Spaceworks Tacoma announces the appointment of Michael Liang as new Program Director. Over the past eight years, Spaceworks Tacoma has developed into a pillar of the Tacoma arts and maker communities, while invigorating the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Liang will bring his passion and leadership in art and community engagement to the new position.
What began as an effort to provide infill and interest to Tacoma’s streetscapes has evolved into a decentralized business incubator and anchor for the creative economy in downtown and beyond. Since launching, Spaceworks has worked with more than 400 artists and creative entrepreneurs in more than 50 sites around Tacoma.
“We’re excited about Michael’s enthusiasm, energy, and talent” says Amy McBride, Spaceworks Steering Committee Co-Chair. “His creative approach to education and leadership will help Spaceworks continue innovating and growing support for Tacoma’s artists and entrepreneurs.”
Liang graduated University of Michigan where he studied art and design and environmental science and received a certificate in natural science illustration from University of Washington. His community engagement began at North Cascades National Park, first as an interpretive ranger and later designing publications and exhibits to educate the public about the parks.
“From the moment I arrived in the Pacific Northwest as a college student, I fell in love with the region,” remembers Liang. “I believe that cities and places all have their own personalities; something in the PNW grabbed hold of me and has never let go.”
During his 10-year career with the National Park Service, he has supported the creative media efforts in over 80 parks. Most recently at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, just outside of Los Angeles, he supervised creative professionals to create compelling, visual storytelling about the national parks. Liang also passionately advocates for underrepresented communities in outdoor recreation and public history. He organizes and designs public outreach events to connect communities with relevant history and promote more equitable access.
Since 2017 Spaceworks underwent many program updates adapting to the growing needs of Tacoma creatives. The recently launched Entrepreneur Success Workshop, is the newest addition to its Incubator program, which provides guided strategic development for all businesses in any stage of growth. The Coworking program added a second location with more affordable office spaces at 1120 Hilltop. And the Artscapes program celebrated the two-year anniversary of the launch of the 950 Gallery, the newest resource for all local artists.
Michael Liang will bring incredible creativity and organization skills that the multifaceted, opportunity-driven program like Spaceworks Tacoma requires. His addition to the team will mean rejuvenated efforts in addressing community needs and growing Tacoma’s art scene.
“I’m excited to be part of the Tacoma community and contribute to the legacy of Spaceworks,” says Liang.