Spaceworks Tacoma Receives 2017 NEA Grant to Fund Artscapes

Saiyare Refaei and Tiffanny Hammonds paint Artscapes mural on a boarded up building 11th & Market. Photos by Kris Crews

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved Spaceworks Tacoma for an Art Works grant in the amount of $20,000 for the purpose of supporting the commission of site-specific installations and murals at vacant commercial spaces in downtown Tacoma.

Spaceworks will be one of 1,029 national grant recipients, chosen from 1,728 Art Works applications. The grants range from $10,000 to $100,000 and focus on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.


The money will be used to continue funding Spaceworks Artscapes, the urban street side exhibition program that commissions 24 artists per year to create public art. Funding will support the professional coordination of the Artscapes program, which is necessary to facilitate the selection of artists, management of properties, and promotion to diverse audiences.

“Our Artscapes program is one of the few arts programs in the region offering opportunities to local artists to publicly display their art. Plus it’s a great opportunity for property owners with vacant space to partner with us to make their locations more desirable,” Spaceworks Manager Heather Joy said. “This kind of activity makes our downtown more beautiful and enjoyable to walk.”​


This is the third time the program has received funding from the NEA. More than $82 million will fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. “The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Spaceworks Tacoma, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”