News / Blog

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Robin Held

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

In her over 20 years supporting Seattle’s art community, Robin Held has served as a curator for the Henry Art Gallery, Deputy Director for the Frye Art Museum, and Executive Director of Reel Grrls, and currently works as the principal of Held Consulting. She was part of the leadership team responsible for changing the creative direction of the Frye, and in 2011 was hailed as “Seattle’s most interesting museum curator” by the Stranger.

In all of her pursuits, Robin is driven by a deep love of working directly with artists to realize ambitious projects and help them thrive in their careers. Her peers have described her as “direct, meticulous, and brave” and an “amazing reader of individuals around [her, with a] tremendous amount of compassion that is not to be taken lightly.”

On March 3, Robin will be leading “Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists” at Hugo House in Seattle, and on March 10, she will be back at Hugo House for “Optimizing Your Artist Resume.” I recently caught up with her to learn more about the workshops and her advice for artists looking to further develop their business skills.

What are some common things you’ve seen artists struggle with when it comes to business skills or building their careers?
At the core of my endeavors and accomplishments is a sustained engagement with artists, at every life-stage, from curious student to seasoned professional to entrepreneurial outlier. As museum curator, scholar, producing partner, advisor, fundraiser, teacher, and executive, I have worked directly with artists to execute and finance ambitious art in a wide range of media, from traditional to experimental (including painting, sculpture, film, video, performance, sound art, robotics, artificial intelligence, digital media, social enterprise, and entrepreneurial start-up).

Over and over, I witness two struggles:

1) An artist’s focus from project to project, new work to new work, grant to grant, without periodically stepping back to assess the big picture of envisioning your career, can drain an artist’s energy and resources

2) Not setting long-term and short-term goals, can create “mission drift,” distracting an artist from an energizing passion, a focused art practice, and even one’s core values

What advice do you have for artists who might be thinking about improving their business skills?
Do it. It will help you create the structure to free your mind for the deep work of your art practice.

1) Commit to an annual “retreat,” a few hours of focused time

2) Identify your values. Does your vision for your art practice and career align with these values?

3) Set priorities for your long-term and short-term goals that align with your values

4) Set your goals: great goals are outcome focused, aligned with your values, and stated in the positive. They are SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound

5) Put aids and supports in place to help you meet your goals

Interested in upping your business skills as an artist? Join Robin for Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists on March 3 and Optimizing Your Artist Resume on March 10.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Mary Coss

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Mary Coss Traces installation at METHOD, 2015; Photo: James Arzente

Mary Coss is a Seattle-based artist specializing in sculpture and multimedia installation. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at alternative venues and community art spaces such as BONFIRE Gallery, Artprize Michigan, and Franklin Furnace NYC, and she is a co-founder of METHOD Gallery in Seattle.

In 2014 Mary received a GAP award to help pay for materials and assistance recording the soundtrack for Eventualities, an installation reflecting on memory and identity. The project was initially set to include cast bones, fossils, and shells hanging from a bronze DNA chandelier but eventually transformed into two different projects: Traces, an installation exploring cultural inheritance that appeared at METHOD Gallery in 2015, and Silent Salinity, an artist-scientist collaboration examining the effects of global warming on the freshwater supply that showed at Museum of Northwest Art in 2016.

Asked how the GAP award impacted her career as an artist, Mary says, “The funding was fantastic, and the timing of the GAP award aligned with several other accomplishments. It’s always hard to say what impacts what, but I do believe there’s a synergy that happens as you get acknowledged for your work.”

In addition to being a 2014 GAP recipient, Mary is a 2007 EDGE Professional Development Program graduate. Of the program, Mary says the impact it had on her career is “hard to quantify. From my experience, the primary impact was to put me into the middle of a cohort and created new networking connections. … I was not connected to the Seattle art community much before that.”

Having gone through the EDGE program and now built a community for herself in Seattle, Mary says her strongest advice for aspiring artists is to “simply pursue your passion and follow it where it leads you. If you do this your work will be meaningful and authentic and grant applications will flow easily. … Artists are reading the applications and they know when the project is in process and they can trust that you will finish it. That doesn’t mean it can’t develop and change but you need to be on an authentic trajectory in order to write a compelling grant application.”

Mary is currently developing several projects about water, including expanding Silent Salinity into a large-scale installation that will be on view at the Museum of Northwest Art later this year. She also recently completed an artist residency at Willapa Bay and is taking part in the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator residency, where she is working with Daemond Arrindell, Dani Tirrell, and Anastacia Renee Tolbert to explore joy as a form of resistance through the lens of water.

To learn more about Mary’s work and current projects, visit her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.

Artist Profile Series: Marilyn Montufar

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Marilyn Montufar, Tony in Bed, photograph, 2013

Marilyn Montufar is an artist, art activist, and youth educator based in Seattle. A dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, she is interested in bridging connections between artists of the neighboring countries through visual arts and education.

In 2015, Marilyn was awarded Grants for Artists Projects (GAP) funding, which assisted in bringing her visual art project originally titled “Capturing Community: Portraits of Women and Their Environments in Contemporary America” to life. Over the years, this project grew and culminated into the exhibition Transcending Identity: impressions of people, community, and landscapes opening at Gallery 4Culture on Thursday, February 1.

Self-identifying as a Mexican-American, Marilyn straddles her two cultures without fully belonging to or claiming one over the other. This lived experience led her to investigate identity constructs and its relation to people and place, a reoccurring theme in her work. Photographs on view in Transcending Identity trace her travels to California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. The subjects of her photographs range from family members to strangers that she’s come across by happenstance.

Last year, Marilyn visited Juárez, Mexico to further her exploration of identity and place in the Texas-Chihuahua border city, which is rooted in both Mexican and American culture. “I believe that the artist’s role is to raise questions about society. In 2017, as a reaction to the political climate in the U.S. and as an extension of the series I was already building, I began photographing communities throughout Mexico,” she says. “The experience opened a window to my own heritage and has allowed me to share a different reality than what is portrayed in mainstream media.”

Upon receiving awards like GAP, the Artists Up Grant LAB, and launching a successful crowdfunding campaign, Marilyn’s best advice for artists looking for arts funding and similar opportunities is “to reach out to friends and artists for support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from these individuals nor the organizations that are offering the grant you’re interested in. These organizations are happy to help and give insight on what a successful grant looks like.” She also encourages artists to attend professional development workshops being held by the organizations that they are seeking funding from. “Don’t give up! Keep applying to more opportunities.”

Transcending Identity: impressions of people, community, and landscapes opens at Gallery 4Culture on Thursday, February 1, and an artist reception will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Marilyn will lead an artist talk at the gallery on Thursday, February 15, 12:30 PM.

Artist Trust | 2017 Annual Report

Shannon Halberstadt


Hello Friends,

Artist Trust has already jumped head first into what’s bound to be an incredible 2018 supporting artists in Washington State. Our Fellowship and Twining Humber Award application periods will open in the coming weeks, and the recipients of our 2018 Arts Innovator Award, presented with the support of the Chihuly Foundation, will be announced later this month. Tickets are selling quickly for our 2018 Benefit Art Auction taking place on February 24th, and we have a whole slew of artist support workshops and programs already underway.

But before we get too far into 2018, Artist Trust would like to stop, reflect, and thank each of you for making last year a success. At the end of this letter you’ll find a link to our 2017 Annual Report full of the stories, facts, and figures that defined our year.

It’s no secret that 2017 was a difficult year, with a divisive political climate and ever-looming threats to arts funding, but the Artist Trust community was even more galvanized in its support of artists. While faced with many challenges, we were able to do incredible work together.

Last year, more than 100 artists of all disciplines across Washington State received cash awards through Artist Trust grant programs, and over 2,000 artists participated in our statewide artist support programs. Furthermore, we worked hard to advance our racial equity framework, applying a lens of equity to all Artist Trust programs and operations. We accomplished all of this and more while keeping a keen eye to careful financial stewardship and business management.

These successes are because of you: the artists, donors, board members, workshop instructors, grantmaking funders, partners, interns, staff, corporate supporters, volunteers, and all the stakeholders who have worked hard in 2017 to set Artist Trust in a great position to move into the future together. We can’t thank you enough.

In Artists We Trust,

Shannon Roach Halberstadt
Artist Trust CEO

Read the 2017 Annual Report


Artist Profile Series: Paul Rucker

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Photo by Ryan Stevenson

Visual artist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Rucker of Seattle had just started working as an arts program manager when he received a Fellowship award from Artist Trust in 2007. The funding from the award was used to create PROLIFERATION. With 18,740+ views on YouTube, PROLIFERATION is an animation video that maps the rapid growth of prisons and incarceration centers in the United States from 1778 to 2005. “I made it as a piece to give away, not a piece to sell. I wanted people to understand the impact of mass incarceration. Unrestricted support gives you freedom to explore.”

In 2012, Paul received a Conductive Garboil Grant and Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) funding. “Every Artist Trust grant has been a major contributor to where I am now,” he shares. The support from GAP funding allowed him to create some of his most bold and impactful work such as his GAP project Assassin Series. Assassin Series evolved to be a part of his award-winning show REWIND, which parallels lynching of the past with the unprosecuted shootings of and excessive force inflicted on Black men by the police, what many consider lynching’s present incarnation.

For more than 25 years, Paul has conducted research on the histories of slavery, segregation, incarceration, police brutality, and the judicial system, which manifest in his oeuvre. Over time he has amassed a collection of artifacts including branding irons used to mark runaway slaves, publications on white supremacy, and currency printed in the antebellum South that prominently displays a romanticized view of slavery.

This pained history is reimagined in Stories from the Trees, an animated vignette accompanied by a somber and contemplative cello composition. The work depicts a hanged body of a Black male, swaying gently in the breeze for the visual consumption of a crowd of White spectators that includes three young children. As the piece transitions from color into black and white, it is revealed that the scene is an adaptation of an actual photograph from a lynching postcard.

Selected works like Stories from the Trees and objects from Paul’s artifacts collection were presented in REWIND, a solo exhibition that has recently travelled to Ellensburg, Washington; Ferguson, Missouri; and York, Pennsylvania. “I love to engage with communities off the beaten path. Most artists want to show in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago…. I’ve enjoyed the journey to more rural parts of the United States that get fewer opportunities to view contemporary art and engage in important, difficult conversations about race, power, and social justice.”

Early this month, TED Talks named Paul as one of their TED2018 Fellows. Recognition of the media organization’s “gold standard” position as the premiere platform for presenting and spreading ideas led Paul to apply to the TED Fellows Program. “Any opportunity to broaden the audience for the work you do as an artist is invaluable. When working through a talk and presenting, you also gain a better understanding of your own work.”

Through TED’s network and global viewership, Paul hopes to increase awareness of his current work, which draws upon challenging and unsightly themes from America’s long history of inflicting social injustices and violating civil liberties and human rights. Unapologetic and jarring, his work brings into focus the vast disparities that disproportionately impact marginalized communities, such as people of color and women.

Currently, Paul is preparing work to be featured in Declaration, the first exhibition of the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “I have new Ku Klux Klan robes and artifacts that build on the ideas from my show REWIND, which uses a multimedia approach to illustrate and analyze the economics of the prison-industrial complex, the lingering effects of slavery, the explosive growth of the US prison system, and the relationships among these trends.” He anticipates that it will be an exciting inaugural show for the non-collecting art institution, which is slated to open its doors on April 21, 2018.

At this point in his career, Paul is most proud of the projects that bring audiences from different backgrounds together. He explains, in particular, “The evidence that my art is promoting empathy, understanding, and compassion. That change can happen through reaching beyond our own comfort zones. Also, we have the power as artists to make the lives of others better and more equitable through knowledge and beauty. The beauty of art is that it means different things to different people. We all bring our own experiences to the show, and that’s part of the power.”

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Valerie Moseley

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

On February 7, Valerie Moseley will be leading Tax Prep for Artists at Hiawatha Lofts, Seattle. The workshop is SOLD OUT but we hope to add more workshops on tax preparation for artists. Email Zach at to be added to the wait list.

Valerie Moseley, CPA is the founder and principal of Moseley & Associates LLC, a tax and business consulting firm serving individuals and small businesses in the Seattle area. She first discovered her passion for accounting while helping her friends with their taxes, and continues to mentor others on financial literacy and tax preparation both through her work at Moseley & Associates and as a volunteer with the Small Business Administration and the Washington State Society of CPAs.

On Saturday, February 7, Valerie will be leading Tax Prep for Artists, a workshop on tax preparation and other business best practices for artists at Hiawatha Lofts in Seattle. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her work and some of the challenges artists may face when preparing their taxes.

How, if at all, does tax prep differ from other professions?
Tax preparation in general is a pretty high-pressure business. We deal with important deadlines and complex laws that are constantly changing. When people come to us, they come with a lot of stress and, honestly, sometimes baggage about their financial lives. And, let’s face it, financial lives are really just an aspect of a full life. We’re not just pencil-pushers; we have to be attentive to the nuances of each situation - so we have to be good at the left and right brain stuff.

I read that you’re a former Treasurer of Washington Lawyers for the Arts and Ear to the Ground. How did you first get interested in working with artists/arts organizations?
I have a background in music, dance, and theatre. When I shifted over to being a tax and accounting pro, it seemed like a natural extension to reach back out to my old community and pitch in.

How did you get involved with Artist Trust?
Actually, I live just down the street from Artist Trust so I feel like I’ve always known about the organization. I am a former Treasurer of Washington Lawyers for the Arts (WLA), and the two organizations have had some cross-pollination in the past, for sure. I think my most recent connection must have come through WLA.

