About Shunpike: Established by artists in 2001, Shunpike envisions a community where independent artists and arts groups thrive, creatively and economically, and where their work is widely valued as fundamental to the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of Washington State. To achieve this vision, we provide artists with the services, resources and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success. Based on our key organizational values of inclusivity, relevance and accessibility, Shunpike strives to serve a diversity of independent artists and arts groups across Washington State, embracing artists working in all art-forms, as well as those identifying as emerging and/or established. 

Our Commitment to Racial Equity:  Inclusion means my voice is heard. Diversity means I am reflected and represented in the organization at every level. Equity means I am supported by systems and policies that ensure I succeed, despite historic patterns of hindered success. Shunpike is committed to this statement of equity and work to ensure that all staff and clients apply this lens to the work that they do.

The Storefronts Program:  In 2010, an innovative consortium of city and neighborhood organizations inaugurated the Storefronts program in Seattle’s Pioneer Square and International District neighborhoods by activating empty storefronts with vibrant local art and creative projects. At the time, the initiative sought to address high retail vacancy rates that were symptomatic of the economic downturn. Though Seattle's economic climate is now stronger, Shunpike continues to support our creative community and urban neighborhoods by providing opportunities for artists to showcase dynamic, engaging works that reach out to passersby, humanize our built environment, and support urban revitalization.

ACES // Artists of Color Expo & Symposium: In 2017, with community guidance and participation, we held the first annual ACES at the Seattle Armory. ACES is a BIPOC-led event featuring performances, exhibits, workshops, films, presentations, artist talks, and info sessions. Our vision is to establish a space to celebrate and center ourselves, especially in communities of color where crisis breeds innovation. We gather in joy and solidarity, to celebrate our work and to see each other as resources, while focusing on the challenges and solutions we face as artists of color in the Pacific Northwest.

Amazon AiR - the artist-in-residence program: In 2018 we launched the Amazon Artist-in-Residence program. Every year, 7 artists are selected for a 10-week residency each. The residencies are split between the 1,100 square foot studio space Seattle, and 1,100 square foot studio in Bellevue. This unique program provides several opportunities for interaction with Amazon staff, through workshops, artist talks and exhibitions. Shunpike's AiR Salons also provide an opportunity to present residency work to the general public.

The Studio @ 2+U: In 2021, and in partnership with Skanska, we opened the doors to the Studio @ 2+U. Located on 2nd and University, 2+U is a 38-story high skyscraper office building located in the heart of the city. The Studio is a dedicated 1,100 sq. ft. workshop, rehearsal, and presentation space, and is available at no cost to selected musical, movement, and performing artists.  


Skanska and Shunpike are offering a space at 2+U for artists who have had the most difficulty practicing under COVID-19 restrictions, musical and movement artists. It is an opportunity for musicians and dancers to be loud and expansive again, which has been difficult to accomplish when stuck at home with neighbors.

"Since the pandemic, I have only been able to dance in my living room apartment. As someone who is 6'1" and lives on the third floor, I was so thrilled to have been blessed with an opportunity to move freely and actually fall on a studio floor. I am grateful for the opportunity provided at 2+U."

- Randy Ford, Dancer, and participant in the Studio at 2+U pilot program


2+U is a 38-story high skyscraper office building located in Seattle’s Central Business District. It occupies most of the city block bounded by First and Second Avenue with spectacular views to the south, east, and west. At 2+U, you’re steps away from local restaurants, Pioneer Square, The Waterfront, and entertainment that makes Seattle unique, paired with 2+U’s Urban Village, 2+U is the best the city has to offer. Found below the lifted office tower, the Urban Village is Seattle’s newest outdoor, open-air, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood experience with flexible indoor/outdoor retail and events that celebrate the surrounding arts and creative community. The Studio is a dedicated space within the Urban Village for the local arts community to practice, perform, and exhibit their work. (Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, The Studio is being restricted to a practice space at this time).

The Studio is 1100 square feet, has hardwood floors, a single restroom, and Blue-tooth enabled sound system 

The Studio is 1100 square feet with a maximum capacity of 49 people (when restrictions are lifted), has hardwood floors, a single restroom, and a Bluetooth-enabled sound system.


