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Tacoma Arts Commission


Created in 1965, the Tacoma Arts Commission is one of the oldest arts commissions in Washington State. The primary responsibility of the Commission is to create policies to support the ongoing development of arts programs and projects in Tacoma. Its primary programs include the funding of artists and arts organizations to provide services for the community in Tacoma, Tacoma Arts Month, and oversight of public art as part of the Municipal Art Program.



The Tacoma Arts Commission is a 15-member volunteer commission made up of Tacoma residents who are arts advocates and/or artists. The Commission's functions are outlined in Chapter 1.28A and 1.28B of the Tacoma Municipal Code.


Current Members

Benjamin Maestas III, Chair
Olivia Samuel, Vice Chair
Jasmine Brown
Heather Conklin
Heide Fernandez-Llamazares
Michael Kula
Wade Neal
Elizabeth Pew
Jeanette Sanchez
Jamika Scott
MaryMikel Stump
Alejandra Villeda
Joe Williams
John Hines, City Council Liaison
Keith Blocker, City Council Liaison Alternate


Statement of Commitment

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.


ArtFull Tacoma

ArtFull TacomaIn July 2016, the Tacoma City Council adopted ArtFull Tacoma, a five-year strategic plan to direct the work of the Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality and the Tacoma Arts Commission and ensure alignment with Tacoma 2025, the City of Tacoma's strategic plan.

Read the full ArtFull Tacoma plan

Read the ArtFull Tacoma overview



2021 Service Overview

2021 overview graphic page 1

2021 overview graphic page 2


Tacoma Arts Commission Application

Commission members are appointed by the Tacoma City Council to three-year terms, following an application and interview process. To apply for the Tacoma Arts Commission please visit the Committees, Boards, and Commissions page


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


Tacoma Arts Commission Service Commitment

The Tacoma Arts Commission’s monthly meetings are held from 5 - 7 PM on the second Monday of each month. Typically, meetings are held at the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St., Room 248) but, due to COVID-19, meetings are currently held by Zoom. Regular attendance at these monthly meetings is required. Beyond monthly meetings, commissioners are asked to sit on at least one subcommittee and one selection panel each year. Commissioners are also asked to periodically attend and evaluate programs produced by artists and organizations that the Commission funds and are expected to attend and assist with all major programs the Commission produces. A major commitment of the Commission is helping support Tacoma Arts Month, which happens each October. 


We encourage and welcome prospective applicants to attend a meeting of the Tacoma Arts Commission in advance of applying. 


Tacoma Arts Commission Conflict of Interest Explanation

In accordance with the City of Tacoma’s ethics policy, serving on the Tacoma Arts Commission makes commission members and their immediate family (spouse/partner and children) ineligible, during their term of service, to enter into any funding contracts with the City of Tacoma. This includes contracts through any of the Tacoma Arts Commission’s funding programs including the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program and Community Arts Projects (cannot be administrative staff of any applicant organization and/or an artist, who will be paid with money received through Community Arts Projects funding). Commissioners would also be ineligible to apply for or receive any funding contracts for public art projects, Tacoma Poet Laureate, or any other program of the Commission which have monetary funds from the City associated with it.  Service on the Commission would not prohibit commissioners from having a contract through Spaceworks Tacoma, which operates out of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. It is against the City’s ethics policy to accept gifts of any monetary value in relation to service on the Commission.