What are some challenges artists may have when preparing their taxes?
Income that comes from a W2-wage job and income that comes from a 1099-contractor job and their related deductions need to be treated differently. There is a lot of confusion about which is which and what is what. Here in Washington, B&O tax in the mix can confuse folks, too. The timing of some of those deductions can also be a challenge. Oh, and don’t forget self-employment tax!

What are some of your favorite kinds of art?
I’m a pretty big theatre nerd, but I love dance, too. I can kill a nice afternoon at the Frye or SAM.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Profile Series: Alison O. Marks

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Alison Marks, Cultural Tourism, 2017.

Alison O. Marks (née Bremner) is a Tlingit artist from Yakutat, Alaska. She received a James W. Ray Venture Project Award from the Artist Trust | Frye Art Museum Consortium in 2015 for her project, “Grandfather Totem Pole.” Her works, including photographs documenting the totem pole’s carving process, are currently on view in an exhibition titled Alison Marks: One Gray Hair at the Frye Art Museum.

Born in Southeast Alaska and raised in two cultures: Native and part-Scottish, Irish, and English, Alison’s work illustrates her journey of forming a modern Indigenous identity. “Never being Native enough is something that I grew up with,” she says. Alison uses humor in her work to present artwork laden with social commentary while maintaining traditional and ceremonial functions. Works on view in her solo exhibition at the Frye communicate her observations on technology and social media-driven impact on contemporary society, such as the emergence of the “me” culture which she views as opposite from her communal-based Native culture.

On her experience working on “Grandfather Totem Pole,” Alison says “I learned a lot about carving, and I unexpectedly learned a great deal about Tlingit culture and myself.” The process of becoming a woodcarver heightened her awareness of the prevalence of Tlingit trinkets and tourist items sold in Juneau, Alaska, and how these commercial reproductions negatively affect the perception of native culture. Cultural Tourism (pictured), is a piece installed in an isolated area of the gallery and speaks to the discomforting reaction Alison feels when she comes into contact with these misappropriated images.

Committed to revitalizing her Tlingit culture, Alison applied for the James W. Ray Venture Project Award for the opportunity to pursue her dream project, to carve a totem pole. She studied under the guidance of Native artist and master carver David A. Boxley in Kingston, Washington. The ten-foot totem pole, carved in honor of her grandfather John Bremner, Sr., was shipped from Washington to Alaska, where it received its final touches and is awaiting to be raised in Alison’s hometown of Yakutat, in accordance with Tlingit culture. Scheduled for July 2018, the totem raising ceremony involves the support and participation of the community. The host clan Raven will invite the Eagle clan as their guest to witness the totem pole’s raising. Oral traditions and songs will be performed, including a piece thanking the tree for giving itself to the carving process.

Surprised, grateful, and honored when she learned that she had been nominated for the James W. Ray Venture Project Award, Alison’s advice to artists who are thinking of applying for Artist Trust grants, is “Ch’á yei sané,” which in English means “Just do it!”

Alison Marks: One Gray Hair is on view at the Frye Art Museum until February 4. Alison has graciously donated OwlEmoji, a piece from her series of digital paintings, to the 2018 Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction taking place at the Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center on February 24. For more information and to purchase auction tickets, visit

Artist Profile Series: Abigail Hagan

Pooja Galgali

Content Contributor

Abigail Hagan, Wall of Complacency, 2015.

2017 GAP recipient Abigail Hagan of Seattle is a videographer, editor, documentary filmmaker, and photographer. Her work focuses on social justice, travel, dance, food accessibility, homelessness, immigration, and poverty.

With hopes of pursuing a career as an editor and documentary filmmaker, Abigail moved to Seattle in June 2016 and has been proactive in searching for artistic opportunities in her new community. “I learned about Artist Trust through the Next Stage program that I participated in at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center,” says Abigail. “I have felt very welcomed by the Seattle arts community and am very excited to be living in a city that offers so many opportunities for artists from all walks of life.”

Abigail’s project “Wall of Complacency” is a short, partially-animated documentary that shares the personal stories of several immigrant and refugee communities in her hometown of Houston, Texas. The film demonstrates Texas’ diversity and nuanced culture while exploring topics of immigration, refugee resettlement, and human rights.

“I’m from Texas, and I started this project at the time when Governor Greg Abbott claimed that he was going to ban all Syrian refugees from Texas. Many of my non-Texan friends believed that Texas was extremely xenophobic, but I tried to defend my home, the city of Houston in particular, and express to them how culturally diverse and welcoming the city is,” explains Abigail. “This is what started the ‘Wall of Complacency’ project, for which I interviewed city officials, lawyers, healthcare workers, and immigrants from all over the globe. While I can’t speak from an immigrant’s perspective, I can speak as a proud Houstonian, and I hope that this piece provided a medium for oft-underrepresented individuals to share their stories.”

We asked Abigail a few questions about her projects and artistic practice.

Tell us more about the overall experience of producing “Wall of Complacency”?
The overall experience was wonderful, though admittedly exhausting at times. I completed this film from start to finish as the shooter, interviewer, transcriber, fundraiser, writer, and editor. Through this process I experienced innumerable great moments, but here are my top three.
Number one would be having had the opportunity to speak with individuals about their experiences in such an intimate way. All of the film’s interviewees were exorbitantly generous about sharing their stories with a complete stranger. My very first interview for this film was with a Bhutanese immigrant named Bhakti, who spoke uninterrupted for an hour after I posed only one question. His story chronicled everything from living in refugee camps in Nepal, to being held in solitary confinement for 36 months, to raising sons in the US. Speaking with these individuals was a joy and an incredible learning experience.

The second most memorable aspect of producing this film was the amazing support and encouragement from the City of Houston and the University of Houston that I received. City officials and professors were willing to speak on camera for this project, and everyone was very passionate about the possibility to share some of Houston’s rich diversity.

What were some of the best moments for you as an artist?
Another wonderful aspect of working on this film was the opportunity to collaborate with stop-motion animator Lisa Jake. Lisa and I met at the Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival, and over the course of a year collaborated on this piece, which was my first experience producing a film with animated content. Filmmaking can often be a very solitary endeavor, and it was wonderful to be able to create art with a friend. She was also an invaluable ally during the fundraising process. Lisa is currently in the UK working on a Master’s in documentary animation.

In your opinion, how well can films and photography highlight issues like social justice and break stereotypes?
I believe that visual media has a unique opportunity to share stories cross-culturally that can expose audiences to people unlike themselves. I would argue that the onus to break stereotypes is not necessarily on the filmmaker, but rather the audience. This may vary by artist, but my current personal philosophy is that my role is to create diverse, thought-provoking pieces that are palatable to many audiences. I want to challenge audiences (native born Americans in particular) and help expose them to the many obstacles that immigrants and other minority groups face. I also hope that, after viewing this film, audiences grasp the fact that immigrants and refugees face very similar challenges and life experiences as native-born US citizens do.

What is your next project about?
I am in the early stages of producing a documentary on the subject of chronic nightmares and related mental illnesses. I have suffered from chronic nightmares since childhood, and am making this film as a way to explore the topic and hopefully remove some of the stigma surrounding sleep disorders. I am currently seeking medical professionals and nightmare sufferers to interview on camera about this subject. If anyone is interested in participating, I can be reached at

Pooja Galgali is a content specialist from Mill Creek, Washington. She is passionate about art, digital marketing strategies, and research. She is interested in being associated with organizations that promote art and appreciate individual creativity.

Artist Trust’s Fellowship Program Now Open to Artists of All Disciplines

Brian McGuigan

Program Director

The guidelines for this year’s Fellowship Awards, Artist Trust’s longest-running grant program, are now available, and applications will be accepted beginning on February 5 through March 5, 2018.

Based on feedback from Washington State artists, we made a few changes to the grant program which include:
• Opening up the awards to artists of all disciplines;
• Simplifying the application and selection process;
• Replacing the two Millay Colony for the Arts residencies with additional cash awards. 

We understand the impact unrestricted support can have on an artist’s career and want to be more responsive to those needs by allowing artists of all disciplines to be eligible to apply for the award every year. In the past, the eligible disciplinary categories rotated with literary, craft, media, and music artists eligible in even-numbered years, and visual, traditional / folk, performing, and emerging fields / cross-disciplinary eligible in odd-numbered years. Through feedback from grant recipients, informal conversations with artists, and post-application surveys, we found that artists want support when they need it most, not only when the awards are open to their discipline. Starting in 2018, artists of all disciplines can apply for Fellowship annually.

With this shift in eligibility, the Fellowship application will also change. For the first time with this award, we’ll move away from disciplinary categories entirely. Instead of asking artists to choose one disciplinary category under which their work will be reviewed, artists will self-define their work in a discipline statement.

We first experimented with discipline statements in the Artists Up Grant Lab last year, a program presented in collaboration with 4Culture and the Office of Arts & Culture, and artists responded very positively. Since then, we have included discipline statements in the recent applications for the James W. Ray and Arts Innovator Awards. Our intent is to give artists the freedom to define their own work and practice and to be more inclusive of artists working in multiple disciplines or whose work doesn’t fit neatly within a checkbox, such as social practice artists, interdisciplinary artists, and culture bearers.

In turn, the Fellowship selection process will become multidisciplinary. Prior to this year, four different disciplinary panels selected Fellowship recipients with a set number of awards to give out based on the number of applicants in each disciplinary category. For 2018, a single selection committee including artists and arts professionals working in different disciplines will select all award recipients, similar to the selection process of the James W. Ray and Arts Innovator Awards. A multidisciplinary panel will lead to a more equitable distribution of awards across all disciplines.

In addition to opening up Fellowship to artists of all disciplines each year and revising our selection process, we replaced the two residencies offered through the program with cash awards. We greatly appreciate our partnership with the Millay Colony for the Arts; however, artists shared that they value the cash awards over the Upstate New York-based residency and would prefer the flexibility to choose a residency program that best fits their work and their lives. Fellowship funding can still be applied to residency opportunities but now award recipients can choose for themselves which one to attend.

As with the changes we announced to our grantmaking programs last year, the changes to Fellowship are driven by our strategic plan and organizational values and our commitment to racial equity. This forward-thinking approach to discipline and the application and selection processes is intended to be more inclusive of all artists. However, this work will evolve as we grow our programs and processes.

If you have feedback or questions, please reach out to us. We’re excited about these changes and look forward to supporting more artists across Washington State.

The guidelines for Artist Trust’s 2018 Fellowship Awards are available for viewing here, and the online application opens on February 5.

Artist Profile Series: Julie Gautier-Downes

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Spokane-based artist Julie Gautier-Downes received a 2016 Grants for Artist Project (GAP) award for Dislocated Memories, an installation project that explored her fractured relationship with her childhood home. Born in San Diego, Julie moved to New York City in 2001, an experience which prompted her bi-coastal identity and interest in perceptions of home. Julie reached out to let us know what she’s been up to and kindly answered a few questions we had for her on receiving a GAP award.

How did receiving a GAP award impact your career as an artist?
Receiving a GAP award in 2016 provided funding that helped me gain the momentum to get more shows. As a result, I was able to have more shows in 2017 than ever before. I felt that the recognition that I got from the GAP award gave me the confidence to apply to things and find more opportunities for exhibiting my work.

What did funding from the award allow you to do?
My GAP award funding paid for me to build an 8 x 12 ft. installation, which was the centerpiece for a solo exhibition, titled Dislocated Memories, at the Chase Gallery in the Spokane City Hall last summer. The installation was a recreation of my childhood bedroom, which I inhabited before my parents split up and before the house burned down. The show received excellent reviews with articles in the Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Spokesman-Review.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
I keep a spreadsheet with deadlines for grants, shows, residencies, and other opportunities. It helps me to see the deadlines organized so I can apply when I have downtime. Apply to as many things as you can. If you have questions or need help, reach out to the funder or organization. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to proofread your entries.

What projects are you currently working on?
During recent residencies at the A.I.R. Studio Paducah and the Vermont Studio Center this fall, I created several installations, which occupy smaller footprints than my previous, life-sized works. In these works, I repurposed or assembled dollhouses and toys to create dioramas, which house narratives about violence, trauma, and the fragility of relationships. The dollhouse combines my experience working with found objects and abandoned homes with the symbolic significance of the dollhouse as a starting point for a child’s dreams about marriage and growing up.

Julie’s new works are currently being exhibited in a solo show, Dioramas of Disaster, at E3 Convergence Gallery in Missoula, Montana until January 27. For details, click here.

Artist Trust Racial Equity Framework

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

In our continuing efforts to strive toward being open, transparent, responsive, and forward-thinking, we are unveiling an update to the Artist Trust Racial Equity Framework.

As a nonprofit organization that supports Washington State artists of all disciplines, Artist Trust strongly believes a fair and just society ensures that artists of all background and identities are included in its cultural narratives. First implemented with our 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, the Artist Trust Racial Equity Framework cemented our commitment to support the work and livelihood of all artists based in Washington State.

Over the last year, we carefully reviewed feedback from our Annual Artist Surveys, conducted informal conversations with artists and professionals in the fields of art and equity, participated in extensive Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) trainings held by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and completed an anti-racist workshop with Moral Choice.

A team of Artist Trust staff representing our program, development, operations, and communication activities met to review and revise the language and tone used within our previous Racial Equity Framework. Moreover, realizable goals set at all levels of the organization were established to work toward in the coming year. After incorporating feedback from staff and the strategic vision committee, the updated Racial Equity Framework was presented to the board in November 2017.

We recognize that our approach of turning our commitment to racial equity into action is always evolving, therefore, we will evaluate and review the Racial Equity Framework throughout the year. While growing our own understanding of how our efforts impact and help Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive, we also aim to set new goals that will eliminate barriers to access and bring us closer to a fair and just society.

View Artist Trust’s Racial Equity Framework on the Equity page of our website. We also invite everyone to read over and share these equity-related resources listed here.

