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2023-24 Tacoma Creates – Comprehensive Organizational Support

Summary

Tacoma Creates is a voter-approved initiative to increase access to arts, culture, heritage, and science experiences throughout Tacoma by reducing barriers to access and expanding offerings, particularly for underserved youth. Eligible non-profit arts, culture, heritage, and science organizations may apply for funding that helps them expand equitable access to public programs, increase opportunities in neighborhoods throughout Tacoma, expand educational options for youth, and build sustainability for continued services. Contracts for funding will go to organizations that demonstrate specific support and benefits for people and communities in Tacoma, based on the questions and evaluation criteria described in the Application Guidelines.

 

This category is open to organizations that meet all five eligibility requirements, described in the Eligibility for Funding section below. Organizations that apply in this category may request up to 15 percent of their total annual budget, based on the average of their actual income over their last three completed fiscal years, up to a maximum of $400,000 per 12-month funding cycle. Applicants in this category must demonstrate organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as strong programming work in all three of these public benefit areas: neighborhood programming, increasing public access, and educational programming for youth. Applicants in this category must offer programs for the general public (adults/all ages), as well as youth education programs. Applicants in this category are expected to offer a variety of public programming opportunities throughout the year.

 

What Tacoma Creates Funding Can Support

Tacoma Creates funds can support a wide variety of public programs that advance arts, culture, heritage, and science, that take place within Tacoma city limits. This includes, but is not limited to: presentations, workshops, exhibitions, events, festivals, and educational programs for all ages. Programming may be presented in person  and/or virtually/online. Programs must generally be open to the public, with the exception of Public School Cultural Access Programs that are specifically for Tacoma Public Schools / Chief Leschi Schools students or teachers, or education programs for court-connected youth. Tacoma Creates funding can also support general organization expenses and capacity building efforts that are connected to the public programming work.

 

Eligibility

Tacoma Creates has specific eligibility requirements, based on Washington State and City of Tacoma regulations, which you can read more about here. There are five primary eligibility areas for Comprehensive Organizational Support.

 

Here is how to see if your organization is eligible to apply:

  • Primary Purpose
    Your organization’s primary purpose – meaning your overall mission and the majority of your activities – must be to advance and/or preserve arts, culture, heritage and/or science.

  • Non-Profit Status
    Your organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, incorporated under the laws of Washington State and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

  • Location
    Your organization’s official business address is within Tacoma city limits. This is confirmed by the address registered with the IRS, and on your City of Tacoma business license.

  • Program Delivery
    Your organization must directly provide cultural programming or experiences to the general public within Tacoma city limits.

  • Track Record
    Your organization has a two-year history of providing cultural programming or experiences to the general public in Tacoma.

Exclusions from Eligibility

Certain kinds or organizations are not eligible for any category of Tacoma Creates funding, based on Washington State legislation (RCW 36.160). Excluded from eligibility is any agency of the state or any of its political subdivisions; any municipal corporation; any organization that raises funds for redistribution to multiple cultural organizations; and any radio or television broadcasting network or station, cable communications system, internet-based communications venture or service, newspaper, or magazine.

 

Application Support

These free workshops will cover how the application process works and how to develop a strong application. All applicants are encouraged to send a representative to one of the three workshops. Each workshop will have a different focus: we encourage you to attend the one that best matches your organization’s situation, but we will cover the basics at all workshops so you may attend whichever one fits your schedule. A recording of the workshop held via Zoom will be posted at tacomacreates.org/application-assistance.

 

You do not need to sign up in advance for either of the in-person workshops, though space is limited and we encourage you to arrive a few minutes early. For the virtual workshop, you will need to register through the link provided below.

 

We encourage applicants to read the complete guidelines in advance of attending the workshop, and come with questions. The presentation portion of the workshop will be about an hour, with time allotted at the end for questions and discussion.

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 12:30-2:00pm

  • Zoom – register in advance for this workshop: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMpd--vqzotHN3AjqcyVW_9Yj50SYj92Y6T

  • We recommend that you plan to attend via laptop or desktop computer, so that you will be able to see the slides shared during the workshop.

