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 cityoftacoma.org/arts.  

For a full list of current opportunities, visit cityoftacoma.org/artsopps.

Welcome to the application form for Tacoma Creates - Comprehensive Organizational Support for the July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 funding cycle.

We encourage you to read the complete Comprehensive Organizational Support Application Guidelines before you begin filling out this form. In the Guidelines, you will find important background information, requirements, and details about how applications are evaluated.

If you aren't sure if your organization is eligible for this category of funding, please check out the Eligibility information here.

If you are looking for the application form for Impact Funding: Level A or Level B, you will find a separate link for those applications at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit.

HOW TO APPLY

Comprehensive Organizational Support applications must be submitted online by Monday, March 13, 2023, 11:59pm. The online form will close automatically at that time; it will not be possible to submit an application after the deadline. Note that staff will not be available to answer questions or provide technical support after 5pm on March 13.

  • Saving your application: Submittable auto-saves your application as you go, but we also highly recommend manually saving as you work by clicking on the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the form. You may work on your application in stages, but we recommend logging out and logging back in, as Submittable.com does time out if you are inactive for long periods of time, and this can impact how your application information is saved. Draft applications can be found in the "Saved Drafts" section under the "Submissions" section in your Submittable account. Note that Submittable.com works best on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Required questions: Prompts with a red asterisk * must be completed in order to submit your application. You will not be able to submit your application if any required prompts have been unanswered.
  • Submitting your application: Once you have completed, and reviewed your application, you may click on the “Submit” button at the end of the form. Do not click the "Submit" button until you are completely finished with your application. Once you click "Submit" you will not be able to edit your application. You will receive an automated email confirming that your application has been successfully submitted.

QUESTIONS?

You are welcome to contact Tacoma Creates staff at any time:

  • Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager: ljaret@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5161
  • Clarissa Gines, Tacoma Creates Coordinator: cgines@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5174
  • Rico Lastrapes, Tacoma Creates Program Technician: rlastrapes@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-2038

Welcome to the application form for Tacoma Creates Impact Funding: Level A, for the July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024 funding cycle. This application is for funding requests between a minimum of $3,000 and a maximum of $19,999.

We encourage you to read the complete Impact Funding Application Guidelines before you begin filling out this form. In the Guidelines, you will find important background information, requirements, and details about how applications are evaluated. 

If you aren't sure if your organization is eligible for this category of funding, please check out the Eligibility information here.

If you are looking for the application form for Comprehensive Organizational Support, or Impact Funding: Level B, you will find a separate link for those applications at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit.  

HOW TO APPLY

Impact Funding applications must be submitted online by Monday, March 27, 2023, 11:59pm. The online form will close automatically at that time; it will not be possible to submit an application after the deadline. Note that staff will not be available to answer questions or provide technical support after 5pm on March 27.

  • Saving your application: Submittable auto-saves your application as you go, but we also highly recommend manually saving as you work by clicking on the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the form. You may work on your application in stages, but we recommend logging out and logging back in, as Submittable.com does time out if you are inactive for long periods of time, and this can impact how your application information is saved. Draft applications can be found in the "Saved Drafts" section under the "Submissions" section in your Submittable account. Note that Submittable.com works best on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Required questions: Prompts with a red asterisk * must be completed in order to submit your application. You will not be able to submit your application if any required prompts have been unanswered.
  • Submitting your application: Once you have completed, and reviewed your application, you may click on the “Submit” button at the end of the form. Do not click the "Submit" button until you are completely finished with your application. Once you click "Submit" you will not be able to edit your application. 

You will receive an automated email confirming that your application has been successfully submitted. 

QUESTIONS?

You are welcome to contact Tacoma Creates staff at any time:

Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager: ljaret@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5161

Clarissa Gines, Tacoma Creates Coordinator: cgines@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5174

Rico Lastrapes, Tacoma Creates Program Technician: rlastrapes@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-2038

Welcome to the application form for Tacoma Creates Impact Funding: Level B, for the July 1, 2023 June 30, 2024 funding cycle. This application is for funding requests between a minimum of $20,000 and a maximum of $60,000.

We encourage you to read the complete Impact Funding Application Guidelines before you begin filling out this form. In the Guidelines, you will find important background information, requirements, and details about how applications are evaluated.

If you aren't sure if your organization is eligible for this category of funding, please check out the Eligibility information here.

If you are looking for the application form for Comprehensive Organizational Support, or Impact Funding: Level A, you will find a separate link for those applications at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit.