If you have feedback or would like to discuss our racial equity work, please contact us at 206.467.8734.

2018-01 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy New Year! Read the January 2018 (re)Source here.

Catching Up with 2011 Twining Humber Award Recipient Barbara Noah

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Acme, ©Barbara Noah, archival pigment print, image 30” x 22 5/8” Original pre-edited earth background courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Lab, NASA Johnson Space Center

2004 GAP & 2011 Twining Humber Award recipient Barbara Noah of Seattle is a mixed-media artist experienced in painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, public art, installations, and digital imaging. We recently caught up with Barbara and she was happy to share more about an upcoming project and how Artist Trust helped shape her path as an artist.

Are there any projects that you are currently working on?
I am currently completing the “Likely Stories” series, part of which was previously supported by the Twining Humber Award. This ironically titled series reflects a personal and cultural desire for transcendent experiences in distant skies through surrogate objects in full-throttle can-do mode. The presence of the airborne forms is deadpan and absurd relative to the grandeur of the lofty extraterrestrial contexts, their juxtapositions both ridiculous and sublime. The work also suggests dichotomies between near and far, aspirations and outcomes, and other underlying content. Please view the video below to learn more:

The “Likely Stories” series will be shown in an exciting and engaging exhibition at Davidson Galleries in Seattle. After completion of the “Likely Stories” series, I will begin new work for a series tentatively titled “Hybrid Lives” as well as other initiatives currently in the research phase.

How did receiving Artist Trust funding impact your career as an artist?
The Grants for Artist Projects and the Twining Humber Award both assisted me in making new work possible through support for equipment, materials, and the time to devote to my artistic practice. My career was also positively impacted by the receipt of these prestigious awards, which help pave the way for future awards from other organizations.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
My advice for aspiring artists and artists applying for grants and awards is to persist in making your work and in applying for grants. The successes you achieve can make up for any discouragement you encounter, and the receipt of one grant can make up for the ten for which you were not selected. Persistence pays off!

Visit Barbara’s project page, where you can read more about the “Likely Stories” series, see more images, and read about perks you will receive for your tax-deductible donation.

Artist Profile Series: Alana O. Rogers

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Alana Rogers, Sight, 2013. Photo: Ernie Sapiro.

Alana O. Rogers is a Seattle-based dancer and choreographer who has been commissioned by Velocity Dance Center, Chop Shop Bodies of Work, Seattle International Dance Festival, and more. She has been dancing since childhood and says that, growing up, she was always creating productions with her little sister and neighbors. “Making dances in adulthood was very much an organic step for me; I didn’t have to think about whether or not I wanted to do it because I was already doing it.”

During a 2014 kayaking trip to Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, Alana became fascinated by arctic landscapes, the richness of arctic wildlife, and most importantly, she says, “the feeling of both immense life and immense quiet it allowed.” She spent nearly two years afterwards researching the coldest places on the planet and particularly the northern latitudes of the Arctic. Into Ice, an evening-length dance performance and collaboration with composer Nico Tower, grew from this experience. View Into Ice on vimeo.

Part of the funding for the production came from a GAP award Alana received in 2016, which, she says, “was a career-defining moment in many ways and a sigh of relief!

“It gave weight to the time and resources I had poured into the project,” she explains. “It also gave a sense of worth to the years spent on many prior projects. It has no doubt inspired me to continue to create, despite our current financial climate, as it pertains to art-funding; despite the competition from other deserving, brilliant artists; despite my own self-doubt.”

Asked if she has any advice for aspiring artists, Alana says to “Be patient. Keep applying. It took me several fruitless attempts before I received a GAP award. And seriously have a friend or professional with writing and communication skills provide feedback on your proposal. It is invaluable. I have a degree in writing but I still have my proposals reviewed by my editor and trusted friend Mariko Nagashima ( […] Creativity is non-linear (thank god) but linear thinking in grant applications certainly helps their readability and accessibility.”

To learn more about Alana’s current projects, check out her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Profile Series: Esther de Monteflores

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Esther de Monteflores, Tiny Cities, 2017. Photo: Chance McKenney

Esther de Monteflores is a Bellingham-based circus artist whose work has been performed at Lookout Arts Center, Art on the Atlanta Beltline, Seattle’s Moisture Festival, the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, and more. She specializes in slack-wire walking, and is also trained in aerial arts, juggling, and stilts.

Esther’s most recent show, Tiny Cities, premiered at Bellingham’s Cirque Lab in April. The show tells the story of a Mail Carrier Pigeon as he tries to take his integration into human society to the next level by taking over the life of a person. Esther says her inspiration for the show grew out of a costume idea and that exploring the character further made her realize how well it tied in with her past work and themes she’d been hoping to explore. “I have a fondness for the creatures that are so completely integrated with human society that we can forget that they are wild animals,” she explains.

In addition to receiving a GAP award in 2014, which helped her create Equilibrium, Esther also received a 2017 Fellowship from Artist Trust, which helped her spend time training in San Diego and will allow her to take part in a show-creation residency at Anchorage, Alaska’s Church of Love theater in January 2018.

Asked how the fellowship impacted her career, Esther says the award gave her a sense of empowerment. “In the field of circus arts in the USA, it often seems as though there isn’t an awareness of contemporary circus, of circus performance that deviates from the traditional,” she says. “Having work in the field of circus recognized by arts institutions is really important to me and I hope will increase the audience for contemporary circus in this country.”

Esther is currently touring Tiny Cities at arts festivals around the country, including Art on the Atlanta Beltline and the Luminaria Contemporary Circus Arts Festival in San Antonio, TX. She is about to start developing a new show with shadow puppeteer and fellow circus artist Ariel Schmidtke, which will premiere at the end of January 2018. View the teaser for the show on vimeo.

To learn more about Esther’s work and current projects, check out her website

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Present/Tense by Malayka and Tom Gormally

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Malayka Gormally, One Way Street

Malayka and Tom Gormally are an artist couple living in Seattle, Washington. Their individual works have appeared in galleries throughout the Seattle area, as well as across the country and internationally. Their first two-person exhibition, Present/Tense opened at Tacoma’s Spaceworks Gallery in November and is on view through December 21.

Tom is a 2015 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient specializing in sculpture. His work incorporates wood, found objects, and LEDs, often in the interest of critiquing the current political and social climate. As a Vietnam War veteran, who both served in and protested against the war, he is concerned by the current level of discord in American culture. He seeks to address this in his work through the use of simple materials to replicate technically advanced forms and abstract concepts, and by distorting the sizes and shapes of everyday objects.

Malayka is a 2015 EDGE program graduate and figurative painter. She grew up in Berkeley during the civil rights movement and says that this, along with the stories she heard about her father and grandparents escaping Nazi persecution in Europe, made her very aware of the many divides prevalent in our society. Many of her recent paintings depict scenes from protests in the Seattle area, including May Day and the Womxn’s March, and across the country.

Asked what they hope people will take away from the exhibition, Malayka and Tom say they want to create a space for conversation about current political and social issues. “I’d like people to notice what kind of messaging is being used by activists and hate groups,” Malayka adds. “Taking the time to study a painting affords an opportunity to study signs and symbolism in a different way than we do when ingesting news media.”

To learn more about the exhibition, visit the Spaceworks Gallery website.
More information about Tom’s work can be found at
More information about Malayka’s work can be found at

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Catching Up with Arts Innovator Award Recipient Sheila Klein

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Sheila Klein, whiteheadscarf (2017), nylon mesh and aluminum.

Sheila Klein is a sculptor and public artist whose work incorporates sculpture, installation, architecture, and traditional women’s crafts. Her work has appeared in exhibitions and public collections around the world, and she has created thirteen pieces of public art since 1996, including Auburn City Hall’s Civic Lantern (2010) and Tukwila Sounder Station’s Imaginary Landscape (2014). Sheila was awarded a GAP in 2013 to assist with travel and living expenses while she worked with women from the Sarkhej Roza Mosque community on an architectural textile project in Ahmedabad, India.

In 2016, Sheila received an Arts Innovator Award recognizing her impressive body of work. I recently caught up with her to learn more about the award and her current projects.

How did the Arts Innovator Award impact your career as an artist?
It gave me visibility and increased credibility to a larger community in our region. The support of one’s peers and people from other disciplines in the arts, has great power saying “we get it -that’s invaluable.  I am not as proactive about getting out to things as I once was, so it brings more attention to my work to those that might not be aware of it.

What did the funding from the award allow you to do and/or pursue?
It has allowed me to produce an Artist Summit event, funded research, and gives me a way to travel, buy equipment and improve my studio. I have a global self- initiated project called Tabernacle that I intend to refine in order to take it forward and make it a reality.

What project(s) are you currently working on?
Always a mix, less public projects right now, more exhibitions, an artist initialed public projects (Tabernacle), theoretical architectural ideas, and my clothing line New Trade Route. Thinking a lot about how to add my skills to the current political situation in an effective way.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don’t stop,
Listen, read and look
Shut out the voices of others.
Do what you believe in.
Take out the trash. And also dream big.

What advice do you have for artists applying for grants and awards?
Do it!  Applying for grants is something I do as an administrative task when it makes sense in the context of the work. As you do it, it teaches you about your work, and what you want to communicate. It makes you look carefully at your body of work to select the vision of how to represent.

To learn more about Sheila’s work and current projects, visit her website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

2017-12 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the December 2017 (re)Source here.

Artist Profile Series: Zachary Burns

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Zachary Burns, Four Loco behind the Armory, 2016

Zachary Burns is an experimental photographer whose work has appeared in exhibitions at Photographic Center Northwest, Gallery 110, Auburn Community Center, and beyond. He first discovered alternative photographic processes while studying at Bellevue College and continued to use these techniques in his work because he was drawn to their tactile quality.

In 2016, Zachary received a GAP award to support the creation of Candid, a collection of images taken from the perspective of cans found throughout the Seattle area. Zachary developed the images using the tintype process, which allowed the cans to serve as both the film and the camera for the photographs, and says he created the project as a way to incorporate the environment into his photography.

When asked how the award impacted his career as an artist, Zachary says the award came at the perfect time. “I had recently been rejected from grad school and had made my project Candid into a small, but reasonable complete project,” he explains. “Receiving the grant helped provide validation for me as an artist and forced me to expand my project well beyond the modest level I would have done on my own.”

In July 2017, a solo exhibition for Candid was held at the Auburn Community Center and Zachary says he will be working with them again in the future. He is also currently working with a group of photographers on a project called Seattle: frame by frame. Each month, the group selects a different area of Seattle to photograph and develop their own projects around. For his project, Zachary says he’s focusing on finding ways to represent changes in the area, both through comparing historical images to the current neighborhood and documenting buildings that are set to be demolished. To learn more about Candid and Zachary’s current projects, check out his website.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Support Statewide Programming on #GivingTuesday!

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

As a grant recipient, teacher, and panelist, 2015 Fellowship Recipient Nicole Pietrantoni has a unique perspective on Artist Trust’s impact in Walla Walla. Click here to support our statewide programming on #GivingTuesday!

“Walla Walla may be a small, rural town but our arts community is vibrant and rich. We have an incredible network of talented artists and makers who call Walla Walla home. Artist Trust provides a platform for us to connect and exchange ideas. Artist Trust’s programming and resources help to educate, inspire, and empower our creative community to keep making their work and sharing it with the world.

Our creative community is diverse and impacts many aspects of Walla Walla including our town’s economy, job market, and quality of life. The arts are an important aspect of what makes Walla Walla a unique place to call home.

As a teacher I believe the arts have the power to transform the way we see ourselves and the world around us. The arts can help all of us to be more engaged, reflective, and critical citizens. Art isn’t just an object or thing we hang on the wall – it’s an activity. The arts ask us to solve problems, analyze, discuss, and look more critically at information and ideas.  We need to support the arts now more than ever - not only to support those artists who are currently making work, but to help cultivate our next generation of artists, thinkers, and makers.”

Why give? Take it from a donor.

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

We’re so proud of the artists and programs we support across Washington State, and with national arts funding under threat, artists need that support more now than ever.

But we can’t do it without you.

As we near the end of the year, your gift will have an enormous impact on our capacity to sustain crucial programming for individual artists across Washington State.

But don’t take it from us! New donor, and artist, Kaelyn Langer-Mendonca shares her thoughts below on why it’s so important to support creative communities, and why she shows that support by giving to Artist Trust.

“I recently learned of Artist Trust through a friend, who was a grant recipient this year, when she invited me along to attend the Gather event earlier this month. I was honored to support her work and the larger community of artists in the area.

What struck me about Artist Trust is their unique mission to support the arts by cultivating relationships that allow artists to prosper and grow. At times, the creative process can be isolating, vulnerable, and unfamiliar. Artist Trust makes an intentional commitment to connecting artist with one another and nurtures relationships, partnerships, and friendships. To me, this community piece is the essence of art and the process of its creation.

We are privileged to live in a city where the arts are appreciated and cultivated in a way that allows for creative self-expression. We can always do more to advocate for arts in schools and underserved communities. As an artist myself, it is important that I continue to support a community that has brought so much joy to my life and given me lifelong relationships.”

Kaelyn Langer-Mendonca, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and an arts educator. She primarily works with children to help them explore and present their innate ability to imagine, play, and create characters while supporting social skills and emotional intelligence.

Explore Affordable Health Care Options and Sign Up By Dec. 15

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Source: Washington Healthplanfinder

Millions of Americans can still get quality, affordable care. This year, 8 in 10 shoppers can find a plan for less than $75 per month.

