Apply to Creative Enterprises

From left: Do the Extraordinary (Justin Kercher), The Tshirt Men Co. (Willie & David Combs), The Nearsighted Narwhal (Christina Armstrong & Ossain Avila Cardenas).

From left: Do the Extraordinary (Justin Kercher), The Tshirt Men Co. (Willie & David Combs), The Nearsighted Narwhal (Christina Armstrong & Ossain Avila Cardenas).

Spaceworks will be accepting Creative Enterprise applications in mid-October 2015.
 Please subscribe to our enewsletter to stay informed of the next deadline.
Please review the guidelines and checklist below to prepare for the next application.


Spaceworks seeks individuals or groups who have a plan for a long-term creative/innovative business (for-profit or non-profit) that benefits Tacoma’s community and are seeking resources to rent a space and develop a thriving business, in Tacoma.

Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise Program provides relevant and meaningful business training and peer-to-peer support to the participants to systematically grow Tacoma’s creative class and generate destination quality activity that will engage and transform our community.

Artists, designers, crafters, consultants, organizations, community groups and other fledgling creative entrepreneurs are provided a training ground to test new ideas, products and services with a safety net of technical assistance, mentorship and low-cost space for up to six months, dependent on space availability and project success.

Examples of possible Creative Enterprise uses:

  • Retail space for hand-made items (i.e. jewelry, fashion, art, etc.) – example: Do The Extraordinary
  • Services (i.e. art or dance classes, design advice, etc.) – example: Fabitat
  • Merchandising a creative product – example: Grit City Grindhouse
  • Art Galleries/Museums – example: Mod Curio
  • Creative home-based businesses testing their product in a retail environment – example: The T-shirt Men Company
  • Office space (individual or co-working) for creative business, for example: digital media company or photographer with a digital darkroom – example: Turtledust Media
  • Long-term artist studio space/sole proprietor artist – example: Nate Dybevik Piano & Co.

About the Spaces and Timeline

Spaceworks Tacoma is reliant on willing property owners to provide space and Spaceworks actively recruits space partners with viable locations for the proposed projects. Spaces vary in size and amenities; selected individuals/groups will be paired with an appropriate space for their proposal when the project is deemed ready. On average, most approved projects wait six to nine months before a space is identified for them.

Spaceworks reserves the right to pair selected individuals/groups with spaces at its discretion. Keep in mind that the available spaces can be raw and windows can be expected to have active “For Lease” signs, which cannot be moved. Participants will be required to provide all furniture and, in some cases, fixtures.

Selected participants in the Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise Program must agree to the following:

  • Enter into an agreement with Spaceworks Tacoma regarding the terms of use
  • Participate in Spaceworks’ 24-hour business training program
  • Present destination quality artwork and/or service activity
  • Create an enticing visual display for passersby
  • Participate in occasional Spaceworks events
  • Partner with Spaceworks to market and promote events and activities
  • Pay for utilities for your space.
  • Have/obtain a General Liability insurance policy.
  • Have/obtain the appropriate City of Tacoma and State of Washington business licenses and permits.
  • Be willing to relocate or give up the space if the property owner finds a permanent tenant within the negotiated timeframe
  • Leave the space in the same or better condition when you move out
  • Comply with all federal, state, and local laws

For those accepted into the Creative Enterprise Program, you can expect the following associated costs:

  • Program fee (sliding scale: $25 – $100 based on participant’s income level)
    Benefits include:

    • 24-hour small business training (classes start mid-January)
    • 6-month membership to the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
    • One consultation with a content expert of choice
    • Marketing through Spaceworks’ website, FB, IG, enews, print & online maps
    • Space – rent free for 3 to 6 months (Acceptance into the Spaceworks program is not a guarantee that you will be placed in a space. We can only place as many projects as we have available spaces.)
    • Simple vinyl signage for your store windows
    • A modest tenant improvement budget for health & safety issues and minor upgrades

Once you get a space:

  • Utilities ($50 – $200/mo depending on the space)
  • General liability insurance (~$50/mo depending on the space)
  • Damage deposit of $250 (refundable)
  • Space upgrades based on your preference and your budget

When you are ready to open for business:

  • City of Tacoma business license ($90/annually)
  • State of Washington business license ($19)

Selection Criteria
All applicants will be reviewed based on the following criteria. The review process is competitive and the panel will be looking for a diversity of offerings.

  • Quality of product or service or artwork as exhibited in the work sample
  • Feasibility of the business
  • Ability to execute proposal
  • Ingenuity and strength of concept/proposal
  • Benefit to the community and appropriateness for the public realm
  • Readiness of the business to be placed in a space
  • Potential that the business will stabilize
  • Ability to create a destination-quality business or to engage the community including passers-by (if applicable)

Selection Process
Creative Enterprise applications are reviewed by a panel including Spaceworks’ Steering Committee members and Spaceworks’ Alumni.



