Open Call for Regional Mentor Artist Fellows

Applications are requested from established American Indian and Alaska Native artists interested and qualified to mentor an apprentice of their choosing in Traditional or Contemporary Visual Arts. $30,000 will be awarded to artists chosen in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Southwest and Upper Midwest.

For a second consecutive year, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has issued a call for applications for its Mentor Artist Fellowships. The fellowship is a regional artist award focused in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest and Upper Midwest areas of the United States. The Mentor Artist Fellowship is open to established American Indian and Alaska Native artists with at least ten years of experience who want to mentor an emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist apprentice for a one-year period in either the Traditional Arts or Contemporary Visual Arts fields.

Eligible applicants must be at least a five-year resident of, and enrolled in an American Indian tribe or Alaska Native corporation located in, Alaska, Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Southern California (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties), Washington or Wisconsin.

The Mentor Artist Fellowship is a monetary award of $30,000 — $20,000 to the mentor, $5,000 for the joint art project and $5,000 for the apprentice’s participation expenses. The mentoring period is July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. To demonstrate the experience and success of the mentoring, a completed joint mentor/apprentice art project is required at the Fellowship’s end. Fellowship awards will be announced Spring 2018.

An interested American Indian or Alaska Native artist apprentice may not apply; however, he/she may ask an accomplished American Indian or Alaska Native mentor artist to apply or assist that mentor artist in applying.

Native artists may find the application at The open call closes 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 22, 2017.

First year Mentor Artist Fellow Lani Hotch (Chilkat Indian Village) said of receiving her award, “I’ve tried to work with groups of weavers, and I’m excited to work one on one with somebody so they know all the steps. In the last few months, we’ve lost two weavers (…). I’m feeling a real compulsion to teach somebody.” And Mentor Artist Fellow Shirod Younker (Coquille, Coos) said in response to the mentor training, “[A] good way to build focus [on] what we are doing and think about the macro vision of the projects in conjunction with each other.”

The Mentor Artist Fellowship’s goal is to improve creative development, artistic rigor, and intergenerational cultural and traditional knowledge perpetuation by fostering the growth of Native artist mentors and apprentices, and empowering them to play an integral role in their communities. To assist in developing lesson plans, each mentor and apprentice is required to attend up to two training days prior to commencing with the mentorship.

The Mentor Artist Fellowship Program is generously supported by individual donors and regional funders committed to preserving and perpetuating Native arts and cultures. NACF is grateful to Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, and to the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation for supporting an Oregon mentor fellow.

About the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s mission is to promote the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures through grant making, convening and advocacy. To date, the foundation has supported more than 200 artists and arts organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia. To learn more about the Mentor Artist Fellowship and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation — nurturing the passion and power of creative expression, visit:

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