NACF Native Arts Emergency Support Project (NAESP)


In response to the crisis and hardships brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) has launched the Native Arts Emergency Support Project (NAESP), aimed at providing support for our Native artists whose livelihoods and families have been impacted by COVID-19. This is the second phase of the NAESP, and we are accepting applications from local Portland (OR) metro area artists (full eligibility criteria below). In the first phase NACF was able to provide support to 70 of its previous awardees through two funding cycles.

Monies for the NAESP have been reallocated and repurposed from NACF funds as designated by the board of directors and staff leadership. NACF continues to actively recruit partners to help contribute to the fund.

NACF’s goal is to make the process as easy to navigate as possible, so that support can be quickly and efficiently distributed.

More than likely, NACF will be unable to provide support for all requests or the full dollar amount of all requests. The amount provided will be based on the availability of support, the number of requests under review, and the number of requests we anticipate in the near future. These parameters, including the timeline, may change in response to the situation and organizational needs. All such changes will be communicated to applicants.

Support will be made available under the following eligibility and guidelines:


  • Applicants must be residents of Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties in Oregon; or Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania Counties in southwest Washington. Applicants will be asked to provide proof of residence.
  • Applicants must be US based American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native artists and culture bearers, with proof of membership, citizenship and/or Native community affiliation.
  • Applicants must be artists and culture bearers working in dance/choreography, film/video, literature/spoken-word, multi-disciplinary, music, theater/performance art, traditional art/practices and/or visual art.
  • Applicants who are seeking support so that they may continue their artistic practice.
  • Applicants must have experienced a financial loss due to inability to do your artistic/cultural work and canceled engagement(s) prior to December 31, 2020 and related to impacts of COVD-19.
  • Potential losses could include:
    • Financial losses due to the cancellation of performances, events, contracts, or commissions.
    • Loss of non-refundable travel costs related to the applicant’s artistic practice. This could include travel to residencies or conferences, touring, or other business-related travel.
    • Loss of income for teaching artists due to the closure of schools.
    • Loss of income for artists working full or part-time in other industries who have used their income to support their artistic practice.
    • Threat on arts space and/or housing rental or ownership
    •  Mental and/or physical health needs
    •  Care for immediate family


  • Current NACF award recipients (this includes 2020 Mentor Artist Fellows and 2020 Community Artist Mentors).
  • Artists and culture bearers who have already received support from Native Arts Emergency Support (NAESP).
  • Projects that are to open after December 31st, 2020; projects that have already taken place; reimbursements for past projects; and/or projects with no scheduled exhibition or performance dates.


  • DEADLINE: June 25, 2020
  • Support seekers will submit an application through the online portal Submittable, and provide simple descriptions of their current situation and need for support. If needed, technical and/or administrative support will be provided by staff.
  • Applications will be reviewed on June 26, 2020 by NACF staff, board, and partners. All recipients will be selected according to eligibility requirements and informed by the NACF’s attention to equity in geographic disbursement, discipline, Native identities and need.
  • Support recipients will provide a brief final narrative describing the use of the award within 60 days after the award.
  • All award recipients will be kept anonymous and not announced to the general public.

CAREFULLY REVIEW the information on this page and return to it as needed while completing your application. You may print or download a PDF of this page by clicking the button below. If you have a question that isn’t answered here please review the NAESP FAQ page or if you would like to get in touch with our team, please email to request assistance.



  • June 25 – application closes at 11:59pm (PST)
Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy) working in studio


  • Up to $2,500 – Income support for artists and cultures bearers who are experiencing physical and/or mental/emotional health and well-being issues as a result of COVID-19 crisis.
  • Up to $2,500 – Income support for artists and cultures bearers who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and who can demonstrate that they have had an engagement cancelled or postponed. This may include, but is not limited to, exhibitions, performances, workshops and training, cultural events and retail sales of work; and/or support for rent of office or studio space.