Vacancy to Vitality

Originating from a desire to bring new energy to the Tacoma streetscape, Spaceworks Tacoma has made a dynamic impact on the community, both economically and culturally.

During our first few days of exploring a new region, we spend a lot of time asking questions of locals and business owners. Where should we go? What should we do? Who are the key players? The names that come up repeatedly are the people we tend to pursue. The name “Spaceworks” came up a handful of times, and we didn’t really know what it was.  

It wasn’t a restaurant or retail space; in fact, they didn’t really have one-to-one contact with travelers at all. Yet, people seemed to identify them with what F&C is trying to do. Once we discovered Spaceworks, it was clear why people had correlated us. They are a nonprofit that works to promote and educate startup businesses around Tacoma, and to increase the exposure of talented artists in the area.

Spaceworks has three primary objectives: to temporarily place artwork in storefronts or outdoor spaces—invigorating otherwise bleak or bare environments; to provide training and mentorship to emerging entrepreneurs, pairing them with storefronts or workspaces at an introductory rate; and to encourage diverse creative projects throughout Tacoma. They are funded through a combination of private and public contributions with a mission of revitalizing the city and augmenting economic growth.

Programs like Spaceworks are what give a community like Tacoma its charm and soul. The fact that it is thriving speaks to how community members and business leaders value innovation and creativity in this moment. From our experience (and through all manner of urban studies), it is clear that a thriving arts scene is an indicator of a well-rounded and prosperous community. Spaceworks is one of many contributors in Tacoma supporting artistic endeavors that are both commercially viable and nothing less than spiritually enriching.