Grant Programs for Native Artists

The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center recognizes the importance of supporting the arts at the source—by supporting artists themselves.

SIAM, Supporting Indigenous Arts Mastery Program

SIAM Grants for Colleges and Universities: 

The SIAM* program, Supporting Indigenous Arts Mastery, is designed to help community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities (both public and private) achieve some of its goals to support cultural arts of Tribal communities within the institution's own service region. Modeled after the work of the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College, SIAM is designed to support the outward facing public service work colleges and universities may already be doing, or wish to do with Tribal communities to support cultural visual arts.

Every partnership is unique. While institutions do not need to have a comprehensive public service plan already in place, it should have a team of dedicated staff of professionals and leaders and Tribal partners committed to the successful support of proposed projects focusing on cultural arts as defined by a Tribe or Tribes. The institution and the Tribe(s) should have the capacity to deliver the programming described in your letter as well as provide evaluation and institutional documentation of expenditures.

Cultural arts can be multi-disciplinary or focused on a particular type of art deemed to be important for the Tribe(s) by the Tribe(s) and taught by master artists who can bring other Tribal artists into the circle of artistic mastery as explorers, learners and apprentices. The intention is to create artistic paths to ensure sustainability of the artform(s).

Available grants are up to $30,000 per institution, per year, which is renewable for longer projects. Project budgets should focus on contracts with master artists, supplies and materials, as well as support for learners/apprentices. It may include rental, support for meals during workshops, mileage, lodging as well as some salary support and goods and services for the institution team managing the project. Projects can be matched with other funding sources from institutional, state, and national resources.

Project proposals can be for up to two years with a maximum funding of $30,000 in each year (dispersed Summer 2022 and Summer 2023).

Successful institutions will demonstrate a philosophy of service, respect, and consultation with Tribes that elevates autonomy, agency, and expertise of Tribes in their work to support and advance artistic mastery in their communities.

*SIAM is a Salish term for a learned elder and simultaneously a term of respect for learned ancestors.

For more information and instructions on how to apply email or call:

Mary Kummer, Program Specialist,


Northwest Heritage Program

Northwest Heritage Program for cultural preservation and creative expression:

The Northwest Heritage Program focuses on working in partnership with tribal and cultural communities to develop culturally-based art workshops.

The Northwest Heritage Program partners with Tribal cultural and heritage departments, organizations, and artists who would like to have resources to support the teaching and learning of cultural arts, with an emphasis on customary arts, and a focus on intergenerational sharing of artistic knowledge.

We have supported the teaching and learning of cultural arts in the Pacific Northwest focused on Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana Tribal communities.

The Northwest Heritage art workshops can be in any art form that is important to the community. Previous art workshops have included: sturgeon nose and shovel nose canoe building, corn husk basket weaving, moccasin making, plateau dress making, Klickitat basket making, clam digging, and Blackfeet traditional willow back rest.

Examples of Tribal partnerships include: Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis, Confederated Tribes of the Colville, Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Burns Paiute Tribe, and Blackfeet Nation.

Examples of institutions we have partnered with include: Yakama Nation Museum, Yakima Valley Museum, Northwest Museum of Art and Culture, Washington State History Museum, Museum at Warm Springs, Oregon College of Art and Crafts, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum, and the Museum of the Plains Indian.

We are honored to continue the work of strengthening cultural artistic traditions through the transfer of intergenerational knowledge in cultural arts for future generations.

Available grants are up to $6,000 per workshop, per year.

Projects should focus on contracts with master artists, supplies and materials. It may include space rental, and support for meals during the workshop.

Projects may be held over a period of several weeks and may include multiple sessions over several seasons to accommodate appropriate gathering and preparation of materials.

Projects can be matched with other funding sources from institutional, state, and national resources.

Materials required for letter of interest:

  • Letter of interest specifically addressing:
    • Project description
    • Measurable objectives and the activities proposed to meet those objectives.
  • If Tribes have identified master artists for the project, include:
    • Artist(s) name
    • Images of work samples
    • Tribal affiliation
    • Importance to the art form
  • Proposed Budget with general line items of expected expenditures.


Awarded projects will be expected to submit a W9 outlining who receives the funding.

Participant evaluations for the activities during the workshop will need to be submitted. Evaluations from the master artist(s) documenting having met the goals and objectives of the workshop is also required. Photos and documentation of activities is encouraged.

Successful workshops will demonstrate a deeper learning of cultural arts, offering an emmersive experience to learn the work within cultural contexts offered by the master artist.

Letters of interest and can be e-mailed to:

Linley Logan, Northwest Heritage Program Specialist,

Laura VerMeulen, Longhouse Director,

Questions can be directed via e-mail or phone 360 867 6413.

Download a .pdf of the Northwest Heritage call for letter of interest.

Native Creative Development Grant

The Native Creative Development Program Grant cycle is open for Native artists living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Any artist who would like technical assistance on their applications may seek it from the Longhouse staff from project review to application review.

The applications will be reviewed and awarded by the Longhouse Advisory board comprised of Native artists and scholars. The grant is very competitive. The strongest applications include work samples that reflect your grant project request. For example, if you want to work in fine metals, your work samples should include artwork in fine metals.The grants are designed to support individual Native artists. This an opportunity for you to think about what you need to improve your individual artistic practice. The due date for consideration for the grant was Friday, October 15th, 2021.

Applicants must be American Indian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian residing in Washington,Oregon, Idaho or Montana. Grant applications for all forms of visual arts accepted. Literary, performance, and media arts with a focus on visual arts will also be considered. Grant recipients will each be awarded from $2,500 to $5,000 for individual grantees and up to $6,000.00 apprentice/master grantees.

The Native Creative Development Program was designed to address the professional development needs of individual artists, such as purchasing supplies and materials, harvesting resources, portfolio development, apprenticeships, workshop fees, training in marketing, and teaching workshops.

Tips for a competitive grant application.

Past Grant Winners

Native artists-in-residence

Our Artist-in-Residence program brings established Native artists to tribal reservation sites and to Evergreen to train and encourage other Native artists. It has impacted a wide variety of people in a myriad of ways over the past ten years.

At times, the focus of the residencies was to preserve almost-lost art forms, such as Ravenstail weaving and bentwood box-making.

Over the years, the residencies have included traditional and contemporary visual arts, as well as performance arts. The first artist-in-residence was Bruce subiyay Miller, who conducted a six-month storytelling residency at the Skokomish Tribe.

Participants over the years have ranged in age from preschool through adult, and include artists from many tribal cultures. In 2005, the Longhouse established a partnership with Te Waka Toi/Creative New Zealand to fund a pilot program for Maori artists to work in residence at the Longhouse for twelve weeks each spring. Christina Hurihia Wirihana was the first Maori artist-in-residence to join the Longhouse in the Spring of 2006. The network and the opportunities continue to grow.

Funding support comes from the Ford Foundation.

National Artist Grant: 8th Generation Inspired Natives

Eighth Generation is looking for candidates who are expanding definitions of what it means to be Native and who go above and beyond to make themselves a resource to their community. Applications for all forms of visual, performance-based arts, media and literary arts will be accepted. Native artists who are residents of the United States are eligible for this award. Native is defined as: American Indian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian. Documentation of ancestry is required.

“Our goal is to assist emerging artists of all mediums in developing business infrastructure (e-commerce, branding, equipment, and product development) to maximize their potential for success in the mainstream marketplace”, according to Eighth Generation owner Louie Gong (Nooksack).

Award Amount: The Inspired Natives Grant will be administered in awards of $2,500. Total project costs may exceed $2,500 as long as other sources of funding are identified in the application.

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