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Funding

Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP)

The TAIP is a biennial program that was established in 1999 to encourage the contributions made by individual artists who reside in Tacoma. The goals of the program are to recognize creative expression of the artists in our community, financially assist artists in generating new work and growing their skills, and engage the broader community through free public components presented by the funded artists.

 

Click on the menu bar below to find out about current and past funded artists, how to apply, and support materials for funded artists.

 

Community Arts Projects

The Community Arts Projects funding program supports organizations and groups producing arts-focused community projects that are equitable, inclusive, and accessible.  

 

Click on the menu bar below to find out about current and past funded organizations and projects, how to apply, and support materials for funded organizations.

Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP)

2021-22 Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP) Funding Recipients

Curtis Ashby
 

Marit Berg

Marit Berg

Marit Berg was born and raised in San Diego, California. She attained her BA in Painting and Printmaking from San Diego State University and an MFA at Washington State University. She settled in Western Washington, where she is a tenured Art Professor at Tacoma Community College. Her main media is painting and printmaking. Marit is interested in subjects that represent the natural world, specifically, animals in their natural habitats and the delicate balance of environmental biomes. She exhibits her work annually at CORE Gallery, Seattle; and is represented by Davidson Galleries, Seattle; Brumfield Gallery, Astoria; and Karin Clarke Gallery, Eugene.

 

Marit has a fascination with patterns in nature. These may appear in amazing regularity or in an abstract density. What holds true for both is that the way we see patterns allows us to grasp the complexity of the whole. Bird murmurations are an example of abstract pattern densities. Hundreds of thousands of birds will fly in unison, usually at dusk, resulting in moving abstract patterns of varying densities creating value transitions from dark to light. These patterns inspire her installations on the walls of the gallery using thousands of screenprinted birds. Marit hopes to create an environment, which will encapsulate the viewer and create the similar awe one finds in nature.

Katie Dean

Katie Dean

Katie Dean is an artist and printmaker in Tacoma, who loves vibrant color combinations and natural themes for the foundation of her work. She hand carves and prints linoleum blocks from original drawings to create her images. Katie has had an ongoing interest in storytelling and illustration and will be creating a children’s book in collaboration with her friend Katherine Nugent, who is a writer and poet. Katherine recently shared writings that inspired Katie to create images encouraging young readers to imagine different boats as symbols for living a full and peaceful life.

“There’s the kayak of energy which symbolizes physical health and wellness and the row boat of unity which symbolizes working together, which are a few examples of concepts we are currently working on.” 

Once the project is completed, Katie and Katherine will organize public readings with local libraries and schools as a way to share their story.

Priscilla Dobler  

Lance Griffith

Lance Griffith

Lance Griffith is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation. His work is based on Native Pride. Lance works in large-scale oil and acrylic paintings on canvas. His goal is to celebrate Native heritage, through portraits of the Great Chiefs, with vibrant backgrounds and traditional designs. 
Maria Jost
 
Kareem Kandi
 

Ri'an Kelly

Ri'an Kelly

Ri’an Kelly is a fine artist with over 20 years of experience; she specializes in drawing and painting. She believes “Airplane” is a cinematic masterpiece, her favorite direction is left, and she has a hard time not dancing to disco. She holds it together with the support of her amazing (and funny) husband and beautiful daughter.

 

Ri’an will be creating a project that brings attention to abused, missing, and murdered women from many cultures and lifestyles. Many conditions exist that hinder everything from public knowledge to investigative services. The pandemic has also intensified some of these situations. Ri’an will create and exhibit 7 fine art charcoal portraits and compilations telling some of the stories of these women. Her work will also be made in to large-scale outdoor banners to be hung around Tacoma.

Gene Kemper  
Rico Lastrapes

David Long
 

Miriam McBride

Miriam McBride

Miriam McBride is a Fijian born, Tacoma based lifestyle photographer. They are self-taught and the founder of Truth Movement Innertainment, a locally based photography and storytelling company. Their art is both emotionally packed and captivating. They are passionate about capturing images that depict the connection between people and the places they occupy. Their work operates as both art and the documentation of modern history.