Since Open Enrollment for health care began on November 1, enrollment has surged across the country. Over 600,000 people selected a plan through, the federal marketplace, in the first week of Open Enrollment. In Washington State’s Exchange, website traffic on Washington HealthPlanFinder increased 24% and enrollments increased by 50% over the same period last year. (Source: “Insurance Coverage Sign-ups Surge After Open Enrollment Begins” posted on

Open Enrollment continues until January 15 but people must sign up by December 15 for coverage beginning on January 1.

Open Enrollment for off-Exchange plans ends December 15. Read more about why you should enroll sooner rather than later on Northwest Health Law Advocates blog.

Check out our Resources page for information on health care options in Washington State.

A Letter from Valerie Curtis-Newton

Valerie Curtis-Newton

I make Art. It is my action, how my activism shows itself. I have become an activist artist, committed to the idea that art should connect us, and remind people of disparate and diverse backgrounds of their shared humanity. I believe that to achieve this ideal, the work must be relevant to the lives of people today, ask fundamental questions, and invite response from and within its audiences, artfully and with a demonstrated mastery of craft. Artist Trust helps make that possible.

I want my community to sit together and hear new stories that inspire them to greater kindness, greater compassion for each other. And because kindness and compassion in action look like courage, I also want to make my community brave. Which, of course, begs the question, “How can I be brave?” There is nothing that takes as much courage as creating something from nothing and showing it to the world. Artist Trust’s commitment and generosity have encouraged me to take that leap.

Support from Artist Trust paved the way for me to reinvent myself and tell new stories. I know there are thousands of other Washington State artists who need the support Artist Trust provides, support that is made possible because of donors like you. With national arts funding under threat, your support is more meaningful now than ever. Donate to Artist Trust today and your generosity will encourage artists like me to be brave, take leaps, build understanding, and inspire our communities to do the same.


Valerie Curtis-Newton

PS— Artists like Valerie need your support more than ever before. Donate to Artist Trust by November 30 and your donation will be matched. Donate online at Artist Trust can also accept gifts of stock or securities, or be named a beneficiary in your will.

Thank you to our matching sponsor Lakeside Advisors, Inc.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2018 AIA Applications

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Mandy Greer (2012 AIA), Honey Moon Chamber, 2011.

Due to last night’s power outage, the application deadline for the 2018 Arts Innovator Awards has been extended! Submit all completed applications by 11:59 PM TONIGHT to be considered for the award.

Questions about your application can be directed to our Programs team. Please call 206/467-8734 to speak to Brian, Katy, or Zach or click on their names to contact them by email.

Survey Says…

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Artist Trust’s 2017 Annual Artist Survey Report provides a snapshot of the current needs and trends identified by Washington State artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities. We invite you to read through the 2017 Annual Artist Survey Report.

If you’re riding that #TLDR wave, check out our comprehensive one-pager outlining major themes and key findings from the survey. We hope that we can all come together to advance and improve the livelihoods of working artists across Washington State, so please share the survey report with your communities and affiliated organizations.

Artist Trust extends our many thanks to the 1,700+ practicing artists who participated in the 2017 Annual Artist Survey. We appreciate the great attention paid in providing such honest feedback and thoughtful opinions. We heard your voices and are excited to increase our overall statewide impact and continue furthering our mission of supporting you all in 2018 and beyond!

Our work here at Artist Trust depends on your support. We hope that you will also join us in making a gift today to ensure a sustainable future for Washington’s artists. From now until Nov. 30th, every dollar you give will be matched up to $25,000 by Robert E. Frey of Lakeside Advisors, Inc. Learn about the many ways to give here.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Humaira Abid

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Image: Installation view of "Searching for Home" on view at Bellevue Arts Museum. Photo by Emilie Smith.

Originally from Pakistan, Humaira Abid is a Seattle-based artist specializing in sculpture and miniature painting. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout Europe and the Middle East, as well as in exhibitions at ArtXchange, Tacoma Art Museum, and Kirkland Art Center. Her first solo museum exhibition, Searching for Home, is currently on view at Bellevue Arts Museum through March 25, 2018.

On November 18, Humaira will lead “Building Your Audience as an Artist” at Auburn Valley Creative Arts. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her work and her experience in the Seattle arts community.

What inspired you to pursue sculpture and to work with wood specifically?
When I was in art school, sculpture was the only subject the teachers did not ask students to take as their major. It’s a difficult medium, especially in Pakistan because three dimensional art is controversial, and for women it’s considered even more challenging because it’s physically demanding. By the time I was deciding what to take as my major, everybody was warning me not to take sculpture, so I decided to take that as a challenge and see what was so tough about it.
I also felt there were not many women working in sculpture, especially in the medium of wood. It was (and still is) very male-dominated, and even when I started traveling and was exposed to wood sculpture in many parts of the world, I noticed there was a lack of women’s voices, so I decided to pursue wood as my main medium and bring a woman’s point of view to that medium.

Your solo exhibition, Searching for Home, is currently on view at Bellevue Arts Museum. What inspired you to create this exhibition?
I grew up hearing stories of migration. My parents were born in India and moved to Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947. Although they were very young at the time, they heard stories about it from their parents and shared those stories with me. Up until 2013, Pakistan was the top country in the world (still in top five) for taking maximum number of refugees, and when I was growing up I saw a lot of Afghan refugees struggling to make their home again in Pakistan.
I moved to the US 10 years ago, and I remember how after a few years I started to feel that this was my home, but whenever I was visiting Pakistan, everybody would ask me, “Are you going home?” The concept of home was in my mind from the beginning, and it started a dialogue of what is home? What’s the concept of home? For some people, it is probably where you are born, but for a lot of people it may be where you feel you belong, especially with the current situation in the world, where a lot of people migrate, the refugee crisis, and the current US policy.

What are some of your favorite things about Seattle’s art community?
All of the support available for artists and how everybody welcomes new artists is pretty amazing. Most people in Pakistan don’t think art is a profession, and there’s very little support for artists, even in the private sector. When I moved to the US, I was impressed to see organizations supporting artists like Artist Trust, 4Culture, and the Office of Arts and Culture. I was very excited when I first got a grant from 4Culture because it allowed me to focus more on experimentation and not worry too much about the cost of the materials – later I received more grants including GAP and Fellowship from Artist Trust, all of that support has helped me push the boundaries of my work.

What inspired you to lead Artist Trust’s “Building Your Audience as an Artist” workshop?
I believe in giving back to the community, sharing my passion and passing on what I have learned through challenges and my experience. If I know anything I’m very happy to share it, and whenever there’s an opportunity that I feel I can help other artists and the community, I get excited.

Join Humaira for “Building Your Audience as an Artist” at Auburn Valley Creative Arts on Saturday, November 18. Tickets and information about the workshop can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

2017-11 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the November 2017 (re)Source here.

Artist Profile Series: Blake Chamberlain

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Blake Chamberlain is a Seattle-based painter originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York State. He is the creator of several portrait series celebrating activists and social visionaries from throughout history, as well as augmented portraits that challenge expectations placed on the human form. His work has been featured in exhibitions in the Seattle area and New York State. He was also recently commissioned to paint a series of murals in the Visitor Center of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY.

In 2016, Blake received a GAP from Artist Trust to fund his “Trans American History” portrait series, which is currently on view at Pocket Theater. The project features ten portraits of notable transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary activists, including Sylvia Rivera, Riki Wilchins, Mara Kiesling, and Laverne Cox. Blake was inspired to create the project in response to the 2015 bathroom bills, which sparked public backlash against trans people. “The main message of this legislation as I saw it was that trans people should disappear or be humiliated,” says Blake. “It seemed the right time to create something affirming of trans identities and history.”

Blake’s interest in experimental use of colors and detailed graphic style began after he started gender affirming therapy six years ago. He began creating portraits using small shapes and patterns around the same time, and continued to create works in this style because, he says, “the style goes further than representation.”

“After recognizing the arrangement as the likeness I was after,” he explains, “my eye would be drawn into the individual colorful pieces that comprised it. I like that this creates a kind of small reflective pause on the subject as the piece is examined.”

Asked if he has any advice for aspiring artists, Blake says it took him way too long to learn two things: “1) almost every artist I have ever met has imposter syndrome. If it is important to you to create, you are worthy of creating and there is plenty of room for your creations. 2) From someone who was regretfully lazy about painting earlier in life: practice is the most important thing. Especially having the discipline to work through times when you don’t feel like it. Nothing results in quality like quantity.”

Blake’s “Trans American History” series and other recent works are on view at The Pocket Theater through October 31, and there will be an artist reception on Friday, October 27 at 6pm. Learn more about the exhibition and Blake’s work here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Everything you need to know about Katy Hannigan in 5 Minutes (or less)

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Today we sat down with Katy Hannigan (and her trusty pup, Peppercorn) to learn as much as we could about her and the business of art.

Who are you?
Katy Hannigan, Program Manager at Artist Trust

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Driven, goofy, and direct

Where are you from?
Born and raised in San Jose, CA, but the Boston area holds a special place in my heart.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Moving out to Seattle a little over four years ago on more-or-less a whim. I had never followed my instinct in that way and am so glad to have found a home here.

How do you balance work and life?
Working on AT’s statewide programming takes me to many corners of Washington, mostly on evenings or weekends. That can be a lot, so I try to make mini-vacations out of the trips as often as I can - bringing my boyfriend and dog with me to see art all around the state helps keep me grounded to my personal life, even on the road!

Did you have a mentor? Who? What did they do for you?
One of my most important mentors is Kellen Braddock, who I used to work with at Shunpike and who now works at Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. Although we are very close in age, she carries wisdom beyond her years and always challenges me to get uncomfortable and stand up for what matters. Thanks for this reminder - I need to call her!

What are your three favorite tv shows?
I’m not going to list three shows, but have you EVEN SEEN Masterchef Junior? I’ve never been more invested in the fortunes of knife-wielding eight year olds than I am when I cue that up on Hulu. No shame here about that!

Are you an artist?
I used to be a theatre artist, but stopped making work a few years back. I just finished grad school, however, and am looking to try something new. I’ve never been good with my hands and want to challenge myself to work in sculpture or fibers in the near future.

What are your tips to format and tailor your work for success?
Be critical about what you choose to submit. For example: artists whose work is best showcased with video samples should be tight with their editing - don’t waste precious seconds on intro! Panelists should be hooked from the first glance at your work.

“You didn’t get a grant? That’s okay. How can we work together to make your next application even better?”- Katy Hannigan

What makes a strong work sample?
A strong work sample showcases the work as it is intended to be viewed - or at least as close as you can get digitally. The most effective samples capture size, scale, and detail in equal measure.

What doesn’t make a strong work sample?
Not following the instructions in the guidelines. No matter what you’re applying for, be sure to follow those guidelines!

How does the selection process work?
Our panelists look over each application on their own at home and then come together for a whirlwind day of in-person discussion about the applicants. These conversations always surprise me with their depth and I delight in watching panelists approach each application with warmth, generosity, and constructive critique.

Why is professional development important for artists?
There are always ways we can improve in everything we do – whether it’s looking at solving a business problem in your practice or thinking more broadly about long-term goal setting, there’s always room to learn and grow.

Any networking events you recommend for artists?
AT Artist Mentorship Nights are a really good time! Opening nights for performances and gallery shows are always a good way to get out and meet people.

Where do you see the arts/culture sector Seattle in 10 years?
We’re facing a lot of change right now and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. I envision the “Seattle art scene” expanding further into Washington state, particularly as folks discover the amazing art scenes growing in various corners of the state and find homes, both physical and artistic, in those areas.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m usually pretty excited about happy hour, personally, and that is certainly the case today! Professionally, I’m really excited to work more deeply with some of our partner organizations in 2018 - Washington is full of amazing groups that support artists of all backgrounds, geographies, and perspectives and we are lucky to work directly with many of them through our programming.

What advice do you give artists who are giving up on applying for funding?
I have have applied for funding in the past, as an individual and for a collective, and I never got any of the funding. It always feels like a punch in the gut. Being at AT is an amazing opportunity to change the narrative and that experience for applying artists. You didn’t get a grant? That’s okay. How can we work together to make your next application even better?

Katy Hannigan is leading two workshops next month. Don’t miss the chance to learn about Crafting Your Elevator Speech in Vashon on November 4 and Artist Statements in Auburn November 8!

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Thank You 2017 GAP Donors!

Cristina Friday

Foundation & Corporate Relations Manager

View the full 2017 GAP Award press release here.

Artist Trust has a community of generous donors and sponsors who support our Grants for Artist Projects with gifts at $1,500 per year and above. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who made the 2017 GAP Award possible.

Individual supporters include: 

Christine and Itamar Abrass
Nancy D. Alvord
Shelley and Phil Anderson
Perry and Christine Atkins
Shari and John Behnke
Greg and Ronna Bell
Don Bell and Karen Lorene
Sharon and Craig Campbell
Chris Carlson
Michael and Cathy Casteel
Katie Creyts
Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Doug Smith
Alison and Donald Farmer
Robert E. Frey
Bruce Funkhouser and Michelle Friars
Helen Gamble
Katharyn Alvord Gerlich
Pat Haase
Phyllis Hatfield
Heather J. Helbach-Olds and Matthew Olds
Mitchell Karton and Ann Gardner
Leonard and Norma Klorfine
Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom
Kevin and Motomi Kudo-King
Michael Lane and Paul D. McKee
Gar and Barbara LaSalle
Diane Lasko and Clint Diener
Christopher and Alida Latham
Marge Levy and Larry Lancaster
Leonard Lewicki
Chris Lutz
Quinton Morris and Thomas Grant
Byron and Phillis Olson
Mark Olthoff and Brett Arrington
Judy Pigott
Pablo Schugurensky and Renata Tatman
Jon Shirley and Kimberly A. Richter
Mary E. Snapp and Spencer Frazer
Sarah Traver and Charlie Rush
Tanya Trejo
Robert and Betty Tull
Lorraine W. Vagner
Susan and Kenneth Wagner
Brenda Walker
Bryan Webster

Artist Trust also thanks the Amazon Literary Partnership, NBBJ, and Seattle Art Dealers Association for their support of GAP through Artist Trust’s Corporate Partnership Program. Artist Trust’s annual institutional and corporate partners include 4Culture, ArtsFund, ArtsWA, Baker Boyer Community Bank, The Boeing Company, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Florence B. Kilworth Foundation, Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Klorfine Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Sequoia Foundation, Suquamish Foundation, and Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contributions.