HOW TO APPLY

Impact Funding applications must be submitted online by Monday, March 27, 2023, 11:59pm. The online form will close automatically at that time; it will not be possible to submit an application after the deadline. Note that staff will not be available to answer questions or provide technical support after 5pm on March 27.

  • Saving your application: Submittable auto-saves your application as you go, but we also highly recommend manually saving as you work by clicking on the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the form. You may work on your application in stages, but we recommend logging out and logging back in, as Submittable.com does time out if you are inactive for long periods of time. Draft applications can be found in the "Saved Drafts" section under the "Submissions" section in your Submittable account. Note that Submittable.com works best on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Required questions: Prompts with a red asterisk * must be completed in order to submit your application. You will not be able to submit your application if any required prompts have been unanswered.
  • Submitting your application: Once you have completed, and reviewed your application, you may click on the “Submit” button at the end of the form. Do not click the "Submit" button until you are completely finished with your application. Once you click "Submit" you will not be able to edit your application. You will receive an automated email confirming that your application has been successfully submitted.

QUESTIONS?

You are welcome to contact Tacoma Creates staff at any time:

  • Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager: ljaret@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5161
  • Clarissa Gines, Tacoma Creates Coordinator: cgines@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5174
  • Rico Lastrapes, Tacoma Creates Program Technician: rlastrapes@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-2038

Deadline: February 8, 2023, 11:59pm

Budget: $30,000

Optional Zoom Info Session: Wednesday January 18, 12-1pm https://zoom.us/j/91357149660


Summary

The City of Tacoma is looking for an artist or team to create an Art Plan for the Tacoma Mall Area. This area is slated for tremendous growth and has been designated a Regional Growth Center (one of two in Tacoma). It is also located on top of the South Tacoma Aquifer, which provides supplemental drinking water for the City. With a subarea plan adopted in 2018 and several public investments underway, the neighborhood is well-positioned for much needed improvements to support a healthy, thriving population center within Tacoma. An Art Plan will help create a vision and roadmap for art and culture interventions to support the growth of the neighborhood over the next 10-15 years, starting with the currently-underway Madison District Green Infrastructure Project. The Art Plan and resulting artworks should support a healthy and connected community, be informed by robust community engagement, and be in alignment with existing plans.


Eligibility

· Applicants can apply as an individual or team

· Applicants must reside in Washington State or Oregon, and be available for scheduled in-person meetings as needed

· Applicants must be 18 years or older

· Applicants cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or an employee of the City

· People who are members of historically disenfranchised racial, ethnic, cultural, and other identity groups are especially encouraged to apply


Background

The City of Tacoma and the Puget Sound Regional Council have designated the Tacoma Mall neighborhood a Regional Growth Center (RGC). The Tacoma Mall neighborhood is located approximately 2.5 miles southwest of downtown Tacoma. The neighborhood, already an important employment and population center, is expected to receive a significant portion of the City's future housing and employment growth. As such, the City of Tacoma worked with community partners and the public to develop the Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan, which outlines a vision, goals, and strategies to guide growth and development of the area. The vision of the Subarea Plan is for a compact, pedestrian-friendly, urban mixed-use neighborhood with a high quality of life, which includes access to healthy lifestyle choices, services, and efficient multimodal transportation options. In addition to accommodating growth, the proposals include actions to address long-standing neighborhood issues. The Subarea Plan also sets priorities for the environment through innovative green infrastructure approaches and actions to improve water quality and flow control on a watershed basis while protecting and recharging the South Tacoma Aquifer.

The City has just started the Madison District Green Infrastructure Project, which is the first major capital project in the Tacoma Mall Area since the Subarea Plan was completed. The project is intended to improve neighborhood streets, fix drainage problems, and protect Puget Sound from polluted runoff by installing permeable pavement. Permeable pavement allows rain and other water falling on streets to soak into the ground and eventually into the groundwater rather than flowing into the stormwater system and directly into nearby waterways. The project will also include utility upgrades, significant landscaping, and 300 new trees. It is also the first section of the Loop Road, a concept recommended in the Tacoma Mal Subarea Plan to create a new 10-foot-wide walking, biking, and rolling path that loops around the neighborhood, improving walkability and connectivity.

