The voices of Native artists and culture bearers are steadily reaching larger and more diverse audiences across the nation. Both urban and rural Native artists and arts organizations possess the same potential to inspire and energize their communities and to play a leading role in sparking conversation around social issues.

To address the lack of economic resources and to progress social change, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s Community Inspiration Program (CIP) Native Nation Partnerships (NNP) initiative provides funding to Native Nation arts organizations in support of an arts and cultures project.* In addition to funding, NACF offers its support and expertise by assisting with project infrastructure and logistics.


  • Increase community and/or cross-sector partnerships.
  • Extend cultural knowledge and exchange.
  • Uplift consciousness both inside and outside Native communities.
  • Reinforce connection to homeland and community for the participants.
  • Transform community and project participants towards social engagement.


The Community Inspiration Program Native Nation Partnerships (NNP)* supports Native organizations working on tribal and Native homelands that engage their community towards social progression through a social art project. The selected social art project is planned, organized, and managed by the awarded organization with co-leadership by their community’s artist(s).

A selected project will:

  • Address a social issue relevant and significant in the organization’s community.
  • Engage the community in a process of positive social progression.
  • Partner with other Native artists, community-based organizations, arts organizations, educational institutions, and/or advocacy organizations who are also working on tribal or Native homelands, in order to create combined social advocacy efforts and bring together perspectives addressing similar social issues in their respective communities.
  • Demonstrate ongoing sustainability of the proposed project (NACF does not seek to invite start-up or one-time event project proposals at this time).
  • Apply cultural knowledge and artistic skills/practice that nurture participants to find their creative expression through the social art project.


In 2020, NACF expanded and enhanced the Native Nation Partnerships program by pairing a mentor artist with an NNP project to help perpetuate the sustainability and progression of the social art project. The initiative, named the Community Artist Mentorship, supports artists and culture bearers in Oregon tribal communities who have lifelong knowledge of their tribe’s art, culture and language to richly teach in a focused format a specific art form to community participants in conjunction with their community’s NNP project. The Community Artist Mentorship helps to perpetuate continuity of cultural expressions and encourages a new generation of Oregon artists and culture bearers to strengthen their cultural knowledge and/or artistic skills.


Thank You Initiative Partners!

We are grateful to the Meyer Memorial Trust and the Collins Foundation for their support of the Native Nation Partnerships program, and to the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation for their support of the Community Artist Mentorship, who share our vision of a thriving Native arts community. Their support made these programs possible for the state of Oregon.

*Please note that NACF is no longer offering Native Nation Partnerships and Community Artist Mentorship awards. To learn about our new programming and funding opportunities, please visit