Deadline Approaching to Apply to Creative Enterprise Tier I – Spaceworks Answers FAQ

26 Jun

CE Fall 2017 banner

Start your own creative business with the tools, training, and support that Spaceworks Tacoma can bring to your idea. Since 2010 Spaceworks has helped over 100 entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.

One of the programs Spaceworks offers, called Creative Enterprise Tier I, helps individuals or teams to develop business plans for for-profit or non-profit businesses and organizations with focus on creative or innovative approaches.

As the application deadline nears, we would like to answer some common questions about the program:

How does the program prepare me to build a better business?

Creative Enterprise Tier I consists of 14 classes that include market research, legal issues, accounting and financials, visual merchandising, branding and marketing, and more. The participants are partnered with coaches to strategically build their individual business plans.

At the end of the program each business pitches their plan to a panel of experts at Fish Tank, to receive feedback and get a first chance to publicly present their brilliant ideas.

Is this only for startups?

No, this program is designed to help you build a strong business plan no matter how long you’ve been in business. Some of the participants have been in business for several years, and some of them are just starting. What’s most important is that you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and we’ll help you develop it further.

Is there a cost to participate?

After being accepted to the program, participants pay a program fee on a sliding scale of $50-200 determined based on household income of the main applicant. The fee is charged per business application, not per individual comprising the team. There is no application fee.

Do I need to look for physical space in order to participate?

Creative Enterprise Tier I helps you to develop the business plan that works for your creative needs and the needs of your customer base. Many of our participants sell through online marketplaces, farmer’s markets or community events, or develop wholesale contracts. Some participants find commercial spaces to lease on their own and learn more about the ins and outs of the process in our classes and with coaches. You will develop the strongest plan to suit your business while in our training program.

Does Spaceworks provide spaces to businesses in the Creative Enterprise Tier I program?

No. Spaceworks helps entrepreneurs to identify the right space for their businesses and consults on lease negotiations. Spaceworks works with property owners of vacant buildings who are looking to activate their spaces. Not all available spaces are the right match for our clients and many of our clients find spaces on their own.

What other resources are available to small businesses and entrepreneurs in addition to the Spaceworks program?

We encourage you to use as many resources and programs as you think will benefit you and your business. There are great resources for entrepreneurs available in Tacoma and Washington State, you can see our list on the resources page.

What if my business is only an idea and I don’t have any photos to submit with my application?

That is not a problem. We love seeing your creative ideas, even if they haven’t been implemented yet. Our Creative Enterprise Tier I program can help turn your ideas and dreams into a sustainable business plan. You can submit mockups, sketches, relevant past experiences and inspiration images. Anything that helps to clearly communicate your vision to the selection panel.

What kind of businesses have been accepted to the Creative Enterprise program?

Examples of creative enterprises:

For a full list of past participants please see our Creative Enterprise page.

We have created an application checklist for you to print out and get organized. The Application Deadline is June 29th, at 9am in the morning.

Apply to Creative Enterprise

Checklist to Apply to CE Tier I

Creative Enterprise Applications

NEON 2017 Recap

16 Jun

Check out the highlights of NEON 2017 in this video by Kris Crews

The evening of June 10, 2017, was alight with hundreds of glowing smiles and sparkling personalities that came out to fund the programs for creative entrepreneurs, artists, and makers in Tacoma. NEON 2017 was the second year that Spaceworks held it’s major public fundraiser to offer Tacoma community an invitation to come together under one banner, building a brighter Tacoma.

Spaceworks is grateful to the immense support it received this year. Over 120 volunteers have contributed 685 hours of work. About 350 guests attended the event to raise $50,000 that will directly go to fund programs like Creative Enterprise which supports the growth of small business, as well as Artscapes, which pays artists to install publicly viewable art around Tacoma.