Their project "The Spaces In Between: Survival, Pleasure, & Legacy" is a photography series collection of narratives of the Black spaces that have existed, thrived, and provided safety for the Black community in Hilltop. Hilltop has been undergoing many attempts of gentrification, which attempts to erase the Black history, culture, and narratives of this community. This project will uplift these spaces that exist now and those that are carried on through the memory and hearts of those connected to Hilltop so that we can never forget where we've been in order to inform where we are going. 

Adrian Milanio

Adrian Milanio

Adrian Milanio is an R&B artist out of Tacoma. With the majority of touring and live performances on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided it was time to get creative and to put together a virtual concert for the Tacoma community. His fan base continues to grow with upwards of 10 million streams on Spotify and TikTok through music that connects with his young adult peers and mentorship through R&B legend Ne-Yo.

Mark Monlux

Mark Monlux

Mark Monlux is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. The bulk of his work has been in the adverting and publishing world, his work in recent years has turned to various aspects of Graphic Facilitation; Ideation Illustration, Cartoon Reporter, Sketchnotes, and Whiteboard Animation. He co-founded The C.L.A.W. and is a member of the Graphic Artist Guild, the National Cartoonists Society, and Cartoonists Northwest. He lives in Fern Hill with his loving wife.

As children we were taught to find objects in surroundings. Sometimes these would be out of context, such as in drawings where objects were hidden within a scene like a spatula hidden in the bark of tree, or an iron in a field of flowers. Jigsaw puzzles were another way we learned to organize our thoughts. Our reward would be a view of a larger picture with a sense of accomplishment. In 2019, Mark lost three family members and became familiar with hospice facilities. There was a constant between all the facilities he visited: jigsaw puzzles. On tables by bedsides and in the communal waiting rooms he saw jigsaw puzzles being constructed. They brought forward a familiar welcoming feeling of those bygone times of play and learning. It was a perfect low-key activity that brought enjoyment, of pieces coming together to form a big picture, a gratifying feeling of coming full circle. Those hospice moments inspired an idea. Mark will be creating a puzzle picture of a busy scene filled with people, animals, plants, and buildings, all bustling with activity. Within it there will be hidden objects. This image will in turn be turned into a jigsaw puzzle. Mark will hide some of these puzzles around Tacoma to be discovered by provided clues or chance. He will also be donating a few to local hospices and retirement centers.
Gloria Muhammad
 

Tamiko Nimura

Tamiko Nimura

Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American writer and public historian living in Tacoma. She has degrees in English from UC Berkeley (BA) and the University of Washington, Seattle (MA, PhD). Her poems, profiles, essays and interviews have appeared in KNKX, Narratively, The Rumpus, Discover Nikkei, International Examiner, Full Grown People, Heron Tree, HYPHEN, Kartika Review, and Blue Cactus Press. She is a 2016 Artists Up grant recipient and a 2019 GAP Award recipient. She is the author of Rosa Franklin: A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice (2019) and the co-author of a graphic novel, We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (May 2021).

Tamiko's project, PILGRIMAGE: HOW IT FEELS TO INHERIT CAMP, is an intergenerational family memoir with 3 large section: “Departure,” “Arrival,” and “Return.” Against the backdrop of a biennial Japanese American pilgrimage to Tule Lake (a former American concentration camp), Tamiko learns how to grieve the collective losses of her community, the loss of her teaching career, and the early loss of her Japanese American father. The book is an exploration of the personal, historical, and psychological afterlife of Japanese American wartime incarceration.

Chandler O'Leary

Chandler O'Leary

Chandler O’Leary is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and the proprietor of Anagram Press, a studio specializing in lettering, illustration, artist books, and narrative nonfiction writing. Her work is housed in over 50 public permanent collections, including the Library of Congress, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Yale University, Smith College, Walker Art Center, Stanford University, Washington State Library, University of Utah, Harvard College, the Newberry Library and the University of Washington. Chandler is also the author of the illustrated travel blog Drawn the Road Again, and one half of the collaborative team behind the Dead Feminists letterpress broadside series and book (published in 2016 by Sasquatch Books). Her second book, The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas, was published by Sasquatch Books in 2019, followed by a companion book of postcards in 2020. Her next illustrated travel book, On Island Time, will be published by Sasquatch Books in spring 2023.

