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2019 Arts Projects Funding


The Arts Projects program financially supports a variety of high quality arts projects throughout Tacoma. This funding can be used for artistic presentations, activities, workshops or projects that are accessible to the general public. Admission may be charged to these projects, as long as the application demonstrates public benefit (see definition in ‘About the Money’ section). The arts activity may be a one-time event or a small number of events that are closely related. It may also be an ongoing project or neighborhood public art project.


Application Workshop (optional)

Thursday, October 4, 2018, 5:30 - 7 PM, Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market Street, 2nd floor, Room 248). First time applicants are strongly encouraged to send a representative to the workshop. 


Preliminary Application Feedback Deadline (optional)

October 29, 2018


Application Deadline

November 5, 2018, 11:59 PM


Funding Application Guidelines and Budget Page

Download the 2019 Arts Projects application guidelines (PDF) for complete funding information including eligibility.

Download the 2019 Arts Projects Budget Page (Excel document) to attach to your application.


About the Money

Applicants can apply for anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 for their project. Typically, contracts average around $2,500. Contracts will specify a specific public benefit that will be provided to the citizens of Tacoma in exchange for the funding. 


Funding for Arts Projects is determined through a competitive application process. Actual contract amounts will be based upon the availability of funds and review of each application as measured against the evaluation criteria detailed in these guidelines. Funding from year to year is not guaranteed. No funding is guaranteed until official approval of the budget by Tacoma City Council.

Applicants must employ a variety of revenue sources and in-kind support to fund their project. The full Arts Project funding amount will not be available to recipients until after their project is completed. Recipients should be prepared to cover the costs of the project until that time, but the City will work with each awardee on a case-by-case basis to try and stagger payment phases to lessen financial strain.

How to Apply

Please submit the following at www.tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit:

  • Basic contact and project information including a brief (40 words or less) overview of your project and its intent
  • Budget Page (Download the 2019 Arts Projects Budget Page), fill it out, and attach it to your electronic application) 
  • Narrative Responses (see the 2019 Arts Projects application guidelines for a list of narrative questions)
  • Written permission (email or letter) from the property owner to indicate their willingness to host the proposed project. Or, a written explanation of the preferred location along with a clear plan to secure the necessary sites/partnerships should funding be awarded. A letter is not needed if applicant organization is hosting project at a location they own.
  • Artistic Work Samples and descriptions 


For assistance, please contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

East 64th Streetscape


The City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality is seeking an artist or artist team to participate in the streetscape improvements along Tacoma’s East 64th Street, between Pacific Avenue and McKinley Avenue by creating permanent public artwork(s) along the streetscape to enliven this multi-modal transportation corridor running through this residential neighborhood. In addition, the artist will work with the design team to affect the aesthetic design of the streetscape and identify opportunities for discrete or integrated artworks to be incorporated into the streetscape design in future phases. The project should be informed by a meaningful community engagement process in order to reflect the needs of the community, create identity, and communicate an authentic sense of place. The selected artist will have experience working with diverse cultural communities and demonstrated success creating aesthetically strong artwork that results from community engagement. 


Application Deadline

October 10, 2018, 11:59 PM



$72,000, all-inclusive


Call to Artists

Download the complete Call to Artists. 



  • Applicant(s) must live in Washington State.
  • Applicant(s) can apply as a single artist or as an artist team.
  • Applicant(s) must be 18 years or older and not a full-time student.
  • Applicant(s) must be a professional artist.
  • Applicant(s) 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 encouraged to apply. 


October 10, 2018, 11:59 PM  Deadline for submissions 
Week of October 15, 2018 Review of submissions and selection of finalists
Week of October 22, 2018 Site visit with finalists (optional)
Week of October 29, 2018 Interviews with finalists and selection of artist/artist team
November – January 2019 Work with the community and design team
Late November 2018 Preliminary concept(s) due
January 2019 Final design(s) due
June 2019 Construction to begin

*All dates subject to change


Contact Naomi Strom-Avila, (253) 591-5191, nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

Submission Process

Eligible artists and artist teams interested in this opportunity must submit the following four items via Submittable: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. 

This is a request for qualifications, not proposals – please do not submit proposals for this opportunity. 


Short Responses

Responses to the following questions in 200 words or less each:

  • What is your approach to public art? 
  • Why are you interested in this project? 
  • What is your experience working with design teams? If you have not worked with a design team, what skills or experience do you have to successfully complete this part of the project? 
  • What is your experience working with diverse communities?
  • How have you successfully engaged community to influence your work?

