NATIVE ARTIST OPPORTUNITY FUND

OVERVIEW

Part of WAA’s Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) program, the Native Artist Opportunity Fund is a financial assistance award program to aid US-based Indigenous performing artists with short-term needs related to the promotion, development and sharing of their work or practice.

Opportunity Fund grants are not intended to support travel costs associated with a tour or performance, but all other proposed uses will be considered.

Applicants may request up to $750, and may not reapply within one year of receiving an Opportunity Fund award.   

The AIP program defines the term ‘Indigenous’ as Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian, as well as first peoples of the US Territories of Amelika Sāmoa (American Samoa), Guahan (Guam), Saipan, Tinian, Rota (Northern Mariana Islands), Borikén (Puerto Rico), and the US Virgin Islands. 

OPPORTUNITY FUND AWARDS

 

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS & TIMELINE

The Opportunity Fund has a rolling application period. Applications will be submitted on the Submittable platform. A rotating member of the AIP Committee, in conjunction with AIP staff, will review applications – on or about the first day of each month, for requests received during or before the previous month – and make recommendations to the full Committee for approval.

Awards will be announced by the 15th of the month. Unsuccessful applications and applications not received before the end of the month will be placed into the subsequent month’s pool for consideration. 

Applicants requiring assistance in completing an application should contact AIP Program Manager Ed Bourgeois for support. 

GRANT SUMMARY REPORT

All awardees must submit a Grant Summary Report within 30 days of purchase or completion of the supported activity.  

The Grant Summary Report will briefly outline key activities that took place, products or services purchased. Failure to submit Grant Summary Report in a timely manner will result in applicant ineligibility for future Opportunity Fund grants. 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS  

Opportunity Fund grants are not intended to support travel costs associated with a tour or performance, but all other proposed uses will be considered.

Awards will only be considered for individual or ensemble artists who meet the following eligibility requirements:  

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Awardees will be asked to complete a W-9 (request for taxpayer identification number and certification).   

  • At least 18 years of age at time of application. 

  • Member or descendant of a Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian nation or community, and U.S. Territories of Amelika Sāmoa (American Samoa), Guahan (Guam), Saipan, Tinian, Rota (Northern Mariana Islands), Borikén (Puerto Rico), and the US Virgin Islands. 

  • Performance history that includes performances outside artist’s community of residence. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Awards are not available for: 

  • Travel for touring or contracted performance(s).

  • Presenters, managers, agents, or producers.  

  • Student applicants. 

  • Staff, board, or contractors of Western Arts Alliance. 

  • Committee members of WAA’s Advancing Indigenous Performance Committee. 

  • Artists who have received an Opportunity Fund grant within the previous 12 months. 

  • Current Native Launchpad awardees. 

FUNDING CRITERIA

Applicants should describe with as much detail as possible the purpose of their proposal in conjunction with aspirations to expand opportunities to present and tour their work. Applications will be considered using the following criteria: 

History & Readiness for Touring — Based on the Applicant Narrative, resume/CV, touring history, and video work samples. 

Opportunity — Based on the opportunity or project description and relevance to applicant’s stated goals. The Native Artist Opportunity Fund places a priority on:  

  • Invited participation in regional, national, or international conferences that include a focus on the work of Indigenous artists and will provide an opportunity for artists to showcase or otherwise market their work. 

  • Travel to regional, national, or international conferences, which offer education, networking, or promotional opportunities within the performing arts presenting and touring industry, or build relationships with presenters. 

  • Other allowable uses include, but are not limited to: equipment purchase; registration fees, design and production of technical/promotional/marketing materials; recording and documentation; other short-term services, development of education/outreach support materials, immediate opportunity or unexpected need.  

Feasibility – Based on logistics, timing, and proposed plan. 

Career Advancement — Based on the artist’s goals (as described in the Applicant Narrative) and the application as a whole, to what degree the activity will advance the career of the artist and/or expand their network with presenters, other artists, communities or organizations. 

 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Submission of a complete application.  

  • Statement of Indigenous Identity as a member or descendant of a Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian nation or community, including the US Territories of Amelika Sāmoa (American Samoa), Guahan (Guam), Saipan, Tinian, Rota (Northern Mariana Islands), Borikén (Puerto Rico), and the US Virgin Islands.   

  • Applicant Narrative – purpose, need and use of the requested funds – providing specific information about individuals and activities, goals and anticipated outcomes of the proposed project or activity. 

  • Performance history – this may be a link to the artist’s website or an uploaded PDF. 

  • Video that shows artist’s work in live performance (up to ten minutes). Videos are submitted by embedded link (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).  

  • Letter of invitation to a showcase, program or event (if applicable). Please submit all applicable materials to support your request. 

  • Quote(s) and/or invoice(s) from vendor providing service or product.  

FUNDING CYCLE & AMOUNTS

There will be up to 12 monthly cycles of funding for Native Artist Opportunity Fund awards annually, based on fund balance. Award amounts are based on cost of products and services at the time of application submission, and are made in a single, up-front payment. All purchases must be supported by actual paid receipts.  

The annual budget for the Opportunity Fund is currently $15,000. The number of awards available depends upon the number and amount of proposals received. The maximum request amount is $750. 

Questions? Please contact AIP Program Manager Ed Bourgeois

NATIVE ARTIST OPPORTUNITY FUND

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