The SpaceCraft Origin Story

A constellation that inspires joy, play, and community care.

Last updated March 2024

Hi Friend,

Gentle FYI that SpaceCraft’s story is not a linear path. We are thriving and want to nurture the writing process of archiving our journey.

We welcome you to check in frequently for continuations of the SpaceCraft adventure. Chapters will be added incrementally throughout the year to keep you on your toes.


Jaleria Rivera

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The SpaceCraft Story | Chapter 1

Jaleria Rivera, Founder, at the Open Arts Knoxville Artist Mixer in October 2022.

During the early days of the pandemic, when everything felt chaotic and uncertain, I discovered a new love—dance. Moving to the rhythm became my escape in a world filled with isolation. Determined to grow this passion, I started a daily routine, waking up at dawn to dance in my living room turned makeshift studio.

As time passed, a hint of loneliness crept into my practice. Limited space and a lack of connection with fellow artists left me yearning for more. When restrictions lifted, I explored Knoxville's arts scene, hoping to find a community of like-minded creators. Unfortunately, the resources I sought were scarce compared to larger cities like Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Realizing the importance of improvisation, I set out to bridge the gap and create a space for artists like us. The artists, who want to be in community.

Enter SpaceCraft—a place rooted in play, artistic growth, and cultural exploration. I envisioned more than just a rehearsal studio. I dreamed of a homing beacon for the artists, activists, and neighbors, who are building our culture from the ground up.

Determined to raise Knoxville to the level of bigger cities, I launched SpaceCraft with a clear goal—to unite performers through play. SpaceCraft is a symbol of resilience and creativity born from the challenges of 2020.

SpaceCraft is an act of resistance, a practice of joy activism, and a calling for communion. At SpaceCraft, we are building while we skip, sing, and dance our way to collective liberation.

What’s the Big Idea? pitch competition in March 2023

The Crown pitch competition in June 2023

Listening Space in May 2023

Cattywampus Parade in Summer 2023

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