In its nearly 15 year history, First Peoples Fund (FPF) has supported hundreds of artists through business leadership and cultural capital fellowships. These programs not only provide immediate assistance to participating artists, but enable deeper long-term business and community development impacts at the tribal level.
The fund has cultivated relationships with community development agencies in fostering small business training and modest loans in support of artist careers. These relationships have resulted in leveraging a new partnership with the USDA, allowing six artists to receive $5,000 in additional training to match their FPF award.
First Peoples Fund also manages a pool of professional artist trainers from around the country. These artists travel to select sites throughout the year to build artist acumen in intensive workshop settings over several days. In addition, FPF maintains that artists can become trainers. In addition to the workshops, they cultivate local artists to develop the skills to further the business training amongst Native artists within their communities.
In 2012, FPF offered new Nation Spaces grants, targeting Ford Foundation Diverse Arts Spaces and LINC Space for Change grantees, both of whom were eligible to receive up to $20,000 from First Peoples Fund to commission or present Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian art in their communities. The program empoweed these organizations to creatively work with innovative artists in the visual arts, dance, music, or performing arts mediums.