For more information about supporting Artist Trust, contact Kristina Goetz at

Catching Up with 2014 Arts Innovator Award Recipient Clyde Petersen

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Clyde Petersen, Boating with Clyde Installation (detail), cardboard, wooden boat, cellophane, 60 ft x 60 ft, 2014.

Clyde Petersen is a Seattle-based filmmaker and musician whose work has been featured at SIFF, SXSW, Bumbershoot, the British Film Institute, and more. He is the creative force behind the band Your Heart Breaks and has made animated music videos for bands including the Thermals, Quasi, Thao and the Get Down, and Kimya Dawson.

Clyde’s most recent endeavor, Torrey Pines, is a full-length animated film recounting his experiences from a cross-country road trip his mother took him on when he was 12 years old. The film premiered at TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival in October 2016 and is set to begin touring in Europe within the next couple weeks.

In 2014, Clyde received an Arts Innovator Award recognizing his impressive body of work and adventures in music and filmmaking. I recently caught up with him to learn more about the award and his current projects.

How did the Arts Innovator Award impact your career as an artist?
I really needed the money. I was majorly in debt from producing a feature film on my own, in my bedroom. I made it possible to hire the studio for 3 weeks to record the film soundtrack and pay the band and the choir to perform.

What did the funding from the award allow you to do and/or pursue?
Here is a video to answer this question:

What project(s) are you currently working on?
My film Torrey Pines is still touring with the live score. We’re headed to Europe in a few weeks to perform at a few film festivals. I’m also making a new film called Even Hell has its Heroes, a documentary about the Seattle band Earth. I’m scheming on a few large scale art installations and hoping a local institution will host one of them in the future. I have a solo show at Mouth Analogue in August 2017. In other words, I’m scrapping by trying to make it all happen. I’m currently looking for some generous wealthy patrons with deep coffers to fund my exploits, if you know of any….preferably in the style of a Scrooge McDuck swimming pool of gold.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Be vigilant and seek revenge on all who doubted you in your life by striving for artistic success, whatever that looks like to you.

What advice do you have for artists applying for the 2018 Arts Innovator Award?
While you are waiting for your interview, read a John Waters book. It will remind you to be yourself.

To learn more about Clyde’s work and current adventures, check out his website here.
Applications for the 2018 Arts Innovator Awards are open until November 13, 2017. Learn more about the application process and download the application guidelines here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Gather: An Artist Trust Celebration

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

Please join the Artist Trust Board of Trustees in celebration of a year of artist support. Meet this year’s grant recipients while we honor our generous friends Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Douglas Smith.

Throughout the tumult of 2017, Artist Trust has remained steadfast in our support of individual artists of Washington State. We are able to continue that work because of the artists, donors, and public supporters who continue to build thriving creative communities where we can bear witness, challenge, and celebrate - together.

Program begins promptly at 6:00 pm, featuring remarks by Donald Byrd, 2016 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award Recipient, Artist Trust Board President Pablo Schugurensky, and CEO Shannon Halberstadt, and a performance by Monica Rojas-Stewart, 2017 Fellowship Recipient.


Admission with sliding scale donation of $15 to $250, $10 for members. All donations are matched $1 for $1 up to $25,000 by our generous partner, Lakeside Advisors. Proceeds benefit Artist Trust’s programs for individual artists across Washington State. Hosted bar (donations generously accepted) and refreshments provided.

We look forward to raising a glass with you to toast an incredible year of artists and artist support!

View a full list of our 2017 grant recipients here.

Stephanie Ellis-Smith is the owner of philanthropy advisory firm Phila Engaged Giving. She is the founder and former Executive Director of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (CD Forum). Stephanie has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Washington State Arts Commission, Seattle Arts Commission, and Central Waterfront Committee. She is on the board of YWCA King/Snohomish County, the outgoing Board Chair of Artist Trust, and an Advisor to the University of Washington Press and

Douglas Smith is an award-winning historian and translator, and the author of five books on Russia. He holds a doctorate in history from UCLA, and his works have been translated into a dozen languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including a Fulbright scholarship and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center. His latest book, Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs, was published in November 2016 in the US and the UK.

Donald Byrd is a Tony Award-nominated choreographer and the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater. He’s credited with more than 100 modern dance works for his own groups as well as for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others, as well as classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, and theater and opera, including The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and Seattle Opera.

Monica Rojas-Stewart is a choreographer, cultural consultant, music and dance instructor, and guest artist with various college and community education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is the Assistant Director of the African Studies and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies programs at the University of Washington, and recipient of the Tumi USA Award, the maximum recognition granted by the Peruvian community in the US.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Robin Held

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Robin Held has been a leading force in Seattle’s arts communities for over twenty years. She has served as curator, collection strategist, and head of department for the Frye Art Museum and the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery, and has initiated and curated more than 100 exhibitions and performances in the Seattle area. 

In addition to her impressive curatorial work, Robin has also made a name for herself helping artists and arts organizations grow. She was part of the leadership team responsible for what the Stranger has called the “most inexplicable museum transformation” at the Frye, and went on to serve as the Executive Director for Reel Grrls. Her most recent endeavor, Held Consulting, offers fundraising, strategic planning, and curatorial services to clients at the intersection of the arts and tech sectors. 

On Saturday, October 21, Robin will be leading a workshop on cultivating professional relationships with artists at the Mount Baker Lofts. I recently caught up with her to learn more about her work, what inspired the workshop, and her hopes for the future of Seattle’s arts communities.

What inspired you to teach arts entrepreneurship?
Effective communication, strong professional relationships, and fundraising are among the necessary tools to have in an artist’s entrepreneurial toolkit. I teach these skills in personal training sessions but I prefer sharing these skills in groups. I love seeing participants learn from each other, as well as me, helping to develop each other’s strengths, and building tensile strength across our communities.

Which of your professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Helping artists envision, finance and execute their biggest dream projects.
Direct work with artists is the joyful through line of my career, from ED of artist-run organization to museum chief curator to director of a start-up training the next generation of artists to director of one of the largest artist awards program in Washington State to arts consulting. 

The transformation of the Frye Art Museum
I am proud of having shaped the award-winning curatorial direction that the Frye Art Museum has taken and run with. I treasure The Stranger Genius Award for “most inexplicable museum transformation,” 2005, as a vote of confidence from our communities that the Museum had pivoted in the right direction. More recent awards include the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, 2013; Seattle Weekly, “Best Museum,” 2014. 

Who are some of your role models?
I am grateful and lucky to have several peer mentors. Sharon Arnold, Bridge Productions; Betsey Brock, OTB; Alla Efimova, KunstWorks; Felicia Gonzalez, UW; Susie Lee, SIREN; Tonya Lockyer, Velocity Dance Center; Christopher Ross, The Riveter; Kunstworks; Barbara Earl Thomas, NAAM, are among peers who continue to offer me aspirational models of leadership and inspire me to take risks for the right reasons.

What needs do you think are unmet in the Seattle arts community?
I want to see our arts and cultural communities reap benefits of our region’s expansive growth and great wealth, to be able to live, work, raise families, and creatively thrive in our city. The most urgent pressure on artist communities is affordability. Many creators are leaving our city for cheaper housing and studios elsewhere, and these are the artists who helped make the city what it is. 

In a period great wealth and philanthropy, funding is lagging for arts and culture. I want to insure that artists can afford to build lives and careers in our city, and to be deeply valued, especially artists of color and other underrepresented groups of artists. We will be much poorer as a city if we don’t think creatively about affordability and equity.

Want to learn more about growing your professional arts network?
Join Robin on Saturday, October 21 for “Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists” at the Mt Baker Lofts. More information and tickets here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Webinar: 2018 Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

The preliminary deadline for the 2018 Arts Innovator Award is Oct. 16! Don’t miss this opportunity to get helpful feedback on your grant application from AT Program staff.

Funded by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, the Arts Innovator Award, is an unrestricted award of $25,000 given annually to two Washington State artists of any discipline. The award recognizes artists who demonstrate innovation in their art practice. Examples would be artists who are originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries in their respective fields. Artist profiles of past recipients are viewable here.

Individuals thinking of applying for the award are encouraged to view this webinar. In less than 30 minutes, Program staff Katy and Brian address components of the application including a brief overview of the submission software:


How Artist Trust Supports Artists in Spokane: Brooke Matson

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund & Events Manager

Poet and educator Brooke Matson is the Director of Programs for Spark Central in Spokane and the recipient of the 2016 Centrum Residency. Brooke received 2016 GAP funding to complete her second collection of poetry, Impossible Things. Read on to learn more about what Artist Trust’s support has meant for her, and power more programming and support for artists statewide here.

What has Artist Trust’s support meant for you, and why is the work that we do to support individual artists like yourself important right now?
When you work full time out of necessity, it is so difficult to find the means and time to produce your work. My writing practice is typically start-stop because of all my obligations, so it was wonderful to dive head-first into production and revision. I am very grateful to the Artist Trust GAP program which enabled me to push myself as a writer. Our time- and production-focused society rewards business (or busy-ness), but seldom rewards those who go deeper into themselves—a process that takes time and focus—in order to explore the creative process and experiment with process. We have to keep giving creatives the time and space to do that important work, as it’s where genius emerges.

What role do artists play in the Spokane community at large? What impact has Artist Trust’s work in Spokane has had on the creative community there and for you personally?
The Artist Trust has had more of a presence in Spokane over the past five years, and the impact shows. From small projects to organized endeavors, the artistic scene here is flourishing and I think is stronger than in big cities. Spokane artists and creators are very supportive, collaborative, and encouraging of one another, and the Artist Trust has added momentum to our growth by offering workshops and office hours where coaching takes place, as well as offering fiscal support for artists who would otherwise be unable to complete their projects. I remember years ago when support for the arts was very difficult to find in Spokane. Now we have a thriving scene for the arts that grows stronger each year with the support of the Artist Trust.

You just got back from Centrum! What was your experience like?
The Centrum Residency was so necessary for me to not only finish my manuscript, but connect to my writing practice and discover the arc in my work that I couldn’t see when I was in such a hurry. To wake up and write without having to worry about work or duties or distractions was something I had never experienced before. It freed something in me as a writer. I wrote with a natural focus I haven’t had since college, and the work surprised me with its intensity. I’m very excited about the body of work I produced.

Visit Brooke’s website to learn more about the work we are supporting at Artist Trust.

Behind the Curtain: Arts Innovator Awards

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

John Grade, The Elephant Bed, biodegradable dissolving paper, corn-based polymer, 24 ft x 6 ft x 6 ft each, English Channel, UK, 2010.

Each year, the Arts Innovator Awards provide two Washington State artists $25,000 in unrestricted funding. With the exception of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award, these are the largest awards Artist Trust oversees, as well as one of the largest grants available to individual artists in Washington State. They’re also one of the few awards dedicated to recognizing artistic innovation and encouraging artists of all disciplines to take risks in their work.

Inspiration and funding for the awards comes from the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation. Dale received grants support early in his career, and the financial flexibility they offered allowed him to push the boundaries of his work and experiment in ways he couldn’t have otherwise. These awards also opened up new opportunities for Dale by allowing him to make connections and lending further credibility to his work. In recognition of the impact these early grants had on his career, the Chihuly Foundation partnered with Artist Trust to create an awards program to encourage and support other innovative artists.

Since 2010, the awards have provided a total of $350,000 to fourteen Washington State artists including visual artist Sheila Klein (2017), performing artist Valerie Curtis-Newton (2017), literary artist Elissa Washuta (2016), media artist Clyde Petersen (2014), visual artist John Grade (2013), and visual artist Leo Berk (2010).

Awards Application Process
The Arts Innovator Awards are open to all Washington State artists who produce experimental or innovative work and have had a professional artistic practice for at least five years. Applications for the awards consist of a biography, impact statement, resume, essay, letter of reference, and collection of up to 20 work samples.

After the application closes, a panel of judges reviews the submissions based on the advancement of the artists’ work, the creative excellence and innovation in the works presented, and the artists’ professional background. The panel also interviews the awards finalists in order to further contextualize their work.

Interested in applying?
Applications for the 2018 Arts Innovator Awards are open until November 13, 2017. Applicants who submit their applications before October 16th are eligible for preliminary review and feedback from Artist Trust’s staff, as well as an opportunity to update their application based on the comments they receive. Award recipients will be announced in February 2018.
More information about the awards as well as sample applications and application guidelines can be found here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Our Work Depends on Your Support

Emily Dennis

Annual Fund and Events Manager

Since the inception of our Office Hours program in 2016, we’ve had over 300 one-on-one, artist-led conversations all over Washington. No catch, no fee – just a 20-minute slot for artists to ask questions about grant applications, opportunities, or their portfolio.
We’re proud to make our office a place for transparency and conversation. But our work depends on your support. We have a $25,000 match on the table – give today, and your dollars will be doubled in service of Washington artists!
Learn about ways you can give here.

2017-10 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the October 2017 (re)Source here.

Smart Philanthropy

Robert E. Frey

Founder, Lakeside Advisors, Inc.

