SHIFT – Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts

The only way to get change is not through the courts or—heaven forbid—the politicians, but through a change of human consciousness and through a change of heart. Only through the arts […] can we really reach each other.

― Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo)


The SHIFT – Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts program supports artist and community-driven projects responding to social change issues through a Native lens. The program focuses on efforts that are built upon community cultural assets, resilience, and strengths and draws increased attention to Native communities, perspectives and challenges, shifting a national narrative of invisibility, misunderstanding and misappropriation. SHIFT provides invaluable resources for project development, production and presentation for the artists and their collaborators.

Following extensive research and strategic planning, SHIFT refocuses NACF’s programmatic efforts to embolden Native artists and stakeholder voices, to nurture their brilliance, to draw upon the resilience of our ancestors, to uplift the innovative spirit in our Native communities, and ultimately to foster education and healing for ourselves and our allies. NACF understands that the work of Native artists is critical to the greater contemporary arts discourse, the stewardship of our planet, and equity in our greater society. SHIFT then builds a more intensive body of support to lift constraints and provide crucial time and space for the realization of the artists’ work in partnership with other collaborators.

The program includes multi-year services for Native artists, cultural practitioners, and community partners, and allows for artists to consider more expansive projects and broad-based platforms for community engagement and presentation, while continuing to drive essential conversation on national and global issues.

We encourage artists who have experience developing projects that are focused on engaging communities and the public to address community issues; building upon community strengths; and partnering with organizations to develop and present the work to apply.

Click here for more information about the SHIFT program’s eligibility, application process, criteria, and FAQ.


Native Arts & Cultures Foundation is grateful for the generosity of our growing circle of supporters. Thank you to the following in support of our national programs this year:

Arnerich Massena
C8 Charitable Fund at Schwab Charitable
The Cotyledon Fund
Del’s Kids Family Fund of Oregon Community Foundation
Engaging the Senses Foundation
The Ford Family Foundation
Ford Foundation
James F & Marion L Miller Foundation
The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
The Nathan Cummings Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Open Society Foundations
Rasmuson Foundation
Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation
Ruth Foundation For The Arts
Tides Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The William H. Donner Foundation, Inc.



Will Wilson (Navajo) was awarded a 2011 NACF Artist Fellowship in Visual Arts.

Will Wilson

Will Wilson is a photographer whose imagery deals with complex environmental and social issues, Native identity, and the juxtapositions of the past, present, and future.


Stephen Qacung Blanchett

Stephen Qacung Blanchett is a performing artist, a culture-bearer, an art and culture educator, and an advocate for equity and inclusion.


Sabra Kauka

Sabra Kauka is a cultural practitioner and teacher on Kauai, fostering the sustainability and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian traditions by sharing her knowledge with future generations.


Rosy Simas

Rosy Simas is a transdisciplinary and movement artist who creates work for stage and installation.


Michael Begay & Raven Chacon

Michael Begay is a Navajo composer of chamber music, experimental sound, Native American flute, and metal music. Raven Chacon works at the crossroads of contemporary classical music, visual art and installation, using conceptual graphic scores that underpin his compositions.


Raiatea Helm

Raiatea Helm is one of Hawaiʻi’s preeminent female vocalists and keeper of the Hawaiian falsetto tradition (“leo kiʻekiʻe”) of the early to mid-20th century.



Postcommodity is an artist collective at the sharp edge of multi-disciplinary arts practice, interrogating systems and institutions with a wide array of methodologies and conceptually-based work.


New Red Order

New Red Order is a public secret society whose video and performance deploys a blend of satire and sincerity, toward dismantling ongoing effects of settler colonialism.


Moses Goods

Moses Goods is an actor, storyteller, playwright, and one of Hawaii’s most prominent theater artists.


Lily Hope

Lily Hope is a preeminent Chilkat weaver whose work includes advocacy, mentorship, and the empowerment of Native women.


Larissa FastHorse

Larissa FastHorse is a theater maker and performing arts advocate, illuminating Indigenous processes of artmaking, storytelling, and perspectives on contemporary Native life.


Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson is a land and water protector and an activist for justice, sovereignty, and well-being.


Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick

Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick is an artist, curator, and educator whose work explores the intersection of Native/non-Native cultures and identities within a vexed sociopolitical climate.


Ciara Lacy

Ciara Lacy is a filmmaker whose work centers on points of pressure in the Native Hawaiian community, such as incarceration, houselessness, and the needs of children.


Anna Hoover

Anna Hoover is an activist, artist, writer, director, and filmmaker who produces documentary, fiction, and art films focused on her home state of Alaska.