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2017 Tacoma Arts Month Activities

Tacoma Arts Month activity photos

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts activities happening during our 16th 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 programming, let us know. We will list your arts event in an interactive and searchable online calendar of events on the Tacoma Arts Month website. 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, electronic newsletters, television ads, radio ads, and through a variety of social media outlets.

To Qualify

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


Submissions accepted on a rolling basis.


To Participate

Fill out the online submission form at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. Note: If you are submitting multiple events, please fill out a form for each event.



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

Portable Artworks Purchase & Artist Workshop – Eastside Community Center

Metro Parks Tacoma Public Art Program 



Up to $14,000 in total purchases, including any required framing



November 1, 2017, 11:59 PM



Pierce County artists are encouraged to submit existing original portable artworks for consideration of purchase and installation at the new Eastside Community Center in Tacoma. Eastside artists and residents, people who have strong historical connections to the Eastside, people of Indigenous ancestry, and/or people of immigrant and refugee communities are especially encouraged to participate. 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. This call is being managed by the City of Tacoma’s Arts Office.

Optional Workshop

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 1-3 PM

Portland Avenue Community Center, 3513 Portland Ave E.


Please join us for an optional free workshop with artists Christopher Paul Jordan and Kenji Stoll. You’ll learn more about opportunities for artists related to the new Eastside Community Center, have a chance to ask questions about this portable works opportunity, and talk with professional artists and City arts staff about general opportunities for artists. Artists with a connection to Tacoma’s Eastside are encouraged to attend. Snacks will be served! RSVP to Asia Tail, atail@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5206. 

Artist Eligibility

  • Applicants must live in Pierce County
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • Panel will prioritize artists with a tie to the Eastside community
  • Applicants cannot be an employee, board member, council member, or commissioner of Metro Parks Tacoma or the City of Tacoma.

Artwork Eligibility

  • Submit up to six (6) pieces of existing artwork available for purchase.
  • Artwork may be composed of multiple pieces hung together, and must be able to be hung on a wall.
  • Content/subject matter must be suitable for a general audience.
  • Artwork should be no smaller than 8” x 8”, no larger than 4’ x 4’, and no more than 6” deep. 
  • Artwork should be submitted unframed. Metro Parks will take care of any required framing.
  • Artwork must be an original artwork or signed and numbered limited edition.
  • Artwork must be durable, require little maintenance, and cannot require a power source or utilities.
  • Price cannot exceed $1,500 per artwork submitted (excluding taxes). 

Selection Criteria

  • Artistic quality
  • Appropriateness for a public setting
  • Ability of work to create a more welcoming environment at the community center
  • Relevance or relationship of artist and/or artwork to the Eastside community
  • Relationship to other selected works and ability to contribute to the themes of the community center and Art Brief (see below in Background section).
  • Diversity of work and artists represented in Metro Park Tacoma’s artwork collection


The Eastside Community Center, opening in 2018 on the First Creek Middle School campus, will offer a wide variety of recreational, enrichment, and learning opportunities for people of all ages. The Center is a partnership between Metro Parks, City of Tacoma, Tacoma Housing Authority, and Tacoma Public Schools, driven by a strong grassroots movement and community buy-in, and inspired by a vision of Billy Ray Shirley III, a youth leader whose life was cut short before he could pursue his dream of building a community center. For more information, visit metroparkstacoma.org/eastside.


Art Brief 

Artist team Christopher Paul Jordan and Kenji Stoll worked with community to develop an Art Brief that proposes seven different opportunities for artwork to be incorporated into the Center.


View the Art Brief




October 7, 2017 Informational workshop (optional)
November 1, 2017 Deadline for submissions
By December 1, 2017 Notification of Image & Application Review decisions
By December 11, 2017, 5 PM Delivery of selected artwork for Review and Selection
By January 19, 2018 Notification of Artwork Review and Selection decisions


Artists whose work is being considered for purchase must deliver or ship the actual artwork for final review and possible selection for purchase. Artists whose works are not recommended for purchase will be asked to pick up their artwork, at cost to the artist.


Selected artwork should be mailed/delivered to:

Tacoma Arts Commission
Portable Works Purchase
747 Market Street, Room 900
Tacoma, WA 98402

How To Apply 

Send in the following three items via Submittable:

  1. Up to six (6) images of existing artworks (one image per artwork), plus artwork information.
  2. Tell us about your connection to the Eastside, in 100 words or less.
  3. Give us your artist bio in 250 words or less, describing your work and artistic practice.


Contact Rebecca Solverson at (253) 591-5564 or rebecca.solverson@cityoftacoma.org.

2018 Arts Projects Funding

Online Application Deadline

November 6, 2017, 11:59 PM


The City of Tacoma is now accepting Arts Projects funding applications from eligible organizations producing publicly accessible arts programming within Tacoma city limits in 2018. Arts Projects funding ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, and supports community projects that focus on the arts. Funded events must take place between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.


Eligibility extends to private non-profit agencies with a 501(c) designation; organized groups of community volunteers, such as a business district or neighborhood council with an advisory body, business license and organizational bank account; educational institutions or for-profit businesses wishing to produce not-for-profit arts functions; and federally-recognized tribes or Native non-profits. Applicants are required to have offices within Tacoma or, if they have no office, a majority of the applicant’s activities must take place within Tacoma city limits. See guidelines for complete eligibility requirements.


Application Workshop

Applicants are encouraged to attend a free workshop, which explains and addressed questions about the application and funding process. The workshop will be held October 12, 2017, from 12 – 1:30 PM, at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street, 2nd floor, room 248.


Guidelines and Application Instructions 

Download the 2018 Arts Projects 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 2018 Arts Projects Budget Page only (PDF).



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

Tacoma Arts Commission Volunteer Opportunity

Application Deadline

October 23, 2017



The Tacoma City Council invites individuals who are knowledgeable and passionate about the literary, visual and/or performing arts to apply for the Tacoma Arts Commission. If you are interested in supporting, enhancing and providing leadership for the arts in Tacoma, this is a great opportunity.


The Tacoma City Council is looking for applicants to fill the following positions on the Tacoma Arts Commission:

  • At-Large positions 1, 4, 5, and 6 - Persons representative of acknowledged accomplishment or persons working outside of professional practice in the arts but who demonstrate a deep interest in, and appreciation of, cultural and artistic activities
  • Cross District Association/Community Council - A person representing the Cross District Association or Tacoma Neighborhood Council
  • Tacoma Public Education - A person working in the Tacoma public education community

The Commission consists of 15 volunteer members who are appointed by the Economic Development Committee and confirmed by the City Council to serve three-year terms. Members are Tacoma residents who are arts advocates and/or artists.

The Tacoma Arts Commission 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 Tacoma residents, 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.


Meetings are held from 5 - 7 PM on the second Monday of each month, in the Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16 (728 St. Helens Ave., 1st floor). Beyond monthly meetings, commissioners are asked to sit on at least one committee and one funding panel. Commissioners are also asked to periodically attend and evaluate programs produced by artists and organizations the Commission funds and are expected to attend and assist with all major programs the Commission produces.


To Apply

Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by October 23, 2017. To apply, please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication or contact Sola Wingenbach at (253) 591-5178 or via email, or stop by the City Clerk’s Office, Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., Room 11, Tacoma, WA 98402.



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

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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191