Spaceworks Tacoma NEON Annual Fundraiser 2017

Spaceworks offers artist studio spaces at 1120 Creative House. Less than a year ago they launched the Spaceworks Gallery, which presents 6 contemporary art feature exhibitions a year with artists like Asia Tail who curated “Protect the Sacred” exhibition in January 2017 and donated one of her paintings to the auction.

Spaceworks Tacoma NEON Annual Fundraiser 2017

Continue reading

Deadline Approaching to Apply to Creative Enterprise Tier I

14 Jun

Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise invites talented individuals from Tacoma with fresh ideas for products and services such as designers, crafters, consultants, organizations, community groups (non-profit or for-profit) and others to apply to the program to build sustainable, profitable businesses.

Deadline is approaching for the next round of applications for Fall 2017 cohort of the training program, called Creative Enterprise Tier I. The deadline is June 29th, 9am, to apply, visit our guidelines and application page.

Twelve participants will be selected to receive not only training, but also individualized coaching and mentoring. They also become a part of the entrepreneurial support network and gain additional visibility through Spaceworks promotions. Find out more at our upcoming Info Session with program coordinator Gwen Kohl:

Creative Enterprise Info Session
Thursday, June 22, 2017

5:00-6:30 PM
Asia Pacific Cultural Center
4851 South Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98409

This training program consists of 14 classes that include topics like market research, legal issues, accounting and financials, visual merchandising, branding and marketing and more.

The participants are partnered with coaches to strategically build their individual business plans. At the end of the program, each business pitches their plan to a panel of experts at Fish Tank, to receive feedback and get a first chance to publicly present their brilliant ideas. Continue reading

Uplift Yoga & Healing Arts Studio Offers Innovative Fitness

7 Jun

uplift 3

After discovering a special form of aerial yoga, healing practitioner and entrepreneur Anna Noel let her vision take flight. She opened Uplift Yoga & Healing Arts Studio where students practice yoga in a very unusual way, by defying gravity in a silk hammock.

Uplift Yoga is a full-service yoga studio and healing arts center located in downtown Tacoma, specializing in AntiGravity® Aerial Yoga. This type of yoga uses a specialty silk apparatus to support the body and allowing for greater range of movement and freedom.

The studio also offers a variety of new and unique forms of yoga like Acro Yoga, Wheel Flow Yoga, and Glow Flow Yoga to name a few. In the near future Anna plans on selling apparel, jewelry, essential oils, and other holistic products.

Anna discovered the health and fun benefits of AntiGravity® Aerial Yoga in the spring of 2014, and immediately became hooked. Soon after she was teaching weekly classes at Seattle’s first aerial yoga studio.

After moving to Tacoma, Anna rented a space in another yoga studio for two years. Finally she decided to expand the business and move into her own studio space. Although she had many years of experience as a yoga instructor she knew that she needed more tools before she could take the leap. That’s why she applied and got accepted to Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise Tier I program in the spring of 2017.

Uplift Yoga & Healing Arts Studio

Anna Noel demonstrates using silk hammock for aerial yoga which she teaches at her business Uplift Yoga 7&Healing Arts Studio.

“I really didn’t know much about how to run a successful business before entering the program, except for what I’ve had to learn on my own the hard way over the past two years,” Anna said. “Now I feel a lot more confident knowing the ins and outs, and technicalities of running a business like, for example, which business structure would work best for me, how to keep track of my financials more easily, as well as knowing which questions to ask when looking at commercial spaces to rent.”

With constant support, advice, and business coaching she began to look for studio spaces on her own while writing a new business plan. “I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge over the course of the Creative Enterprise program, and am very grateful to all the Spaceworks staff and guest speakers that have made presentations throughout the course of the program. I now feel much more confident in being able to open & run my own studio compared to when I started this process.”

Uplift Yoga & Healing Arts Studio opened up in May of 2017 at 1127 Broadway in a commercial space that hasn’t been occupied for over 10 years. After the completion of renovations Anna added aerial yoga equipment and prepared rooms for additional services.

