Arts & Culture, and Tourism

Arts & Culture

The Pierce County Arts Commission (Commission) was formed in 1985 to serve as a volunteer advisory group to Pierce County government. This nine member Commission is recognized by the State of Washington and Pierce County for the important role it plays in delivering programs and services that stimulate participation and growth in the arts throughout Pierce County. The Commission is administered by Pierce County’s Economic Development Department. For more information, please contact the Economic Development office at (253) 798-6150. 

Call to Artists Opportunity:

Pierce County Chambers Creek Regional Park ‘Locks of Love’ Art Project

RFP #21-122

1% for the Arts Project

Submission Deadline: 10/04/2021 by 4:00 p.m. 


Call Summary

At Chambers Creek Regional Park, the public currently places locks onto the stainless-steel guardrail cables of the existing pier. The locks are damaging the pier guardrails due to the reaction between the different metal types, rusting onto the cables, adding significant weight on the cables, and at times, two cables are pulled together by one lock. A well-designed public art piece constructed to provide a safe place for the public to place these locks would preserve the integrity of the pier’s guardrails and provide a fun interactive piece of public art. 

Chambers Creek Regional Park is a distinct landscape beloved by the public and has defined design guidelines for future improvements. Any artwork performing the function of housing the ‘Locks of Love’ would need to be able to withstand heavy public use and be safe for all members of the public to interact with. In addition, the art would be a unique amenity in the park and therefore must be ADA accessible per the 2010 Federal ADA Guidelines.

Pierce County’s Arts Commission is seeking qualified artists to submit a proposal for a public art piece at Chambers Creek Regional Park that compels people to place ‘Locks of Love’ onto the art structure instead of the existing pier bridge cables. The design should be reflective of the natural environment at Chambers Bay or the industrial history of the site or similar. The art piece should be sized to accommodate a minimum of 4,000 locks and optimally up to 8,000 locks. Considerations for a modular design that could be expanded in the future is encouraged. Design should not be golf themed.

See RFP #21-122 for full description and instructions.


Pierce County Traffic Signal Box Art Wrap Project

Submission Deadline: 9/13/2021 by 5:00 p.m. 


Call Summary

The Pierce County Arts Commission is seeking designs that can be reproduced as a vinyl wrap and applied to traffic signal boxes throughout unincorporated Pierce County. This opportunity is open to amateur and professional artists of all levels, residing within Pierce County, working in any medium, as long as the final artwork can be translated and digitally reproduced on a 2-dimensional vinyl wrap. 


The project is designed to enhance the public realm by adding works of art by local artists to utilitarian surfaces that are often targeted by vandalism. The wrapped boxes are intended to enhance neighborhood and community identity, turn ordinary spaces into community landmarks, and promote community dialogue. 

Programs and services:


Tourism is an important industry in Pierce County. Visitors come from all over the country and even all over the world to visit our mountain, golf our courses, kayak and fish our shores, visit our museums and fairs, and sample our rhubarb pie, Almond Roca, craft beers and distilled spirits.

The Economic Development Department administers the funds generated by the tourism industry in the form of taxes and fees paid on overnight stays. Two advisory boards recommend how these funds should be invested—the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and the Tourism Promotion Area Commission. For more information, please contact Mike Gommi at (253) 798-6914 or [email protected]

The application period for the LTAC and TPA 2022 Funding Cycle is closed. 

New Tourism Funding Direction

As a result of the Pierce County Tourism Strategic planning process, a new tourism funding direction has been launched. Pierce County’s tourism efforts are focused on generating incremental overnight stays through four key priorities. Projects submitted through the application process must support these four priorities:

  1. Drive Overnight Visitors — All funded programs must proactively generate overnight visitors
  2. Leverage Proven or Identified Demand Generators — All funded programs must incorporate and leverage the existing demand generators
  3. Focus on Specified Target Markets — All funded programs must include identified target markets and how the program will reach and convert them to overnight stays
  4. Balanced Funding Approach — Funding Allocations are:
Lodging Tax
Tourism Promotion Area
  • Event Marketing
  • Individual Leisure Marketing
  • Asset/Product Development
  • Event Development
  • Sports Development
  • Personnel & Administration
  • Event Marketing
  • Individual Leisure Marketing
  • Sports Marketing
  • Conventions & Meetings
  • Personnel & Administration


Visitor Profile

Pierce County conducted a study in 2015 surveying visitors to Pierce County.

View the comprehensive profile.

Visitors At a Glance

  • Average household income: $98,000 
  • Generally from the West: top origin states include Washington, Oregon, and California. 70% are married.
  • Average travel party: about 3 people 
  • Average Age: 46 32% of visitors are accompanied by minor children.


2015 U.S. Open Championship

The 2015 U.S. Open Championship was marked by its many firsts. It was the first U.S. Open in the 115-year history of the championship to be played in the Pacific Northwest. Click here to learn more.

U.S. Open At a Glance

  • 235,000 Gate Entries over 7 days
  • An economic impact of over $140 million 
  • Over $8 million in State Tax Revenue generated
  • 150 million people watching the event