  • Focus: New applicants in either funding program – new organizations and/or new staff with returning organizations

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 11am-12:30pm

  • Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., room 243

  • Nearest bus routes: 1, 11, 13, 16; paid street parking available

  • Focus: Comprehensive Organizational Support

 Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 4:30-6:00pm

  • South Tacoma library branch, 3411 S 56th St.

  • Nearest bus route: 3; free parking available in library lot, as well as street parking

  • Focus: Impact Funding

To request a reasonable accommodation for these workshops, please contact the Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality at (253) 591‐5191. TTY or speech to speech users may dial 711 to connect to Washington Relay Services.

 

Application Deadline

March 13, 2023, 11:59pm

 

Funding Application Guidelines

Download the 2023-24 Tacoma Creates Comprehensive Organizational Support guidelines (PDF) for complete funding information, including eligibility.

 

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through our online application form. Go to tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit and select the 2023-24 Comprehensive Organizational Support form.

 

Questions?

You are welcome to contact Tacoma Creates staff at any time:

Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager: ljaret@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5161

 

Clarissa Gines, Tacoma Creates Coordinator: cgines@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5174

 

Rico Lastrapes, Tacoma Creates Program Technician:

rlastrapes@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-2038

2023-24 Tacoma Creates – Impact Funding

Summary
Tacoma Creates is a voter-approved initiative to increase access to arts, culture, heritage, and science experiences throughout Tacoma by reducing barriers to access and expanding offerings, particularly for underserved youth. Eligible non-profit arts, culture, heritage, and science organizations may apply for funding that helps them expand equitable access to public programs, increase opportunities in neighborhoods throughout Tacoma, expand educational options for youth, and build sustainability for continued services. Contracts for funding will go to organizations that demonstrate specific support and benefits for people and communities in Tacoma, based on the questions and evaluation criteria described in the Application Guidelines.

This category is open to organizations that meet all five eligibility requirements, or that meet the eligibility exceptions, as described in the Eligibility for Funding section below. Organizations that apply in this category may request a minimum of $3,000, and up to $60,000 per year. Applicants in this category may propose a single program or multiple programs throughout the year. Applicants may propose general public programs (open to adults or all ages), or youth education programs, or both, and must demonstrate a commitment to Tacoma Creates’ vision for vibrant, equitable, and inclusive cultural programs. The funding request may be up to 50 percent of the total cost of the proposed programming; applicants must demonstrate at least a 1:1 match of other resources to support the work, which may include volunteer time, and donated materials and space. 

 

New in 2023 – There are two application forms within the Impact Funding category:

  • Level A: for organizations requesting between $3,000 and $19,999, or for organizations only proposing Beyond the Bell / Club Beyond classes
  • Level B: for organizations requesting between $20,000 and $60,000

 The application review panel will consider funding for Level A and Level B applications separately, to better support newer and smaller organizations, and those that are proposing programming that is smaller in scope.  Both levels have the same overall application components and the same evaluation criteria. 

What Tacoma Creates Funding Can Support
Tacoma Creates funds can support a wide variety of public programs that advance arts, culture, heritage, and science, that take place within Tacoma city limits. This includes, but is not limited to: presentations, workshops, exhibitions, events, festivals, and educational programs for all-ages. Programming may be presented in person  and/or virtually/online. Programs must generally be open to the public, with the exception of Public School Cultural Access Programs that are specifically for Tacoma Public Schools / Chief Leschi Schools students or teachers, or education programs for court-connected youth. Tacoma Creates funding can also support general organization expenses and capacity building efforts that are connected to the public programming work.

Eligibility
Tacoma Creates has specific eligibility requirements, based on Washington State and City of Tacoma regulations, which you can read more about here. There are five primary eligibility areas, and organizations that meet all five may apply for either Impact Funding or Comprehensive Organizational Support. Organizations that do not meet all five, but do meet the exceptions listed below, may apply in the Impact Funding category.

