The City of Tacoma's Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality plays a vital role in supporting Tacoma's arts and cultural sector. Our office:

  • manages Tacoma Creates, which supports access to arts, culture, heritage, and science experiences
  • manages the City's public art collection as well as public art projects for partner organizations
  • funds arts and cultural community programming and individual artists
  • produces a variety of public programs that enhance and contribute to Tacoma's local economy

For more information about the Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality, visit  

For a full list of current opportunities, visit


The Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP) was established in 1999 to encourage the contributions made by individual artists within the city of Tacoma. The goals of the program are to recognize creative expression of the artists in our community, financially assist artists in generating new work and growing their skills, and engage the broader community through free public components presented by the funded artists. Artists working in all disciplines including literary, performing, new media, visual arts, and interdisciplinary are encouraged to apply. Only one application per artist will be accepted.

TAIP funding awards are $3,000 and are determined through a competitive application process. The number of contracts awarded will be based on the availability of funds.

Before applying, please read the full Application Guidelines at   

The Tacoma Arts Commission is accepting applications for the 2021-2023 Tacoma Poet Laureate position. Literary artists who are emerging, professional, or established artists producing poetry in any form, genre, or style are encouraged to apply. We will also consider writers who work in additional genres whose work intersects with poetry. The Poet Laureate will build community, amplify what is unique about Tacoma, and provide opportunities for people’s voices to be heard.

The Tacoma Poet Laureate will hold the title for a period of two years, from May 2021 to April 2023, and receive a stipend of $4,000. The Poet Laureate will have access to an additional project budget of up to $1,000 to help implement programming. The individual will actively contribute to and advance Tacoma’s literary community in meaningful ways through readings, performances, workshops, presentations, publications and/or special projects – whether in-person or virtually; participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October; and help produce the 2023 Tacoma Poet Laureate ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate. The individual should actively strive to engage the breadth of Tacoma’s residents, expanding access to the literary arts to underserved/underrepresented audiences. The Poet Laureate is expected to determine the direction, focus, and appropriate public components for their term of service.

Current Tacoma Poet Laureate Abby E. Murray will curate and host a virtual poetry event at which the winner of this year's Poet Laureate competition will be awarded. The event date will be announced in early 2021.

In alignment with Tacoma City Council Resolution 40622, the Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to sustained and transformational anti‐racist work, including through the Tacoma Poet Laureate program. As stated by Mayor Victoria Woodards, "Dismantling more than 400 years of systemic racism will not happen overnight. This must be a sustained effort that invites the whole community to join us in radically reimagining our institutions and the services they provide."

We invite applicants to consider how their proposed community engagement work can help build a more Compassionate Tacoma with projects that are equitable and inclusive, offer opportunities for connection and relationship building, and contribute to the social, emotional, and physical well-being of our residents.

All projects of the poet laureate must follow state and local health regulations; the selected poet laureate must be prepared to make adjustments, as needed, in response to the current public health situation at the time of production.


  • Applicant must live in Pierce County and be actively engaged in Tacoma’s creative community. Staff will verify addresses against a map of Pierce County.
  • Applicant must be an active literary artist, dedicated to producing work on a regular basis.
  • Applicant must be 18 years or older.
  • Applicant cannot be a previous Tacoma Poet Laureate titleholder.
  • Applicant cannot be a current Tacoma Arts Commission member, City Council member, City of Tacoma staff member, or Tacoma Poet Laureate selection panel member.

Before applying, please read the full guidelines at

City of Tacoma - Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality