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Tacoma Creates – Expanded Learning Opportunities – January-June, 2020

Application Deadline

November 3, 2019, 11:59 PM


Request for Proposals

To see complete details about the project and related requirements, download the Request for Proposals.



Tacoma Creates is seeking 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in Tacoma that have the existing capacity to develop and deliver high quality education programs in arts, culture, heritage or science during after-school hours at Tacoma Public Schools, also known as Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO).


This Request for Proposals is for programming that will be delivered from January through June, 2020.


This is the second phase of our pilot year of supporting Expanded Learning Opportunities at selected Tacoma Public Schools sites. The purpose of this program is to increase Tacoma Public Schools students’ access to arts, culture, heritage, and science programs. Interested organizations must be willing and able to work within pre-defined parameters of the schedules and requirements for our three ELO partners: the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Metro Parks Tacoma, and the YMCA. Please refer for the full RFP for details on school locations and schedules.



Organizations must meet Tacoma Creates eligibility requirements in order to be able to submit a proposal for this project.


Eligibility is established by completing the Tacoma Creates Pre-Application Survey, which each organization should do ONLY ONCE. If you are not sure if your organization has completed this survey already, please email clarissa.gines@cityoftacoma.org. If your organization has not yet completed the Pre-Application survey, you can do so here: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit.


We will send an invitation to respond to this RFP to those organizations that meet the eligibility requirements (listed below).


Organizational Eligibility

  • Organizations must be located in the City of Tacoma: the organization’s business address and majority of operations must take place in Tacoma.
  • Organizations must have a primary purpose to advance and preserve arts, culture, heritage, or science activities, and directly provide programming and experiences to the general public.
  • Organizations must have a two-year track record of providing public programming in Tacoma.
  • Organizations must have 501(c)(3) status, OR, they may have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) organization.

    Fiscal sponsors must have a primary purpose advance and preserve arts, culture, heritage, or science activities, and directly provide programming and experiences to the general public. For the purposes of this pilot project, the fiscal sponsor is not required to be located in Tacoma, but must be in Washington State.


    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. 

Education Program Eligibility

  • Organizations must have prior experience overseeing after-school programming for students in grades K-8.
  • Organizations must hire or contract with educators who have both subject matter expertise and extra-curricular teaching experience.

Please Note

The ELO program is just one element of Tacoma Creates’ approach to supporting access to cultural education programs for young people, and the education focus is just one aspect of the entire Tacoma Creates program. The early focus on ELO programs is in response to Tacoma Public Schools’ priorities, and alignment with the Whole Child Initiative. There will be additional funding opportunities announced in the coming months. Participating in this ELO pilot does not preclude or limit participation in other funding opportunities.



Contact Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager, at (253) 591-5161 or ljaret@cityoftacoma.org.

Tacoma Arts Commission Volunteer Opportunity

Application Deadline

October 10, 2019



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:

  • Three 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

  • 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, literate, music, new media, performing arts, public art, visual arts, or a related field 

The Tacoma Arts Commission is comprised 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 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 the citizens of 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 Tacoma Arts Commission strongly supports inclusion, equity and access. People who are members of historically disenfranchised racial, ethnic, cultural, and other identity groups are encouraged to apply.

Monthly meetings are held from 5 - 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, in 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 takes place each October. 

To Apply

Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by Thursday, October 10, 2019. To apply, please visit cityoftacoma.org/cbcapplication or contact Michelle Emery 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

Additional information on the Tacoma Arts Commission is available on the City’s website or from Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

Additional information on the Tacoma Arts Commission is available on the City’s website or from Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org.

2020 Arts Projects Funding


The Arts Projects program financially supports a variety of arts projects throughout Tacoma. This funding can be used for artistic presentations, activities, workshops or projects that are accessible to the general public. Admission may be charged to these projects, as long as the application demonstrates public benefit. The arts activity may be a one-time event or a number of events that are closely related. It may also be an ongoing project or neighborhood public art project.


Application Workshop (optional)

Thursday, October 3, 2019, 5:30 - 7 PM, Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market Street, 2nd floor, Room 243). First time applicants are strongly encouraged to send a representative to the workshop. 


Preliminary Application Feedback Deadline (optional)

October 23, 2019


Application Deadline

November 4, 2019, 11:59 PM


Funding Application Guidelines

Download the 2020 Arts Projects application guidelines (PDF) for complete funding information, including eligibility.


Download a sample budget sheet with tips on how to fill out the project budget.


About the Money

NEW for 2020: Applicants can apply for a flat 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 Arts Projects is determined through a competitive application process. The number of contracts awarded will be based on the availability of funds and review of each application as measured against the evaluation criteria detailed in the guidelines. Funding from year to year is not guaranteed. No funding is guaranteed until official approval of the budget by Tacoma City Council.

