Nia Tero – Pacific Northwest Art Fellowship


Nia Tero’s inaugural Pacific Northwest Art Fellowship will bring together creatives working in many visual disciplines, from diverse international Indigenous affiliations (inclusive of people with heritage from Central America, Pasifika and Amazonia), at any stage of their artistic development. Nia Tero is proud to provide Indigenous artists working in the Northwest this opportunity for professional and personal support as part of their growing network of fellows that spans the globe.

In acknowledgement of the invaluable contributions of cultural practitioners in our communities, Nia Tero is offering two tiers of funding to reach as many people as possible. 20 finalists will receive $300 honorariums. The six selected fellows will each receive an unrestricted award of $6,000 and will participate in a yearlong series of cohort engagement sessions.

Nia Tero is eager to launch this Fellowship now, when millions of cultural workers are experiencing significant income loss due to Covid-19. Even as Native populations are being hit especially hard by the pandemic, Indigenous makers are rallying to provide solace and sustenance during isolation. Whether through video streaming, social distance pow wows, creatively crafted masks, virtual beading circles, free coloring pages, or educational activities for kids, artists are finding innovative new ways of connecting us. It is clearer now more than ever that art and culture are fundamentally tied to the well-being of Indigenous peoples, which in turn ensures the health of the lands we steward.

Fellowship Activities

Engagement sessions will be designed collaboratively with the six selected fellows and held virtually six times over the course of a year. Activities may include:

● Guidance from established artists and leaders in Indigenous communities

● Studio visits with in-depth discussion about individual participants’ works in a supportive critique environment

● Professional development workshops on subjects requested by participants

● Collective learning and knowledge sharing, with the opportunity to be nurtured and challenged by peers

● Lasting networks and relationship building in the Northwest arts community


Application Available – May 8, 2020
Deadline for Applications – June 19, 2020, 11:59pm PST
Selection Panel Meeting – Week of June 29, 2020
Notifications – Week of July 6, 2020
Contracting – Starting July/August 2020
Fellowship Activities – September 2020 – August 2021


● Open to Indigenous artists living in Washington, Oregon, or British Columbia – including residents of those places that belong to Indigenous communities outside of the Pacific Northwest, and outside of what is currently the United States

● Any visual art medium – including painting, drawing, design, photography, digital, film, sculpture, beadwork, leatherwork, ceramics, weaving, carving, regalia, clothing design, jewelry, cultural objects, utilitarian objects, tools, installation, performance, and anything else applicants consider their art form

● Applicant must apply as an individual artist

● Applicant must be 18 years or older

Artists are encouraged to provide documentation of social and familial ties to an Indigenous community. Examples of documentation include: tribal enrollment card, letter from a federally recognized Alaska Native village or tribe identifying the applicant as a member, a letter from a federally recognized tribal enrollment office identifying the applicant as a descendant, documentation from a tribe denied federal recognition but socially and historically acknowledged, letter from an Indigenous community member, or self-attestation of Indigenous connection with verification in another form including recounting oral histories, personal essay, etc. We know this is a complicated issue. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss alternative ways to verify Indigenous ancestry.

To read a full description and to apply, please click here.

Questions / Artist Support

Contact Project Manager Asia Tail at or 253-336-6477. Asia is available to answer questions about the opportunity, provide individualized consultations, and offer other support when possible. She is facilitating the artist selection and application process but will not be a voting member on the selection panel.