Here is how to see if your organization is eligible to apply:

  • Primary Purpose
    Your organization’s primary purpose – meaning your overall mission and the majority of your activities –  must be to advance and/or preserve arts, culture, heritage and/or science, using the definitions listed on page 2.
  • Exception: Business District Associations and Neighborhood Councils recognized by the City of Tacoma may be eligible in the Impact Funding category (see Special Categories below).
  • Non-Profit Status
    Your organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, incorporated under the laws of Washington State and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Exception: if your organization does not have this non-profit status, but meets the requirements for Primary Purpose, Location, and Program Delivery, you may apply for Impact Funding using a Fiscal Sponsor that is a non-profit organization. You can find more information about Fiscal Sponsorship on this document. You will need to submit a letter of commitment from your Fiscal Sponsor in order to apply. Your organization must be a group of people working together towards a specific mission or purpose, and you must have an organizational bank account and a City of Tacoma business license.
  • Location
    Your organization’s official business address is within Tacoma city limits. This is confirmed by the address registered with the IRS, and on your City of Tacoma business license. 
  • Exception: if your organization’s official business address is outside Tacoma, but within Pierce County, you may still be eligible. If your organization provides at least 65 percent of your public programming in Tacoma, and you meet all of the other eligibility requirements listed here, you may apply in the Impact Funding category.
  • Program Delivery
    Your organization must directly provide cultural programming or experiences to the general public within Tacoma city limits
  • There are no exceptions to this requirement. Please use this link to verify programming locations, as there are some locations that use “Tacoma” in their address that are technically outside of Tacoma city limits. 
  • Track Record
    Your organization has a two-year history of providing cultural programming or experiences to the general public in Tacoma.
  • Exception: if your organization does not have a two-year history, but meets all other eligibility requirements listed here, you may apply in the Impact Funding category.

SPECIAL CATEGORIES
There are two additional types of organizations that are eligible to apply for Impact Funding:

  • Business District Associations and Neighborhood Councils
    Active Business District Associations and Neighborhood Councils recognized by the City of Tacoma may apply for funding for neighborhood-based arts, culture, heritage, and/or science programs or events, especially fairs and festivals, but must have a Fiscal Sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) organization in Tacoma that meets the Primary Purpose criteria of advancing or preserving arts, culture, heritage, and/or science.

Affiliate Cultural Programs within a larger non-profit
Established and distinct cultural programs that meet the Primary Purpose, Location, and Program Delivery criteria, and are part of a larger non-profit, public-serving organization, may apply if the following additional eligibility criteria are met:

  • Independent mission: Have a published mission statement independent of the parent organization
  • Independent board: Have a board or steering committee that guides the program, independent of the parent organization’s board
  • Independent budget: Have a distinct, balanced budget, independent of the parent organization
  • Track record: Five years providing public programming in arts, culture, heritage, and/or science
  • Staff: Have dedicated, paid staff, equal to at least one full-time employee
  • Matching Funds: Provide a 1:1 cash match for Tacoma Creates funds
  • The parent organization must:
      • Be a public-serving 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) non-profit organization
      • Be based within Tacoma city limits
      • Retain no more than 10 percent of any Tacoma Creates funding to support administrative services
      • Submit a completed Affiliate Organization Agreement, which can be found here
Exclusions from Eligibility
Certain kinds or organizations are not eligible for any category of Tacoma Creates funding, based on Washington State legislation (RCW 36.160). Excluded from eligibility is any agency of the state or any of its political subdivisions; any municipal corporation; any organization that raises funds for redistribution to multiple cultural organizations; and any radio or television broadcasting network or station, cable communications system, internet-based communications venture or service, newspaper, or magazine.

Application Support
These free workshops will cover how the application process works and how to develop a strong application. All applicants are encouraged to send a representative to one of the three workshops. Each workshop will have a different focus: we encourage you to attend the one that best matches your organization’s situation, but we will cover the basics at all workshops so you may attend whichever one fits your schedule. A recording of the workshop held via Zoom will be posted at tacomacreates.org/application-assistance.

You do not need to sign up in advance for either of the in-person workshops, though space is limited and we encourage you to arrive a few minutes early. For the virtual workshop, you will need to register through the link provided below.