Resume and References

Three pages or less, including three professional references. Artist teams should submit a resume for each artist. Only finalists’ references will be contacted.


Work Samples and Descriptions

Ten digital images of past work with concise descriptions. If available, work samples should include documentation of similar past public projects. Artist teams are encouraged to submit work that was previously completed as a team.


Two Samples of Community Engaged Process

Two samples of the artist’s community engaged process. Samples can be videos, articles, images, marketing materials, project web pages – anything that helps tell the story of a relevant past project that engaged community in a meaningful way. Samples can be submitted as JPEG images, PDF or Word documents, and/or URL links to web pages or videos.

Portable Artworks Collection Purchase


The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking to expand its Municipal Art Collection by purchasing colorful original portable artworks from Tacoma artists. Portable works can include two-dimensional pieces and small-scale three-dimensional pieces that fall within Artwork Eligibility guidelines as listed below. Media can include, but is not limited to: painting, drawing, works on paper, photography, printmaking, digital, collage, mosaics, fiber, mixed-media, and wall-mountable low-relief sculpture.


Call to Artists

Download the complete Call to Artists. 



Up to $20,000 in total purchases, including any required framing

Application Deadline

September 30, 2018, 11:59 PM

Artist Eligibility 
  • Must live in Tacoma, WA (Check this map to verify that you live within Tacoma city limits) 
  • Must be 18 years or older

  • Cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or a panel member for this purchase opportunity

  • Panel will prioritize artists that are not currently represented in the portable collection, emerging artists, and artists from communities underrepresented in the collection

Artwork Eligibility
  • Submit up to three pieces of existing artwork available for purchase
  • Content/subject matter must be suitable for a general audience
  • Must be able to be hung on a wall
  • Artwork should be no smaller than 8” x 8” and no larger than 4’ x 4’. Artwork cannot extend further than 6” from the wall. Artwork may be composed of multiple pieces hung together.
  • Work should be submitted unframed. The Tacoma Arts Commission will take care of any required framing
  • Must be an original artwork or signed and numbered limited edition
  • Must be durable and require little maintenance
  • Cannot require a power source or utilities such as an electrical outlet, batteries, or running water
  • Price cannot exceed $1,500 per artwork submitted (excluding taxes)
Selection Criteria

Artwork will be selected on the basis of:

  • Artistic quality
  • Appropriateness for a public setting
  • Ability of work to add color and/or visual impact to a professional workplace
  • Diversity of work and artists represented in the City’s artwork collection 


September 30, 2018, 11:59 pm Deadline for submissions 
Week of October 8, 2018 Round 1 - Image & Application Review
October 12, 2018 Notification of initial Application Review decisions
October 26, 2018, 9 AM – 5 PM Delivery of selected artwork to be considered
Week of November 9, 2018 Round 2 - Artwork Review & Selection
By November 9, 2018 Notification of final selection decisions 



To Apply

Eligible artists interested in this opportunity must submit the following three items via Submittable: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit

  1. Digital Images with Descriptions  - Up to 3 images of existing artworks that are available for purchase (1 image per artwork)
  2. Artist bio in 250 words or less, describing yourself and your work

Contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or email nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

2018 Tacoma Arts Month Activities

Preferred deadline: August 6, 2018 – Late submissions accepted on a rolling basis

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts activities happening during our 17th annual Tacoma Arts Month this October. We are looking for a variety of activities spanning all categories of art and culture including but not limited to music, visual art, literary art, dance, theater, and film.

If you will be hosting an exhibition, performance, class, workshop, reception, lecture, tour, artists’ market, celebration, meeting, presentation, or any other art programming in Tacoma, we will list your event on the Tacoma Arts Month online calendar. There is no cost to you. We will be promoting the many events going on throughout the month through newspaper and magazine advertisements and articles, e-newsletters, television ads, radio ads, and a variety of social media outlets.


This month would not be possible without the participation of local businesses, organizations, and community members. We encourage you to participate by hosting your own arts activity or event.


The deadline for the first round of submissions is August 6, 2018. We will accept activities on a rolling basis after that but submitting your information by August 6th will ensure that your activity is included in the first round of information that will go out.


To Qualify
Your arts activity must be located within the City of Tacoma limits and occur during the month of October. 

To Participate
Fill out the online submission form via Submittable: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. Please note: If you are submitting multiple events, please fill out an individual form for each event.



Contact Rachel Betron at (253) 591-5191 or rbetron@cityoftacoma.org.

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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191