mission-type

Check our Calendar for current shows

Make.Shift Art Space is a DIY art and music venue dedicated to innovative, alternative art and music. The 8,000-square-foot space includes an art gallery, live all-ages music venue and 16 individual art and music studios. Here we provide a home for painters, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, musicians, and whoever else needs an affordable place to make a mess and show it off.

Make.Shift is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to engage the community by providing accessible programs and a safe, all-ages space for artists, musicians, students and their projects to  thrive.

Make.Shift is also home to the Bellingham Local Music Library, stringed instrument repairman The Guitar Doctor, and the new community radio station, KVWV. Check em out!

Make.Shift Art Space has a No Booze / No Drugs / No Jerks policy. Check out our Testament to Inclusitity HERE.

OUR HISTORY

In 2008 the economy tanked, gas prices were through the roof, and musicians were struggling to find a way to fit into an industry that was changing rapidly with advances in technology. A small group of young Bellingham musicians, promoters and fans came together in to see how they could help — and Make.Shift was born.

After nearly a year of bureaucracy and fundraising to get 501c3 nonprofit status, Make.Shift’s first program, The Magic Van, was underway. With the initial mission of supporting local musicians and lightening their environmental impact, our biodiesel van was free to local musicians who didn’t have a touring van, helping more than a dozen local bands tour as far away as California and Idaho. Make.Shift soon added the Power Wheels program — two bicycle-powered generators that powered dozens of live shows and events. For years Make.Shift was run out of volunteers’ homes while we searched for a central headquarters.

In 2011 Make.Shift purchased the business Jinx Art Space, and took over the lease where that gallery and studio space was operating at 306 Flora St. Reopening under Make.Shift’s management in October 2011, our mission and direction changed to accommodate our new programs — an art gallery, art and music studios, and a music venue.

After letting the Magic Van and Power Wheels programs go, we were able to focus completely on creating a safe, healthy community art and music hub. We’re excited to see what the future holds!

Check out our Contact page to get in touch.

Our Staff

Tyson Ballew
Tyson BallewBooking and Promotions Manager
A transplant from Missoula, MT, Tyson has always been involved in his music community. As the current Booking Manager, Tyson runs all things live music, rallying the Make.Shift’s booking team and filling the calendar with shows. He currently works at the Community Food Co-op. His all-ages venue experience brings an understanding of why we do what we do at Make.Shift. Tyson currently plays in Xavier’s School and runs Tummy Rock Records.
Jess Flegel
Jess FlegelSuper
Chicago native Jess Flegel is an integral part to Make.Shift. Taking over the Gallery Director position early on at Make.Shift she has inspired and given many beginning artists a wall to showcase their work. Now, she is the handiest one on the team and is always working to improve things around the space. We love having Jess in the building and frankly can’t imagine how we would go on without her humor and work ethic.
Lauren IidaGallery Director
Make. Shift is pleased to have Lauren Iida as our Gallery Director! A Seattle native, Iida attended Cornish College of the Arts where she developed her signature “paper cutaway” technique. Iida’s work often includes depictions of the Pacific Northwest, her Japanese American heritage, and Cambodia where she lived and worked for many years on several volunteer and social entrepreneurship projects. Currently Iida teaches her paper cut¬away techniques to teens and homeless youth through Gage Academy of Art in partnership with Sanctuary Arts. She also independently teaches paper cutting workshops to the public, illustrates books, and works on private and public commissions and exhibits her work around Washington State and Southeast Asia.
Nick Emard
Nick EmardVolunteer Coordinator
A recent Western graduate, Nick Emard hails from Bellevue, WA. He currently plays in Dog Mountain and slings records at Everyday Music. As the Volunteer Coordinator at Make.Shift, he keeps the volunteer pool working to keep Make.Shift in operation. He has previously worked with AS Productions at Western and Ground Zero Teen Center in Bellevue.
Steeb & Libby (and Franklin, too!)
Steeb & Libby (and Franklin, too!)Studio Managers
Both familiar faces to Bellingham and the local art community, Steeb and Libby are the dream team who manage the studios at Make.Shift. Their connectedness, creativity and general positivity bring a great deal to the organization along with having their studio locale at Make.Shift. Steeb draws and paints, his work an aesthetic pillar around town. Libby owns and operates Moth and Squirrel, a reclaimed luxury knit business, often found at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market along with the studio in Make.Shift. These two are quite involved in this lovely community.

