at the Spaceworks Gallery.

Jennifer English and April Sanders of SPUN enjoy the show at NEON. Photo by Scott Haydon

The artistic impact of NEON attracts creatives of all trades from photographers to musicians to furniture makers. “I think there is a lot of community creativity, and it’s not just in art installations but in the auction items too,” says Kate Monthy, Spaceworks Development Coordinator. “The experience we are creating is more creative than your typical fundraiser. It will have a party atmosphere with music, lights, and art adding up to a fun, visceral experience.”

Spaceworks First Annual Fundraiser NEON attracted over 400 attendees to experience Tacoma’s art, music, and fashion. Photo by Kris Crews.

“Last year the turnout was almost like something you would see at one of the farmers’ markets. It was a representation of different kinds of people in Tacoma that want to see creative business thrive.” Monthy added. She is most excited about one part of the event, Art Race, which was inspired by Lettuce 253, a participant of Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise program. Two artists, Jaison Rivera and Katlyn Hubner, will race against time to create complete works of art in front of your eyes.

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A group effort: Along with dozens of staff and volunteers, event planners Lisa Fruichantie and Kate Monthy, with volunteer Cheri Rae made NEON 2016 unforgettable. Photo by Kris Crews

The NEON 2017 presenting sponsor is JP Morgan Chase. The event is also possible thanks to sponsorships and donations from many local businesses and organizations including the Bamford Foundation, Shaub Properties, Court House Square and others. The items in the auction were donated by Tacoma’s artists and small business owners who are excited to invest in growing creative economy.

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Rebecca Solverson bids at the live auction at NEON 2016. The light wall installation by Galen Turner featured original art as well as vintage signs like the big blue “O” from Ross. Photo by Kris Crews

The event will be held at Tin Can Alley, an historic, repurposed building in the dome district. It is home to PJ Hummel’s event company who is also providing the décor. Tickets are available on the event website at $40 for general admission, and $125 for VIPs, with couples’ discounts available.

“NEON is not just a fundraiser,” says Joy, “it’s also an opportunity to come together and celebrate the amazing arts and culture that Tacoma has to offer.”

‘Neon’ Dion Thomas struts runway in the fashion show. Dion also gave a keynote speech at NEON 2016. Photo by Scott Haydon.
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presenting sponsor

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