The Project Room is a brilliant space—open, inquisitive, bold. It’s one take on sharing art and ideas in a world crowded with digital bytes and quick reads: bring people together in a clear white room…and talk.
— Rebecca Walker, Author and Time Magazine's one of fifty most influential American leaders under forty


The Project Room is a gathering place and online platform presenting work, ideas, and people that inform our understanding of creativity in contemporary life. By asking big questions that reflect the human experience, TPR’s activities offer an inquisitive approach to the way we understand the arts.

Through a dynamic collection of public programs that focus on works-in-progress, The Project Room presents work, ideas, and people that respond to specific themes and demonstrate the relevance of creativity in everyday life.

The Project Room aims to be inclusive in all of its endeavors, featuring different points of view and areas of expertise. In addition to the arts, programs feature technology, culture, history, geography, industry, and other areas that intersect with the specific question in focus.

From 2011-2013, The Project Room asked the question, Why Do We Make Things?

From 2014-2015, The Project Room asks, How Are We Remembered?



The Project Room is on Capitol Hill at 1315 E Pine St. Seattle.

All programs take place at The Project Room unless otherwise noted. 

See our new comprehensive list of TPR's History of Presenters 


Helping out at The Project Room

Whether you're attending an event, lending a hand as a volunteer, or considering joining our Founders' Circle, there are all kinds of ways you can be a part of The Project Room.

Find out how to get involved here



Off Paper is TPR’s online journal that follows the themes presented in The Project Room through thoughtful writing and other relevant online content. Contributing writers come from all types of fields and areas of expertise and share their perspective on what creativity means to them. Off Paper continues the conversation that is taking place on-site for audiences everywhere.

Tessa Hulls, Assistant Editor; Corey Blaustein, Editorial Contributor; Brangien Davis, Editorial Advisor



Jess began her arts career in musical theater, dreaming of the leading role in Annie on Broadway and subjecting her family to many living room performances until she was able to find a larger audience in her grade and high schools. Later, she transitioned to classical singing and became a member of the San Francisco Symphony Choir, the National Choir in Washington DC, and many other vocal groups. She also enjoyed a humbling experience as the only American in a Gilbert & Sullivan opera company in London. Jess' love of visual art, however, wouldn't leave her alone, and she began a long effort in finding her place in the visual arts community, writing at first for a now-defunct publication called Verge Magazine and working at a non-profit opera organization before moving to Seattle as part of a cross-country road trip.

Prior to opening The Project Room, Jess was the Exhibitions Curator at Cornish College of the Arts, where she created the popular alumni retrospective series and the chance operations-based exhibition about choreographer Merce Cunningham.

Glass artist Paul Marioni and Jess at a TPR event in Fall, 2013

Glass artist Paul Marioni and Jess at a TPR event in Fall, 2013

Jess received her BA in Art History from The George Washington University, and her MA in Art History from Richmond, the American University in London. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and exhibition catalogs, including Off Paper, which she publishes as an online companion to The Project Room’s programming.

In addition to directing The Project Room, Jess is the editor of the widely popular Artists Guide to Seattle series published by the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also serves as an Arts Advisor for the Washington State Convention Center and as a Board member for ArtTable, the national organization for women leaders in the arts.

Jess is happily enjoying her position in the arts community is one of conversation leader who creates approachable public programs that emphasize works-in-progress as a method for understanding why and how creativity happens.  It's the perfect combination of everything that she loves.

Listen to an interview with Jess on KUOW


Mike Smith, President

Jenifer Ward, Vice-President

Sarah Novotny, Treasurer

Seth Friedman, Secretary

Jess Van Nostrand

Board Staff: Tia Kramer, Britt Rynearson

  The Project Room is an Associated Program of Shunpike.


The Project Room is an Associated Program of Shunpike.

Thanks to our wine sponsor, Chateau Ste Michelle!

Thanks to our wine sponsor, Chateau Ste Michelle!