We encourage applicants to read the complete guidelines in advance of attending the workshop, and come with questions. The presentation portion of the workshop will be about an hour, with time allotted at the end for questions and discussion. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 12:30-2:00pm


  • Zoom – register in advance for this workshop:https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMpd--vqzotHN3AjqcyVW_9Yj50SYj92Y6T
  • We recommend that you plan to attend via laptop or desktop computer, so that you will be able to see the slides shared during the workshop.
  • Focus: New applicants in either funding program – new organizations and/or new staff with returning organizations 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 11am-12:30pm

  • Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., room 243
  • Nearest bus routes: 1, 11, 13, 16; paid street parking available
  • Focus: Comprehensive Organizational Support 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 4:30-6:00pm

  • South Tacoma library branch, 3411 S 56th St.
  • Nearest bus route: 3; free parking available in library lot, as well as street parking
  • Focus: Impact Funding

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WITH COMMUNITIES RISE
Tacoma Creates is partnering with Communities Rise to offer free technical assistance in developing applications for Tacoma Creates – Impact Funding.

Organizations are eligible for this opportunity if they:

  • Have operating budgets of $200,000 or less
  • Serve communities impacted by systemic oppression, which includes communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, persons with disabilities, low-income communities
  • Meet all funding eligibility requirements for Tacoma Creates; contact tacomacreates@cityoftacoma.org with any questions about eligibility)

This opportunity is open to organizations that have been funded by Tacoma Creates in the past, as well as organizations that have not yet applied to, or received funding from Tacoma Creates.

Communities Rise can provide up to two, 45-60 minute sessions of free consultation to support understanding of the application process and requirements, and/or to offer feedback on draft proposals. Consultants can help by explaining the Impact Funding application guidelines, brainstorming how to respond to the application prompts, or editing a draft application. Please note: consultants cannot write the application.

To request this consultation support, visit this webpage, where there is a short form to complete. We encourage you to request this support as soon as possible, and no later than March 14th, in order to allow time for scheduling and to give you the most amount of time to work on your Impact Funding application. 

If you have any questions about the support from Communities Rise, contact Zoë Erb, cbclinics@communities-rise.org.  

About Communities Rise
Communities Rise is a non-profit organization that fosters movements to build power in communities impacted by systemic oppression. A core focus of their work is to provide tools and trainings that build capacity for small non-profit organizations that work in and for historically marginalized or resource-limited communities. Learn more at www.communities-rise.org.

Application Deadline

March 27, 2023, 11:59pm

Funding Application Guidelines
Download the 2023-24 Tacoma Creates Impact Funding guidelines (PDF) for complete funding information, including eligibility.

How to Apply
Applications must be submitted through our online application form. Go to tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit and select the 2022-2023 Impact Funding form.

Questions?
You are welcome to contact Tacoma Creates staff at any time:
Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager: ljaret@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5161

Clarissa Gines, Tacoma Creates Coordinator: cgines@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-5174

 

Rico Lastrapes, Tacoma Creates Program Technician: rlastrapes@cityoftacoma.org or 253-591-2038

2023 Mural Artist Roster Updates

Application Deadline: January 25, 2023, 11:59 PM

 

To Apply, visit: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit

Opportunity East Tacoma Stormdrain Mural, Saiyare Rafaei & Gloria Joy Kazuko Muhammad

The City of Tacoma is now accepting applications from experienced artists to design and implement outdoor painted murals in Tacoma. Artists selected will have their portfolios added to the public-facing Mural Artist Roster, which is being re-designed and set to launch in the next few months. The City, private building owners, and community groups will use the roster to select artists for upcoming mural opportunities. The City has several upcoming opportunities for summer 2023, ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.

Artists on the City’s Mural Artist Roster get the following benefits:

  1. They are eligible for future mural opportunities with the City, without needing to re-submit a portfolio. 
  2. Their portfolios will be added to the public-facing roster so that private building owners and community groups can also view their portfolio. A redesigned roster will be launched in the next few months. 

Eligibility

  • Pierce County resident
  • 18 years or older
  • Cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or an employee of the City of Tacoma

Selection Criteria

  • Artistic quality as exhibited in past work
  • Ability to think conceptually and create artwork responsive to a site 
  • Demonstrated ability to think and work in a scale and with materials appropriate to creating a mural

Timeline

  • January 25, 2023, 11:59 PM - Deadline for applications
  • By February 15, 2023 - Review and selection of artists for Mural Artist Roster
  • Spring & summer 2023 - Artist selection, design, and implementation of 2023 murals

Submission Process: Submit the following items via Submittable (https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit)

  1. Basic Information: Series of yes/no and multiple choice questions
  2. Work Samples with Descriptions: Up to 10 digital images of past work with short descriptions
  3. Short bio about the artist (300 word limit)

Questions?

