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2024 Community Arts Projects Funding

Application Deadline

October 30, 2023, 11:59 PM



The Community Arts Projects funding program financially supports organizations and groups producing arts-focused community projects that are inclusive, accessible, and/or address equity issues. Projects must take place in Tacoma and can happen anytime between January 1 – December 31, 2024. This funding can be used for artistic presentations, activities, events, workshops, experiences, festivals, performances, or other projects that are accessible to the general public – either in-person and/or virtually. Admission may be charged for these projects, as long as the application demonstrates public benefit. The proposal may be for a one-time project, a number of projects that are closely related, or an annual or ongoing project. Collaborations between organizations and/or artists are encouraged but not required. Groups applying are not required to be a 501(c) non-profit nor are they required to use a fiscal sponsor.


In alignment with Tacoma City Council Resolution 40622, the Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to sustained and transformational anti‐racist work, including through the Community Arts Projects funding program. As stated by Mayor Victoria Woodards, "Dismantling more than 400 years of systemic racism will not happen overnight. This must be a sustained effort that invites the whole community to join us in radically reimagining our institutions and the services they provide."


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.


We invite applicants to consider how their proposed project can help build a more Compassionate Tacoma with projects that are equitable and inclusive, offer opportunities for connection and relationship building, and contribute to the social, emotional, and physical well-being of our community members.


All projects must follow state and local health regulations; applicants should be prepared to adjust projects, as needed, in response to the current public health situation at the time of production.


Funding Priorities

The Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to investing in communities most impacted by racial, social, and economic inequity. This includes emerging and grassroots groups directly serving their communities and collaborations between organizations. The intention of these funding priorities is to foster programming that addresses historic and structural inequities, as we work toward justice for all.


All applications will be reviewed, and funding decisions made, using the Evaluation Criteria. An applicant’s proposed project does not need to meet any of the Funding Priorities listed below to be considered for funding. But, as part of the funding allocation process, the panel will prioritize funding for applicants or projects that meet one or more of the following:

  • Organizations, projects, or strategies that primarily give voice to racial justice and/or social justice
  • Organizations, projects, or strategies that primarily give voice to economically or socio-economically marginalized communities
  • Organizations, projects, or strategies that primarily give voice to LGBTQIA+ communities
  • Organizations, projects, or strategies that primarily give voice to people with disabilities
  • Organizations whose primary intentions, practices, and mission are by, for, and about people of the global majority / Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) / African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, Native-American (ALAANA) communities 
  • Organizations who will use Community Arts Projects funding to directly pay people of the global majority / Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) / African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, Native-American (ALAANA) collaborators to create work that is central to the project
  • Projects that will address emergent community needs

Virtual Application Workshop (optional)

A virtual application workshop will be held on October 10, 5:30 - 7 pm at https://bit.ly/24CAPworkshop. First time applicants are strongly encouraged to attend this workshop or watch the recording, which will be posted here. The workshop will explain and address questions about the application and funding program. 


Preliminary Application Feedback Deadline (optional)

October 20, 2023


Application Deadline

October 30, 2023, 11:59 PM


Funding Application Guidelines

Download the 2024 Community Arts Projects application guidelines (PDF) for complete funding information, including eligibility.


Download the 2024 budget sheet. You will need to fill out this budget sheet and attach it to your online application.


Download an example of a completed budget sheet to see how to fill it out.


About the Money

Applicants can apply for a set amount of either $6,000 or $3,000 for their project. If the applicant applies for $6,000 of funding but is not selected for funding at that level, they have the option of being considered for funding at the $3,000 level. There is no advantage to applying for one level of funding over the other. Applicants are encouraged to apply for what they need to successfully complete their project, with the knowledge that funding at either level is not guaranteed.


Funding for Community Arts Projects is based on the availability of funds allocated by the City and is determined through a competitive application process. A panel of community members will review and score each application using the Evaluation Criteria detailed in the guidelines and will make funding recommendations to the Tacoma Arts Commission. The Tacoma Arts Commission will review the panel’s recommendations and make a final determination on which applicants to fund and at what level. Applicants may apply for funding every year, however funding from year to year is not guaranteed. The number of contracts awarded will be based on the availability of funds.


Organizations selected for funding will be required to sign a contract for services, which lays out the amount of funding the organization will receive and the public benefit that the organization will provide. The full amount of funding will not be paid up front. Funding will be broken into several payment phases spread out over the term of the funding contract. Organizations will receive final payment after all services have been provided and a final report has been submitted. Organizations should be prepared to cover the costs of their project until that time, but the City will work with each awardee to stagger payment phases to lessen financial strain.  


How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through the Community Arts Projects Funding online application form at www.tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. The Application form will ask for the following items:

  • Basic contact and project information including a brief (40 words or less) overview of your project and its intent
  • Budget Page (Download the budget form, save to your computer, fill out, and attach to your electronic application. To see an example of a completed budget form, click here.) 
  • Narrative Responses (written, video, or audio responses to questions outlined in the 2024 Community Arts Projects application guidelines)
  • Location Confirmation or Plan: 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 virtually or at a location they own. 
  • Letter of Commitment: If you are collaborating with any organizations or individuals whose role is central to your project’s success, please provide written confirmation (letter or email) of their commitment to your project.
  • Artistic Work Samples and descriptions 


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

Tacoma Arts Commission Volunteer Opportunity

Application Deadline

October 1, 2023



Individuals who are interested in supporting, enhancing, and providing leadership for the arts in Tacoma are invited to apply to serve on the Tacoma Arts Commission (TAC). The Tacoma City Council is looking for volunteer arts advocates and/or artists to fill the following positions on the TAC: 

  • Five At-Large Positions – Individuals representative of acknowledged accomplishment or working outside of professional practice in the arts but who demonstrate a deep interest in and appreciation of cultural and artistic activities

The TAC is comprised of 15 volunteer members who are appointed by the Economic Development Committee and confirmed by the Tacoma City Council to serve three-year terms. Applicants must live within the city of Tacoma.


The TAC provides leadership in supporting and enhancing the arts for the benefit of the city and its residents. 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 Commission's functions are outlined  in Chapter 1.28A and 1.28B of the Tacoma Municipal Code.


The TAC is striving towards social justice. They are committed to supporting equitable opportunities to broaden artistic expression while encouraging intersectional communities through inclusive relationships and outreach. Arts and culture are uniquely positioned to touch every person and every part of Tacoma, and the TAC is committed to supporting the entirety of the community. For these vacancies, BIPOC individuals, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, seniors, immigrants, and refugees are especially encouraged to apply.

Individuals appointed to sit on the TAC are subject to the Tacoma Municipal Code 1.28A (Tacoma Arts Commission), 1.28B (Municipal Art Program), 1.46 (Ethics Code), the Revised Code of Washington 42.56 (Public Records Act) and 42.30 (Open Public Meetings Act). Therefore, commissioners and their immediate family members may not be eligible for programs or funding managed by the Commission.
TAC meetings are held from 5 – 7 PM on the second Monday of each month. Meetings are held virtually on Zoom, and in-person at the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St., Room 248). 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. 

To Apply

Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by Sunday, October 1, 2023. To apply, please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication or contact Elizabeth Wing at (253) 591-5178 or via email.



For additional information on the Tacoma Arts Commission, please contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or via email

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.
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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191