The full Arts Project funding amount will not be available to recipients until after their project is completed. Recipients should be prepared to cover the costs of the project until that time, but the City will work with each awardee to stagger payment phases to lessen financial strain.


How to Apply

Please submit the following at www.tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit:

  • Basic contact and project information including a brief (40 words or less) overview of your project and its intent
  • Budget (form will be provided in the electronic application) 
  • Narrative Responses (see the 2020 Arts Projects application guidelines for a list of narrative questions)
  • 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 at a location they own.
  • Artistic Work Samples and descriptions 


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

Tacoma Creates Pre-Application Survey

About this Survey

Tacoma-based arts, culture, heritage, and science organizations that provide public programming in Tacoma are invited to complete the Tacoma Creates Pre-Application Survey. This survey is intended to help the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality understand the field of organizations who may be eligible to apply for Tacoma Creates funding. It will also help us plan appropriate Tacoma Creates funding programs and capacity building opportunities. 


Only one person per organization should complete this survey. 


Please help spread the word about this survey and share the survey link with other Tacoma-based arts, culture, heritage, and science organizations!


Fill out the Survey

Visit https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit


All organizations that are interested in applying for Tacoma Creates funding are required to complete this survey as a first step.


What's Next?

All survey respondents will receive email communication about upcoming Tacoma Creates funding applications, workshops, and programming. 


The first round of Tacoma Creates funding will be focused on planning and sustainability and will include in-depth data gathering and participation in capacity building opportunities. 


Organizations that complete this Pre-Application Survey by September 23, 2019, and that meet current eligibility requirements, will receive an invitation to apply for the 2019 Planning and Capacity Building funding between September 9 and 30, 2019.


About Tacoma Creates

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.


Find out more about Tacoma Creates.


Tacoma Creates Eligibility

Eligibility for Tacoma Crates funding extends to any 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Tacoma, whose primary purpose is the advancement or preservation of arts, culture, heritage, or science. These organizations must also have at least a two-year track record of directly providing programming or experiences in Tacoma available to the general public. Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status, but meet other eligibility criteria, may be fiscally sponsored by eligible organizations. 

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. 



Please contact Lisa Jaret, Tacoma Creates Program Manager, at LJaret@cityoftacoma.org.


2019 Tacoma Arts Month Activities

Preferred deadline: August 5, 2019 – Late submissions accepted on a rolling basis

The Tacoma Arts Commission is seeking submissions of arts and culture activities happening during our 18th 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 art programming in Tacoma, we will list your event on the Tacoma Arts Month online calendar. 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, e-newsletters, television ads, radio ads, and a variety of social media outlets.


This month would not be possible without the participation of local businesses, organizations, and community members. We encourage you to participate by hosting your own arts activity or event.


The deadline for the first round of submissions is August 5, 2019. We will accept activities on a rolling basis after that but submitting your information by August 5th will ensure that your activity is included in the first round of information that will go out.


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

To Participate
Fill out the online submission form via Submittable: https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit. Please note: If you are submitting multiple events, please fill out an individual form for each event.



Contact Naomi Strom-Avila at (253) 591-5191 or nstrom-avila@cityoftacoma.org or Chevi Chung at (253) 591-5171 or cchung1@cityoftacoma.org

2019 Tacoma Housing Authority - The Rise at 19th

Application Deadline

October 14, 2019





Call to Artists

Download the Call to Artists (PDF)



The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) is seeking an artist or team to design and fabricate an exterior public artwork for The Rise at 19th, a new affordable housing development owned and operated by THA.


After the initial application review, three finalists will be selected and paid a $500 stipend each to develop a preliminary proposal. That proposal will include a written description, budget, and concept renderings to be presented during an in-person interview. Further details will be communicated to finalists upon selection. One artist or artist team will be selected from the three finalists to complete this project. This process is being managed by the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality for THA.  



  • must live in Pierce County, WA
  • can apply as a single artist or as an artist team
  • must be 18 years or older
  • cannot be an employee, board member, Council Member, or commissioner of THA or the City of Tacoma
  • people who are members of historically disenfranchised racial, ethnic, cultural, and other identity groups are encouraged to apply 

To Apply

Please submit the following at https://tacomaarts.submittable.com/submit:


Short Responses

Answers to the following questions. Limit each answer to no more than 300 words. 

  • Tell us about yourself and your work.   
  • Why are you interested in this project? 
  • Anything else you’d like us to know? (optional) 

Artist Resume with References

A resume of three pages or less, including three professional references. Artist teams should submit a resume for each artist. Only finalists’ references will be contacted.


Work Samples with Descriptions

Up to 10 digital images of past work with concise descriptions. Artist teams are encouraged to submit work that was previously completed as a team. 


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

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Naomi Strom-Avila

(253) 591-5191