In addition to yoga classes, the new studio space will also have two treatment rooms, offering services like Sound Healing and Thai Yoga Therapy, and allowing for a broader booking schedule. The students will also be able to shop for athletic gear from one of Anna’s favorite companies, Inner Fire, an eco-conscious and highly respected company based in Vancouver, BC. “I want to be able to fully stand behind the products we are selling and give our students access to some of the finest in yoga apparel out there,” says Anna.

Building on her existing student base, Anna plans to expand classes schedule, draw in more students, and continue building relationships with surrounding businesses. For example this summer Uplift Yoga plans to partner with Dunagan Brewing Company, a neighboring business downstairs of her studio, to offer unique Boga events where participants will enjoy locally brewed beer and yoga.

Another addition this summer will be teaching Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga, potentially partnering with a SUP place out in Gig Harbor. SUP Yoga is another very new, exciting, and challenging form of yoga that has been gaining in popularity over the last few years.

To sign up for classes and learn more visit their website, as well as Facebook page for the most up-to-date info and announcements.

Uplift Yoga & Healing Arts Studio

1127 Broadway,
Tacoma, WA 98402

Anna Noel of Uplift Yoga was accepted into Spaceworks Tacoma in January 2017, then participated in the Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise Training program and during this time was able to identify a space and sign a lease on her own. Spaceworks is proud to support creative entrepreneurs like Uplift Yoga as they launch exciting new businesses in Tacoma.

NEON Spotlight: Laura Michalek, Auctioneer

6 Jun

Celebrity auctioneer Laura Michalek deploys humor and a piston-fast chatter to raise money for worthy causes. See her drop the gavel at the Spaceworks NEON auction this Saturday, June 10 (info at!


Talking a mile a minute: Laura Michalek. Courtesy photo

By Lisa Kinoshita

In the fascinating world of auctioneering, Laura Michalek is a standout for her spitfire patter, her skill at moving the energy of a crowd, and her generous work for charity. She is an antiques expert, the former owner of a clutch of beloved Seattle vintage shops, and a style icon who has been showcased in Seattle Magazine. Oh, and she also won the Chicago Marathon at age 15. It’s no wonder one admirer calls the Tacoma-based auctioneer “the perfect blend of heart and a calculated money machine.” Michalek responded to a recent Spaceworks Q&A via seven rapid-fire voicemails sent while on a roadtrip in eastern Washington. Fueled by “a strawberry brioche and a banana and an iced latte from Colville Patisserie, in Walla Walla,” she gave us a glimpse into her busy world. (Spaceworks has edited the chat for length and clarity). Continue reading

Come to NEON to Build a Brighter Tacoma

2 Jun

spaceworks neon 2016 PR

On June 10th, 2017, Spaceworks will be hosting its annual fundraiser NEON, offering an opportunity to dress up, and enjoy a party of colors and creativity. Live art and entertainment will fill the evening at Tin Can Alley while attendees win local art and small business experiences in auctions, raffles, and games.

Spaceworks Tacoma invites you to

NEON: Spaceworks Annual Fundraiser
June 10th, 2017, 6PM (5PM – VIP Happy Hour)

Tickets: $40 general admission or $125 VIP (couples’ discount available)
Please join us in Creative Cocktail Attire pinterest icon


Tin Can Alley
2620 E G St, Tacoma, WA 98421
Event Contact: Kate Monthy 253.682.1741 x102

“Spaceworks is an innovative program that is helping to build up the creative and entrepreneurial landscape in our city,” says program manager Heather Joy. The program began in 2010 as a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. She says that people still rave about last year’s event and that this year’s NEON will be even better.

Related Post: Why Neon? by Lisa Fruichantie

Spaceworks Neon 2016 1

Naomi and JP Strom-Avila enjoy the live auction under the neon lights made by Galen Turner at NEON 2016. Photo by Scott Haydon.