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

  

 

Photo credit: East Tacoma Stormdrain Mural, Saiyare Rafaei & Gloria Joy Kazuko Muhammad

2023 Traffic Box Wraps

Application Deadline: January 25, 2023, 11:59 PM

 

Budget: $1,500 for design

 

To Apply: visit https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit

Summary 

The City of Tacoma is seeking 10 artists to design artworks that can be reproduced as a vinyl wrap and applied to traffic signal boxes throughout the city. This opportunity is open to visual artists living in Pierce County. The final design must be delivered as a digital file. Original designs can be created in any medium, as long as the final artwork can be translated and digitally reproduced on a 2-dimensional vinyl wrap. The project is designed to enhance the public realm by adding works of art by local artists to utilitarian surfaces that are often targeted by vandalism. The wrapped boxes are intended to enhance neighborhood and community identity, turn ordinary spaces into community landmarks, and promote community dialogue. The City will pay for and manage printing and installation.

 

Eligibility

  • Applicant must live in Pierce County
  • Applicant must be able to translate work into a digital file
  • Applicant must be 18 years or older
  • Applicant cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or an employee of the City of Tacoma
  • Applicant cannot have created a traffic box wrap for the City of Tacoma previously

Art Opportunity
There is no theme to this call. Artworks should be in the style and medium best determined by the artist but must integrate the front, back, sides, and top of the box to capture the interest of those that drive, ride, walk, and roll by. Artists will be selected based on past work only, and should not submit design proposals in their application.

 

Selected artists will be provided with technical assistance to understand the project and specifications. After understanding the parameters, the artist will develop a concept, submit initial design proposals for review by City staff and, if requested, provide revisions. The final artwork must be submitted as a high quality digital file to the exact specifications provided by City staff. If artwork is not inherently a digital file, the artist will be responsible for creating a high resolution scan or photograph of the work and delivering it in the correct format. The City will be responsible for printing and installation.

Wraps are intended to last at least 5 years but may be removed at any time at the discretion of the City. While the City will aim to remove any tagging or vandalism, deterioration may occur and thus the City cannot guarantee that the wrap will be restored to its original condition. In addition to being used for the 2023 traffic box wraps, applicants may be considered for one-off wrap projects based on materials submitted. 

Wrap Design Guidelines 

  • Designs must be appropriate for display in public spaces and viewing by a general audience
  • Designs must not contain any representation of traffic lights, signs, or signals
  • Designs should not aim to blend into or mimic the surrounding streetscape
  • Designs should limit blank space
  • Designs cannot include vulgar, profane, prejudice, offensive, or insensitive content
  • Designs cannot include political or religious content; any breach of intellectual property; trademarks; images of illegal activity; advertisements; logos; signage; promotion of any business, organization, individual, or product; or involve the attachment of objects to the boxes 
  • All designs will be subject to review and approval by City staff

Selection Criteria 

Artists will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality as exemplified in past work
  • Ability to think and work in the appropriate scale and materials
  • Ability to successfully translate original artwork to a digital file for a 2-dimensional surface
  • Artists that represent underrepresented communities will be prioritized
  • Artists will be selected as a “cohort” meant to represent a diversity of styles and perspectives

Timeline

(All dates subject to change)

  • January 25, 2023, 11:59 PM - Deadline for applications
  • By February 17, 2023 - Notification of artist selection
  • By April 17, 2023 - Design draft due
  • By May 15, 2023 - Final design due as digital file
  • Summer 2023 - Wrap production and installation

Submission Process: Submit the following items via Submittable (https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit)

  1. Basic Information: Series of yes/no and multiple-choice questions
  2. Work Samples with Descriptions: Submit six-10 digital images of past work with short descriptions.
  3. Narrative Questions:
  • Why are you interested in this opportunity, and how do you think your work will translate to a traffic box wrap? (250 word max)
  • OPTIONAL: Are there any parts of town that you are especially connected with? If selected, this question may be used for siting traffic box wraps and/or one-off location-specific opportunities.

