HONOR AND CELEBRATE EXCEPTIONAL NATIVE ARTISTS ACROSS INDIAN COUNTRY.

Each year, First Peoples Fund honors and celebrates exceptional Native artists and culture bearers across the country through the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards. These artists embody their People's cultural assets in their creations and their way of life.  

AWARD AMOUNT: $7,500
NOMINATION DEADLINE: June 15, 2019
APPLICATION DEADLINE: August 31, 2019 


ELIGIBILITY

Nominees must be practicing Native artists who have demonstrated a lifetime of commitment to their art, engaging in their work for at least 10 years, and must be documented affiliate of a United States Tribe (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian). The award is open to artists of any medium, from visual to performing to literary, in both traditional and contemporary forms.

 

3 EASY STEPS TO NOMINATE AN ARTIST

Nomination and application periods for 2019 Community Spirit Award are now closed. Please check back in spring of 2019 for updates on when our 2020 nomination and application periods will open.

Anyone can nominate a Native artist for the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards. Nominators tend to be students, mentees, colleagues, and tribal elders who have recognized these exceptional artists for knowing themselves, honoring others, and sustaining spirit in their own communities. 

To nominate an artist, please follow these three easy steps: 

1. IDENTIFY 

Identify an artist who you feel exemplifies the spirit of this award — and contact the artist to confirm their interest in the award.

2. NOMINATE

Briefly write the contributions the artist has made to his or her community. Nominations for 2019 are accepted until June 15, 2019

3. APPLY

Application forms are sent to the artist/nominee and nominator after nominations close and fully completed applications are due back to First Peoples Fund together by August 31, 2019.

Ready to nominate an artist? 

 

 THE AWARD

Bringing spirit to community is an important responsibility for artists — it is part of a sacred honor system. Through this award, First Peoples Fund strengthens that honor system by recognizing exceptional artists who have worked selflessly throughout their lives to weave their cultural knowledge and ancestral gifts into their communities. 

Since 2000 we have recognized nearly 100 culture bearers across Indian Country through the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards. Honorees are selected for sustaining and growing understanding of the creative practices and cultural values of their People. 

Each honoree will receive a grant of $7,500 to continue carrying on their work. Honorees will also be honored with a celebration in their local community. A story and photo portrait will be commissioned for First Peoples Fund publications.

 

WHO WAS JENNIFER EASTON

Jennifer Easton (1947-2017) founded First Peoples Fund in 1995 as a donor advised fund of the Tides Foundation to support Native artist-entrepreneurs and culture bearers. In 2003, the organization was established as a separate nonprofit headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota. First Peoples Fund started the Community Spirit Awards in 2000, and named them after Jennifer to honor her vision and generous spirit. Since then, First Peoples Fund has leveraged Jennifer's initial investment to grow and thrive. We continue to build from her vision. 

Our way soothes and calms the senses and opens the path to the heart and soul, allowing love to flow out. I think our way is better. And that’s all I have to say about that. :-) jefi”
— Jennifer Easton following the 2010 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards

  

QUESTIONS?

For more information, please call (605) 348-0324 or email at info@firstpeoplesfund.org.