Our Board

Hollie Huthman
Hollie HuthmanBoard Member
Hollie Huthman is co-owner, booker and manager of The Shakedown in Bellingham, WA. Aside from running a music venue, she has been involved in the Bellingham music community for over a decade as a musician (currently in the band Dryland) and live music photographer.
Steve Sehman
Steve SehmanBoard Member
Percussionist Steven Sehman specializes in the performance of cross media works. His performance at the 2012 Gaudeamus Muziekweek NYC was praised by Alex Ross (The New Yorker): “Steven Sehman…made the room shimmer with a fantastic range of timbres.” Prior to moving to Bellingham in 2013, Sehman resided in New York City, where he performed at prominent venues including Le Poisson Rouge, Issue Project Room, Galapagos Art Space, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and the Park Avenue Armory. Sehman currently teaches in the Audio and Society program at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies (WWU).
Sarah JernsBoard Member
Bio coming soon!
Amy Marchegiani
Amy MarchegianiBoard Member
Amy Marchegiani has lived in Bellingham for 25 years and has always been a supporter of the live local music scene – attending performances, making logos, posters and other merchandise for bands, and playing bass in Everybody’s Debbie, USS Horsewhip, ’76 Charger, Sugar High Mustangs, and (currently) Cat Bomb She worked as a senior graphic designer for several local businesses, including GrizzlyIndustrial, Allsop, and McNett, and was a co-founder of What’s Up Magazine . Amy is now teaching art, science and life skills atHomeport Learning Center. She also teaches a wide range of art styles and techniques at Western WashingtonUniversity and Bellingham Art.

Advisory Board

Bruce Hamilton
Bruce HamiltonBoard Member
Bruce is an Associate Professor of Music at Western Washington University. He co-directs the Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival, in addition to the Bellingham special events organization Sound Culture. Bruce is also on the Board of Directors of the Washington Composers Forum, an administrator for online music community ImprovFriday, and owner of net label Spectropol Records. Did we mention he’s also a freelance composer and musician?

Make.Shift Testament to Inclusivity

Make.Shift is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to engage the community by providing accessible programs and a safe, all-ages space for artists, musicians, students and their projects thrive.

At Make.Shift we have a policy of No Booze / No Drugs / No Jerks.

While this might be commonplace for some, we recognize that not everyone is familiar with such terms. By attending this space, you are agreeing to the tenets described below.

 

NO BOOZE
Make.Shift is an all-ages space, therefore we kindly ask that you refrain from consuming or bringing any alcohol in the space. “All-ages” is not limited to people under the age of 21, many people feel more comfortable attending an event in our space rather than a bar for the purpose of avoiding proximity to alcohol. If you appear intoxicated and are disturbing those around you, we will help you find a way home.

 

NO DRUGS

For the same reasons listed above, we want to keep the space as safe and welcoming as possible. If you appear intoxicated and are disturbing those around you, we will help you find a way home.

 

NO JERKS

While this may seem silly, we are serious. We define “jerks” as people who do not respect the space and identity those around them. We ask that you refrain from using any racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist language or actions. We also ask that you do not touch someone without their consent. While we recognize that no space is entirely safe, we want to ensure that ours is inclusive as possible.

 

If you have any questions about our policies, please feel free to email us at info@makeshiftproject.com

We would be happy to have a conversation regarding our policies.

 

ACCESSIBILITY

We have two ramps at Make.Shift:

  • one into the front door that provides access to the gallery, office, upstairs studios, and bathrooms. All of these doorways are 3’ wide
  • one into the basement that provides access to the stage and main concert area.                              This doorway is 3’ 5”

If you require further assistance in accessing our space, please contact us atinfo@makeshiftproject.com and we will do everything we can to help you. Please note that the space is run by volunteers and we are not experts but we are always trying to learn more.

Our Sponsors

We love our sponsors! Thanks to these local businesses for supporting independent art and music:

 

  • Casa Que Pasa
  • The Re Store
  • Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy
  • The Table Restaurant
  • Chazzzam Signs & Graphics
  • La Fiamma Woodfire Pizza
  • Fiamma Burger
  • Grand Ave. Alehouse
  • Stambaugh Designs

 

Become a Make.Shift Sponsor!

When you sponsor Make.Shift, you support independent arts in Bellingham AND gain exposure for your business. WIN and WIN.