Cultivating Creative Communities

Today, opportunity is no longer limited by physical space. While opportunity is everywhere, activating it is far from easy. And that’s where Spaceworks comes in.

We know that strong communities like Tacoma are built on having rich opportunities for everyone. Opportunities for people to create and innovate, connect with their neighbors, and make the world a better place.

At Spaceworks, we create and unlock those opportunities by providing space. Space for new and established businesses to grow with guidance and training. Space for artists to inspire and awe. Space for everyone to work, create, and enjoy.

From the creative entrepreneurs and artists who dream big dreams, to the Tacoma residents and donors that love their city and want to see it thrive, we’re revitalizing the city one brilliant idea at a time, empowering the Tacoma community and creating lasting impact for a bright new future.

Spaceworks 5-year Strategic Plan

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Our mission

Spaceworks makes Tacoma culturally vibrant and economically strong through training and support for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

Our vision

Tacoma is well known regionally and nationally as a city with a vibrant creative culture. Impressive small business growth and jobs stem from smart, diverse, and passionate business owners whose creativity is nurtured by a strong support ecosystem. Tacoma-area community, business, and civic leaders recognize Spaceworks as an integral part of that ecosystem because of its high-quality programs and services, and its strong track record of incubating successful creative businesses.

Our Values

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Diversity and Equity
  • Collaboration

Our History

Spaceworks Tacoma was launched in 2010 as a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to approach community transformation and small business development in a new way. As an answer to Tacoma’s chronically vacant downtown storefronts, the City and Chamber envisioned creative business, events and art installations creating visitor destinations and driving new consumers into underutilized areas.

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 class in downtown and beyond.

Since launching in June 2010, Spaceworks has worked with over 400 artists and creative individuals and organizations in at least 50 sites around Tacoma:

  • Provided training and technical assistance to 125 creative businesses, a total of 166 creative entrepreneurs
  • Helped launch 66 creative businesses into community storefronts and vacant commercial spaces
  • Presented 175 art installations (streetside installations and murals)
  • Coordinated 55 Special Projects (pop-up shops and exhibitions, residencies and beyond)
  • Supported 56 alumni Creative Enterprises that continue on as lease-paying tenants
  • Exhibited 12 gallery shows involving 132 artists/curators, and over 45 performers/speakers at the 950 Gallery, with 3,549 visitors since opening in June 2016
  • Supported 500+ events/performances
  • Activated over 50,000 square feet of vacant space
  • Inspired over 207 media features, including segments on King5 News and South Sound Talk

We can’t do it alone

Spaceworks is supported by a diverse array of sources, including local foundations and corporations, city and federal economic development dollars, and you. Donations from individuals to Spaceworks help entrepreneurs and artists turn their talents into public art projects, inspired businesses, and innovative ways for our community to grow.

Learn how you can support Spaceworks >>