  • 6 digital images that demonstrate the applicant’s past work and/or products and/or services you would provide/produce in a space.
    File Format: Submit only “High” quality JPEG files (do not use GIF, TIFF, or other formats.) Do not embed the images into PowerPoint or submit moving image or audio files.
    Image Size: Images must be 72 ppi resolution and 1000 pixels max on the largest side.
    File Size: Files must be less than 2 MB each
    File Labeling: Files must be titled with the applicant’s name followed by a number indicating the viewing order. Use a “0” in front of single digit numbers and use only letters, numbers, and underscores. For example: Smith_01.jpg; Smith_02.jpg. If using Mac OS 8 or later, be sure to include a “.jpg” extension at the end of each image title.
    File Upload: In the application, please upload your images in the order to be viewed.
  • AND/OR up to three Online Videos of the applicant’s past public interactions
    o Please provide the exact web address(es) where the online videos can be viewed. The panel will view a minimum of 1 minute and a maximum of 3 minutes of each video.

Provide the following information on the online application form for each image:

  •  Title of each work represented in the image or activity depicted
  • Media & dimensions (H x W x D”), if applicable, or description of activity
  • If work is presented as part of a collaboration, explain your role in the larger project

RESUME (three pages or less)

  • If submitting as a team/group, a current resume should be submitted for the contact person and all relevant team/group members
  • Save as pdf. File should be 1 MB or less.
  • Name your resume file with your last name like this: “Smith_ Resume.pdf”

BUDGET (one page or less)
Please outline a projected 12-month budget, including income and expenses, for the launch of your creative enterprise. Essentially, let us know what resources you need to start your business and where you expect revenue to come from. Please use our sample budget or contact staff if you would like to use our sample budget in Excel. If you are new to budgets, check out this budget example.

  • Save as pdf. File should be 1 MB or less.
  • Name your resume file with your last name like this: “Smith_ Budget.pdf”

Please submit any supplemental materials that can help describe your project, including your business plan, marketing materials, press release, etc. Submit pdf documents (3 MB max.)

We are looking for a clear idea of your project and your ability to successfully implement it. Be as concise as possible. The review panel will not read more than the designated word count for each question. You may answer in narrative, bulleted or other form.

  1. Creative Enterprise Title: What is the name, or title, of your proposed enterprise?
  2. Creative Enterprise Description: Explain your enterprise. (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  3. History: Tell us about your background or the background of your group or organization. Please describe, in detail, a successful project that you or your group has completed. (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  4. Organizational Impact: Why are you/your group in a good place to take advantage of the Creative Enterprise Program? (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  5. Timeline: Please describe a general timeline for your project from planning to implementation. What are the steps that you’ll need to take in order to realize your vision and when will they occur? (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  6. Goals: What are your goals 3 months after moving into a space? What are your goals 6 months after moving into a space? How will you achieve those goals? (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  7. Space: Describe your ideal space requirements.  What would a space allow you to do that you can’t already do? In other words, why do you need a space, and how will it help further your artistic or professional life?  If you would be willing to share a space with the right group, please let us know here as well. (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  8. Space: How many square feet would be ideal? How much rent do you think your project could realistically afford after 6 months?
  9. Space: How would you use a space? Feel free to include a calendar showing a typical week or month’s worth of programming or activity (don’t forget to include open hours, special events, open houses, 3rd Thursdays, regular hours of administrative or studio time). This is just so we can get an idea of how active the space will be, and how you’ll actually be using it. (200 words or less, a sample calendar can be submitted as a separate attachment) (200 words or less/1200 characters or less)
  10. Community Benefit: How would your project benefit the Tacoma community? What would the public see and experience? If you have specific ideas about outreach, marketing, special events, etc. related to your project, include those here. (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  11. Collaboration: Will you collaborate with other artists, businesses, or community groups?  If so, please name these groups, and explain the collaboration. (200 words/1200 characters or less)
  12. Other Support: Are you currently receiving support from other supporters or funders, for example: The City of Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Artist Trust, MDC, SCORE, etc? If so, please describe your relationship or what support you are receiving (grants, technical assistance, membership, etc.)

Please prepare all your materials prior to starting the online application because you can not save your application.

Questions? Contact Spaceworks Manager Heather Joy at 253.682.1722 or


2 Responses to “Apply to Creative Enterprises”


  1. Applications Now Available! | Spaceworks Tacoma - May 7, 2013

    […] Apply to Creative Enterprises […]

  2. Creative Enterprise in Tacoma | Spaceworks Tacoma - June 5, 2013

    […] Apply to Creative Enterprises […]

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