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Panel Interest Form

What is a Panel?

A panel is a group of individuals pulled together by staff to review applications or nominations for Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality managed programs or opportunities. Panel members use published review criteria to evaluate applications and make recommendations about who gets grant funding, public art projects, roster appointments, etc.

Panelists are selected for a variety of reasons which can include: their connection to community, knowledge of relevant subject matter, and the diversity of perspectives and experiences they bring to the group overall. For each opportunity, we assemble a unique panel of three to nine people to make collective recommendations about which applicants should receive funding or commissions through our office. Those recommendations generally go to the Tacoma Arts Commission or the Tacoma Creates Advisory Board for final approval.

Why be a Panelist?

The Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality (OACV) is deeply appreciative of the time and expertise community members invest in serving on panels. Serving on a panel is a proactive way to impact how public funds are spent in Tacoma, and panelists receive valuable professional development as well as insight into how the application review process works from the inside.

OACV provides panelists with free parking and food during meetings, in addition to offering a monetary stipend.

The length and number of meetings needed for a selection process vary based on the project. Depending on the application, some panels will require a small amount of prep work in advance, one to two hours, and some panels may require extensive reading and evaluation work in advance of the in-person panel meeting, anywhere from 10-50 hours. Community members will be offered a stipend for their service as follows:

  • $50 – quarter day meeting (1 – 2 hours)
  • $100 – half day meeting (3 ‐ 4 hours)
  • $200 – full day meeting (6 – 9 hours)
  • $100 – pre‐meeting work to digitally read and score applications (only when requested)

Members of a City‐appointed commission or board are volunteers and are not eligible to receive a stipend for their service on a panel. City of Tacoma employees and project staff are not eligible to receive a stipend for their service on a panel.

Submit a Panel Interest Form

Please complete the online form to be considered for a position on an upcoming OACV panel: www.surveymonkey.com/r/tacomapanels 


Staff will take into account many factors when putting together panels, and may not be able to use the services of all qualified individuals who submit. If an individual is offered a position on a panel but is unable to participate because of scheduling or conflict of interest, OACV will continue to consider them for future panels. Panel Interest Forms will be saved and reviewed periodically for up to three years from the submission date.


If you have questions, please contact Naomi Strom-Avila at nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5191.

Professional Development

New in 2021, the Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality will be collaborating with local organizations to provide free professional development workshops for Tacoma creatives, artists, creative workers, cultural workers, and arts advocates.


Workshop 1: LGBTQ Core Competency

Whether you are new to learning about the LGBTQ community or consider yourself well informed, the LGBTQ Core Competency training will equip you with current and accurate information surrounding laws, terminology, and more so that you can feel confident in your knowledge and be an effective ally to the LGBTQ community.


The LGBTQ Core Competency workshop is FREE on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 5-7 PM. Register for this virtual LGBTQ Core Competency workshop by emailing education@rainbowcntr.org and then you'll receive a confirmation message with a Zoom link to attend the workshop.


Workshop 2: Gender Identity

Society’s construction of gender, how it is defined, and how it is expressed has impacted us in ways we may not easily recognize. This, in turn, has created barriers for transgender and GNC (gender nonconforming) people to be affirmed in their gender identities. Learn more about gender identity, gender expression, and how to deconstruct social constructions of gender so you can be an effective ally and contribute to creating a sensitive, affirming, and welcoming space for trans and GNC folks. Whether you're searching for ways to be a better advocate for the trans community, or you're interested in reflecting on your own trans identity in an informational space, we welcome you to the Rainbow Center's Gender Identity training.

The Gender Identity workshop is FREE on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 from 5-6:30 PM. Register for this free virtual Gender Identity workshop by emailing education@rainbowcntr.org and then you'll receive a confirmation message with a Zoom link to attend the workshop.

If you have any questions about accessibility and workshop details, please contact the Rainbow Center at (253) 383-2318 or by email at education@rainbowcntr.org in advance.


LGBTQ Core Competency and Gender Identity workshops are hosted by Rainbow Center and City of Tacoma Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality.

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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191