Friends of the Seaport…

It’s been my experience over a near 20-year career in the industry that people in the non-profit world, myself included, love the word “unprecedented.”  We use it to dramatize all sorts of needs, conditions and situations. But rarely is the descriptor truly deserved…until now!

Unless you were alive during the Spanish Flu of 1918, COVID-19 has represented an unprecedented challenge.  The fear of catching it (or does it catch you?), the actual illness, death, social isolation, businesses and livelihoods in jeopardy, racial injustice, a critical election year, and oh yeah, a roiling stock market.  All happening and ALL at once.

As you might imagine, as the Executive Director of one of the six museums operating within Tacoma’s Museum District I’m often asked during this crazy, crazy time how the community could best support the Seaport going forward and I will share with you what I tell them:

  • Be patient – nobody wants to open more than we do, nobody wants to give back to the community more than we do, BUT we have to make sure it’s the right time.
  • When we do re-open, please, please, please come see us!  We may not be as well-known as the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, etc., but we have some terrific stories to share with you.
  • And when you do visit, please support our efforts to keep everyone safe by following the guidelines and recommendations that we have put a lot of time implementing – we are trying to keep it simple, but at the end of the day, we want you to remain safe, so that you will come back again, and again, and again.
  • I also understand that you may not feel comfortable visiting for quite some time, and that’s ok, we have ramped up our online and social media content just for that reason, so let us know and we will get you connected.
  • And finally, support our upcoming Curbside Chowder Social (Sunday, September 20 with dinner pickup between 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.), because what “you” do today will help us be ready when the community re-emerges from this dark cloud “tomorrow.” 

How can you support the social?  So glad that you asked!  During these crazy times everyone has their own set of opportunities and challenges, so this invitation comes with no strings and no obligations, BUT if you are interested, I’ve got some options that can fit pretty much any budget:

  • Admittedly, buying tickets to the event, which you can do by clicking HERE is probably both the easiest and the best way, but if chowder and Caesar salad isn’t your thing then…
  • Skip the whole food thing and make a donation by visiting THIS page – don’t be confused is you see a reference to “Raise the Paddle,” trust me, you will be in the right spot!
  • Bid (or help bid up!) on auction items when we go live tomorrow – I know, like most things that have gone virtual the past 8-months an online auction falls short when compared to a live one, but my team has been working hard to put some cool packages together that warrant the old auction saying of, “Bid high, bid often.”
  • And finally, I’m not asking for and/or needing any miracles from you, so you can keep the cape in the closet, but it would be awesome if you could somehow become an “Influencer” (a new term that I’ve learned of late) and spread the word to friends, neighbors, family members, and colleagues.

In the end, it’s impossible to truly assess the impact this pandemic will have on each of us, on the economy, on the community, on non-profits, and selfishly, on the Seaport itself.  The Balfour Dock Building, which houses the Seaport, has been in existence for 120 years from its origin as a grain transfer warehouse to its current existence as a museum, education, and events center.  During that time, it’s weathered the impacts of fire, pests, and Mother Nature, so I have little to no doubt that it will be able to weather this “little” pandemic as well.

Thank you for the time, the consideration and the support – it’s appreciated and never taken for granted.

Best Wishes,

Brent Mason

Executive Director