Questions?

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

  

 

Photo: Traffic Box wrap design by Chandler O'Leary

2023-2025 Tacoma Poet Laureate

Application Deadline: January 30, 2023, 11:59 PM

Stipend: $4,000

Additional Project Budget: $1,000

 

Opportunity

The Tacoma Arts Commission is accepting applications for the 2023-2025 Tacoma Poet Laureate position. Literary artists who are emerging, professional, or established artists producing poetry in any form, genre, or style are encouraged to apply. We will also consider writers who work in additional genres whose work intersects with poetry. The Poet Laureate will build community, amplify what is unique about Tacoma, and provide opportunities for people’s voices to be heard.

 

The Tacoma Poet Laureate will hold the title for a period of two years, from May 2023 to April 2025, and receive a stipend of $4,000 paid in four installments over the two-year term. The Poet Laureate will have access to an additional project budget of up to $1,000 to help implement programming. 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 – whether in-person or virtually; participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October; and help produce the 2025 Tacoma Poet Laureate ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate. The individual should actively strive to engage the breadth of Tacoma’s residents, expanding access to the literary arts to underserved/underrepresented audiences. The Poet Laureate is expected to determine the direction, focus, and appropriate public components for their term of service.

 

Current Tacoma Poet Laureate Lydia K. Valentine will curate and host a poetry event at which the newly selected Poet Laureate will be honored. The event date will be announced in early 2023.

 

In alignment with Tacoma City Council Resolution 40622, the Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to sustained and transformational anti‐racist work, including programming supported through the Tacoma Poet Laureate 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 community engagement work 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 residents.

 

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

 

Duties

The artist selected as Tacoma Poet Laureate must be willing and able to:

  • Offer a minimum of two free public workshops in Tacoma each year – in-person or virtually – (four workshops total over two-year term of service.)
  • Actively contribute to and advance Tacoma’s literary community in meaningful ways through readings, performances, workshops, presentations, publications, special projects, etc. – in-person or virtually – as agreed upon with the City’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality staff.
  • Participate in Tacoma Arts Month programming each October (can be participation in a public event that the City is already producing).
  • Competently handle administrative duties including being the point-of-contact for all programming inquiries from the public, managing a schedule, arranging details for programs, and coordinating marketing with City’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality staff.
  • Help produce, with the assistance of the City’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality, an event in Tacoma in April 2025 to announce the 2025-2027 Tacoma Poet Laureate.

Priorities

The Tacoma Arts Commission is committed to investing in communities most impacted by racial, social, and economic inequity. The intention of Priorities is to foster programming that addresses historic and structural inequities, as we work toward justice for all.

 

All applications will be reviewed, and decisions made, using the Selection Criteria. An applicant’s community engagement strategies do not need to meet any of the Priorities listed below to be considered. But, as part of the review process, the panel will prioritize the position for applicants whose community engagement strategies meet one or more of the following:

  • Strategies that primarily give voice to one or more of the following:
  • Strategies that will address emergent community needs

Eligibility

  • Applicant must live in Pierce County and be actively engaged in Tacoma’s creative community. Staff will verify addresses against a map of Pierce County
  • Applicant must be an active literary artist, dedicated to producing work on a regular basis.
  • Applicant must be 18 years or older.
  • Applicant cannot be a previous Tacoma Poet Laureate titleholder.
  • Applicant cannot be a current Tacoma Arts Commission member, City Council member, City of Tacoma staff member, or Tacoma Poet Laureate selection panel member.

 Selection Criteria

  • Artistic Quality (as exhibited in written and recorded work samples)
  • Demonstrated history of involvement and activity within the literary arts
  • Vision and strategies to engage with Tacoma’s residents in meaningful ways to further the literary arts in our community

Tacoma Poet Laureate Background

The Tacoma Poet Laureate position was founded in 2008 by Urban Grace Church as a way of focusing attention on Tacoma’s literary talent by organizing and hosting public readings and workshops in local schools and community events.

