Tacoma Visitor Information Center is becoming more than just a location for visitors to gather information about what to do and see in Tacoma and Pierce County. The VIC, in partnership with The Young Creative, will now be a constantly changing art gallery featuring the work of Tacoma’s young artists.

The gallery will open to the public on Nov. 7 as part of Tacoma’s Art at Work Month.

In the summer of 2012, the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau partnered with Tacoma School of the Arts and its program, The Young Creative. The partnership allows students to work with the TRCVB and learn how art connects with tourism and business.

“Our partnership with the TRCVB presents incredible opportunities, to help students learn the unique aspects of this county that are available to visitors. They also learn how travel and tourism are marketed,” said Michael Sein-Ryan, career counselor at SOTA. “This partnership is indicative of the open-minded and forward thinking community we live in.”

The program allows Tacoma and Pierce County visitors to easily experience the local arts community in the region. The VIC is taking the program beyond just the art experience. Visitors will be able to purchase the art on display in the gallery. The sales will contribute to the development of young artists, SOTA and the Pierce County economy.

“This partnership enables visitors to have a deeper connection with the arts community and offers a better understanding of how the arts are intertwined in so many aspects of the city,” said Tami Music, TRCVB’s visitor sales manager. “It gives the students the opportunity to understand the business of art and how tourism affects our local economy. This project gives our visitors the opportunity to be a part of this experience.”

The VIC’s first intern and SOTA student, Mailiana Tuivaiave, helped kick start the program in summer 2012. She provided vision for what the program would look like. Tuivaiave will continue to work with the program serving as an ambassador from SOTA.

“By interning at the VIC I have become so much more acquainted with the creative opportunities in my own town,” Tuivaiave said. “I have learned people skills by serving visitors from all over the world. I had no idea Tacoma was such a hot spot.”

The VIC’s second intern has started, with more to come in 2013.

The VIC is located in the lobby of Courtyard Marriott on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. The gallery will be available to the public during the VIC’s regular operating hours.