Check out the highlights of NEON 2017 in this video by Kris Crews
The evening of June 10, 2017, was alight with hundreds of glowing smiles and sparkling personalities that came out to fund the programs for creative entrepreneurs, artists, and makers in Tacoma. NEON 2017 was the second year that Spaceworks held it’s major public fundraiser to offer Tacoma community an invitation to come together under one banner, building a brighter Tacoma.
Spaceworks is grateful to the immense support it received this year. Over 120 volunteers have contributed 685 hours of work. About 350 guests attended the event to raise $50,000 that will directly go to fund programs like Creative Enterprise which supports the growth of small business, as well as Artscapes, which pays artists to install publicly viewable art around Tacoma.
Spaceworks offers artist studio spaces at 1120 Creative House. Less than a year ago they launched the Spaceworks Gallery, which presents 6 contemporary art feature exhibitions a year with artists like Asia Tail who curated “Protect the Sacred” exhibition in January 2017 and donated one of her paintings to the auction.
Although some guests faced the challenges of finding the venue due to the surrounding construction, Downtown: On the Go! was able to help by providing shuttle service from the Tacoma Dome Station to NEON
Spaceworks Artscapes Coordinator Gabriel Brown helped VIP guests find parking including a space for this mutant vehicle
VIP guests who arrived to NEON early enjoyed an hour of live jazz music by one of Tacoma bands, The Happy Sinners, while they mingled and shopped the silent auction
Heather Joy, Spaceworks Tacoma Manager, toasted with the VIP guests who raised glasses of champagne to future success.
And sampled delicious hors d’oeuvres catered by Jonz Catering and fresh oysters donated by Washington State Seafood
Once everyone got to the bright pink building of Tin Can Alley, they were greeted in a welcoming space beautifully decorated by PJ Hummel and Co. and set up by the army of Spaceworks volunteers.
They met their friends and other supporters of Spaceworks’ programs
NEON guests showed up and showed off in fun style with vibrant, artful accessories
This volunteer couple designed and 3D printed their jewelry and bowtie
They bid on the art and experiences donated by local artists and businesses in the silent auction highlighted on LED displays designed by Steve Buchanan of HMG
In the VIP bar, some guests upgraded their makeup with glitter designs when they purchased Shots and Sparkles donated by Sparkle Donkey Tequila
Four raffle prizes offered great opportunities to the lucky winners including a stay at a Palm Springs hotel, a year membership at The Grand Cinema and the Tacoma Rainiers tickets, as well as the artworks that were made live at the event by painters Jaison Rivera and Katlyn Hubner.
The artists raced against time to create complete artworks during part of the fundraiser called Art Race inspired by Lettuce 253 events
The raffle tickets were sold by colorful entertainers like Ben the stiltwalker and Delyla Dalyte, a drag queen performing with the cast of Glitterati, Inc.
Many NEON guests walked away with bottles of locally crafted beer, wine or champagne as well as additional prizes made by the Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise program participants in a re-imagined ring toss game, Creative EnterPRIZES
With a dramatic reveal at the beginning of the live auction, the guests finally found out the identities of NEON’s mystery musical guests
They were the rock star duo of Champagne Sunday joined by Kim Archer (who also donated a private music show to the auction). The trio performed a cover of U2’s famous hit “Where the Streets Have No Name”
The auctioneer, Laura Michalek, took stage under a glowing, hanging garden art installation made by Jennifer Robbins
The live auction included art and enticing packages from local small businesses like the set of 6 Topographic Mountains Art Prints by Tim + April and Beautiful Angle’s limited edition steamroller “Lion” print made at Wayzgoose.
Jane Courtney, the entrepreneur and instructor at Athena Vertical Dance, donated one year of pole dancing lessons and demonstrated the incredible fitness that it brings
Perhaps some of the most coveted items in the live auction were the neon signs, made by Galen Turner specifically for this fundraiser.
One of the neon signs was the iconic symbol of local pride, the 253 heart design sponsored by 253heart.com
Together we watched a video made by Kris Crews where community members talked about the direct impact Spaceworks programs made in their lives. Then, NEON’s guest speaker, Amanda Westbrook, delivered a powerful speech about the importance of funding art and artistic endeavors in our community. She reminded us that when we get to the top, we need to send the elevator back down, right before the donors raised the paddles to contribute an additional $10,000 to fund Spaceworks’ programming.
In the end, Spaceworks invited everyone to dance the night away with tunes played by DJ Josiah French, one of the youngest graduates of the Creative Enterprise training program
Thank you to everyone who worked on and attended NEON annual fundraiser and for showing Spaceworks such incredible support.
Special thank you to Scott Haydon for taking wonderful event photography. Book a photoshoot or hire him for your next event to capture it in the best light via Scott Haydon Photography on Facebook www.facebook.com/ScottHaydonPhotography/
If you wish to support the steady growth of entrepreneurship, art and cultural activities in Tacoma, please consider making a donation to Spaceworks today.