Artist Trust is excited to announce a special challenge match for donations in support of our programs for individual artists, now through November 30, with a special emphasis on Stock and Securities donations to raise the awareness of such gifting. The $25,000 challenge gift is made by Robert E. Frey of Lakeside Advisors, Inc. to educate about this form of smart philanthropy.  Of course, all this education should not stop one from simply writing a check or using a credit card.

When you donate appreciated securities held more than a year, you receive the same income tax savings that you would if you wrote us a check, but with the added benefit of eliminating capital gains taxes on the transfer, which can be as high as 20 percent. Making a gift of securities to support our mission is as easy as instructing your broker to transfer the shares or, if you have the physical securities, hand-delivering or mailing the certificates.

Already one lead anonymous donor has pledged a donation of appreciated stock of at least $2,500 to help us meet the $25,000 challenge. 

For years, one carefully invests and watches their savings grow.  What took a lifetime to build can be instantly reduced by capital gains tax when appreciated assets are sold.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Rather than selling shares, gift them to Artist Trust.  There are no taxes to pay coupled with the charitable gift.  Benefits include:

• AVOIDING capital gains taxes of 20% or more.
• RECEIVING an income tax deduction for the full amount of the gift.
• MAKING a meaningful gift with no cash out-of-pocket.
• CAPTURING the value of shares and end worry of market ups and downs.
• PUTTING your gift to work right away for the causes you care about most.

To gift appreciated assets, first ask for our instruction page.  This can then be passed along to your brokerage firm if the securities are held in book entry (electronic) form.  Your goal will be to deliver the securities to Artist Trust, where we will sell them.  If you own mutual funds or securities which may be in the form of paper certificates, please call for a special consultation.

Financial Planner Robert Frey and Development Director Kristina Goetz stand ready to assist you with this and other forms of Smart Philanthropy.

All gifts through November 30th will count towards our $25,000 matching challenge.

Behind the Curtain: James W. Ray Award Exhibits at the Frye Art Museum

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Storme Webber, All My Daddies Were Butches, Digital print with poem, 2015.

The last Behind the Curtain post explored how Artist Trust works with and supports artists throughout the James W. Ray Awards process. This is only one half of the awards, which Artist Trust presents in consortium with the Frye Art Museum.

Each year, the Frye Art Museum offers the James W. Ray award recipients an opportunity to present an exhibition at the museum. These exhibitions symbolize the culmination of the award recipients’ projects and serve to advance and document the artists’ creative work. Exhibitions and programming at the Frye also provide the award recipients opportunities to connect with broader audiences and deepen their ties to the community.

The process for organizing the James W. Ray award recipient exhibitions begins over a year in advance of their opening to the public. Frye Art Museum staff meet with the artists to discuss how to display their work in a museum setting, ideas for the exhibition, and possible programs to complement the exhibition. Once the staff and recipients have developed an initial concept, the Frye Art Museum assigns a guest or in-house curator to help the award recipients and museum staff refine and realize the project.

Throughout the planning process, the Frye also offers recipients professional guidance, project management and funding to create new work for the exhibition.
To learn more about the Frye Art Museum and their current exhibitions, visit their website.

• Alison (Bremner) Marks – One Gray Hair (November 11, 2017 – Feburary 4, 2018)
• Storme Webber – Casino: A Palimpsest (August 5 – October 29, 2017)
• Cris Bruch – Others Who Were Here (January 30 – March 27, 2016)
• Jessika Kenney – Anchor Zero (January 10 – February 1, 2015)

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Brian McGuigan

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Young Brian by Erika Enomoto

On Thursday, September 28, Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan will lead Work Samples Dos & Don’ts, a workshop on what makes a strong work sample and what doesn’t. You’ll learn how the selection process works, insider information on what juries and panelists are looking for in work samples, and tips on how to format and tailor your work for success. Sign up here.

“Making a thing isn’t enough.

Like Jay-Z said, ‘I’m not a businessman – I’m a business, man.’

Once you’ve made the thing, you need to know what to do with it – how to build a platform for it, market it, sell it, etc.”

Brian has been involved in Seattle’s arts scene for almost fourteen years. “The scene has grown exponentially in that time. I expect that growth to continue as more businesses come here and with it more young professionals with an interest in the arts. Seattle isn’t ‘the pesto of America’ anymore as Seinfeld once said. It’s become a main course, a destination for artists and arts lovers. ”

In three words, Brian describes himself as “ambitious, gritty, and sharp.” Growing up in Queens, NY, as a child he grew up wanting to be a rapper or a sports broadcaster. “I still hold out hope I can do both,” he said. Citing Jay-Z as his role model, Brian was also influenced by poet Deborah Woodard when he first moved to Seattle and was trying to write poetry. He also counts Artist Trust CEO Shannon Halberstadt as a touchstone.

Drawing inspiration from 90s East Coast hip hop, Brian is a writer and is looking forward to completing his first book, after working on it for five years.

On balancing work and life, he shared that it’s a struggle but he gets it done. “I’ve worked in nonprofit for about thirteen years now while trying to maintain a writing practice – and now be a present father to a five-year-old boy. Through fits and starts, writing and not writing, I’ve learned it’s about carving out the space and time for my work and staying dedicated to it. Also, I rarely sleep more than six and seven hours a night, so that helps.” In the next five years, Brian anticipates to have completed his first book and to be working on his second. His proudest accomplishment is “giving all I have every day.”

As far as networking, Brian recommends that artists “go to as many events as you can. Shake hands. Kiss babies. Work the room. But don’t be a scenester. Keep focused on the work. You need that time for yourself to create.”

In his free time, Brian reads, writes, runs, watches sports (Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter are his favorite athletes - “because they’re winners and unflappable”), and plays highly competitive games of Yahtzee with his son. Weekends are spent around town, from getting lost in IKEA to posting up at Super Six in Columbia City for happy hour. Brian’s three favorite TV shows are The Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad. A lover of pop art and street art, its no surprise that his favorite artists are Basquiat, Warhol, Banksy, Dondi, and Phase 2.

I sat down with Brian to try to get the inside scoop on Work Samples Dos & Don’ts. And failed.

What makes a strong work sample?
You’ll have to come to the workshop to find out! 

What doesn’t make a strong work sample?
I said come to the workshop!

How does the selection process work?
Again, come to the workshop!

What do juries and panelists look for in work samples?
Really??? Come!

What are you tips to format and tailor your work for success?
I’ll see you at the workshop!

What’s your elevator speech?
We have a workshop on that, too. wink

Brian’s advice is based on his years of experiences as an arts administrator and as a grant applicant himself. “An old boss of mine once said the rule of thumb is batting about .333 in grantwriting, meaning you get one of out every three. I’m batting around the Mendoza Line at this point. There’s one grant I’ve now applied for six times without any luck. It took me seven tries to get an Artist Trust GAP Award. I don’t give up easily.”

Lastly, he encourages artists to not give up on applying for grants. “Panels change every award, and the practice of applying has value. Getting your work out there, whether you receive support or not, helps you build audience and opens up more opportunities.”

Sign up for Work Sample Dos & Don’ts here.

2015 GAP Recipient Shin Yu Pai’s Animating Archives

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Photo courtesy of Megan Gallagher

Shin Yu Pai is a poet and visual artist whose work has been featured in The Rumpus, Tricycle, YES! Magazine and City Arts. She is the author of eight collections of poetry and currently serves as the City of Redmond’s Poet Laureate. She received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) grant from Artist Trust in 2015 to support the publication of a mixed-media collection of poems, including her “Heirloom” public art installation at Piper’s Orchard in Carkeek Park.

As part of her work as the City of Redmond’s Poet Laureate, Shin Yu has been working on projects in response and related to Redmond as a place. Her most recent endeavor, Animating Archives, a collaboration with photographer and teaching artist Megan Bent, is currently on view at Redmond’s VALA art center.

Animating Archives features historical images of Redmond rendered as chlorophyll prints. Leaves for the exhibit were sourced from around Redmond, and Shin Yu says she was first inspired to create the exhibit while looking through the Redmond Historical Society’s digital archives.

“There were so many [images] that were really sort of curious or unusual, and archives don’t necessarily circulate very widely except to people who are very interested and deliberate in going and seeing those collections,” she explains. “I thought of it as a way I could bring renewed attention to these archives as they relate to Redmond as a place.”

Shin Yu first met her collaborator for the project, Megan Bent, at an event related to “Heirloom” and connected over an interest in each other’s alternative photographic practices. Megan taught Shin Yu how to create chlorophyll prints and developed images for the exhibit as well.

Learn more about Animating Archives here.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Ira Gardner

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Spokane-based photographer Ira Gardner taught “Building a Business Model for Artistic Success,” the first part in a two-part series of Spokane artist support workshops on September 14, but you can still sign up for Branding & Marketing for Artists, being held on September 23 at SPARK Central.

Who are you: I am a photographer, writer, and instructor at Spokane Falls Community College, where I teach photography and business practices. In my own artwork, I explore a world through a lens of “poetic realism” and create imagery that creates a pause for self-reflection.

Favorite “hidden gems” in Spokane: 2nd Look Books, Little Garden Café, Hogwash Whiskey Den.

Role model: Minor White. He was an artist, educator, and writer whose work transcended technical precision and craft and operated in a spiritual realm.

Proudest accomplishment: It is hard to think of one achievement above all others. Professionally I think it is seeing my past students go on to be successful in their careers but personally, I think being a father of a son who is fully launched out into his life and is happy is what I am most proud of.

Life motto: “Live every day like it’s a camping trip!” I try to live a life that is full of adventure, joy, and simplicity.

The Big Question: What do young artist need to recognize about the business of art?
Unless it is to remain a hobby forever, at some point art becomes a business. There are two basic concepts that I think all artist need to understand. The first one is understanding that showing your work is very different than selling your work. Most artist think success starts with getting a show and they will jump at every opportunity to display their work in a coffee shop, winery, or gallery. However, this often involves the artist spending thousands of dollars on exhibitions that do not generate any sales. Artist have to understand how to make strategic decisions about which venues they show their work in and how to create an effective brand affiliation partnership. The venue where you exhibit your work needs to become a strategic business partner that has a vested interest in selling your work instead of just using it as a means of drawing in customers for their business by hosting an event.

How about getting to this point – what do artists need for their work to be sell-able?
Prior to showing your work, I think the most difficult concept for young professional artists to grasp is the recognition that their artwork needs to solve a problem for the person buying it. Buckminster Fuller once said, “the universe doesn’t owe me a living. I have to go out and solve a problem and then the universe will support me.”

To begin to understand what problem our artwork solves we first need to reflect deeply on their own motivation for creating the work and think about what questions our art is asking. In a way, the artist is their own first customer because they are creating an artistic expression that fulfills some deeply held need. When you can unlock what that is in yourself you will open up a whole new vocabulary for talking about your work and will understand who you need to show this work to. You will be able to build an authentic connection between you and the collectors of your artwork through this mutual understanding that you are creating in your artist statement and marketing materials. This relationship between the artist and the collector can be expressed by the African proverb, “I am because we are.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to launch your art from a hobby into a business! Sign up here.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Artist Mentorship Night: Introducing Paul, Marya, Sharlese & George

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Top to Bottom: George Rodriguez, Sharlese Metcalf, Paul Constant, Marya Sea Kaminski.

Join Artist Trust and KEXP on Wednesday, September 20 from 6:00 - 8:30 PM for Artist Mentorship Night. This FREE informal mentorship and networking event gives artists of all disciplines a chance to sit down with artists and arts leaders in small groups for casual conversations about opportunities, issues, and challenges in the arts world.

“We welcome everyone to come out to KEXP in Seattle Center and get some quality face time and knowledge sharing with arts professionals while connecting with other artists that you might not normally come across in your circles,” shared Zach Frimmel, Artist Trust’s Program Coordinator.

Meet our fabulous four mentors below and sign up for the free event here.

Arts journalist and politics writer Paul Constant is a co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books, Seattle’s only book-centric review, news and interview site; and a fellow at Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator devoted to catalyzing significant social change. His work has been published in Newsweek, the Observer, Huffington Post, the Utne Reader, the Progressive, The Stranger, Re/Code, and Literary Hub.

Ask Paul about:
Book, film, and theater reviewing
Arts journalism
Political writing, journalism, ghostwriting, editorials

Director, Writer, and Associate Artistic Director at Seattle Rep Marya Sea Kaminski is a writer and director based in Seattle committed to exploring the intersection of imagination, justice, and joy. Most recently, she founded Public Works Seattle as the Associate Artistic Director at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and just closed a musical adaptation of The Odyssey featuring over 100 citizen-performers from across the region. Marya has been awarded the Genius Award in Theater from The Stranger, an Artist of the Year from Seattle Magazine, the Seattle Gregory Award for Outstanding Actress, and Best Performing Artist by the readers of the Seattle Weekly, as well as multiple City Artist Awards for Literature from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. More at

Ask Marya about:
Directing and writing for theater and live performance
Building new theater companies or initiatives
Attempting responsible arts leadership

Events Producer at KEXP & Seattle Music Commissioner Sharlese Metcalf began her radio career at Green River Community College in 2001 hosting their Northwest music focused show Local Motion on KGRG. She attained her Broadcasting Certificate from Green River, and was offered a job at Jones Radio Networks. There, she worked on Classic Country and Top 40 shows as a production assistant. While at Jones Radio, she was given a KEXP internship to work on the show Audioasis as an assistant to the host and booker. In 2009, She became an Audioasis producer, and in 2012, was promoted to host. Sharlese works as an Events Producer at KEXP, is a rotating host on the electronic show Expansions and additionally works as DJ, promotes events at clubs around town as False Prophet, and is a member of the collective TUF.

