2021 in Review

Blog

At Native Arts & Cultures Foundation (NACF), we consider the new year a time to reflect on all that we have accomplished and a time to give thanks to all of those who have made our work possible. With advocates and supporters like you, we have distributed over 570 awards to Native artists and organizations in 34 states since 2009. We invite you to read some of our favorite stories that highlight how NACF works to uplift the creativity of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Stay tuned for our annual report for more detailed information about last year’s programming.

THE CENTER FOR NATIVE ARTS AND CULTURES

NACF took ownership of the historic Yale Union building in Southeast Portland, Oregon, on February 26, 2021. The building, renamed the Center for Native Arts and Cultures (CNAC), will become a vibrant gathering space for Indigenous artists and both local and national partnerships. It will provide space to present and exhibit work, places to practice culture and make art, and areas for cultural ceremony and celebration.

LIFT PROGRAM AWARDS

In July twenty emerging artists were selected to receive a $10,000 one-year award designed to support artists in furthering their work and/or to serve as a launching point in their career. Read more about the 2021 cohort of LIFT artists!

MENTOR ARTIST FELLOWSHIP & COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

In November the Mesh exhibition—a partnership with the Portland Art Museum (PAM)— opened, featuring the bold work of four early-career artists, all of whom apprenticed with an established artist as part of NACF’s Mentor Artist Fellowship program. 

CNAC HONORING EVENT

After a year and a half of virtual events, we were finally able to hold our first in-person gathering at the Center for Native Arts and Cultures (CNAC) since taking ownership of the historic building in Portland, Oregon, in February. The honoring event was a time for us to reflect and celebrate this new chapter in NACF history.

SHIFT PROGRAM AWARDS

In September fifteen artists were selected to receive a $100,000 two-year award designed to support artists and community projects responding to social, environmental and economic justice issues to draw increased attention to Native communities. Read more about the 2021 cohort of SHIFT artists!

NATIVE ARTISTS AS LEADERS WEBINAR

In December NACF hosted a conversation between Native artists whose practices reimagine a better world and inspire and empower others to do the same. The webinar featured moderator Christopher Morgan (Native Hawaiian) who was joined by speakers Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota), Lani Hotch (Chilkat-Tlingit), and Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio (Kanaka Maoili).

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