Ashley HomeStore Opens at the Outlet Collection

The Outlet Collection | Seattle welcomes Ashley Homestore as the newest addition to the town center’s diverse selection of options for guests. Built on the values of hard work, family and affordable styles, Ashley has grown from the humble roots of a small Wisconsin town into the #1 furniture and mattress retailer in the U.S. Ashley Homestore, a local retailer offering furniture, mattresses and other home goods, will opened on October 1st near FieldhouseUSA.

“Our guests are always changing and evolving, and at The Outlet Collection | Seattle, we want to be able to offer them today’s top trends and shopping destinations,” said Christian Faltenberger, General Manager. “We are looking forward to welcoming guests to Ashley Homestore, while keeping the health of shoppers our top priority and providing the safest experience possible.”

The Outlet Collection | Seattle’s newest retailer, Ashley Homestore, will enhance the town center’s variety of notable retail locations to offer guests the most dynamic shopping experience. This is just one example of The Outlet Collection | Seattle’s ongoing commitment to creating a true town center where community members can safely shop, dine, and connect.  

For additional information on The Outlet Collection | Seattle please visit

About The Outlet Collection | Seattle®

The Outlet Collection | Seattle® is one of the premier outlet shopping destinations in the Seattle/Tacoma area. It is the largest outlet mall in the Pacific Northwest and draws shoppers from as far as Canada. The outlet center is home to more than 120 national and local retail, dining and entertainment options, as well as numerous events and activities throughout the year. A dynamic offering of things to do along with things to buy keeps guests engaged and returning often. The Outlet Collection | Seattle® is open seven days a week; Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information, please call (253) 833-9500 or visit Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @OutletSeattle and Instagram @OutletSeattle.

Lacey MakerSpace Awarded $1M Grant

Lacey MakerSpace will receive a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, thanks, in part, to support from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. 

In partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council Center for Business & Innovation (CB&I), the City of Lacey, and Saint Martin’s University, LMS operates as an innovation lab for small business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs in Thurston County and the greater Southern Washington region. 

“Most of the federal grant funds are earmarked to purchase advanced fabrication equipment and software and to develop skills-based training programs in high demand by industries in the region,” said Michelle Pope, LMS’s director. 

Grant funds will be dispersed over three years. Much of the larger fabrication equipment will be purchased later in 2022 as the space needs upgrades in utilities and size.

“This $1 million grant will help spur innovation and support small businesses in South Puget Sound. The Lacey MakerSpace aims to build a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem that provides local artists, and small businesses access to highly technical fabrication tools and educational resources,” said Cantwell (D-WA), who wrote a letter in August 2020 in support of Lacey MakerSpace’s grant application. “This grant will allow the Lacey MakerSpace to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to continue providing workforce training to help workers and small business owners gain the skills they need to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“The pandemic showed just how overdue investments in our workers and local economies are, which is why I am so glad to see this critical funding go to innovative training programs in Western Washington that will promote job growth, get people back to work, and ensure that we have an economy that works for everyone,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Building back stronger and fairer means prioritizing local workforce development – and I’m going to keep working to secure investments like this one in Washington state’s workers and businesses.”

“We want to build back better and do it inclusively. It’s why we must invest in workers and families right here in Washington State,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10). “Thanks to the work of the US Department of Commerce and the Thurston Economic Development Council, this injection of federal dollars for Lacey MakerSpace will have a meaningful impact on our growing and diverse community to create jobs, support innovation, and expand the base of our economy.”

“We expect to keep growing on two tracks. The first is supporting community members, budding artists, future makers and innovators in learning new skills and the other helping to attract more industry to the region by creating a pool of skilled workers receiving up-to-date training on modern fabrication and technical equipment,” said Pope.

Anyone can participate in Lacey MakerSpace programs by enrolling in a skill-building class or becoming a member, giving users access to over 3,600 square feet of workspace filled with fabrication and prototyping equipment and the support of talented staff to help bring ideas into reality.

Classes regularly offered include woodworking, welding and CNC fabrication, 3-D printing and design, laser engraving, stained-glass construction, resin molding and more. 

LMS is raising funds separately to make utility upgrades required for the added equipment and extend hours of access and increase quality programming, work not covered by the grant.

According to Pope, this award is a result of the intense and committed partnerships – all focused on supporting our region, our employers and communities.  Learn more about Lacey MakerSpace by visiting:

Lacey Maker Space – Create. Innovate. Inspire.

Capital Mall Unveils New Large-Scale Art Mural

Capital Mall makes a big statement with the installation of a 1,400 square-foot outdoor mural between Century Theatres and Old Navy. Representing Capital Mall’s commitment to the local community, this mural, appropriately titled “Water & Land,” highlights the bountiful natural resources found in Thurston County. Specifically, the South-facing wall depicts ingredients found in water (oysters, halibut, salmon, kelp, etc.), and the East-facing wall depicts ingredients foraged from the land (strawberries, mushrooms, honey, etc.). This imagery is illustrated in loose, gestural graphics, patterns and overlays, with an organic, handmade “makers” feel. The colors are bold, bright and modern, yet refined to a limited color palette with slight vintage feel. The composition relies heavily on layering and interaction as the artist wanted to reflect its vibrant Pacific Northwest-theme.

