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Two children assemble paper flowers during the Dia de los Muertos community festival.
Two children assemble paper flowers during the Dia de los Muertos community festival.

TAM to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) has been approved for a $15,000 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant to support the annual Día de los Muertos Festival. This funding will support TAM with expanding the Festival, Tacoma’s largest celebration of Latino arts and culture. Overall, the NEA has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Symphony Tacoma was the only other Tacoma based organization to receive NEA support in this NEA funding cycle.

Woman leans over to look closely at an altar set up during TAM's Dia de los Muertos community festival.
Photo by Amber Trillo

“The Día de los Muertos free community festival has been a vibrant celebration of life, art, and Latino culture at TAM since 2005. This multidisciplinary event invites the South Sound community to the Museum to experience the creativity, music, dance, and flavors of traditional and contemporary Latin American culture,“ noted David F. Setford, TAM’s Executive Director. “When this event started, 14 years ago, it was attended by 300 people. Since working with regional artists and community partners such as Proyecto MoLe and Centro Latino, it now attracts upwards of 4,000 people each year. Workshops, concerts, dance performance and a tapete sand painting build community as they give voice to local artists and give thousands a chance to broaden their cultural understanding. The grant from the NEA will allow TAM to expand the Festival for 2020 and 2021.”

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like The Día de los Muertos Festival.”