City of Tacoma announcement.
TACOMA, Wash. — Fifty-seven organizations whose missions are to advance arts, culture, heritage and/or science were funded in the inaugural year of Washington’s first and only cultural access program. Tacoma Creates staff presented the report to the Economic Development Committee of the City Council on December 14.
Designed to support and nurture a thriving cultural sector, Tacoma Creates distributed $4.7 million of voter-approved tax revenues to organizations through a competitive funding cycle in early 2020 just as the pandemic forced cultural organizations to reinvent regular programming. Funding during the 2020-2021 program year provided essential support for organizations to develop engaging programming, continue to serve and uplift the community, and keep creatives and cultural workers employed in Tacoma.
The funded organizations produced a total of 412 programs, approximately two-thirds of which were produced for the general public and the remaining one-third were youth education programs.
Funded organizations reported a collective total of over 575,000 participants in these programs, including more than 497,000 views of online events, exhibitions, or classes.
With a focus on equity and access as a guiding principle, the vast majority of programming was free for participants. 84 percent of in-person attendance was at no cost; 91 percent of virtual participation was at no cost; and 97 percent of all programs were either free or had free or reduced-price ticket options.
“Thanks to the support of Tacoma Creates, Tacoma’s cultural organizations were able to sustain and reimagine their operations, and innovatively respond to the multiple challenges facing our community,” said Tacoma Creates Program Manager Lisa Jaret. “They invented new online programming and resources, built and distributed at-home learning materials, examined how their cultural missions could best support emergent community needs, and are poised to continue delivering responsive and engaging services.”
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. More information about Tacoma Creates is available at tacomacreates.org.