Last month we held an info session for those curious about working with us when we are officially open. To be sure, our project takes a while to explain. It has a lot of moving parts. We are (or will be, when we open) a restaurant and a bar, a music venue and an apprenticeship program. We are messy space and beautiful space and a space to be entertained and a space to work. And it’s easy to lose focus in the planning of those details that our whole purpose for existence—the force behind our drive—is to carve out a permanent space for artists in our city.
We know, and you know, that this is a critical time to dig our heels in and stake our claim for the creative working class. Things are changing quickly, and our cityscape is shifting. And while we don’t have all of the answers, we do (and will) have space, time, and support to offer.
Part of that support comes in the form of sponsorship and collaboration. This summer, Alma Mater will be working with The Rainbow Center as a producing partner of the Tacoma Pride Festival, where we’ve teamed up with Groundswell Arts Collective to produce a three-part event celebrating the Northwest’s burgeoning ball and vogue scene and culminating in Tacoma’s first-ever all-style vogue competition called Ball Out! It will be radical, gender fluid, and fabulous. We’ve chosen to partner with Groundswell because of the important work they’re doing in their community: centering the needs and identities of the oppressed and bringing together artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders by creating radical spaces and events to gather and connect. You can read more about their mission here.
We also have collaborations on the horizon with our friends over at Feast Arts Center. We’re big fans of the talented Todd Jannausch and Chandler Woodfin, and think that the work they’re doing is filling a great need in Tacoma’s art scene, so we’re excited to reveal more as we finalize those details.
We’ve been up to some other things, too—like testing our future menumonthly with new and old friends, crashing through giant sections of our building, and recording the latest Motopony album in our studio (they’re also gearing up for several shows soon, including at next week’s Upstream Music Fest, so be sure and check them out—they’ll probably play you something new).
Photo courtesy of Motopony
Even though we’re under construction, our work outside of the building just doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And we’re looking for more: more partnerships and collaborations, more ways to support the work of artists in our city. If you have an idea or project that you’re looking to pull off, or are interested in our space to work in or hold your show/project/experience in when we’re open later this fall, shoot us an email.
Until then, we’ll be over here at the Carpenters Building, chipping away.