 

In 2011, upon the request of Urban Grace Church, the administration of the Poet Laureate program transitioned to the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality. Urban Grace Church is recognized as the founding partner of the program. Past poets laureate include William Kupinse (2008), Antonio Edwards Jr. (2009), Tammy Robacker (2010), Josie Emmons Turner (2011), Lucas Smiraldo (2013), Thy Nguyễn (2015), Kellie Richardson (2017), and Abby E. Murray (2019). The current poet laureate is Lydia K. Valentine (2021). 

 

 

Timeline

Date Activity
January 30, 2023, 11:59 PM Application Deadline
By March 17, 2023
Notification of Poet Laureate
To be announced  Tacoma Poet Laureate Ceremony
May 2023 – April 2025
Term of service

 

 

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted through the Tacoma Poet Laureate online application form at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. The application form will ask for the following items:

  1. Proof of Residency

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

  2. Short Responses

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

    • Describe your relationship to Tacoma. 
    • How would you serve the community as Tacoma Poet Laureate?
    • Outline your proposed community engagement strategy. How will you connect with and/or give voice to underserved/underrepresented poetry audiences?
    • Briefly summarize two sample workshops or projects you think might appeal to public audiences that you would consider presenting as Tacoma Poet Laureate.
  3. Artist Resume or Bio
  4. References

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

  5. Work Samples with Descriptions
  • 5 written poetry samples of your own composition, and
  • One to two 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.

See guidelines for complete terms.


Questions?

For questions or assistance, please email Chevi Chung at cchung1@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 591-5171.

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.


Questions

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

Connecting the Tacoma Mall Area Art Plan

Application Deadline: February 8, 2023, 11:59 PM 

 

Budget: $30,000

 

Optional Zoom Info Session: An info session was held Wednesday January 18, 2023, noon to 1 PM. Click here to view the recording.  

 

To Apply: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit

 

Summary

The City of Tacoma is looking for an artist or team to create an Art Plan for the Tacoma Mall Area. This area is slated for tremendous growth and has been designated a Regional Growth Center (one of two in Tacoma). It is also located on top of the South Tacoma Aquifer, which provides supplemental drinking water for the City. With a subarea plan adopted in 2018 and several public investments underway, the neighborhood is well-positioned for much needed improvements to support a healthy, thriving population center within Tacoma. An Art Plan will help create a vision and roadmap for art and culture interventions to support the growth of the neighborhood over the next 10-15 years, starting with the currently-underway Madison District Green Infrastructure Project. The Art Plan and resulting artworks should support a healthy and connected community, be informed by robust community engagement, and be in alignment with existing plans.

 

Eligibility

  • Applicants can apply as an individual or team

  • Applicants must reside in Washington State or Oregon, and be available for scheduled in-person meetings as needed

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older

  • Applicants cannot be a member of the Tacoma Arts Commission or an employee of the City

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

Background

The City of Tacoma and the Puget Sound Regional Council have designated the Tacoma Mall neighborhood a Regional Growth Center (RGC). The Tacoma Mall neighborhood is located approximately 2.5 miles southwest of downtown Tacoma. The neighborhood, already an important employment and population center, is expected to receive a significant portion of the City's future housing and employment growth. As such, the City of Tacoma worked with community partners and the public to develop the Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan, which outlines a vision, goals, and strategies to guide growth and development of the area. The vision of the Subarea Plan is for a compact, pedestrian-friendly, urban mixed-use neighborhood with a high quality of life, which includes access to healthy lifestyle choices, services, and efficient multimodal transportation options. In addition to accommodating growth, the proposals include actions to address long-standing neighborhood issues. The Subarea Plan also sets priorities for the environment through innovative green infrastructure approaches and actions to improve water quality and flow control on a watershed basis while protecting and recharging the South Tacoma Aquifer.

 

The City has just started the Madison District Green Infrastructure Project, which is the first major capital project in the Tacoma Mall Area since the Subarea Plan was completed. The project is intended to improve neighborhood streets, fix drainage problems, and protect Puget Sound from polluted runoff by installing permeable pavement. Permeable pavement allows rain and other water falling on streets to soak into the ground and eventually into the groundwater rather than flowing into the stormwater system and directly into nearby waterways. The project will also include utility upgrades, significant landscaping, and 300 new trees. It is also the first section of the Loop Road, a concept recommended in the Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan to create a new 10-foot-wide walking, biking, and rolling path that loops around the neighborhood, improving walkability and connectivity.

