Sydney Akagi is a traditional Tlingit weaver and professional photographer, part of a burgeoning community of weavers in Southeast Alaska.
We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine, at least, completely, who and what and that we are.
—N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa)
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is no longer accepting applications for the LIFT–Early Career Support for Native Artists program. Please check back in 2024 for the next opportunity.
NURTURE, ELEVATE, UNFOLD
LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artists program will provide invaluable support to early career Native artists with one-year awards to develop and realize new projects. Support for burgeoning artists is critical in developing fresh voices and envisioning the future of our respective Native practices. LIFT encourages artists to uplift communities, advance positive social change, point courageously toward environmental sustainability, and foster communal meaning making.
Following extensive research and strategic planning, LIFT refocuses NACF’s programmatic efforts to expand the potential of emergent Native artists. LIFT consists of a suite of activities that includes financial support, artist professional development, evaluation, and communications/marketing support. It is essential that artists in these stages of their practices be provided the opportunity to improve their craft, build their careers and cultivate their place as creative people within their communities.
We encourage artists who are shaping their practices and for whom the award may serve as a launching point in their career to apply.
Click here for more information about the LIFT program’s eligibility, application process, criteria, FAQ, and a link to the application.
2022 LIFT AWARDEES
As a dancer and filmmaker, Natalie Benally has a particular passion for students that are underdogs, pushing them to realize and celebrate their worth and potential.
Olivia Camfield is a dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker who is examining Indigenous rage and community solidarity.
Wicanhpi Iyotan Win Autumn Cavender
Wicanhpi Iyotan Win Autumn Cavender began her artistic journey as an expectant mother with a focus on her heritage and tradition, and is now moving forward in a very contemporary, digital way.
Carly Feddersen is a jeweler, metalsmith, stone carver, traditional basket maker, glass artist, and printmaker.
Akilah/Glittering World Girl
Akilah/Glittering World Girl’s work integrates Diné culture with art, computer coding, and XR technology.
Keone‘ulaikapōpanopano Kamali‘ikūpono Hanohano holds the line for the second generation of traditional Hawaiian tattoo revivalists.
Mobéy Lola Irizarry
Mobéy Lola Irizarry is a genderqueer composer, improviser, multi-instrumentalist, and transdisciplinary artist.
Chelsea Kaiah is an artist, beadworker, and activist.
Ethan J Lauesen
Ethan J Lauesen’s work is a visual dialogue of common daily experiences of Alaska Native and LGBTQIA+ experiences.
Lehuauakea is part of the next generation of Native Hawaiian artists focusing on the traditional practice of kapa making.
Amber McCrary is a poet, zinester, and feminist whose work intersects with Navajo world views and contemporary Navajo life.
Dylan McLaughlin is a researcher, composer, musician, and storyteller who has built a multi-dimensional set of works that tell complex stories of the world we live in.
As an interdisciplinary artist, Mikayla Patton explores the connections between land, memory, body, and healing through the lens of Lakota womanhood.
Hāwane Rios believes that music is a powerful catalyst for change and is moved to write and sing songs with a healing and unifying message.
T.J. Keanu Tario/Laritza Labouch
T.J. Keanu Tario/Laritza Labouche is a classically trained musician, integrating their drag persona and music talents into cohesive collaborations.
Brian Walker II
Brian Walker II is making his mark as one of the most accomplished young carvers of traditional Alaska mask forms in the state.
Loren Waters has a passion for sharing stories that center Indigenous environmental knowledge and the struggle for land protection.
Derick Wycherly is a papermaker and printmaker exploring the edges of contemporary craft and traditional practices.