Wilcox woven basket (detail)

Tribal Cultural Affairs

Washington’s culture is richly rooted in tribal practices that have been taking place since time immemorial. ArtsWA’s Tribal Cultural Affairs program will foster these practices by working with Indigenous communities to develop authentic and effective programming. Washington State is home to twenty-nine federally recognized tribes. Each tribe has its own unique culture, rich in values and traditions.

Tribal Cultural Affairs works to support Washington tribal communities as they expand, enhance, or create space for art and culture, in a way that is respectful and responsive to each community’s needs.

Thriving tribal communities, including tribal arts and culture, are critical to Washington’s future. This is the first program in the nation to focus specifically on providing arts related programs, grants, and policies to amplify tribal participation in our state’s creative economy. As Washington’s creative economy continues to expand, it is imperative that we ensure tribal communities participate fully in these opportunities.

The creative economy makes up over 10% of GDP in Washington and is steadily growing. The creative sector includes jobs such as filmmaking, graphic and web design, traditional fine arts, photographers, performing arts, makers, culture bearers, and ancestral knowledge teachers. ArtsWA, in collaboration with Washington tribal communities, is creating pathways into the creative sector to encourage more tribal members to access employment opportunities as well as ensure continued cultural connections.

Tribal Arts Grant

ArtsWA’s Grants to Tribal Communities will support Washington Tribal communities as they expand, enhance, or create space for art and culture that is respectful and responsive to each community’s needs.

ArtsWA’s Tribal Arts Grant Priorities:

  • Expand arts participation by ensuring that communities across the entire state of Washington have access to culturally relevant arts experiences.
  • Support projects, programs, and services spanning a diversity of artistic disciplines and traditions.
  • Foster equity and expand the creative economy by funding groups that have historically been excluded from government arts funding.

About this Grant

The Tribal Arts Grant is a non-competitive process meant to support the expansion of Tribal/Indigenous arts, culture, the creative economy, and the passing of ancestral knowledge. Washington State Federally Recognized Tribes are eligible for this funding.

Funding amounts: Tribes can request up to $18,000

Please indicate on the application if you would accept additional funding if it were to become available and how much you would be able to utilize.

All applicants will be contacted by the Tribal Cultural Affairs Program. Please provide accurate contact information.

Important Dates

  • Application open: January 15, 2024 – February 28, 2024 at 5 p.m.
  • Notification of awards: March 15, 2024
  • End of contract period: June 30, 2024
  • Funds distributed after contract is signed
  • Final report due: Fiscal Year 2024 Final Report due August 31, 2024

Application information

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirement: Washington State Federally Recognized Tribe

Who is not eligible?

  • Individuals
  • Non-profit or for-profit organizations
  • Government agencies, universities, colleges, academic departments, and K-12 schools

Before you apply

  1. Read the entire guidelines to make sure your group is eligible and a good fit for the grant.
  2. Get your information ready. You will need your statewide vendor number. Certification that you are authorized to apply on behalf of the Tribe.
  3. Each Tribe may submit one application; the application may include multiple projects.

Application Overview

  • Organization information
  • Organization and relevant staff contact information
  • Your organization’s statewide vendor number
  • Disclose if your organization or project has a conflict of interest with ArtsWA. This is for transparency only. You can read our full Conflict of Interest Policy here.

Narrative Questions

  • Write a response:  What do you hope to accomplish with this funding?
  • Write a response: How will this funding support arts and culture in your community?
  • Write a response: How many Tribal community members will be impacted with this funding?
  • Write a response: How many non-Tribal members will be impacted with this funding?
  • Fill out the budget worksheet
  • If additional funding becomes available, how much funding would you be able to utilize within the grant period (ending June 30, 2024)?
  • If additional funding becomes available next year, how much funding would you be able to utilize within the grant period 7/1/24-6/30/25?

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on completeness.

All applicants will be contacted prior to award.

Is there assistance for the application process?

Yes, contact Cheryl Wilcox by email or phone: cheryl.wilcox@arts.wa.gov or 360-485-1278.

Can we apply more than once?

This grant is limited to one application from each Federally Recognized Tribe.

What happens after you apply?

The person listed on the application will be contacted by the Tribal Cultural Affairs office.

What are the chances of receiving a grant?

This is a non-competitive grant; each Tribe has been allocated $18,000.

Contact us

Cheryl Wilcox, Tribal Cultural Affairs, at 360-485-1278 or cheryl.wilcox@arts.wa.gov.