Ask Sharlese about:
Community involvement

Sculptor, visual arts, and educator George Rodriguez received a BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas El Paso and an MFA from the University of Washington.  He has been the recipient of multiple awards including a Bonderman Travel Fellowship, Artist Trust Fellowship, and was recently recognized as an Emerging Artist Luminary by the Museum of Northwest Art. George has shown extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond with scheduled shows at the University of Texas El Paso in October and Bainbridge Museum of Art in March. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago. He is represented by Foster/White Gallery in Seattle.

Ask George about:
Studio Art
Gallery Representation
Teaching in community studios and Higher Ed

Thanks to KEXP for partnering with us on this program!

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Nicole Hardy

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Photo courtesy of the artist's website.

An important part of supporting yourself as an artist is effectively communicating your work in writing. In this workshop, Nicole Hardy will guide you through the process of Writing Your Artist Statement. You’ll leave the workshop with a working artist statement to use in grant applications, websites, and portfolios. Writing Your Artist Statement will be held this Saturday at the Mr. Baker Lofts in Seattle. Sign up here.

Who are you: I’m a writer who began as a poet, but now writes personal essay and memoir. My current project is a book about the year I spent sailing the world on a square-rigged tall ship with a crew of strangers.
Defining characteristic: If Private Benjamin and the Absentminded Professor had a baby . . . 
Role model: If Grace Jones and Grace Kelly had a baby . . . 
Proudest accomplishment: Having my first-ever personal essay published on the front page of the Sunday Styles section in The New York Times was a really big one - a moment that told me I was maybe a better nonfiction writer than a poet; and one that forced me, a bit, into a new way of thinking about writing and the silences I’d been fighting against. 
Words to live by: Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese is a poem I go back to again and again. I’m generally not a fan of meditative nature poems - but I found this one at a time when I needed to be allowed a different way of living. This one is so profoundly soulful in its rebellion - it continues to speak to me, still. 

It would be absurd for me to ask about Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin – what was the primary driving force behind your writing that work?
Bravery, really. I’d been talking to my students about artistic risk, and how the universal is woven into each of our individual experiences. I was challenged to share a “work in progress” at a reading for that year’s Writers in the Schools. I took the challenge, and honestly it was pretty awful to be so vulnerable onstage—it’s so much easier to be funny and practiced and polished; afterward, two other writers took me aside and insisted that what I’d written could be something larger. I decided to take my own advice, let myself believe my story was - in certain ways - universal. That there were ways for readers to see aspects of themselves in a late blooming coming of age story about sex, religion, writing, and identity. Three years later, my memoir was published.

You’ve been a private coach as well as an Artist Trust lead teacher – what were some of greatest experiences in shaping your identity as a business person and what are the needs you see unmet in Seattle’s artist community?
I pressed the reset button on my life 15 years ago, made a living waiting tables and writing poems - it was a move that changed everything, and one that would be nearly impossible for a young writer, now. I’m a writer who figures out how to pay her bills between projects - just like so many other artists, writers, musicians. What I love about this city - and what I see quickly disappearing - is the sense of community I found here as an emerging writer. It helped immeasurably to see other people living the life I wanted, and to be in a city where there are readings every night, where coffee shops and galleries host local writers, where arts organizations offer mentorship and affordable programming, where writers on tour are sure to stop, where there are a dozen indie bookstores, and residencies, and festivals, and where artists can afford to live. A community can’t thrive in a place where it can’t pay rent.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Lucky Survey Taker Stephanie Skura Wins $100 Office Depot Gift Card

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Stephanie Skura, Surreptitious Preparations for an Impossible Total Act, 2017. Photo by Ian Douglas.

Congratulations to Auburn artist Stephanie Skura! Stephanie is the lucky winner of a $100 gift card to Office Depot, the supply store of her choice. “I have a home office and, as you know, artists do massive amounts of administration,” she shared with our Programs Manager Katy Hannigan.

In 1996, Stephanie received a Fellowship from Artist Trust in 1996. For over three decades, she has created interdisciplinary movement-based performances, with a process that focuses on the power and totality of each performer, collaboratively discovering, and developing material. We are happy to reconnect with Stephanie and hear what she has been up to.

A “radical & perpetual innovator”, Stephanie Skura was called “a major American experimentalist” by Dance Ink. She has an international reputation for adventurous work and she has performed and taught in 30 of the United States and in 15 countries. Her New York City-based touring company performed worldwide for 15 years until she moved to Seattle in 1993. Her current work integrates a radically visceral approach to language, continuing life-long investigations of the boundaries & intersections of dance, theater, poetry, and performance. Her 2012 Two Huts was commissioned by Roulette Intermedia in Brooklyn, NY and shown in Seattle with support from 4Culture. In 2016-2017, Surreptitious Preparations for an Impossible Total Act – an anti-fascistic scored process with an age-embracing global cast of wizardly improvisers,—was shown at Sundays on Broadway in Manhattan, performed at Roulette in Brooklyn, and will reprise in Seattle during summer 2018. Pictured in the photo are (from left to right) performers Shelley Hirsch, Paige Barnes, Stephanie Skura, Wendy Perron, Eva Karczag, Sally Dean, and Debra Wanner.

Now based in the US Pacific Northwest, Stephanie works independently with various companies, artists and institutions. She was on Graduate Faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama Professional Actors Training Program, and Core Faculty of the Skinner Releasing Institute. She’s taught at such places as the American Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, European Dance Development Center, Naropa Institute, Movement Research in New York, Container12 in Italy, Ponderosa & Tanzfabrik in Berlin, Independent Dance in London, and at many colleges and universities. To learn more about Stephanie, visit her website at

We appreciate everyone who took the time to take this year’s artist survey! We cannot emphasize how crucial it is for us to hear from artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities. Our final survey count was 1,720 responses; that’s 200+ over our goal! At this time, our Programs team is working on compiling your responses. We look forward to sharing the data with you all this fall.

Behind the Curtain: What’s in a James W. Ray Award

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Donald Byrd (2016 JWR Distinguished Artist Award), The Beast, Spectrum Studio Theater, 2011. Gabriel Bienczycki.


Since 2014, the James W. Ray awards have allowed Artist Trust and the Frye Art Museum to recognize and support exceptional Washington state artists through funding, career assistance, and opportunities to exhibit their work. Funding for the awards comes from a five-year $1.1 million grant from the Raynier Institute and Foundation. Each year’s recipients receive a total of $80,000 in financial support and the opportunity to create an exhibition for the Frye Art Museum, making these the largest and highest-profile awards Artist Trust oversees.

Each year, there are three James W. Ray awards available for artists: one Distinguished Artist award ($50,000) and two Venture Project awards ($15,000). The Distinguished Artist awards are designed to advance the work of artists who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their field. Vocalist Jessika Kenney (2014), writer David Shields (2015), and choreographer Donald Byrd (2016) are all past recipients of the award. In addition to financial support, Distinguished Artist award winners also receive personalized assistance from Artist Trust’s Artist Support Program.

The Venture Project awards help emerging and established artists whose work demonstrates artistic excellence and originality complete new projects. Past awards have gone to Juventino Aranda (2016), Quenton Baker (2016), Alison (Bremner) Marks (2015), Storme Webber (2015), Cris Bruch (2014), and Amy O’Neal (2014).


Opportunities of this magnitude are rare in Washington, and to ensure nominees’ work matches the level of the award, Artist Trust uses a nomination process. Eight months before the winners are announced, Artist Trust selects ten nominators representing the literary, visual, media and performing arts, as well as traditional or interdisciplinary arts. Nominators can be artists, arts administrators, or other arts stakeholders. They are selected based on their depth of knowledge and expertise in the arts, racial equity, diversity of backgrounds and statewide representation, and make five artist nominations based on the award guidelines, racial equity and statewide representation.

Once selected, nominees have about two months to prepare and submit their application. For the Distinguished Artist awards, applications consist of an artist statement, resume, biography, work samples, and a statement about how the award will impact their career. Venture Project award applications include a biography, resume, work samples, project proposal and budget, and impact statement. Artist Trust supports nominees throughout the application process through Office Hours, webinars and an open-door policy. Nominees also have the opportunity to receive preliminary feedback on their applications up to one month before the deadline.

While the nominees are working on their applications, Artist Trust assembles an interdisciplinary panel to decide the award recipients. The panel consists of representatives from each discipline, and participants are selected for their expertise. Applications are judged based on the quality of the work samples, the impact the award would have on the artists’ careers and, in the case of the Venture Project awards, the feasibilityand uniqueness of the project. The names of the awardees are then sent to Artist Trust’s Board of Directors for final approval. (More on Artist Trust’s grant panels here.) 


Venture Project

Alison (Bremner) Marks (2015) – Carving and painting 10’ Totem Pole to honor her grandfather
Storme Webber (2015) – Accessing archival records for Casino: A Palimpsest
Quenton Baker (2016) – Ballast (Poems) 
Juventino Aranda (2016) – Bronze-casting enlarged replicas of “low-brow” picture frames
Amy O’Neal (2014) – Evening-length dance performance at On the Boards, documentary
Chris Bruch (2014) – Great Plains Project exploring family history through sculpture

Distinguished Artist

Jessika Kenney (2014) – Financial planning
David Shields (2015) – Estate Planning
Donald Byrd (2016) – Archiving

2015 James W. Ray Venture Projects awardee Storme Webber’s exhibition Casino: A Palimpsest is on view at the Frye Art Museum until October 29, 2017. Click here to learn more about Casino.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

AT x King & Pierce Counties: Sept/Oct 2017

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Here’s a list of Artist Trust’s upcoming programs and events happening in King & Pierce Counties.


Writing Your Artist Statement

In this workshop, led by author Nicole Hardy, you’ll look at examples of successful artist statements and create your own. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a solid statement to use for grant, residency, or fellowship applications, on your website, and/or in your portfolio.

Sign Up


Artist Mentorship Night

This informal mentorship and networking event gives artists of all disciplines a chance to sit down with artists and arts leaders in small groups for casual conversations about opportunities, issues, and challenges in the arts world.

Save Your Spot


Work Sample Dos & Don’ts

In this workshop, Artist Trust Program Director Brian McGuigan discusses what makes a strong work sample and what doesn’t. The session covers practical advice on selecting and presenting work samples for grant and residency applications and other opportunities.

Sign Up


Creating Your Artist Website in a Day

These days every artist needs a website. In this hands-on, interactive class, artist and communications professional Natasha Marin will guide you through the steps to create your artist website from scratch.

Sign Up


Cultivating Professional Relationships for Artists

In this workshop led by creative strategist Robin Held, you’ll take the first steps towards cultivating professional relationships with gatekeepers, stakeholders, influencers, funders, supporters and collaborators

Sign Up


Understanding Artist Contracts / Seattle

In this workshop, attorney Mike Meints provides an overview of the different types of artist contracts, including grants, public art, commissions, and temporary work, as well as their key components and terms.

Sign Up for Seattle Workshop


Understanding Artist Contracts / Tacoma

In this workshop, attorney Mike Meints provides an overview of the different types of artist contracts, including grants, public art, commissions, and temporary work, as well as their key components and terms.

Sign Up for Tacoma Workshop

Need-based and Filipinx scholarships available by request.
AT Members: Contact Zach Frimmel at for member code.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Gregory Pierce

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Who are you: An inquisitive explorer of backwater terrains.
Best thing about living in Yakima/Tricities: Affordable studio/housing, climate (when not fire season), and modest traffic.
Role models: People who make an impact on society without drawing a lot of attention to themselves.
Words to live by: ”Get a clue and go nuts.” (studio adage)

The Big Question: What was your experience as an artist working in the states versus working abroad, in terms of the culture and community surrounding art?
Having worked in several different regions of the US and abroad, I’ve noticed how the surrounding culture and landscape affects ones’ perception and practice as an artist. In the US, there are local/regional artist networks and supports but often less understanding of what contribution to the fabric of the community they’re located in. I attribute this in part to how our educational system has progressively winnowed “the arts” in many forms without valuing what the arts truly contribute to society on economic, cultural, and personal growth fronts.

Over a decade ago, I had the good fortune to be invited as a contributing artist for a three week event called the Migration Project in Kirkenes, Norway. Part of the goal was to transform a former locomotive building into an alternative arts space with installations by artists from Finland, England, Sweden, Russia, Norway, and the US. More importantly it was also tied to series of community-wide workshops and presentations on how the arts can be a catalyst for regional economic diversification for smaller communities. It was supported by a collection of state embassies, the mayor of the city, and a collective of visionary artists who proposed the project. It was a truly inspirational experience.

And what’s the best thing about working in Yakima/TriCities? For artists that find inspiration in solitude and reflection, there is a lower noise to signal ratio to distract one’s work. For artists who work with found objects or re-purpose materials, there are endless yard/garage sales and swap meets to mine. For my own work, I have plenty of blue highways to find rock materials while enjoying the journey to obtain them!

Greg will be teaching the workshop Pursuing Opportunities for Artists at the Yakima Maker Space on September 16. Make sure to sign up today so you don’t miss the opportunity to learn from this fantastic educator.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

AT x Spokane: Fall 2017

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Here’s a list of Artist Trust’s upcoming programs and events happening in Spokane, WA.


Pt. 1: Building a Business Model for Artistic Success / Spokane

Learn what business model works for your practice, how to read and understand financial statements, and how to set and reach income goals.
Register here.


Pt. 2: Branding & Marketing for Artists / Spokane

Explore the basics of branding, including brand archetypes, logos, and typefaces, and how to use your online presence to build a platform and successfully promote yourself and your work.
Register here.


Artist Trust Toasts Spokane Grant Awardees

Join Artist Trust CEO Shannon Halberstadt and Spokane Program Coordinator Anne-Claire Mitchell for a happy hour celebrating Spokane’s 2017 grant awardees and hear about upcoming Artist Trust programs in Spokane. Free and open to the public. No host bar.
RSVP here.


