Tacoma Art Museum is $500,000 away from funding its $15.5 million expansion project, thanks to a $2 million state grant announced Wednesday.
The grant, part of the State of Washington Building for the Arts program, is one of 12 given to cultural organizations by the state Department of Commerce, and will go toward the museum’s new Haub Western American Art wing and resdesigned entry, scheduled to break ground Sept. 5.
Together with other donations – including a generous but unspecified one by German collectors Erivan and Helga Haub, whose donated collection will be housed in the new wing – the grant brings the project funding to $500,000 short of the total needed.
“Tacoma Art Museum is thrilled to receive this investment from the State of Washington,” said Stephanie Stebich, museum director. “The museum expansion is not only a transformative moment in the museum’s history, but for our broader community, to share in this opportunity to build, connect, and express ourselves through art.”
Created by the Washington legislature in 1991, the Building for the Arts program was designed to help nonprofit arts organizations by paying for up to 20 percent of capital projects. In 1999, Tacoma Art Museum received $836,125 from Building for the Arts to support the construction of the Antoine Predock-designed building on Pacific Avenue.
The program requires other funding to be present for a grant to be made, and TAM’s other sources include the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, the City of Tacoma, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Norcliffe Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, D.V. and Ida J. McEachern Trust, Brown and Brown of Washington, Sellen Construction, and Tremaine Foundation.
Building for the Arts grants also require demonstration of a community need, and the museum has cited the integration of its expansion with civic projects like the Pacific Avenue streetscape and Prairie Line Trail as a community benefit, as well as an extra economic impact of $24.50 on average per museum visitor, increasing the museum’s impact by $1.9 million annually.
“We are grateful to have elected officials who understand the critical importance of the cultural sector, the vibrancy of our communities, and the economic benefits of projects like ours,” said TAM board president Steve Barger.
The museum has also launched the public portion of the campaign; to find out more visit pauselifeplayart.org or tacomaartmuseum.org.
Other organizations receiving a Building for the Arts grant include Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Coyote Central, Icicle Creek-Snowy Owl Center, and Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568