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 City of Tacoma’s Division of Arts & Cultural Vitality, in partnership with the Environmental Services Department (ES), is seeking an artist to serve as an Artist in Residence (AiR) on a part-time basis from March 2024 through May 2025. The AiR will act as an in-house creative strategist and embedded artist to help address issues in the Solid Waste Division, especially related to public outreach and education. The AiR will produce tangible projects meant to increase awareness of issues, improve customer experience, and inspire behavioral change that leads to healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound. The AiR will work part-time in-person for a minimum average of 20 hours per week for the duration of the residency, and will have a dedicated workstation at Solid Waste offices. The stipend is meant to compensate the artist for their time and work. In addition to the stipend, the AiR will be provided access to funds for project implantation, on-site workspace, materials, expert staff, and in-kind support from ES. This AiR is funded by 1% for Art contributions generated by ES. The City encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds and creative disciplines to apply.  


  • This call is open to artists residing or working in King, Pierce, Thurston or Kitsap counties for the duration of the residency.  
  • Applicants must be willing to acquire a Tacoma Business License and Commercial General Liability Insurance if selected (staff is available to help with this).  
  • Applicants cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or an employee of the City of Tacoma. 
  • People who are members of historically disenfranchised racial, ethnic, cultural, and other identity groups are especially encouraged to apply.  


Selection Criteria  

  • Conceptual quality and demonstrated results as exhibited in past artworks 
  • Experience working in and with project and/or design teams 
  • Experience working with and engaging the public in projects 
  • Desire to coordinate and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders  
  • Ability to translate complex ideas into digestible materials 
  • Interest in the subject matter of the residency 
  • Artists with a connection to the Tacoma area will be prioritized 
  • The City is committed to reflecting the community it serves and delivering purposeful and equitable community outreach and engagement to our communities


Selection Timeline – all dates subject to change 

  • Optional Info Session -- December 6, 2023, @ 5:30pm (PST)
  • Applications Due -- January 4, 2024 (call closes 11:59pm PST)
  • Finalists Selected -- By January 19, 2024 
  • Optional Finalist Site Visit  -- Week of January 22, 2024 
  • Finalist Interviews & Selection -- Week of January 29, 2024 


About the Opportunity

The City of Tacoma’s neighborhoods and local waterways are negatively impacted by improper disposal of trash and garbage. To address this issue, the AiR program aims to inspire behavioral changes that lead to healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound. Although the AiR will be focused on Solid Waste, they will also be exposed to the other work that ES does. Issues the program may address include (but are not limited to) litter pollution impacting waterways, improper disposal of hazardous waste, and illegal dumping in the public right-of-way. The AiR will be structured in four phases:

  1. Research & Demonstration Project– The first phase will consist of research, informed by a comprehensive orientation. The artist will develop additional understanding of City processes through a demonstration project selected in partnership with project staff, based on the artist’s practice. 
  2. Workplan Development  
  3. Workplan Implementation 
  4. Final Report and Recommendations- In the fourth phase, the artist will develop a Final Report, including a summary of future recommendations to help guide future opportunities to integrate art and creative practices into the policies, practices, and procedures of ES.  

Projects produced during the residency may include (but are not limited to) artistic interventions; community engagement projects; temporary public artworks; the identification or mapping of cultural and community assets; the creation of new artworks; and/or access to artistic and cultural experiences that support the goals and values of the residency.  

AiR Goals: 

  • Increase awareness of issues identified by ES 
  • Improve experience for customers interacting with ES  
  • Inspire behavioral change that leads to healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound 

AiR Values: 

  • Community Engagement  
  • Continuous Learning and Adaptation  
  • Collaboration and Partnership 
  • Innovation and Exploration  
  • Transparency and Publication 
  • Sustainable Approaches