For her TAIP project Chandler will be creating an illustrated sketchbook monograph exploring marginalized Tacoma neighborhoods that are undergoing gentrification and rapid change. Her sketchbook will focus on the Lincoln, Hilltop, South Tacoma, and Eastside neighborhoods, and contain 40-60 full-color drawings documenting each neighborhood’s details and minutiae—and the change they are undergoing—in real time. Chandler will share the finished sketchbook in a free virtual artist talk in 2022, and also discuss her process of developing and maintaining a sketchbook practice in general. Chandler’s hope is that, in addition to documenting Tacoma's living history and changing cityscape, she can help inspire others to document their own communities through drawing.
Gerardo Peña
 
Kellie Richardson
 

Mauricio Robalino

Mauricio Robalino

Mauricio Robalino was born in Quito, Ecuador and spent part of his childhood with his grandfather at his solar observatory and botanical garden that he built on the Equator. Mauricio enjoyed his passion for knowledge and storytelling. When he was ten years old he moved to England by ship. The journey took almost a month and on that voyage he fell in love with drawing and painting. Upon graduating from high school, he moved to California to attend business school. Fortunately for him, he took a painting class and botany courses. In 1988 Mauricio created his first mosaic for a swimming pool in Los Angeles. That year he also moved to Washington State. Mauricio lives in Tacoma with his family where they grow many of their own fruits and vegetables. Mauricio strives to practice drawing, yoga, and walking daily.

For his TAIP project, Mauricio will create a suite of video documentaries that follow his creative process. The videos will demonstrate how he creates drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures in a variety of mediums and how they all tie together to help to form an amazing experience. The videos and accompanying artwork will be shared via Facebook, his website, and at in-person events at public venues in Tacoma. It is Mauricio’s hope that these demonstrations will help others to find inspiration and overcome blocks to their personal expression and creativity. 

Suzanne Skaar

Suzanne Skaar

Suzanne Skaar is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist, and mother. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College and Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington. Her writing has appeared in The London Reader (UK) and Creative Colloquy’s Print Anthology Vol. 6 (Tacoma, WA), and she has presented independent research on topics ranging from the history of immigration in Tacoma (Lynn DiNino’s Artist Tripod Series) to secret societies (Portland, OR’s Drunken Discourse). She was a panelist for GeekGirlCon’s Creative and Chronic Panel on maintaining creative practices for individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities in 2018 and 2019 and moderated a panel on making nerd culture more accessible for the 2019 Jet City Comic Show. Previously, she worked in education (in Washington State and abroad), the non-profit sector, and vocational rehabilitation services. Over the years she has served on numerous boards, including the City of Tacoma’s Human Rights Commission, Radio Tacoma’s Board of Directors, and as Vice Chair for Tacoma’s South End Neighborhood Council.

 

Suzanne is excited to be a part of the newest TAIP cohort. Her project is a 2D pixel art game, which relies on humor and empathy to explore accessibility, power, knowledge, and gatekeeping. Players assume the role of a dinosaur roaming city environments loosely based on real places, including many in Tacoma. Suzanne will host a free virtual artist talk in October 2021 to share game progress, the technical aspects of the project itself, and resources. The presentation will touch on what accessibility means in art, community, and our daily lives. Suzanne will also share details for Tacoma residents interested in recording their best roars for non-player characters in the game at that time. 

Cydney Stephens

Cydney Stephens

Cydney Stephens is a photographer and videographer born and raised in Tacoma. As a child, Cydney would use her creative talents to write music and plays, design graphics, take photos, and sing for her school’s choir. Cydney is a recent graduate of the Cathy Hughes School of Communication located on the campus of Howard University. Cydney received her Bachelors of Arts in Television Production and Film Media, while minoring in Spanish. While reflecting on her childhood in Tacoma, Cydney felt as though there were not many opportunities for children, specifically black, brown, and self-identified young women, to develop interests in multimedia production. For this reason, Cydney wishes to create an organization, under the helm of her production house that teaches young people how to create, develop, and edit a production from start to finish.

 

Cydney’s project, The Rundown, is a lifestyle talk show dedicated to highlighting up and coming culture-shifters located in the Pacific Northwest. The show’s mission is to shine a light on members in the community with hopes to inspire future creatives, entrepreneurs, athletes, etc. to follow their dreams. Each episode will follow one culture-shifter for the day to see what they do, to discover which neighborhood(s) they serve, and to learn more about why they do what they do. Episodes will air weekly on The Rundown Official YouTube page.

