City of Tukwila
Application deadline: 7/20/2018, 5 PM


The City of Tukwila seeks two practicing artists, each to serve for a year-long, half-time Artist-in-Residence (AiR). The selected artists will undertake an in-depth community-based project that partners with the people that live and work in Tukwila, as well as City staff. These exploratory collaborative projects will bring attention to an important physical/social aspect of the City; link community members of this incredibly diverse community to each other and to this specific part of their City using diverse creative means and thinking.

Tukwila is located to the south of Seattle, with a highly diverse population of approximately 20,000 people. Tukwila International Boulevard is the focus of the international community in Tukwila. The Duwamish Tribe lived along the Duwamish and Black Rivers and used the rivers for trading with their neighbors. Tukwila is named for the hazelnut trees that grew along the rivers, and the hazelnut is in the center of the City logo. Tukwila has long been a crossroads, from the early days of the river to the present-day rail and highway crossings that support concentrations of retail and industry. People from around the region come to shop at Westfield Southcenter Mall, to play at the Starfire Sports Center, and to learn at the Museum of Flight. Green hills rise from the river, with a variety of residential neighborhoods. Tukwila has a new public library, an active community center, and a variety of art, including several pieces at the library and community spaces at Tukwila Village.

Project Background

The city has recently adopted a Municipal Arts Plan, “Tukwila Arts,” with the intent of using the arts and the creative capacity of artists to devise temporary, permanent and interactive art projects and processes as a key element in creative place-making and community-building. Just as Tukwila is a unique community within the metropolitan area of Seattle, Tukwila expects their public art program to be uniquely responsive to their diverse community and physical setting.

The first two projects to come out of the Municipal Arts Plan are two artist residencies in the city, one focused on the Duwamish River, and the other focused on an important arterial spine, Tukwila International Boulevard.

AiR with Duwamish River focus:

The Duwamish River runs the length of the City of Tukwila north to south and is one of its defining physical features. However, as it remains a hidden gem, there is the potential and desire to better connect residents to the river as a natural place of beauty, as a watershed and critical environmental feature, and as a place that plays a key role in the history and future of Tukwila. The river also has a wonderful potential to provide significant respite and recreation as more people become familiar with its qualities.

Arts and culture along the river can highlight and link to existing assets, including Duwamish Hill Preserve, Cecil Moses Memorial Park, North Wind’s Weir, Tukwila Community Center, Codiga Park, Fort Dent Park and Bicentennial Park. The arts can also create opportunities to better connect the river to Tukwila’s neighborhoods, increasing the visibility of access points and routes to the river including Duwamish Gardens, Tukwila Community Center, Codiga Park, BECU Headquarters, Foster Point (57th Ave Mini Park and lookout point), Foster Golf Links, Fort Dent/Starfire Sports Complex, and Bicentennial Park.

Art and creative processes and activities can do many things in relation to the river. For example, art could mark sequence along the length of the river and create nodes at significant locations or bring an awareness of the natural changes of the environment, day to night and the seasons. Art could enhance the river as a destination for personal and social enjoyment and increase its role to move through the community to different locations in the city using a natural path rather than a road, using the Tukwila segment of the Green River Trail to link at its north and south ends into the larger metropolitan trail system beyond the city limits.

The creative work in this residency is expected to be varied, innovative, exploratory, and build on itself. The artist is encouraged to employ inter-disciplinary art-based events, temporary installations and additions to the environment of the river. There are excellent locations for community-based projects based in the written word or performance art that can be connected to other subsequent works along the river. Social practice art could include community walks, picnics, responses to the environment, creative mapping and more.

There will be a simultaneous AiR dealing with Tukwila International Boulevard, a different north-south city corridor. It is expected that the two AiR’s will interact with each other sharing research, thinking, and energy.

AiR with Tukwila International Boulevard focus:

Tukwila’s International Boulevard (TIB) is a rich multicultural district, with small businesses and many residences serving diverse communities around the region. The city’s vision for TIB emphasizes the visibility and vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhoods that are adjacent all along this north-south boulevard. Beginning at the Tukwila light rail station at the south end and moving north, there are changes happening. The city will be adding an important civic building soon, continuing the transformation of a central intersection hub with the King County library and a plaza with a community gathering center, together with varied housing projects. The street itself is also being physically transformed to create a true boulevard character.

Arts and culture will play a significant role in changing the aesthetic and social character of this important access arterial – essentially making it a “place”. Through this shift, the community can become connected to this core area of the city. Really creative responses to the street environment will build TIB’s social character resulting in a unique and attractive main street. infrastructure such as utility poles, intersection crossings, planted medians, lighting, 3-dimensional works, 2-dimensional works such as murals and other myriad types of creative activity and art.

While there are many locations to focus on along TIB, a good starting point is the library and community spaces at Tukwila Village. There are excellent locations for community-based projects based in the written word or performance art that can be connected to other subsequent works along TIB. Social practice art could include community walks, dinners, story gathering and telling, and mapping.

There is the opportunity of diverse partnerships with community groups, the Library, businesses and in educational entities, particularly Foster High School and Showalter Middle School that are nearby and house the entire middle and high school student population of the city.