 

In addition to the current capital project, the City's Urban Forestry Program is leading an effort with the City's Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality, Tacoma Tree Foundation, Pierce Conservation District, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, The Nature Conservancy, and other community partners to increase tree canopy in the neighborhood. This effort includes planting 300 new trees in 2022-2023 (in addition to the trees that are part of the Madison District Green Infrastructure Project); Two community-engaged artist projects completed in 2022; and a research project with the University of Washington to measure the human health impacts of added tree canopy in the area.

 

Opportunity

The Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan contains several goals and actions, including the development of a “public art strategy for this neighborhood that identifies resources, partnerships and opportunities to foster and support cultural expression, awareness of neighborhood history and a sense of place and local identity” (Action CV-4).

 

The Subarea Plan should be a starting place for a strong vision and roadmap for art and culture interventions in the neighborhood, and the Art Plan should intersect with and support other goals and actions laid out in the Subarea Plan, which include urban form, land use, housing, transportation, environment, community vitality, utilities and services, and shared prosperity. There is tremendous opportunity to support stronger connections within the neighborhood, especially in relationship to the natural environment, community cohesion, and how people get around the neighborhood.

 

To inform the Art Plan, the artist or team will have the opportunity to build on: the community process to date; existing partnerships with local agencies, community members, and the steering committee; and logistical support from project staff. As part of developing the Art Plan, the artist or team should expect to spend time with the site. The artist or team will develop several opportunities to engage the neighborhood in creative ways as part of their work. Exact engagement methods will be determined by the artist or team, but should both contribute to community building now, and be a tool to demonstrate future engagement methods and activities.

 

The final Art Plan should identify a framework and potential art approaches that the City can implement as part of future projects in the area, starting with specific project recommendations in the Madison District Green Infrastructure Project footprint. This strategy will inform the direction of art projects in the area for the next 10-15 years and should include history and community input while providing a vision for the site. The Art Plan should include the development of overarching concepts for the area and be action oriented. It should also include recommended budgets, phasing, and actions that the City and partners could take to support a more livable and connected community in the Tacoma Mall Area.

 

Selection Criteria

  • Exhibited experience with public art and in creating public art plans

  • Quality of work as exemplified in past work

  • Ability to work successfully with community members, city staff, architects, engineers, planners, etc. to gather information and interpret it successfully in a plan

  • Ability to present ideas and concepts to public groups

  • Ability to think conceptually to develop artwork and art approaches

  • Ability to meet project timelines

Submission Process: Submit the following items via Submittable (https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit):

 

1. Basic Information: Series of yes/no questions and multiple choice

 

2. Narrative Questions:

  • Why are you interested in this project and what do you know about the Tacoma Mall area? (400 words or less)
  • What skills or experience will help you develop an Art Plan? (300 words or less)
  • What is your experience scoping public art projects? (300 words or less)
  • How have you successfully engaged community in a past project? (300 words or less)
  • Anything else you want to tell us? (Optional, 300 words or less)

3. Work Samples with Descriptions:

  • Ten (10) digital images of past work with concise descriptions
  • Optional: applicants may include up to two (2) PDF planning documents, in place of images

4. Resume:

  • Resume should not exceed three (3) pages
  • Teams should submit one resume per member
  • References will be requested if you move to the finalist stage

Timeline all dates subject to change

Date Activity
January 18, 2023, 12-1 PM Optional Zoom Info Session*
February 8, 2023, 11:59 PM
Applications Due 
By February 24, 2023
Finalists Selected 
Week of March 6, 2023
Optional Site Visit and Finalist Interviews 
Spring 2023
Contracting and Orientation 
June 2024
Project Completed 

*Click this link to access the Zoom info session: https://zoom.us/j/91357149660. The zoom info session will be recorded. Email rebecca.solverson@cityoftacoma.org for a link.

 

Questions? Contact Rebecca Solverson, rebecca.solverson@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5564

 

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Contact

Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191

email