Jacob Sunday
 

Chuck Taylor

Chuck Taylor

Charles (Chuck) Taylor is a visual artist based in Tacoma, specifically of the Eastside and Hilltop. He received his Bachelor of Communication Design from Evergreen State College and AAS Commercial photography from Seattle Central community college. He creates visual narratives inspired by the experience of growing up caught between a collapsing conservative logging town and the rural escapism of redlining communities. By layering distressed drawings, paint, and original photography, the construction and handcrafted quality of his work is still visible in the final image. 

“I try to create artworks that invite everyone to re-discover the curiosity we all had as children: to encourage us to see life as full of possibilities and to value our experience in the present.”

The spectacle of Chuck’s palette, which can be audacious or delicate, also draws on disparate rhythms. It embraces songs, echoes and repetitions; from the gentlest breeze to the most profound ecstasy.

 

 

Application

The application deadline for 2021-2022 TAIP funding has already passed. Applications for 2023-2024 funding will be available in late-November 2022. In the meantime, to review the program guidelines and application, you can download the 2021-2022 TAIP application guidelines (PDF).  

 

    Past Funding Recipients

    Funded 2021-22 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2019-20 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2017-18 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2015-16 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2013-14 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2011-12 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2009-10 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2007-08 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2005-06 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2003-04 TAIP Artists (PDF)
    Funded 2001-02 TAIP Artists (PDF)

     

    Funded Artist Materials

    Community Arts Projects

    2021 Community Arts Projects Funding Recipients

    Asia Pacific Cultural Center - 23rd Annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration featuring Marshall Islands
    Barefoot Collective - Behind the Camera: Community Dance in a Global Pandemic
    Blue Cactus Press - Creative Writing Anthology by Women of Color
    Building Youth Through Music dba WayOut Kids - STEAM Gone Digital
    Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation - Tacoma Moon Festival
    Greentrike - Greentrike Cares Kits
    Hilltop Artists - Hilltop Artists Monkeyshines Project
    Integrity - Grassroots on the Ground: An Entrepreneur Tribute to Black Wall Street
    Latinx Unidos of the South Sound - Festival Latinx 2021
    Local Uplift - Modern Womxn 2021 art exhibit and workshop
    McKinley Hill Street Fair - McKinley Hill Street Fair
    Metropolitan Glass - The Monkeyshines Project
    ND Fashion & Art Boutique - Arts, Psychology, and Wellness: Overcoming Food Dysfunctions
    Northwest Sinfonietta - Attuned: a concert collaboration celebrating African American composers
    Pierce County AIDS Foundation - Pandemic vs. Pandemic: World AIDS Day 2021
    Puyallup Tribe of Indians - Community Education for the Twulshootseed Language
    Refugee Choir Project - Tacoma Refugee Choir Drive-in Concert and Singalong
    Sister Cities Council of Tacoma Pierce County - Tacoma Sister Cities Film & Performance Festival
    Supportive Housing Association - 2021 Summer Film Camp
    Tacoma Ocean Fest - Tacoma Ocean Fest 2021
    Tacoma Tree Foundation - Nature Explorers Zine
    Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center - Noir Black Noir
    The Kareem Kandi World Orchestra - Middle East Meets West
    Trio Guadalevin - Latinos in Washington: A Song Cycle
    University of Washington - "The Book of Andy", a comedic four-part theatrical mini-series
    Write253 - Crossing the Street
    YWCA Pierce County - Public mural for Home at Last 

     

    Application

    The application deadline for 2021 Community Arts Projects funding has already passed. Applications for 2022 funding will be available in late-September 2021. In the meantime, to review the program guidelines and application, you can download the 2021 Community Arts Projects application guidelines (PDF) and the 2021 Community Arts Projects Budget Page (Excel document). 

     

      Past Funding Recipients

      Funded 2021 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2020 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2019 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2018 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2017 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2016 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2015 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2014 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2013 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2012 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2011 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2010 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2009 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2008 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2007 Arts Projects (PDF)
      Funded 2006 Arts Projects (PDF)

       

      Funded Organization Materials

      • Tacoma Arts Commission logo

      • Invoice Template

      • Final Report - Fundees can access the Final Report form through their account on Submittable.com. The form will be attached to fundee's original Community Arts Projects funding application. If you need assistance accessing the Final Report form, please reach out to Naomi at nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5191.