“This year NEON will be stepped up a notch in terms of performance,” says Joy. “For example, we booked a local band The Happy Sinners for VIP Happy Hour entertainment. But we also have a fun surprise in store. Our mystery musical guests will be a crowd favorite for sure as well as the drag queens selling raffle tickets!” Continue reading

Galen Turner’s NEON Artscape Installation

31 May

Galen Turner NEON Artscape2017_16In preparation for Spaceworks’ 2nd annual fundraiser NEON, artist Galen Turner installed a flashy, tongue-in-cheek Artscape in one of the Woolworth Windows. He used traditional, mechanical relays to make the neon lights glow in various patterns. You can observe the relay gears animating the signs by opening and closing electrical circuits creating a dazzling, flickering artwork.

Galen also made some original signs commissioned by Spaceworks specifically for this year’s NEON fundraiser. You can have your chance at winning them in the auction on June 10th, 2017. Buy your tickets now at

The neon signs are much more impressive in person. Visit this Artscape while you can in downtown Tacoma, on Broadway and 11th street.

Check out Galen’s installation process below in photos taken by Kris Crews. Continue reading

Calling Tacoma Artists for the 2017 Tacoma Studio Tour

19 May

Artists, let us see how you work your magic. Sign up for Tacoma Arts Month studio tour and increase your visibility.

Tacoma Arts

Katie Dean gives a printmaking demonstration during the Tacoma Studio Tour

Tacoma Studio Tour
October 14 & 15, 2017, 11 am – 5 pm

Are you a professional artist that lives in Tacoma and/or has a working studio in Tacoma? Do you want to open your studio to the public, demonstrate how you make your work, host a hands-on activity, and help raise the visibility of the arts in Tacoma? Apply to participate in our 16th annual Tacoma Studio Tour!

Visitors to Liz Pulos’ studio try a weaving project.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking professional artists who are willing to open their studios to the public for the Tacoma Studio Tour, one of the features of Tacoma Arts Month this October. The emphasis of this tour is on raising visibility of the arts and providing artistic opportunities for the community to connect to the arts. We encourage artists…

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ARTIST MYTHOS 2017 Art and Music Concert Series

18 May

ARTIST MYTHOS art music series

Featured artist Jeremy Gregory will be showcasing “The Believables” and paintings at three neighboring Hilltop Tacoma locations! The art events will be accompanied by a music concert series and features 20+ local visual artists!


Art and Music Concert Series



MAY 18th 
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Opening Night, Group Show
Jeremy Gregory Puppet Vault with “The Believables”
MUSIC at 8:00 pm:
Damian Fatale EP_1 Record Release Show
All Saint’s Day
Gallery Opens at 6pm, Music at 8
Suggested Donation $8

MAY 19th 
Doors open at 6:00 pm
FEAST ARTS CENTER (1402 S 11th St):
Outdoor Event, Live Mural Painting
Robert Lane, qin Tan
Jeremy Gregory Mural Unveiling
Fed by Ravens
Gender Wizard
Video performance by Kris Crews
Donations Welcome Continue reading

May 18th Tacoma Art Walk – Spaceworks Highlights

17 May


Spaceworks Gallery is hosting an exhibition by clay animator Bruce Bickford

Art of Bruce Bickford


May 18th, 6-9pm

Spaceworks Gallery
950 Pacific Ave Suite 205, Tacoma, WA
(Entrance on 11th street)


Artist will be present
Light food and beverage
Event on Facebook

SWgallery“In 1964, Bruce got his first 8-m m movie camera and started combining his passion for clay with a stop motion animation technique called clay animation. What started out as simple, almost crude films would soon develop into projects characterized by an almost obsessive attention to detail paired with surreal stream of consciousness stories. It is this combination that makes his work both so unique and so incompatible with mainstream culture…” continue reading on the Spaceworks Blog

art of alchemy

A showcase of works by students, skaters, & supporters of Alchemy


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