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2019 Arts Anchor Fund

Application Deadline: January 21, 2019, 11:59 PM

The City of Tacoma is now accepting Arts Anchor Fund applications from eligible Tacoma arts organizations.

The Arts Anchor Fund supports a diversity of art forms by providing Contracts for Cultural Services to major not-for-profit arts organizations located in Tacoma who provide arts related services to the public. An Arts Anchor is a community-based arts organization that significantly improves the quality of life for the citizens of Tacoma, “anchors” the cultural scene in Tacoma, has a solid history of financial stability, offers artistic work of exceptionally high quality, draws artists to the community, and significantly strengthens the mix of artistic offerings available locally. See guidelines for eligibility requirements and application instructions.


To be eligible for the Arts Anchor Fund, applicant organization must:

  • Be a private, non-profit 501(c)3
  • Be headquartered in Tacoma with major venues located within Tacoma city limits
  • Have a mission that is primarily arts centered
  • Have an annual operating budget of at least $250,000
  • Have a record of at least five years of ongoing paid employment of professional administrative and artistic personnel
  • Have a strategic plan
  • Produce programming fully accessible to all audiences
  • Comply with the laws of the Federal Government, the State of Washington and the City of Tacoma, including ADA accessibility, non-discrimination, and equal employment opportunities
  • Have a City of Tacoma business license
  • Acknowledge the City’s funding in all appropriate marketing and promotion
  • NOT receive funding for the same services directly from the City of Tacoma via other processes in 2019
  • NOT receive funding from the Tacoma Arts Commission via any other funding program in 2019
  • NOT be a school or school-based auxiliary organization (e.g., PTSAs)
  • NOT be a taxing authority or whose primary purpose is fundraising for such taxing authority
  • NOT have executive director and/or executive board members who are current members of the Tacoma Arts Commission
  • NOT apply funding to receptions; travel costs; fundraising events, even those for cultural services or those which include a public arts opportunity; debt service; endowment building; capital projects; or scholarships

About the Money

The Tacoma Arts Commission has allocated $130,000 for the Arts Anchor Fund in 2019. Contracts may range from $10,000 to $20,000 for the 2019 calendar year. Contracts will have an end date of December 31, 2019. Payments will be made in two phases. The contract with the organization will delineate specific deliverables to be fulfilled before payment can be made for each phase.

The panel will review applications and recommend funding levels based upon the availability of funds and review of each application as measured against the evaluation criteria detailed in the guidelines. Funding is determined through a competitive application process. Application to or previous funding from the Arts Anchor Fund does not guarantee funding. No funding is guaranteed until official approval of the budget by Tacoma City Council.

How to Apply

The 2019 application is comprised of three items:

  1. 2019 Arts Anchor Fund guidelines (PDF)
  2. 2019 Financial Forms (Excel)
  3. 2019 Events Form (Excel)

Access the online 2019 Arts Anchor Fund application form.  


Contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or by email.

2019-20 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP) Funding

Preliminary Application Feedback Deadline (optional): January 14, 2019

Application Deadline:
January 21, 2019, 11:59 PM

Award Amounts: $2,500 each


The City of Tacoma is now accepting Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP) funding applications from eligible Tacoma artists who wish to create new artwork in any discipline and present that work through a free public component. 


TAIP Guidelines and Application Instructions

Download the full TAIP guidelines and application instructions


About TAIP Funding

The TAIP was established in 1999 to encourage the contributions made by individual artists within the City of Tacoma. The goal of the program is to recognize high quality talent of the artists in our community and assist them in generating new work and presenting that work to the community through a free public component.

Artists working in all disciplines including literary, performing, new media, and visual arts are encouraged to apply. Cross-disciplinary approaches are also encouraged. Only one application per artist will be accepted.


The Tacoma Arts Commission has allocated up to $65,000 for TAIP funding, and each selected artist will be awarded $2,500. Funding for TAIP is determined through a competitive application process. A panel comprised of Tacoma Arts Commission members, community members and past TAIP awardees will review applications and make funding recommendations. Those recommendations will go to the Tacoma Arts Commission for approval. All projects selected for TAIP funding must be completed by December 31, 2020.


