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2023 Community Arts Projects Funding


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, 2023. 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."


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 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.


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. 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 6, 2022, 5:30 - 7 pm, online at https://bit.ly/3Ql4lLV. This workshop will be recorded and posted here. First time applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop or watch the recording. 


Preliminary Application Feedback Deadline (optional)

October 19, 2022


Application Deadline

October 31, 2022, 11:59 PM


Funding Application Guidelines

Download the 2023 Community Arts Projects application guidelines (PDF) for complete funding information, including eligibility.


Download the 2023 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. No funding is guaranteed until official approval of the 2023-2024 budget by Tacoma City Council.


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 responses to questions outlined in the 2023 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 2, 2022



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 eight positions on the TAC: 

  • One Working Professional Artist Position 

  • Two Professional Positions – Individuals who have had professional experience or training related to the arts, originating from employment or study within the following disciplines: arts or art history, arts administration, architecture, art criticism, art education, curation, conservation, heritage arts, literature, music, new media, performing arts, public art, visual arts, or a related field

  • Four 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

  • One Tacoma Public Education Position – An individual working in the Tacoma public education community

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, Black and Indigenous community members, people of color, 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 Tacoma Arts Commission.


TAC meetings are held from 5 - 7 PM on the second Monday of each month. Currently, meetings can be attended virtually on Zoom. When allowed to do so, meetings will be 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 2, 2022. To apply, please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication or contact Michelle Emery at (253) 591-5505 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.

2022 Arts at the Armory

Application deadline: Sunday, October 23, 2022, 11:59 PM


About Arts at the Armory:

Arts at the Armory is an arts market for Tacoma-based artists and creatives who would like to share and/or sell their work with the community, side by side with other creatives, all under the roof of the Tacoma Armory. This event is sponsored by Tacoma Arts Live.


The event will be held Saturday & Sunday, December 10 & 11, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, inside the spacious 20,000 square foot Tacoma Armory (1001 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405). Artists and creatives can choose to participate on Saturday, Sunday, or both days. This event is free and family friendly.


Tacoma artists and creatives, working in all artistic disciplines and mediums, are invited to apply for this unique interactive arts experience. Artistic disciplines and mediums include, but are not limited to: music, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, literary, video, design, digital, and dance.


Participating artists and creatives will be assigned a maximum of a 10’x10’ space (table and chair provided, if requested in advance), where they can share/demonstrate their work and talk about their creative practice with the general public. While not required, artists and creatives can have work for sale; no commission will be taken on any sales and artists and creatives will handle any sale of their work directly. Each participating artist and creative is required to actively promote Arts at the Armory to their own contacts; we will provide publicity materials for this use. Artists and creatives are not required to provide a hands-on experience or demonstration at this event. There is no fee to apply and/or participate in Arts at the Armory.


Each artist and creative will be responsible for setting up, being present, staffing, and tearing down their own space. All displays and set ups must be freestanding (no wall attachments allowed) and fit within the allotted space. No open flames are allowed. Artists and creatives are not allowed to provide and/or sell food or beverages to the public.


To help keep our community healthy, masks are required for all participating artists, creatives, staff, and attendees, regardless of vaccination status.


Deadline for applications is Sunday, October 23, 2022, by 11:59pm.


All applications will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Tacoma Arts Commission and selected based on the quality of artwork and the overall variety of artistic disciplines and work represented. By applying for Arts at the Armory, and if accepted, you are making a commitment to participate in the event for the day(s) you signed up for, short of extreme life circumstances.


Creatives and artists who identify as members of the Global Majority, Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color (BBIPOC), African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, Native-American (ALAANA) communities; economically or socio-economically marginalized communities; LGBTQIA+ communities, and people living with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.



  • You must live within the Tacoma city limits and/or your regular working studio/space must be located within the Tacoma city limits
  • Your work must be created, performed, and/or handmade by you; not commercially acquired and/or appropriated

To Apply: 

Eligible artists and creatives interested in this opportunity must fill out the online application form and attach the following items via Submittable: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit


1.  Five Work Samples

  • If working in visual art, upload 5 high quality JPEG files of your past work. If selected, we will use the images in materials produced for the event. Images must be at least 300 ppi resolution. Images smaller than 600 pixels per side are not recommended.
  • If working in performing or media arts, upload any combination of 5 video files and/or URLs. We also recommend submitting at least 1 JPEG image that can be used in promotional materials.

2.  Artist Statement

  • Submit a short (70 words or less) artist statement/bio which describes your work. This information will be used on the Arts at the Armory webpage. Please write in the third person (using “she”, “he”, or "they" instead of “I”). We reserve the right to edit the text to fit the parameters of the promotional materials.

 Questions? Contact Chevi Chung at (253) 591-5171 or cchung1@cityoftacoma.org.

Workshop: Tacoma Artists Hangout on October 26, 2022

Workshop: Tacoma Artists Hangout on October 26, 2022

Pop into this virtual hangout hosted by Artist Trust! This is a perfect time to connect, network, build community, and talk about your artistry. Feel free to bring your favorite happy hour treats and kick back with other Tacoma-based artists. This event is hosted by Artist Trust and the Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality in celebration of Tacoma Arts Month and open to artists of all disciplines. If you have questions about accessibility and need more information, please contact Grace Nakahara (she/her) at grace@artisttrust.org.


Date: October 26, 2022

Time: 5-6:30 PM

Venue: Online

Cost: Free

Register here


About Artist Trust

Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and encourage artists working in all disciplines to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $15 million in individual artists through grant programs and provides a comprehensive suite of professional development training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Learn more at artisttrust.org.


About The Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality

The Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality supports the cultural sector in Tacoma in a variety of ways including funding programs, public art, professional development, and special programming. Learn more here.


Have Questions?

Email Program Manager Grace Nakahara at grace@artisttrust.org.

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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191