A Spaceworks Fundraiser for Tacoma’s Creative Economy
Thursday, May 30, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
West of the Waterway

Tacoma, we did it! We raised $50,159 at our first dinner gala, CACHET! Thank you to our supporters, volunteers, and on-stage talent for such a magical evening. We look forward to sharing the results of your investment over the coming months!

About this Event

In selecting a name for our spring fundraising event, we wanted something that could pair well with the existing NEON Art Party, something that helped reinforce our intentions to raise funds. For us, CACHET plays with three ideas:

  • The literal definition, which refers to a state of respect, prestige, and admiration. We’re pretty proud of Spaceworks and want to share our accomplishments to leaders and donors within the region! And more than just Spaceworks, we also want a night to elevate and celebrate the entire creative economy in Tacoma. The artists and entrepreneurs we work with are truly the tastemakers and changemakers of the city and have an outsized impact on our business and culture.
  • The reference to “cache” or to store and hide items away for future use. Our program participants are on a long and often arduous journey as creative entrepreneurs. Just like hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, it’s necessary to cache resources and care packages along the way. Our hope is that donations made to Spaceworks are viewed as investments that help people through some of the biggest career transitions of their lives. (Also, this fundraiser precedes a period in our fiscal year where we have fewer grants and service contracts. The infusion of capital helps keeps our programs going during the summer and early fall).
  • “Cache” as a homophone for “cash”. This is an event to raise dollars after all!

If you look at our mood board for the event, you’ll see our effort to add some glamor to grit, to make beauty out of the ordinary. Being an artist or launching a business requires hard work, courage, and imagination. Those who make the journey, or even bravely take the first steps, are deserving of our respect. They’ve earned a certain level of cachet by acting upon their dreams. We enjoyed sharing their stories with you.

The Program

6:30 – 7:30 Check-in & Happy Hour
•  Live music by: Taxi Driver
•  Incubator Alumni Showcase feat. Burns Violins, Tacoma Dance, Productivity Parlor, Black Garnet, ATMO Architecture, Jade & Co, Circle Up
•  Art Gallery feat. Blake Carter
•  Wine & Beer on the outdoor patio

7:30-9:00 Dinner & Main Program
•  Dinner by Picasso Catering: Choice of Salmon with fruit salsa, or Chicken with Pesto, or Veggie protein with pesto. Salad, garlic potatoes, roasted vegetables. Dessert provided by Art of Crunch (fruit bars/lemon bars)
•  Emcee: Michelle Matlock 
•  Keynote Speaker: Jacques Colon 
•  Program Director: Michael Liang 
•  Alumni Testimonial: Rebecca Solverson 
•  Auctioneer: Laura Michalek 
•  Auction packages include: Weekend trip to Palms Springs and Joshua Tree, Wayzgoose print w/steamroller ride, Weeklong resort stay in the Dominican Republic, 3D-printed speakers and wireless headphones, Boat tours, Luxury photoshoot, Family museum packages 
•  Raise the Paddle

Michelle Nicole Matlock is a professional American clown and former “struggling actress”, best known for playing the lead romantic role as the ladybug I OVO, a traveling production of Cirque du Soleil. She is a graduate of Spaceworks’ Business Planning Cohort and recently launched Circle Up, a live entertainment and performance education company.

Keynote Speaker 
Jacques Colon is the City of Tacoma’s strategic manager for “Tacoma 2025”, a community-informed strategic vision and framework for Tacoma’s future. He previously served as the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s health equity coordinator and has worked as a policy analyst and middle school science teacher.

Spaceworks Director
Michael Liang came to Spaceworks in 2018 after a ten-year career as a designer and creative leader with the National Park Service. He provides vision and support to the Spaceworks staff and clients, helping the organization grow and strengthen as a pillar of Tacoma’s creative community. Liang received a B.F.A. in art and design from the University of Michigan, a certificate in natural science illustration from the University of Washington, and is currently finishing his M.S.Ed. He is passionate about building community and tapping into the transformative power of the arts for social good.

Alumni Testimonial
After earning a BA from Bard College in New York, Rebecca returned to Tacoma for a job as the first Spaceworks staff member, and has since worked for the Washington State Arts Commission, and volunteered with many local non-profits and grassroots groups, including as a founding member of the Tacoma Tool Library. She currently works as the City of Tacoma’s Public Art Specialist, managing public art projects across the city.

Laura Michalek deploys humor and a piston-fast chatter to raise money for worthy causes. We’re excited to have her return for her fourth Spaceworks auction.

Investing in Spaceworks is an investment in the artists and creative entrepreneurs who transform Tacoma. They imagine futures that are not yet realized, and their dreams take courage, hard work, and community who supports them.

Couldn’t make it to CACHET? Consider making a tax deductible donation. Your financial support will allow us to train more entrepreneurs, provide more murals and windows and gallery shows, and continue to make Tacoma a great place for creatives to live and work.

Looking for NEON? It’s still happening! Since we’re focusing on fundraising at CACHET, we’ve reframed NEON as a community art party on Saturday, August 17, 7pm-11pm, at Normanna Hall.

Photos by Chris Gonzalez