It’s official – Tacoma Creates

Learn how we can all come together and build something for our city.

Tacoma Creates leverages the significant public and private investment in civic initiatives.

Tacoma Creates provides a variety of local stories and news articles of our own. We’ll share from other news organizations, too. Together, we’ll celebrate our vibrant community and help us explore the value of arts, culture, science and heritage in building stronger neighborhoods.

It leverages investments

Tacoma Creates leverages our investments—Investments like the Lincoln Neighborhood Revitalization project and master planning for the Tacoma Mall Neighborhood. It includes revitalization of the downtown Theatre District, creation of the Museum District, and development of UW Tacoma, the Foss Waterway and the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.

It supports economic growth

Arts and culture in the city of Tacoma generates $137 million a year in total economic activity. It supports 3,600 jobs and generates $86 million in household income. Tacoma Creates will boost the Tacoma economy through an enhanced cultural community, with sustainable cultural assets.

It supports our youth.

Tacoma Creates also complements and reinforces Tacoma’s strong network of successful youth, education and equity initiatives, such as Graduate Tacoma, the early childhood learning programs at the Children’s Museum, Metro Parks’ Whole Child Access Pass, Communities In Schools and the community partnerships of Tacoma Public Schools.

For example, a partnership with Tacoma Public Schools and Metro Parks Tacoma, in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club and the Y, increased youth participation in sports from 2,500 in 2015 to 10,000 this year. Tacoma Creates will provide funds to extend arts and culture programs in the same manner.

The intention is to strengthen the cultural identity, spark the creative energy and promote the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and communities to support youth, families and neighborhoods, improve livability, and increase our economic base.

Tacoma Creates will be managed by the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality.

The office has experience working with non-profit and community-based organizations to administer grants, manage contracts, and oversee compliance in the use of public funds. Costs to administer the program will be capped at 8% of total funds.

An independent advisory board will also be appointed by the City Council to oversee Tacoma Creates, including the development of the criteria and guidelines for funding, and monitoring and evaluating the program results.

Eligible Nonprofits

Under state law, any non-profit organization whose primary purpose is the advancement and preservation of science or technology, visual or performing arts, zoology, botany, anthropology, heritage, or natural history is eligible to receive funds. The non-profit must have a 2-year track record providing public programming. The non-profit’s principal location and majority of activities must be within the City of Tacoma.

One of the goals of Tacoma Creates is to partner with and support smaller community and neighborhood-based organizations that may not have a lot of staffing resources but are nonetheless dedicated and working hard to create vibrant spaces through arts, culture, science and heritage programs or events within their respective communities. Application and guidelines for smaller organizations will be developed based on this recognition of limited resources. These non-profits can apply for program and project funds up to $50,000.

Tacoma is known for its Museum and Theater Districts, and these pillars of the cultural arts and downtown Tacoma will be eligible to participate in a competitive application and evaluation process for funds up to 15% of their annual budget to support sustainable implementation of increasing access, ensuring equity and inclusion and building diverse

Who benefits?

Tacomans! Yes, you will directly benefit from Tacoma Creates. Tacoma Creates is about enhancing access for all.

Public School Students

Tacoma Creates will enhance and extend arts, culture, science and heritage education for Tacoma’s youth and school-age children. Cultural organizations will partner with the Tacoma School District and other community-based or non-profit organizations to provide both in school, before and after school and summer programs in every Tacoma neighborhood and offer more field trips to arts, culture, science and heritage organizations.


Tacoma Creates will expand access for all Tacoma residents to arts and cultural events, venues, and performances. It will reduce barriers for participationand involvement at every level, including financial barriers, so that everyone has the opportunity to access arts, culture, science and heritage programs and facilities, regardless of their economic means.


Tacoma Creates will create new and additional resources for neighborhood programs and related cultural activities.  It will support community festivals, neighborhood activities and street fairs and large-scale city events. It will tap into and grow the creative spirit that makes our neighborhoods interesting and unique places.

Businesses and Jobs

The overall economy of Tacoma will benefit given the increased economic activity generated by an enhanced arts and culture sector. It will support greater tourism and attraction of visitors to Tacoma for cultural activities, as well as drawing Tacomans to our own neighborhoods and business districts. It will promote and support jobs in creative fields and enterprises.

Keep on top of the art scene around Tacoma here –

About: Tacoma Creates is an initiative to voters proposed for the November 2018 ballot. For $13 per year for the average Tacoma household, Tacoma Creates will provide more arts and culture resources to every neighborhood. It will expand equity and access to Tacoma’s arts, culture, science and heritage programs. It will increase opportunities for children and youth before and after school, and in the summer. Creative, cultural experiences will be accessible to all residents, especially lower income families and public school students.

Tacoma Creates will improve educational outcomes, reflect our diverse cultures and leverage our creative assets to create jobs and boost our economy. If voters approve the measure in November, the 1/10 of 1% percent sales tax increase will raise $5 million a year in critical funding for Tacoma’s arts, culture, science and heritage programs. Tacoma Creates is not permanent. After 7 years, voters would need to approve an extension.

– Tacoma Creates