The City of Tacoma is often overshadowed by the arts and culture of nearby cities, mainly Seattle, and seen as the grittier and less exciting of the two metropolises. A recent national economic study, however, reveals that Tacoma’s nonprofit arts and culture industry is one of the top in the nation.
Conducted by the organization Americans for the Arts, this study revealed that Tacoma’s nonprofits generate $64.7 million in annual economic activity. They support 1,735 full time jobs and create $6,573,000 in local and state government revenues.
When Tacoma locals and guests alike attend an event organized by a nonprofit, they often eat out, pay for parking, buy souvenirs, and perhaps pay for babysitting or stay in a hotel. These actions generate an estimate of $30 million that feeds back in to the economy.
Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride unpacks these numbers, explaining the significance of the study: “The economic impact of the non-profit arts and culture sector to Tacoma is 63 percent higher than the median for similar sized study regions and 24 percent greater than the national median.”
Tacoma hosts a broad array of nonprofits, from the newly opened LeMay—America’s Car Museum, to the local group Fab-5, which reaches out to under privileged youth by offering classes in DJing, breakdancing, and legal graffiti. The broad spectrum of opportunities and organizations are appealing not only just to Tacoma locals, but are a draw to out-of-towners as well.
-Jill Sanford, editorial intern