A portrait of Native artist, Margaret Nakak (Inupiaq/Yupik) wrapped in a star quilt at the 2019 Community Spirit Award Honoring

Community Spirit Awards

Through grants and awards, FPF provides monetary support and connects Native artists and culture bearers with financial services and training to flourish as entrepreneurs and community leaders.

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nominate an artist

PROGRAMS > Community Spirit Award

Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award

Named after FPF's founder, the annual Community Spirit Awards program offers grants of $50,000 to four to six Native artists who have worked selflessly throughout their lives to share their cultural knowledge and ancestral gifts with their communities. The award is designed to support these essential bearers of cultural practice to carry forward their wisdom and help Native communities heal and thrive.

A portrait of Native artist, Timara Lotah Link (Chumash Coastal Band) holding a basket standing in front of foliage.
A portait of Native musician Shanon Two Shields Hale (Three Affiliated Tribes Mandan) standing on a bridge at sunset holding an acoustic guitar.
A portait of Master Basketmaker and Canoe Carver, Ed Carriere (Suquamish) with a basket hanging from his head standing on the Washington coastline.

The award is given out by nomination only to practicing Native artists of any medium, including music, dance, clothing design, basket weaving, beading, storytelling and much more, in both traditional and contemporary forms.

Those who are considered for the award must be deeply rooted in their communities, have a demonstrated commitment to their art and be engaged in their work for at least 10 years. Nominees must be enrolled tribe members 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.

KEY INFORMATION

4 to 6 honorees awarded annually

Grant amount: $50,000

2024 Nomination window: June 3 - July 8

CSA nomination form

How to nominate an artist

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

Using the nomination form, linked above when the nomination window is open, briefly write the contributions the artist has made to his or her community. The nominator is encouraged to work collaboratively with their nominee to complete all nomination and application materials. Before nominating a culture bearer, we strongly encourage the nominator to contact the nominee in advance to fully discuss the guidelines and process of the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards.

csa eligibility

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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.
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Nominees must be an enrolled member, orprovide proof of lineal descendancy of, a U.S. federally recognized tribe, a state-recognized tribe, or be an Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian.
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The award is open to artists of any medium, from visual to performing to literary, in both traditional and contemporary forms.
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Demonstrated maturity in their field.
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Self-nominations are not accepted.
CSA nomination form

3. Apply

After nominations close, application forms are sent to both the artist/nominee and nominator if the nomination has been selected to move forward in the application process. Subscribe to our mailing list to learn more.

faq

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.

The nominator is encouraged to work collaboratively with their nominee to complete all application materials.

No, self-nominations are not accepted for the Community Spirit Award.

contact US

Fox Spears, Program Manager of Fellowships, fox@firstpeoplesfund.org

jennifer easton community spirit award honorees

Discover the inspiring journey of over 100 honorees who have received The Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award. This prestigious award, named after FPF’s founder, recognizes Native artists who have dedicated their lives to selflessly sharing cultural knowledge and ancestral gifts within their communities. With grants of $25,000 each, these remarkable individuals have nurtured traditions, fostered healing, and contributed to the thriving resilience of Native communities.

A close up photograph of a star quilt
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