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June 08, 2007

Richard Florida

Loving Tacoma, WA

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Tacoma, WA, one our first pilot Creative Class Communities, is easy to lov540biz0608_voelpel_p2highlightprod_e - it's in the heart of the northwest, right on the port, and its authenticity and beauty just envelope you. That said, members of the community have faced challenges meeting others, finding the cool things to do and making connections with others of similar mind and hearts. This is a real problem for creative communities; connections are key - they're the source of idea sparks and innovation. Enter Love Tacoma, one of our Creative Tacoma Catalyst teams building up the  creative ecosystem in the region.   

Love Tacoma is connecting people with each other and creative events and opportunities around town. In their own words:

Love Tacoma offers what you want to know about the hottest spots in our urban playground. From chill happy hours to next week's most anticipated show, you'll find what you need to be out on the town alongside people like you in Tacoma's urban crowd.

Never underestimate what an energetic group of people at a happy hour, dinner or glass blowing can do! Seriously.

The News Tribune ran a story today about Love Tacoma's history and upcoming event:

During a group dinner at Pacific Grill after Florida Day 1, the guinea pigs started talking about what they’d learned in their focus groups.

Young Tacoma professionals, they discovered, found their fun in Seattle. Worse, they used their early-career experience in Tacoma “as a springboard to get to Seattle,” said Theresa Bastian, operating partner of Keller Williams Realty in Tacoma and one of the Creative Cities participants.

Love Tacoma was born right there at the Pacific Grill dinner table. Stuart Young, principal at BCRA Design, Tacoma’s largest architectural firm, lamented his fast-growing company’s ability to recruit and keep talented young architects, project managers and designers.

“People want to go out in Tacoma,” Bastian said. “There are a lot of places to go. But we haven’t reached that critical mass where you can just walk in someplace and know it’s going to be fun.

“We thought, what if we told people, ‘This is the place to go tonight’ so when you go out, you’ll know you’re not the only one there?”

The name for the concept came easily.

Full Article Here

Check out their sites too:
Love Tacoma

Creative Tacoma

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Michael Wells

Tacoma suffers from Seattle the same way Oakland suffers from San Francisco. It would be the big city if it weren't next to the big city. Tacoma could take lessons from Oakland under Jerry Brown in establishing its own identity. Or from Ireland for that matter -- I remember an article saying that when Ireland stopped thinking of itself in comparison to Great Britain and thought of itself as part of Europe instead, the Irish miracle became possible.

Most of us in the Northwest think of Tacoma as the stretch of I-5 between Fort Lewis and SeaTac airport, that we drive through on the way to Seattle. The new city museum and glass artist/self promoter Dale Chihuly have given one reason to stop. Now as Love Tacoma says, it needs reasons to live there.

Tacoma Lover

An update to this story:
After launching the lovetacoma.com website June 1, we had 85 people sign up in one week to receive email alerts.

At our kickoff event last night at the Pacific Grill, well over 100 young professionals showed up to mix and mingle and to show their love for Tacoma. We feel it was a raging success and are looking forward to the next event June 26: The Swiss Kiss.

Here's a posting from a local blogger (exit133.com) who was at the kickoff party:

Love Tacoma - Follow Up
Love Tacoma’s official launch at Pacific Grill appears to have been a tremendous success. The place was packed. Proud Tacomans were everywhere. They filled the entire front dining area of Pacific Grill, went back through the bar, and spilled out into the dining room. Old friends. New friends. Hipsters. Suits. Most of them had the official Love Tacoma cocktail designed by the bar at Pacific Grill. It was amazing and we look forward to many more events this summer. Thank you to all the organizers. I had a great time this evening.

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