Selected musical and movement artists and groups will have the opportunity to use The Studio for one day a week for up to three months, free of charge. It is a space for artists to create, practice, gather, and reflect. Upon the completion of their time in the Studio, artists will be eligible to apply again in six months' time. 

Guidelines and eligibility requirements will be reevaluated as Washington state moves into Phase 4 and beyond.

If you have any questions please contact Shunpike Program Manager Martin Tran at martin@shunpike.org.

CALL SUMMARY   Storefronts provides temporary, no-cost, street-facing display space in South Lake Union, Bellevue, and Westlake for installation of 2-D or 3-D artwork. The art work is presented in a locked storefront or display vitrine and is viewed, through windows, for a period of up to six months.   Program Requirements:    

  • Works shall be existing or new works created for temporary installation.

  • All visual media are accepted.

  • Content must be G-Rated and suitable for the general public

  • All materials and consumables required for installations are the responsibility of the artist. This includes hanging hardware, temporary walls, tools, ladders, and any other materials that are required to safely and completely install the artwork.

  • Artists are responsible for producing and maintaining high-quality work for the duration of the installation, and will be asked to provide repair on request.

  • One application per artist or arts group

The selection panel is seeking high quality, flexible, and dynamic installations that utilize display windows to their fullest potential and engage with the general public both day and night. In support of Shunpike's commitment to achieving greater Racial Equity across the independent arts sector, submissions from artists of color are particularly encouraged.     Stipend: $1,000.00, with no allocation for travel or materials expenses. Eligibility: Washington State residents over 18 years of age, creating original works, who have not shown work in  South Lake Union for Storefronts 2019 or Storefronts 2020. Deadline:  September 30th, 2021. 

ABOUT THE PROPERTIES As Shunpike partners with a wide range of properties, available storefronts are quite diverse, and we cannot guarantee any specific property, neighborhood, or time frame for placement. The Storefronts Manager will match proposals with available spaces at Shunpike’s sole discretion, in consultation with the artist. All installations will be under contract with Shunpike, and subject to the terms and conditions of Shunpike’s partnership with the applicable property owner. The following is a summary of current spaces. At this time, 100% of our spaces are shallow display vitrines.    

Neighborhood: South Lake Union

  • Property Owner: Amazon

  • Number of Vitrines: 8

  • Vitrines range from 15″- 30″ in depth, and from 3′ – over 20′ in width, and 5′ – 10′ in height.

  • Vitrines are not climate controlled and contain ambient humidity and, in some cases, strong sunlight/heat.

  • Not all vitrines have power, although most do

  • Lighting is timer-controlled track lighting provided by Amazon. Any additional electrical components must be UL certified, meet fire code, and be approved by Amazon engineers.

  • Access to Amazon vitrines may require security access and badges arranged 48 hours in advance.

Neighborhood: Bellevue

  • Property Owner: Meydenbauer Center

  • Number of Vitrines: 2

  • Vitrines are 29″ in depth, and vary from 6.5′ – 8′ in width and 8′ – 10′ in height

  • Vitrines have somewhat challenging access – some through 34″ square hatches and a ladder down into the space

  • Not all vitrines have solid back walls for wall-mounted or 2-D work, so suspended work is often preferred in these spaces

  • Lighting is timer-controlled LED lighting.

  • Vitrines do not have power on site, though there is power nearby

Neighborhood: Westlake (300 Pine aka Old Macy's)

  • Property Owner: Sortis

  • Number of Vitrines: 7

  • Vitrines are 48″ in depth, 8'6" in height, and vary from 3'8"- 11'5"  in width

  • Lighting is timer-controlled LED lighting.

  • Vitrines each have a power outlet

SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS ARE: Compelling– artistically strong in concept and execution, compelling to a diverse audience, and actively seeking to engage the public.  Viable– agile, adaptive, innovative, and achievable with the time, funds, and spaces available. We love a grand idea, but make sure you can deliver exceptional work with 1 month’s notice. Existing work is often a better choice due to these concerns.  Relevant– responsive to, and engaging with, diverse audiences, themes, neighborhoods, and landscapes.