Washington state native, Sarah Robbins, designed and painted the mural in early September. “Art has a huge role in a building community. I think there’s ways that it can bring people together,” explains Robbins about the project. With the launch of the center’s LIVE LOC-OLY initiative, Capital Mall’s goal is to highlight locally owned stores, showcase restaurants using locally sourced ingredients, and provide space for unique uses such as the recent grand opening of the newest branch of Timberland Regional Library. This community focused mural colorfully aligns with that vision.

“We are listening to our local community and their needs,” explains Stefanie Cicerello, marketing and business development manager at Capital Mall. “We love providing shopping and dining opportunities to our community and constantly strive to make that experience enjoyable. One of the ways we can do this is to showcase local artists and take a holistic approach to our role in the community. This mural celebrates the agriculture and flavor profiles of Olympia and the surrounding area.”

About the Artist:
Sarah Robbins is an illustrator, painter and designer living and working in Seattle, WA. As a Jill-of-all trades when it comes to art, she is not tied to any particular style or medium. She uses imagery, patterns, typography and color to create work, and strives to make something unique and custom for every project. Sarah prides herself on making classic pieces that can work on multiple levels straddling the line between specificity and ambiguity, often allowing room for people to interject their own thoughts and experiences into the work. Sarah believes it is important to create pieces that can amplify the voices and stories of others, not just her own.

For more information
Instagram: @sarah_robbins

For more information about Capital Mall, visit our website at

Lakewood’s 25th Anniversary Celebrated Saturday

 The City of Lakewood will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this Saturday, Sept. 25 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event will commemorate a quarter-century of Lakewood with music, dance, performances, art, history, food trucks, and speeches.

Performances will represent Thailand, Mexico, Korea, and Guam. Art will be displayed from the 25th Anniversary Art Contest and from Clover Park High School students. Live R&B music from “Chapter 5” will conclude the event.

Food trucks will serve donuts, poke bowls, burritos, kettle corn, elephant hears, Jamaican food, shaved ice, Mexican food, Italian soda, barbecue, and more. A beer garden will also be onsite.

The Lakewood Historical Society will debut an exhibit featuring the artwork of Ivan the gorilla, a former resident of the B&I Public Marketplace in Lakewood.

City of Lakewood 25th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, September 25, 2021 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
6108 Motor Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

Myth Busting: The Truth About Construction Loans

With the housing market creating buying frenzies in some local markets, people are considering building new versus purchasing. Many people have been scared off in the past by incorrect information or myths about the downsides of building loans. Let’s bust some of those myths using the help of a friend with 45 years in the financial world who works at Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed), Barbara Whitlow.

To begin with, construction loans with OlyFed are designed to meet your financial needs, so there is no reason to be afraid of one. Whitlow suggests you begin the process by determining your budget with the help of one of the knowledgeable loan officers at OlyFed. They will help get you pre-qualified and determine what an entire realistic budget for your project should be.

Next, it is not necessary to buy the land and pre-buy house plans or other things as some people suggest. Save your money for a larger down payment. The great people at OlyFed will roll all the expenses from beginning to end into one loan and you may not have to sell your current house first.

Called “One Step Financing,” OlyFed is one of the few banks that rolls construction costs and permanent financing into one convenient package. They close up-front on the permanent financing so there is no need to refinance upon the completion of your new home. You avoid paying additional closing costs or running the risk of interest rates being higher than when you started.

Throughout the construction process, you or your builder can utilize a program called BUILT to assist in securing construction draws against your loan. BUILT helps to manage risk, maximize productivity of the builder, and improves the draw process.

Did someone tell you that you could save a lot of money serving as your own general contractor? Whitlow would advise you to use a great local builder because it saves you money in the end. Whitlow said, “They really can save you from making costly mistakes as well as the time wasted to re-do an error.”

For Additional Information


Imagine Van Gogh: Coming to the Tacoma Armory

In 2008, Annabelle Mauger crafted her very first immersive Van Gogh exhibition and, in the last few years, the finalized project has become an incredible hit. Imagine Van Gogh, the Original Exhibition in Image Totale© sold over 500,000 tickets across Canada in 2020 alone. The exhibit will be presenting stunning renditions of Van Gogh’s classic artwork in over 200 of his paintings brought to life in a breathtaking immersive experience. Mauger and Julien Baron, renowned for their work at Cathédrale d’Images in Les Baux-de-Provence, France, are no strangers to the immersive art world — in fact, they are pioneers of the medium. Since 2016, the duo have developed and expanded Image Totale© to create a truly emotionally cathartic experience for visitors.

In order to create such a unique exhibition, Mauger and Baron used warping techniques to adapt the surface to the projected image, releasing the art being trapped inside of the canvas. “The choice of images, the way they are positioned, their rhythm and their association with the music all compose this original creation conceived by Annabelle Mauger and developed with Julien Baron.”