In addition to the current capital project, the City's Urban Forestry Program is leading an effort with the City's Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality, Tacoma Tree Foundation, Pierce Conservation District, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, The Nature Conservancy, and other community partners to increase tree canopy in the neighborhood. This effort includes planting 300 new trees in 2022-2023 (in addition to the trees that are part of the Madison District Green Infrastructure Project); 2 community-engaged artist projects completed in 2022; and a research project with the University of Washington to measure the human health impacts of added tree canopy in the area.


Opportunity

The Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan contains several goals and actions, including the development of a “public art strategy for this neighborhood that identifies resources, partnerships and opportunities to foster and support cultural expression, awareness of neighborhood history and a sense of place and local identity” (Action CV-4).

The Subarea Plan should be a starting place for a strong vision and roadmap for art and culture interventions in the neighborhood, and the Art Plan should intersect with and support other goals and actions laid out in the Subarea Plan, which include urban form, land use, housing, transportation, environment, community vitality, utilities and services, and shared prosperity. There is tremendous opportunity to support stronger connections within the neighborhood, especially in relationship to the natural environment, community cohesion, and how people get around the neighborhood.

To inform the Art Plan, the artist or team will have the opportunity to build on: the community process to date; existing partnerships with local agencies, community members, and the steering committee; and logistical support from project staff. As part of developing the Art Plan, the artist or team should expect to spend time with the site. The artist or team will develop several opportunities to engage the neighborhood in creative ways as part of their work. Exact engagement methods will be determined by the artist or team, but should both contribute to community building now, and be a tool to demonstrate future engagement methods and activities.

The final Art Plan should identify a framework and potential art approaches that the City can implement as part of future projects in the area, starting with specific project recommendations in the Madison District Green Infrastructure Project footprint. This strategy will inform the direction of art projects in the area for the next 10-15 years and should include history and community input while providing a vision for the site. The Art Plan should include the development of overarching concepts for the area and be action oriented. It should also include recommended budgets, phasing, and actions that the City and partners could take to support a more livable and connected community in the Tacoma Mall Area.


Selection Criteria

  • Exhibited experience with public art and in creating public art plans
  • Quality of work as exemplified in past work
  • Ability to work successfully with community members, city staff, architects, engineers, planners, etc. to gather information and interpret it successfully in a plan
  • Ability to present ideas and concepts to public groups
  • Ability to think conceptually to develop artwork and art approaches
  • Ability to meet project timelines


Submission Process: Submit the following items via this Submittable form

· Basic Information: Series of yes/no questions and multiple choice

· Narrative Questions:

o Why are you interested in this project and what do you know about the Tacoma Mall area? (400 words or less)

o What skills or experience will help you develop an Art Plan? (300 words or less)

o What is your experience scoping public art projects? (300 words or less)

o How have you successfully engaged community in a past project? (300 words or less)

o Anything else you want to tell us? (Optional, 300 words or less)

· Work Samples with Descriptions:

o 10 digital images of past work with concise descriptions

o Optional: applicants may include up to 2 pdf planning documents, in place of images

· Resume

o Resume should not exceed 3 pages

  • Teams should submit one resume per member

o References will be requested if you move to the finalist stage

Timeline all dates subject to change

January 18, 12-1pm   Optional Info Session*: https://zoom.us/j/91357149660

February 8, 2023, 11:59pm   Applications due

By Feb 24, 2023 Finalists selected

Week of March 6, 2023 Optional Site Visit and Finalist Interviews

spring 2023 Contracting and Orientation

June 2024 Project Completed

*the zoom info session will be recorded. Email rebecca.solverson@cityoftacoma.org for a link.

Questions? Contact Rebecca Solverson, rebecca.solverson@cityoftacoma.org, 253-591-556

The Tacoma Arts Commission is accepting applications for the 2023-2025 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 2023 to April 2025, and receive a stipend of $4,000 paid in 4 installments over the two-year term. 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 2025 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 Lydia K. Valentine will curate and host a poetry event at which the newly selected Poet Laureate will be honored. The event date will be announced in early 2023.

In alignment with Tacoma City Council Resolution 40622, the Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to sustained and transformational anti‐racist work, including programming supported 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."

The Tacoma Arts Commission is striving toward social justice. We are committed to supporting equitable opportunities to broaden artistic expression while encouraging inter-sectional communities through inclusive relationships and outreach. Arts and culture are uniquely positioned to touch every person and every part of Tacoma. We are committed to supporting the entirety of our community.

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 should be prepared to make adjustments, as needed, in response to the current public health situation at the time of production.

Before applying, please read the full guidelines for complete terms.