Lettuce 253 to bring community and art together in Tacoma

Giving local arts scene a zap of energy, new start-up Lettuce 253 introduces a series of live art making events to be hosted at Feast Arts Center beginning Friday, Jan. 27. The light bulb moment came to owner Monique Smith after she witnessed a friend compete in an event in Toronto, called Art Battle. Similar to being at a concert, Lettuce 253 events will buzz with activity showcasing the talent and the work of Tacoma creatives.

Filled with music and treats, Lettuce 253 events will offer the community a night to engage with artists and witness their process. The organization’s mission is to empower, inspire, and educate while promoting creative industries. “In university, I made installations from reclaimed materials and I loved going into the studios where other people were working on pieces,” remembers Smith. It was experiences like this that fueled her drive to turn an idea into a viable business.

To bring this idea to life, Smith applied and was accepted to Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise program and pitched a complete business plan in fall of 2016. “(They) helped me understand all the components it takes to create a business. It was well organized, had great speakers, and step by step instructions,” said Smith. “They set me up with mentors that helped direct me when I was at crossroads. It was also great being in a class with other small business owners, to get their perspectives.”

A program of Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Spaceworks provides training and support for artists and creative entrepreneurs helping startups achieve their potential.

Lettuce 253

Feast Arts Center

1402 S. 11th St.

Tacoma, WA 98405



Email: lettuce253@lettuce253.com 

Along with receiving business training and development framework at Spaceworks, Lettuce 253 took shape organically after many conversations, artist surveys, late nights, drafts of drafts, and help from community leaders. Smith garnered support from Jill Drllevich of Ravenstone Arts who came on as the non-profit fiscal sponsor, Andy Cox from Humdinger as the music sponsor, and Michael Rives from Artist and Craftsman Supply to donate easels and other supplies.

January’s Lettuce 253 event has a $20 cover charge ($15 dollars if you use #Lettuce253 in a Facebook or Instagram post) and will feature Hailey Shoemaker, Jason Holland, Grace Witherell, and Allison Stewart. To further support Lettuce 253 and the artists, the audience will be able to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win an easel or the artworks created at the event.

They seek applications from a culturally diverse group of artists in various media including crafters, graphic designers, wood carvers, poets and spoken word performers, acoustic musicians, and others.

“I want to give a respectful and supportive platform for people to create art live so that they can share their story, who they are, how they create, and what techniques they use,” commented Smith. “It’s a fun event that that promotes art, social justice, sustainability, and community in Tacoma.” To apply or learn more about the organization and upcoming events visit online:


Lettuce 253 will be hosted the last Friday of every month, January through May 2017, from 7-10 p.m. at Feast Arts Center. The after party will be hosted at the Peterson Bros. 1111 at 10:10 p.m.

– Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber / Spaceworks