Online reservations for Imagine Van Gogh are encouraged, as admission is based on timed-entry and tickets are sure to sell out quickly! Each ticket is valid for one person, with no re-entry permitted and they are nonrefundable. The exhibition is open at the Tacoma Armory from December 18, 2021 to January 30, 2022, with shortened hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

For Additional Information and Tickets


New Orleans Cajun & Zydeco: Shake Down the House in Olympia

As we usher in the colder weather, things are heating up at the Washington Center for Performing Arts with a double bill performance featuring the best in Cajun and Zydeco music on October 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience bring the sounds of New Orleans to Olympia. “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!”

For the past 40 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and created and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet. Their distinctive sound derives from the distilled spirits of New Orleans jazz, blues rock, folk, swamp pop, Zydeco, country and bluegrass. Since becoming the first Cajun band to win a Grammy with “L’amour Ou La Folie” and then a second Grammy in 2010 with “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” BeauSoleil has garnered many accolades, including twelve Grammy nominations.

Similarly, Terrance Simien , two-time Grammy award-winning artist and eighth generation Louisiana Creole, has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is – and is not. Simien, and his talented band, has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his bandmates have performed over 9000 concerts and toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career.

The combination of these two award-winning bands proves to be a real barn burner, bringing attendees out of their seats for clapping and stomping to a night of musical delights that will long be remembered.

For Additional Information and Tickets


Alpha Romeo at Lemay-America’s Car Museum

Over 300 guests experienced the showcase of Italian design – from luxurious fashions and appealing consumer products to the rich lifestyle of “La Dolce Vita” at the opening of the new “Alfa Romeo: Born of Passion” exhibit at LeMay – America’s Car Museum on Saturday, June 26. From Grand Prix racers of the roaring thirties to today’s iconic flair and innovative technology, Alfa Romeo embodies Italian style — winning hearts, imaginations, and trophies. America’s Car Museum is proud to present one of the most significant North American displays of historic Alfa Romeos, highlighting the timeless allure of the Italian sports car marque, from Grand Prix racers of the thirties to today’s iconic flair.

Anchored by innovative technology and compelling design, Alfa Romeo has a century-old legacy of winning hearts, imaginations, and trophies. Brought to life by Fred Russell, guest curator and Alfa Romeo expert, this year-long exhibit features 21 vehicles with a new rotation slated for October. The experience of this one-of-a-kind exhibit is sure to leave you with an understanding of why Henry Ford famously exclaimed, “When I see an Alfa Romeo go by, I tip my hat.”

From Musicals to Backcountry Bayou – Live Performance is Back!

Steep Canyon Rangers

For months, the stage lights have been dark, the green rooms have been empty, and box offices have stood silent as performing arts venues were closed during the pandemic. Actors, singers, musicians, dancers, magicians and performers of all kinds got creative and offered virtual plays and performances, but they were all simply passing the time until they could be with a live audience again. Come fall we can all rejoice in the return to in-person performances throughout the South Sound. From musicals to backcountry bayou, live performance is back!

In Olympia, the Harlequin will be performing three plays in repertory this fall— Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, and Until the Flood by Pulitzer Prize Finalist Dael Orlandersmith. At the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Boogie from the Bayou, a New Orleans zydeco musical performance is scheduled for late October.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Tacoma’s offerings include Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy Award-winning bluegrass sextet, and the play Tribes, which won the 2012 New York Drama Critics Circle Award presented by Tacoma Arts Live. At the grand dame of Tacoma’s theatre scene, the Tacoma Little Theatre, you can find two classics: Terms of Endearment and Clue: On Stage. In Tacoma’s West End they are warming up their vocal cords and stretching out their hipscs-inspired production called All Shook Up, a modern rock ’n roll take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Just to the north, the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center will be presenting a wide array of acts including performances by Irish balladeers The High Kings, Grammy-winning guitarist and singer Robert Cray, country music singer Josh Gracin, and classic rock cover band The Hit Men.

Robert Cray

Circle the weekend of November 5 and 6 to make sure you get a seat to enjoy the feeling of shared laughter. Tacoma Arts Live will be presenting the ever-popular David Sedaris, known best for his appearances on the radio show This American Life. American comedy legend Yakov Smirnoff will make a rare appearance at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center.

Before you know it, Christmas songs will be playing in every store, so take a moment to check out the holiday offerings planned for the South Sound which include A Christmas Carol (Harlequin), The Wizard of Oz (Tacoma Little Theatre), and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party (Tacoma Arts Live).

So no matter what your preference, there is plenty to pick from this fall from the South Sound’s performing arts venues. See you at the theatre!

For Additional Information and Tickets


TAM Luncheon

Always progressive and forward thinking, Tacoma Art Museum hosted their Spring Luncheon on May 13. This was one of the first in-person fundraisers in our community since the start of the pandemic.

The event raised a total of $37,275 to support the initiatives of the Museum as well as exhibitions, installations, educational programs and membership programs.