Community Engagement

Community Engagement at Tacoma Arts Live means a lot of different things – programming and partnerships as diverse as our neighborhood. We aren’t just a presenting organization; we leverage the power of the arts as a catalyst for collective impact, informed by the priorities that the community has named for itself. We’re activating Tacoma Armory through innovative programs like Accelerating Creative Enterprise (ACE), our small business incubator. We’re collaborating with community partners and neighborhoods to realize their artistic visions.

Learn more about Tacoma Arts Live’s commitment to DEIA

Accelerating Creative Enterprise (ACE)

ACE cohort group imageRooted in our commitment to the community, Tacoma Arts Live is pleased to announce its new small business incubator, Accelerating Creative Enterprise (ACE). The ACE program incubates and supports emerging BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and women entrepreneurs, and is administered in partnership with the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County with funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce.

We believe community engagement starts with the community. We are not just a presenting organization – we leverage the power of the arts as a catalyst for collective impact. The ACE program aims to transform the Armory into a hub for arts, culture, and community while elevating community-led micro enterprise by supporting working creative professionals, owners of small businesses, and nonprofit visionaries. Along the way, we hope to contribute to the economic vibrancy of the Hilltop and its residents.

ACE supports BIPOC-owned/led and women-owned/led creative enterprise with:

  • Rent-free office and conference space at the historic Tacoma Armory
  • Professional development workshops for small businesses, emerging nonprofits, and creative professionals
  • Event sponsorship to help you turn your vision into a major event at the Armory or beyond

The initial phase of the project ran through June 1, 2023 and included:

  • The first cohort of ACE Partners, 30 BIPOC-led/women-led small businesses and/or emerging nonprofits.
  • ACE Partners activated their endeavors with access to rent-free office space and conference rooms (see specs below).
  • The team from Interior Gains Strategy Consulting Firm provided 1-on-1 needs assessments, customized workshops, and practical coaching from the team.
  • Three incredible events sponsored through the ACE Program:


Welcome to ACE – Accelerating Creative Enterprise! 

Tacoma Arts Live’s ACE initiative supports the growth of BIPOC/women entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural economy 

Applying to participate is easy and quick.

ACE provides three areas of service to participants. You can participate in all three or choose any combination: 

1.) Rent-free shared office and meeting space at the historic Tacoma Armory 

2.) Workshops and professional development supporting small business, emergent nonprofits and creative professionals (actors, musicians, producers, dancers, literary artists, visual artists, etc.) 

3.) Event sponsorship for grassroots organizations and individuals to co-produce events at the Armory and other locations.  

(Additional application process) 

If you are interested in participating, please take a moment to answer the following questions and a member of the team will reach out to help you complete the process! 

ACE office spaceACE Office Space and Conference Rooms at Tacoma Armory:

  • Wi-Fi, Printing Station, Lockers
  • The Fishbowl
  • 4 Co-working rooms with adjustable desks and chairs
  • 2 Conference Rooms: the Riley and the Alberta
  • Multipurpose room, the Nettie, for conference or rehearsal
  • Art Room – 2 drafting tables, 2 worktables, light boxes
  • OWL cameras, flat screen TVs, multiple hook ups
  • A kitchen and dining area and a small kitchenette

Have questions, want to learn more, or just want to chat about details?

Antonio Gómez,
Director of Community Engagement & Extended Learning

Direct 253.495.3604
Admin 253.346.1723

BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from San Francisco State University

  • Founder/Owner of The Speak Through, an Energetic + Business Consulting Firm focused on the wholistic approach to mind, body, spiritual, and business wellness.
  • Specializing in foundational components of starting/growing a business or project; business plans, investor packets, sponsorship decks, internal operations, mindset coaching, energetic strategy, and financial planning
    • Specializing in food service management; permitting, bar flow + design, operations + logistics, menu development, financial planning, staff training and development, and events
    • Specializing in Education and Integration through learning material, courses, workshops, and Executive retreats
    • Training and Education Specialist with a focus in the Coffee Industry
  • Operations Specialists, with a focus on companywide structure
  • Logistical and Energetic Strategist, with a focus on internal operations in relation to external outcomes
  • Reiki Practitioner and Intuitive Healer

As the ACE Program Coordinator my focus is on connecting all the dots between partners, coaches, facilitators, and staff; coordinating the day-to-day operations of the program, providing supplemental coaching and support to the ACE partners, as well as helping to execute and meet all deliverables of the grant.

This project is presented in partnership with:

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