Tacoma Creates is a voter-approved initiative designed to increase public access to arts, culture, heritage and science experiences throughout the city by reducing barriers and expanding offerings, particularly for underserved youth. The program is funded by local sales tax dollars and administered by city staff and a volunteer advisory board.
In fiscal year 2020-2021, Tacoma Creates distributed $4.2 million in funding to 51 non-profit cultural organizations throughout the city, supporting more than 1000 events and programs. Almost one million participants attended in-person programs funded by Tacoma Creates, and 74% of those programs were free for all participants. Tacoma Arts Live, the Grand Cinema and the Tacoma Art Museum were among the many organizations that benefited from Tacoma Creates support this year.
Almost half of the cultural organizations that received funding from Tacoma Creates partnered with Tacoma Public Schools to provide programming during the regular school day and on-site after school as well as professional development opportunities for educators. 90% of Tacoma’s public schools received at least one cultural learning opportunity thanks to Tacoma Creates.
As far as I know, Tacoma is the only city that’s taken advantage of this Washington State Legislature-approved mechanism to raise public funds for non-profit cultural organizations. It’s heartening to live in a city that values the arts and that’s committed to investing in its cultural organizations in a big way. To learn more about Tacoma Creates and the many organizations that it benefits, visit www.tacomacreates.org.