There will be a simultaneous AiR dealing with the Duwamish River in Tukwila, a different north-south city corridor. It is expected that the two AiR’s will interact with each other sharing research, thinking, and energy.

Scope for each of the AiRs

The Artist in Residence for the Duwamish Project and the Artist in Residence for the Tukwila International Boulevard Project each will coordinate with the city’s point staff person in the Department of Parks and Recreation. The artist will also engage with the Tukwila Arts Commission on a regular schedule arranged in coordination with the city public art program manager. Additionally, the artist will participate regularly in meeting and talking with various city personnel and departments, City Council members,sharing the artist’s innovative approach to community and place to help build creative cultural awareness and capacity of city staff.

The city will work with the artist to find a suitable place to establish a residency “office/studio” to operate out of.


Tukwila City website:
Tukwila Arts: Tukwila Comprehensive Plan: Tukwila Village: village/
Tukwila history:


The call is open to established professional artists living in Tukwila or within reasonable commuting distance. Applicants from all art forms are encouraged to apply: for example, visual artists, public artists, social practice artists, interdisciplinary artists, and performing artists.

It is very important to the city that interested artists show strength of artistic creativity and conceptual ability, the capacity to truly engage all ages and cultures in the community in innovative ways, and the sustaining interest in genuinely gaining a deep understanding of Tukwila’s community and place as some of the factors in the selection process.

Students are not eligible to apply.


The project budget is $30,000 USD for the resident artist’s time on site. This project budget comprises all residency costs including project activities and programs, conceptual time, travel, presentations and meetings, any personal documentation of the project, and applicable taxes. The artist would be expected to spend approximately 20 hours of each week in Tukwila during the year of residency, essentially treating the residency as half-time work.

In addition, up to $10,000 USD will be available for supplies for activities and the creation of art during the year. Payment will be made in installments based on benchmarks established by the city in consultation with the artist.

The selected artist(s) will be required to carry general liability insurance for the duration of the project which will be determined by the artists and approved by the city public art program manager.

Application Deadline & Timeline

  • June 18, 7 PM – Orientation meeting for interested artists at Tukwila Community Center,
  • July 20, 5 PM – Deadline for e-mailed applications
  • July 31 – Selection panel meets to select finalists
  • August 20 – Finalists interviewed by selection panel
  • October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019 – Residency period

Application Requirements

Please submit the following five items by email to with “AiR Duwamish River” or  “AiRInternationalBlvd” followed by your last name in the subject line.

Please send items 1, 3, 4 and 5 as PDF documents. If your email is over 15 MB in size, you may need to send attachments in several batches. Please do not send zip files or refer us to external file-share sites such as Dropbox.

NOTE: If you are interested in both AiRs please write a separate Letter of Interest that acknowledges the differences in the focus areas for each and submit them as separate PDFs. The rest of the submittal material, #2-5, will be used for selecting both residencies.

Applications must include:

1.  Letter of Interest in PDF format (not to exceed 2 pages).
Please provide a non-generic statement describing your interest in this particular residency addressing:

  • How you are uniquely qualified for this project
  • Information about how you would work with the community
  • What kind of art you are involved in
  • What you consider the role of the arts in civic life in a diverse suburban city
  • How you envision being a visible and influential presence in this particular City

2.  Work Samples. Each artist must submit representative samples from their body of work, as follows:

Visual artists may submit up to 20 images of past work.

  • File format: JPEG or JPG only
  • File dimensions: 1200 pixels or greater on the longest side formatted at 72 dpi and no larger than 3 MB in size. Each image filename must be named as follows: artist’s last name, first initial, and a number corresponding to the number on the image list (e.g.: smithp01.jpg). If using a Mac, be sure to use the appropriate Windows filename extensions (e.g.: smithp01.jpg).

Non-visual artists may submit if desired a mix of samples including up to 10 images

Performance or media artists may submit either 20 images or up to 3 samples of video documentation (up to 10 minutes total running time) or provide links to YouTube, Vimeo or similar web links.

Media artists may submit up to 5 audio samples, (up to 10 minutes total running time) or provide links to YouTube, Soundcloud or similar web links.

Literary artists may include up to 10 pages of writing, which may include poetry, creative writing, or playwriting.

3.  List of works in PDF format submitted for review that includes title, location, date completed/performed, media, brief description of the project/conceptual information and budget (if applicable).

4.  Re?sume? in PDF format. No longer than two pages. Your re?sume? should summarize your experience as an artist and how you have collaborated with communities.

5.  Three References in PDF format. Names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers for three professional references who can speak to the quality of your art form, your community-based work and your potential to succeed in this residency.

Selection Criteria

The artist will be selected based on the following criteria:

• History of successful collaborations with diverse communities
• Quality of past work and successful collaborative outcomes
• History of on-going growth and exploration, and evidence of work or potential to work across genres
• Demonstration of commitment to the values of this project, which include community engagement, ecology, history, civic and urban life

The selection process will take place in two parts. During the first round, a selection panel will review the applications. For each of the AiRs, the panelists will identify up to four finalists to interview at a second panel meeting. The panel will select one AiR for the Duwamish River Project and one Air for the Tukwila International Boulevard Project.


For questions, please contact Tracy Gallaway at