To be eligible for TAIP funding, applicant must:

  • Be a resident of the City of Tacoma. Note: not all postal mailing addresses that say ‘Tacoma’ are  located within the city limits of Tacoma. Check this map to verify that you live within Tacoma city limits 
  • Be a practicing artist, dedicated to producing artwork on a regular basis
  • Be applying as an individual artist
  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Produce a public component to their project that will be free to the public; will take place within Tacoma city limits; and will be fully accessible to all audiences, including individuals with disabilities 
  • Already have or, if selected for funding, will obtain a City of Tacoma business license
  • Comply with the laws of the Federal Government, the State of Washington and the City of Tacoma, including ADA accessibility, non‐discrimination and equal employment opportunities
  • Acknowledge the City’s funding in all appropriate marketing and promotion of the project
  • NOT have received a TAIP award in the past two cycles (2015-2018)
  • NOT be a full time undergraduate or graduate student in an arts-related degree program
  • NOT be a member of the TAIP selection panel
  • NOT be a current Tacoma Arts Commission member, City Council member, or City of Tacoma employee

Application Workshop

Applicants are encouraged to attend a free workshop which explains and addresses questions about the application and funding process on December 13, 2018, from 5:30-7 PM, in the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street, 2nd floor, Room 243.


To Apply

Download the 2019-20 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program Guidelines and Application Instructions (PDF) for complete information on the funding program and how to apply.


Access the online application and apply now


Download the 2019-20 TAIP Project Budget Page (PDF).


Have questions about how to fill out the budget? Take a look at this example budget sheet.




Contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or by email.

2019-2021 Tacoma Poet Laureate

Application Deadline

February 18, 2019





Call to Artists

Download the Call to Artists PDF



The Tacoma Arts Commission announces the eighth annual Tacoma Poet Laureate competition, the winner of which will be named Tacoma Poet Laureate for 2019-2021.

The Tacoma Poet Laureate will hold the title for a period of two years, from May 2019 to April 2021, and receive a stipend of $4,000.  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; participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October; and help produce the 2021 Tacoma Poet Laureate ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate is expected to determine the direction, focus, and appropriate public components for their term of service.

In keeping with the City of Tacoma’s Equity and Empowerment Initiative, the Tacoma Poet Laureate should actively strive to engage the breadth of Tacoma’s citizenry, expanding access to the literary arts to underserved/underrepresented audiences including people of different races/ethnicities, ages, sexual orientation and identity, ability, and income. 

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

Current Tacoma Poet Laureate, Kellie Richardson, will curate and host a poetry event at which the winner of this year's Poet Laureate competition will be awarded. The event date and location will be announced soon.



  • Applicant must live in Pierce County and be actively engaged in Tacoma’s creative community. Staff will verify addresses against official Pierce County maps. 

  • Applicant must be a practicing artist, dedicated to producing poetry (in any form, genre, or style) on a regular basis. 

  • Applicant must be 18 years or older.

  • Applicant cannot be a previous Tacoma Poet Laureate title holder.

  • Applicant cannot be a current Tacoma Arts Commission member, City Council member, City of Tacoma staff member, or Tacoma Poet Laureate selection panel member.

To Apply

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


Proof of Residency

Such as your Washington State ID, Driver’s License, housing lease, or current utility bill to indicate your current residency within Pierce County.

Short Responses

Answers to the following five questions. Limit each answer to no more than 250 words. 

  • Describe your relationship to Tacoma.  
  • What do you see is the role a Poet Laureate should play in a community?
  • How would you serve the community as Tacoma Poet Laureate?
  • Outline your proposed community engagement strategy. How will you encourage others, especially underserved/underrepresented poetry audiences, to participate in the literary arts? 
  • Briefly summarize two sample workshops or projects you think might appeal to public audiences that you would consider presenting as Tacoma Poet Laureate. 

Artist Resume or Bio



Names and contact information for two references who can speak to how you would serve in a public role promoting poetry.


Work Samples with Descriptions

  • Five written poetry samples of your own composition, and
  • One to 2 recorded poetry samples - submit URLs or digital video or audio recording samples of you reading or performing your own compositions. At least one recorded piece should be the same composition as one of the written poetry samples you are submitting. 


For additional information, please contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or via email.


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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191