Celebrate, Learn and Connect at Alma Mater

The green velvet furniture is heavenly. (With brass handles!) Every angle is photo worthy. Marble meets wood meets mid-century meets when-can-I-move-in. Delectable cocktails are crafted with experienced hands. (Try the House Old Fashioned or warm up with Gold Dust Woman’s brown butter washed bourbon, Belgian Candi syrup and cherry bark vanilla bitters.) Luscious banana-leaf wrapped salmon. Octopus tentacles cooked to perfection with chickpea ragout that has never tasted so good. Grandma would be so proud of Matriarch Lounge.  

People stream through the doors heading for Tacoma Night Market, a popular evening gathering of makers, artists and creators. (Think Farmers Market, but replace fresh produce and flowers with beautiful hand-painted glass vases, mandala art and succulents in llama planters.) 

Earlier in the day, across the expansive foyer housing unique displays by local artists, Honey Coffee + Kitchen bustled with meetings, conversations, pork verde huevos rancheros (or jackfruit verde for the veggies!), powdered sugar floating off Monte Cristos, the espresso and tea elevating guests. 

And this is just the beginning. Really. Fawcett Hall, a performance venue and event space hosts must-see musicians and experiences. Mothership recording studio beckons from the second floor. Or maybe it’s the buzz from The Hive Cowork space. An expansive outdoor patio comes alive in good weather. 

Alma Mater is “a space to celebrate, nurture and evolve with the Tacoma community through food, performance, work, education and social exchange.” Founders, artists and co-directors Jason Hemlinger, Aaron Spiro and Rachel Ervin have been called “ridiculously ambitious” And, their dream is flourishing. 

“Our ‘why’ is connection,” shared Jason. “Our society needs connection if we are going to survive… Alma Mater is a place to connect. Connect with our senses. Connect with our neighbors. Connect with our civic leaders. Connect with self. Connect with the whole.” 

“We believe art is a tool for connection, and when executed with intent and generosity, can bridge many of the chasms we face as a society. Alma Mater re-imagines what an arts center and cultural institution could be, redefining itself as a hub for social, economic and cultural exchange.” 

This is where ‘community’ becomes a verb.  EMILY HAPPY

For more information:

Alma Mater 

Honey Coffee + Kitchen, Matriarch Lounge, Mothership Studios, Hive Coworking Space

1322 South Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma, WA, 98402

(253) 507-7289 www.almamatertacoma.com




Giving Back in the 253

In any community, a sense of “community” is built on the connections made through unique groups of people that support one another. When I moved to Tacoma five years ago, I was wanting to know my neighbors, to feel that my community supported one another, and to find ways to give back. Quickly, I learned that the 253 has an abundance of opportunities for giving of time or financial resources. I encourage you to join me in this building of community.

If you are looking to give time, the South Sound region is filled with organizations that would love to have you as a volunteer. You can choose to focus on a wide range of interests: recreation, arts, social justice, health and education, to name a few. If you are passionate about education and the development of younger generations, a good place to start is in our schools. Outside of the schools, nonprofits often look for volunteers to do administrative tasks or provide program support.

Two good ways to find out about service opportunities are to join the Volunteers group on Facebook or visit the nonprofit websites listed on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation page.

When you feel your roots settling into the 253 and your heart is called to give back, but your time is limited, a monetary gift can provide hope and resources throughout the South Sound. “Philanthropy” is often misperceived as giving big financial gifts, but a gift of $20 a month goes a long way in creating a sustainable community. For Emergency Food Network, for example, every dollar you donate provides $12 worth of nutritious food for our neighbors in need. Philanthropy in any amount promotes the welfare of others. Your generous gift could change lives.

To find local organizations that qualify for tax-exempt giving, visit the nonprofit listing on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation page.

gtcf.org/community/directory

facebook.com/greatertacoma

Whole Trade Roses for Valentine’s Day

 

Give Back with Whole Trade Roses for Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, roses make their big appearance. Did you know you could give roses to a loved one and give back to farmworkers? At Whole Foods Market, this is what happens when shoppers choose Whole Trade® flowers as Whole Trade® growers work with Rainforest AllianceFair Trade USA and other third-party organizations to verify that farms meet occupational health and safety requirements, provide legal minimum wage and respect human rights. They also monitor farms to make sure they meet clear criteria for environmental responsibility — including restricting pesticide use.

Whole Foods Market takes it one step further to strengthen and empower farmworker communities, by paying a “community development premium” for each case of Whole Trade® flowers. These funds flow to farmworker committees who identify local needs and allocate funds to community projects such as health clinics, scholarships, schools and housing.

Lucia, a rose farmworker from Ecuador, shares her experience with Whole Trade: “I used to spend my free time doing laundry for my family in the rivers with very cold water. I had very little free time. Now thanks to the washers and dryers project from the sales of Whole Trade Roses, I can bring my laundry to work during working hours and take care of washing and drying my clothes for me and my family.”

Regardless if you purchase a single rose, or our best value, the double dozen, you bring beauty to your own community, as well as your global community. In the Victorian era flowers were used to express feelings that otherwise could not be spoken. Today flower colors continue to be coupled with specific emotions and wishes. This Valentine’s Day, let the color of the roses you choose mimic your feelings, including:

  • RED—true love, passion and respect
  • DARK RED—beauty, perfection and adoration
  • PINK—romance and admiration
  • DEEP PINK—appreciation, gratitude and sincerity
  • LIGHT PINK—sweetness and gentleness
  • ORANGE—desire, passion and excitement
  • WHITE—spiritual love, purity and new beginnings
  • YELLOW—warmth, joy and friendship
  • LAVENDER—love at first sight

Whole Foods Market Chambers Bay is located at 3515 Bridgeport Way W in University Place, WA. The store is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sales, coupons, events and more are available at wfm.com/chambersbay. By Olivia Yates O’Donnell, Marketing and Community Relations Liaison