The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Announces Its First Community Inspiration Program Native Nation Partnerships Project Awards

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The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has partnered with Native nations to support artist-driven projects connecting Native communities through arts and cultural projects that address social issues impacting Native peoples.

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Performance of an ancient Klamath/Modoc song by Klamath/Modoc youth (2019). Photo credit Marcia Schlottmann.

NACF is proud to partner with five Native organizations to support important social-art projects that are guided by their community’s knowledge and needs.

The national not-for-profit Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is pleased to announce its first five Community Inspiration Program (CIP) Native Nation Partnerships (NNP) award projects, representing Native nations across the country. CIP projects are artist-driven and designed to engage Native peoples in community efforts that address social and cultural concerns. As part of the CIP initiative, the NNP awards aim to support social art projects led by Native artists or arts organizations that engage Native communities toward social progression.

The NNP awards recognize both urban and rural Native artists and arts organizations that possess the potential to inspire and energize communities. Each NNP project addresses a social issue relevant and significant to the selected Native community. Project awards aim to increase community partnerships on Native homelands while nurturing creative expression and social awareness, and reinforcing connections to the Native community. Through the NNP selection process, the foundation also looks to support organizations that uphold and provide intergenerational cultural knowledge exchange.

The five awarded CIP Native Nation Partnerships awardees are as follows:

  • Growing Our Wadatika Yaduan Nobi Oral History Project – Burns Paiute Tribe, Burns, Oregon
  • Language Arts and Culture Movement – Culture, Language & Identity Project within the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs, Oregon
  • Youth Art Mentorship – Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance, Naragansett Nation, Ashaway, Rhode Island
  • Restoration of the Spirit, Traditional Song Knowledge – The Klamath Tribes, Chiloquin, Oregon
  • Social Engagement Artist Residency – Institute of American Indian Arts, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Intertribal, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The NNP initiative provides funding support ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for up to two years, and requires at least a 50% in-kind or monetary match by the tribal nation or organization. Funding is awarded on an invitation only basis. In addition to funding, the NACF works in partnership with awardees to assist with project infrastructure, networking and logistics. Each NNP project is planned, organized, and managed by the awarded organization with co-leadership by a community artist(s).

"NACF is proud to partner with five Native organizations to support important social-art projects that are guided by their community’s knowledge and needs. Beyond financial support, we help to connect each awardee to resources and other Native artists and organizations, so as to foster more and deeper partnerships or collaborative efforts that contribute to each project’s mission, such as the preservation and revitalization of traditional languages. On both sides of these pilot partnerships, between NACF and the community organizations, we are working to bridge our voices together to progress wellness, and to continue to strengthen Native leadership, pride, and cultural connection throughout our Native communities," says Francene Blythe (Diné/Sisseton-Wahpeton/Eastern Band Cherokee), NACF’s Director of Programs.

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, NACF has supported a total of 318 awards for Native artists, organizations, and advocacy efforts in 32 states and the District of Columbia. To learn more about the Native Nation Partnerships and NACF’s work—nurturing the passion and power of creative expression, visit:

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Barbara Soulé
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