PANEL REVIEW  All applications to the Storefronts program are reviewed by an independent panel based on relevance, viability, community engagement, and creative merit.  Storefronts panelists include professional artists and arts administrators, local business owners, real estate professionals, and community advocates.


  • Artist Bio, 400 words or less

  • Artist Statement, 400 words or less

  • 4-6 representative work samples with title and description

  • As part of your work samples include a mock-up, sketch or detailed written description of the project (existing or new) in a hypothetical space. This is to help panelists envision how your work will be displayed in a Storefronts location. (optional)

  • Project Proposal, 800 words or less, including the following:     

    • Brief conceptual statement

    • Detailed technical and space requirements

    • Timeline required to prepare your project from date of notification– 2 months or less is preferred


NO APPLICATION FEE.  Starting in 2020, Shunpike has waived the application fee for Storefronts.

TIPS and TROUBLESHOOTING  Successful roster projects can adapt to a variety of spaces and communities dependent upon what is available. Be clear about proposal requirements, and understand if they are too restrictive this reduces the chances of being placed.  Shunpike will offer placement to artists with the best match of available resources in the 12-month duration of the roster, at Shunpike’s sole discretion, often with no more than 8 weeks of notice.  It is highly recommended that the proposal be concise, written in direct language, and specifically detail what will be experienced in the storefront space by the general public. Highly conceptual art jargon and overlong descriptions are best avoided. It is highly recommended to compose your application in a Word document, check the word count, and copy/paste your responses into the application form. Shunpike is not able to offer technical support for the online application system.  INCOMPLETE AND LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

QUESTIONS?   Contact: hanako@shunpike.org              


ACES // Artists of Color Expo & Symposium is a BIPOC-led event featuring performances, exhibits, workshops, films, presentations, artist talks, and info sessions.

Our vision is to establish a space to celebrate and center ourselves, especially in communities of color where crisis breeds innovation. We gather in joy and solidarity, to celebrate our work and to see each other as resources, while focusing on the challenges and solutions we face as artists of color in the Pacific Northwest.  

We invite you to apply and share your art, expertise, and passion!

Applications close October 31.


Event Date: Friday, April 1 - Sunday April 3, 2022

Location: Seattle, Richland, Spokane, and Virtual Platforms.

We intend to present ACES as a live, in-person event. But as the event date nears, if CDC guidelines suggest limiting in-person gatherings, we will follow their lead.


There are four categories that applicants can choose from:

Visual Art 

Including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, textiles

Visual artists can expect a flat fee of $100 per work accepted.
No more than 3 accepted works.


Including but not limited to music, movement, poetry, acting, performance art
Performing artists can expect a flat fee of $100 per person per performance.
Limit 10-30 minute performances.


Artists can expect to receive a flat fee of $150 per person.
Limit 55 or 85 minute programs.

Film/Video Art

Artists can expect to receive a flat fee of $100 per film or video.


What happens if CDC guidelines suggests we do not gather in person? 

Then the event will move to an online platform, and the programs will be a mix of pre-recorded and remote sessions.

Can I apply for more than one category (Visual Art, Performance, Presentation/Workshop, Film/Video)?
Yes, but please submit a separate application for each proposal.

If I have multiple people in my performance, will everyone get paid?
Yes, everyone will receive a flat fee of $100.

If I have multiple people in my presentation/workshop, will everyone get paid?

Yes, but the lead presenter(s) will be paid $150 each, and the others will be paid $100.

If I participate in ACES in more than one way, i.e. I have visual art being exhibited and I'm serving on a panel, will I get paid for both?

Is there an age limit to present at ACES?
No. The voices of our youth are welcome and encouraged to apply and participate.

What is an artist talk?
Artist Talks are opportunities for visual artists to speak about their work and take questions from attendees.

If I’ve presented my work before in other venues, is it still eligible to be part of ACES?

Please contact Martin Tran (martin@shunpike.org) with any other questions you may have.

ACES is a program of Shunpike, in partnership with 4Culture, Arts Corps, CD Forum, DrewBoy Creative, Langston Seattle, Northwest Film Forum, Office of Arts & Culture, Pratt Fine Arts Center, SAM,  Spokane Arts, and The Vera Project.