Rasmuson Foundation is accepting applications for our 2020 Individual Artist Awards through March 2. These awards provide artists with grants, professional development, promotional opportunities and much more. As part of our outreach, we are hosting a series of hands-on workshops to help artists craft an application for this competitive award. The workshops are free but we ask artists to register for the in-person sessions to get a headcount.

For those unable to attend a workshop in person, a webinar is set for Feb. 4. It will be recorded and shared on rasmuson.org. Check back for details on additional workshops in Nome, Dillingham and Utqiaġvik.

Questions? Email arts@rasmuson.org or call 907-297-2700.

Check our Individual Artist Award grants page for more on the program.

Palmer workshop

When: Thursday, Jan. 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. Come early and grab a snack!
Where: Palmer Museum of History & Art, 723 S. Valley Way, Palmer
Register:  Sign up here (it’s free)


When: Thursday, Jan. 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: University of Alaska Bristol Bay Campus, Room 128/30
527 Seward Street, Dillingham
Details: Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Park in lower parking lot and sign in at the front desk. Light refreshments.
Register: Click here to RSVP (it’s free).

Online workshop

When: Tuesday,  Feb.  4, 5 to 7 p.m.
Meeting URL: https://zoom.us/my/rasmusonfoundation (click on the link a few minutes before the meeting. You can either use your computer audio or a phone line. Individuals who haven’t used Zoom before should test this ahead of time.)
Meeting ID: 859-969-6635
Phone #: 646-558-8656


When: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Katirvik Cultural Center
504 Seppala Drive, Nome
Details: Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments.
Register: Click here to RSVP (it’s free).


When: Thursday, Feb. 13, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Iñupiat Heritage Center
5421 North Star Street, Utqiaġvik
Details: Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments.
: Click here to RSVP (it’s free).

Learn more:

Why give awards to individual artists?

What is the best way to support arts and culture in Alaska? In 2003, Rasmuson Foundation surveyed the field of artists and arts organizations to find out. The answer was nearly unanimous: Put money directly in the hands of artists. With those words as inspiration, the Foundation created the Individual Artist Awards (IAA) program.

In times of prosperity and times of uncertainty, art has the power to connect us.

Since 2004 and counting the 2019 recipients, we have awarded 516 grants totaling $4.76 million, all going directly to support Alaska’s artists. That’s 16 Distinguished Artists, now a $40,000 award; 134 Artist Fellowships, currently at $18,000; and 366 Artist Project Awards of $7,500 each. Learn more about Project Awards and Fellowships here.

Benefits beyond the money

We are writing a new chapter. In a 2016 survey, artists told us of needs beyond financial support. They wanted help promoting their work and developing themselves as professional artists. We embrace those areas too.

[For more on how to apply and FAQs, click here.]

This year, we are again partnering with the Anchorage Museum on workshops to support Individual Artist Award recipients as they develop their business side and elevate artist statements. In 2019, we started a partnership with 49 Writers, a nonprofit that supports a thriving community of writers and readers. The collaboration is producing profiles of artists, from the eyes of Alaska writers. The series began with the 2017 IAA recipients and this year is expanding to 2018 recipients. Enjoy these beautiful stories right here.

Over the past three years, we’ve added features to rasmuson.org to strengthen it as a venue for artists and art lovers. Explore our online gallery of artwork, stories and videos related to Distinguished Artists.

More than 300 artists applied for our 2019 awards. Panels of judges from outside Alaska evaluated works long distance then huddled for three days in Anchorage to select 10 fellows and 25 project award recipients. Selection of the Distinguished Artist is a separate process, explained here.

The awards first given out in 2004 are part of a strategy to support the culture of Alaska, the vibrancy of our communities and art itself.

For 2020 awards, applications opened Dec. 16 and will close March 2.