Above Image: Necklace by Nanibaa Beck (Diné)

native ARTIST FELLOWSHIPs for arts business initiatives

First Peoples Fund partners with Native artists who want to strengthen their business skills through our Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship Program. In this one-year, self-directed program, artists get the technical support, professional training, and working capital they seek to start or grow a thriving arts business.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The 2019 deadline has passed. Please check back in Spring 2020 for next year’s application details



Dana Warrington (Menominee/Prairie Band Potawatomi)  at SWAIA 2017. Dana is a 2018 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow.

Dana Warrington (Menominee/Prairie Band Potawatomi) at SWAIA 2017. Dana is a 2018 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow.

First Peoples Fund’s Artist in Business Leadership fellowship doesn’t just help artists grow a business – it inspires them to fully honor their cultural creativity and grow the impact it has on their People. 

Since 2004, First Peoples Fund has welcomed more than 100 artists – from photographers to painters, hip-hop artists to basket weavers - to the program. They have gained access to not only our vast network of artists and strategic partners, but also to new market opportunities.

Eligible artists receive individualized technical assistance and professional development guidance, as well as up to $5,000 in working capital funds to support specific entrepreneurial initiatives that will enhance their business and contribute to a consistent and reliable income for themselves and their families.


Our artist alumni tell us the program does more than just support an entrepreneurial spirit – it stimulates a renewed energy to challenge themselves and each other to create new work that pushes boundaries. The program develops independent, satisfied and credible artist entrepreneurs who are generous in spirit.



Applicants must be an enrolled member or provide proof of lineal descendancy of a U.S. federally recognized tribe, a state recognized tribe, or be an Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian. 



The Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship is designed for emerging and established artists. Artists interested in applying for a fellowship should:

  1. BE COMMITTED TO PURSUING ART as a way to build a business and support themselves and their families.

  2. HAVE A STRONG VISION and articulated plan for implementing effective market strategies over the one-year fellowship period.

  3. EXPLORE NEW PROJECTS AND WORKS with this opportunity.




Want to discuss how you can apply for an Artists in Business Leadership fellowship? Call (605) 348-0324 or email at amber@firstpeoplesfund.org.