Creating Your Artist Website / Spokane

Leave the workshop with your own artist website with pages for standard content, including a gallery, a newsfeed, and artist information. Websites will be mobile-friendly and will link to social media. You will select and purchase your own domains at the beginning of the class.
Register here.

Need-based and Filipinx scholarships available by request.
AT Members: Contact Zach Frimmel at for member code.

2017-09 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the September 2017 (re)Source here.

2017 Fellowship Recipient Yuki Nakamura’s 10 Year Vision

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Yuki Nakamura, Drift Bottles, 11 x 76 x 132", 2016.

Yuki Nakamura has been creating ceramic and multidisciplinary art in the Pacific Northwest for over 21 years. Her work and collaborations have been featured at Henry Art Gallery, Howard House Contemporary Art, DePauw University’s Peeler Art Gallery, SOIL Gallery, and many others throughout the Seattle area and across the country. She is a member of the Art Beasties Japanese Artist Collective.

Yuki received a BFA from the Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo and an MFA from the University of Washington. She completed artist residencies in France, New York, Italy, and Seattle, and awarded grants from organizations including Artist Trust, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and 4Culture.

In addition to showing her work in galleries, Yuki also creates public art installations. These include TransFORM at Bay Terrace in Tacoma and Filament at Seattle City Light, as well as works at Evergreen State College and Redmond’s Overlake Transit Center. She credits her participation in Artist Trust’s 2003 EDGE Professional Development program with helping her set the course for her impressive arts career.

“In [my] 10-year career vision,” she explains, “I wrote ‘My goal is to establish my art career exhibiting my work at national and international art venues and generating incomes from my art, including sales of artwork, teaching, grants, and public art.’ The most useful exercise was to have a larger picture of my future goal and share [it] with peer artists in my class. Rhonda Howard, one of the teachers who shared her experience as [a] curator and business owner, taught how to create sophisticated portfolio in depth including resume, statement, proposal, and cover letter.”

In 2017, Yuki received an Artist Trust Fellowship, which will help her create new works for an upcoming Art Beasties exhibition called In the Shadow of Olympus, which will explore the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Funding from the fellowship will also allow Yuki to travel and ship her artwork for exhibitions. She plans to spend the next five years organizing and displaying her work in Art Beasties exhibitions around the world.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Natasha Marin Talks About AT Professional Development

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Photo: Erika Schultz

Born in Trinidad and raised in Canada, 2017 Fellowship recipient Natasha Marin is a Seattle-based poet whose work has appeared in Feminist Studies Journal, African American Review, and The Caribbean Writer. She is the creator of community-based interdisciplinary projects such as Miko Kuro’s Midnight Tea and Red Lineage. Her most recent endeavor, Reparations, has garnered both local and national attention for its invitations for People of Color to request what they need to “feel better, be happier, be more productive” and for people who identify as White to offer services and contributions to fulfill those requests.

Natasha has received grants from the City of Seattle, Artist Trust, and the City of Austin supporting her community-based projects. She credits her participation in Artist Trust’s 2012 EDGE Professional Development Program with helping her leap into her career as an artist.

“When I participated in EDGE, I was a mother with a new baby, trying for a foothold in the Seattle creative community. EDGE gave me the opportunity to finally, get to the nitty-gritty of what it means to be working as a professional in my field. Through my peers in the program, I’ve been connected to many more wonderful opportunities and this is of real value to me. No matter who you are, raw talent will only carry you so far—learning how to share resources in community leads to the kind of success that is sustainable!”

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Meet Your Workshop Instructor: Leilani Lewis

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

We’re excited to start a new blog series to help you get to know our fantastic guest workshop leaders! There’s no better person to kick this off with than our first guest presenter: Leilani Lewis.

Who is Leilani: Arts educator and communications strategist in the greater Seattle area
Favorite place to eat in Seattle: My favorite chefs right now are Chef Tarik Abdullah and Kristi Brown-Wokoma
Defining characteristic: I’m a hard worker. People also tell me I’m very easy-going; I don’t see it but I’m like “oh, okay”
Fun fact: I once fell down 54 times while attempting to snow board. My friends counted.
Role model: Barbara Earl Thomas. She’s just amazing.
One thing you want to see in Seattle: I want our arts and cultural community to thrive. I want to see artists who can afford to live in the city, work in the city, and be appreciated, especially artists of color and underrepresented groups of artists. We’ll lose our artists if we don’t think about equity and especially affordability. What kind of city will we be without our artists?

As the first generation in her family to go to college and to graduate school, Leilani never felt particularly beholden to any linear trajectory in her career. In her first workshop “Developing Your Elevator Speech & Professional Relationships,” attendees can expect to experience some of these principles in action.

As a communications professional, Leilani knows how important it is for a person to talk about their work in a way that others will quickly and easily grab onto. This comes from speaking about your work in a way that is clear yet personal. She believes in the power of people using their own words to describe what they do. In Saturday’s workshop, Leilani will guide attendees through exercises in focusing on the words they want to use before practicing their elevator speeches in a safe, uplifting environment.

As someone who has only spent 10-15 years working in the Seattle arts community, Leilani considers herself an outlier among her peers. Her work in communications at the Northwest African American Museum led her to her current work with the University of Washington developing and advancing communications strategy for the UW President’s Race and Equity Initiative. She is guided through it all by a commitment to her community and a dedication to upholding the individual artist. Stay tuned for the second part of this series for an extended interview with Leilani to learn what “authentic collaboration” means in working with communities and how her arts background led her to a career in communications!

“Developing Your Elevator Speech & Professional Relationships” is presented for free in partnership with Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas and is recommended especially for artists of color. RSVP here:

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall.  Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

EDGE Grad Asia Tail on Artist Trust’s Professional Development Programs

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Asia Tail, Swallow Follow, Oil on canvas , 48 x 48", 2016.

Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is a Tacoma-based painter and arts administrator whose work has been featured in New American Paintings, and exhibitions including the Tacoma Art Museum’s Northwest Art Now @ TAM and Vermillion Art Gallery’s Women on the Brink. She has served as a panelist and juror for several arts awards in the Seattle area, and currently works as the Arts Program Coordinator for Tacoma’s Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality.

After completing her BFA at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, Asia returned to her hometown of Tacoma. She was a Haub Fellow at the Tacoma Art Museum from 2014 to 2016, and developed the museum’s Contemporary Native Voices project as part of her fellowship. The project integrated commentary on Native American representation in art from over 20 Native individuals into the museum’s galleries. In 2016, she also curated Protect the Sacred: Native Artists for Standing Rock at Tacoma’s Spaceworks Gallery. The exhibition featured work from more than 20 Native artists and benefited the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) resistance.

In the same year, Asia graduated from Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program. “During my time at EDGE, I particularly enjoyed the sessions working on my artist statement, biography, resume, and other written materials. Having peers and teachers review my work and offer suggestions with fresh eyes was invaluable. I also learned how to file my taxes and track my expenses more efficiently as an artist, which saved me significant money and time during tax season,” she reflected.

“The EDGE program was incredibly valuable for me and immediately resulted in new opportunities, lasting friendships, and a positive change in the trajectory of my career as a professional artist. I’m excited to see the program moving to a more accessible and equitable model with the Art Business Night School, while maintaining high quality teaching and meaningful experiences.”

Asia received a GAP award from Artist Trust in 2015, which helped her move into her current studio at Spaceworks Tacoma’s 1120 Creative House and will support her in creating new works, including a coloring book for local Native youth. Her work will also be featured in the upcoming Moon Moan: Works by Asia Tail and Raven Juarez exhibition at Spaceworks Gallery in Tacoma.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

Artist Trust at Seattle Art Fair 2017

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Takashi Murakami and Vulcan Inc. Curator/Artist Trust Board Member Greg Bell at the 2016 Seattle Art Fair. Photo: Robert Wade

Are you curious about what we do at Artist Trust? Don’t miss your chance to talk one-on-one with an Artist Trust advocate at this year’s Seattle Art Fair!

Artist Trust is a proud Cultural Partner of the Seattle Art Fair. We are honored and extremely thankful to have been named the Beneficiary Partner for the inaugural event in 2015, which funded our Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) awards that year.

The third edition of Seattle’s largest annual art event opens to the public today, August 4 at 11 AM. Be sure to visit our Cultural Partners booth, located near the lobby of the theater. Our team of dedicated staff, interns, and volunteers are happy to answer any questions that you have about our annual grants, artist support programs, volunteer opportunities, and membership program.

We are offering Artist Trust friends and supporters a 20% discount on Seattle Art Fair tickets including single-day tickets and three-day tickets. This discount is only redeemable online. Purchase tickets now.

Many exhibitions and arts events are being held during this exciting weekend. Just a few minutes away from CenturyLink is King Street Station. The recently transformed space is hosting BorderLands, an exhibition organized by the Office of Arts & Culture. BorderLands explores the ideas of belonging and resistance through 2-D and 3-D works. Artist Trust grant recipients featured in the exhibition are Ryan Feddersen, Satpreet Kahlon, and Carina A. del Rosario

Also presented by the Office of Arts & Culture is And She Persisted: Voices of Women Artists, which features 38 pieces by female-identified artists from the City’s portable works collection. Artist Trust awardees Humaira Abid, Ross Palmer Beecher, and Yuki Nakamura are among the list of talented artists selected “who challenge assumptions, take risks and break barriers to create objects of incredible beauty and depth.” View more details at

Imani Sims: Shaping the Way of Pursuing Her Craft

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Imani Sims, Making Magic, 2015. Allyce Andrew.

Seattle native Imani Sims is an accomplished performer, poet, and educator. Hailed by the Seattle Art Museum’s Priya Frank as “a force of nature with the ability to create platforms that bring people together,” Imani founded Split Six productions, which is a POC, LGBTQ, and Allied production company.

Imani holds a BA in English from Hampton University and an MA in teaching from Seattle University. She currently teaches at Hugo House, Seattle Arts and Lectures, and South Puget Sound Community College. She was a 2016-2017 Rain City Teaching Fellow.

Although she started writing at a young age and began performing poetry since she was fourteen, Imani notes that her participation in Artist Trust’s professional development programs helped her grow and channel her ambitions as an artist.

“[It] gave me practical knowledge to apply towards my writing career,” says Imani. “I learned how important it is to consistently submit work to multiple sources and I left the program with a binder full of knowledge that I reference often. It was also helpful to encounter working artists in my field and ask them questions. Their advice shaped the way I see myself as a writer and the aggressive way in which I pursue my craft.”

In 2016, Imani received an Artist Trust GAP to help fund The Fresh Brewed Tour, featuring work from her latest collection, (A)live Heart, and two other women of color performance poets. The Fresh Brewed Tour aims to integrate performance, ritual, and audience participation while increasing the visibility of women of color poets.

Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

Learn more about Art Business Night School here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She’s obsessed with libraries, art and radio, and aspires toward a future career in nonprofit communications and/or arts administration.

2017-08 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the August 2017 (re)Source here.

Join 2015 James W. Ray Venture Project Awards Winner in a museum-wide celebration!

Aaron Jin

Communications Intern

Jim Guptal-Carlson. Blues Divine, 2010. Photograph.

On August 12, the Frye Art Museum will present Community Day in celebration of Casino: A Palimpsest, the first museum solo exhibition of Seattle-based performance artist and poet Storme Webber.

“A song of the stone that the builder refused.”

A palimpsest is a document where old writing has been erased and written over by a new text but still remains visible.

Webber brings those written-over narratives of Seattle to the forefront of the exhibition, honoring the Duwamish, the Black Migration, the pre-Stonewall queer community, the Mothers, the works, the hustlers, the multiracial poor folks. The exhibition links the struggles of the past with the present and stands in witness to ways “in which our Ancestors’ survival informs and inspires our own.”

“It’s especially important to acknowledge that, even in the progressive city of Seattle, there is a long history of backlash against vulnerable peoples who are just trying to live” says exhibition curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis. Webber certainly doesn’t shy away from that, using her own deeply personal family photographs to tell bigger stories from late nineteenth century Seattle and inviting everyone to consider the unknown stories behind their own family artifacts.

A Community Day for Families and All

The Frye is holding a Community Day in honor of the exhibition with activities from 11 am - 5 pm. Highlights of the day (and check out the full schedule here):

- 1-4 pm: Drop-in Art Making: Memories Map – Bring your own family photograph from home and stop by to create your own art in the Art Studio!
- 2-3:30 pm: A Space of Ancestor Honoring – Storme Webber and her cousin Valerie Rosa welcome souls and witnesses to a collaborative performance of poetic text and song.
- 4-5 pm: Gallery talk with Storme Webber and Miranda Belarde-Lewis – Storme Webber and exhibition curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis give an informal tour of the exhibition.

Frozen treats will be provided by our friends at Full Tilt Ice Cream.

Aaron Jin is the Artist Trust communications intern. He was an Intiman Emerging Artist in 2016 and loves to think about his Facebook statuses. He will join artEquity’s national cohort after attending their facilitator training this fall.  Follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Deborah Faye Lawrence’s “Strumpet of Justice” Opens Aug. 3

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Deborah Faye Lawrence, Targeting the American Dream

2015 Twining Humber Award Recipient Deborah Faye Lawrence’s satirical collages will be shown in a solo exhibit titled Strumpet of Justice opening at BONFIRE Gallery in Seattle’s Chinatown International District.

Featured in Strumpet of Justice are Deborah’s signature collage works that serve as a reflection of the artist’s long-time concern towards contemporary politics and social issues, which she describes as “a force that drives my work regardless of who has hijacked the presidency.”

A member of Seattle University’s MFA faculty, Deborah also teaches collage making to community groups and public school students. In addition to receiving a Twining Humber Award from Artist Trust, Deborah was awarded multiple Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) and Fellowships.

One of her awards helped to produce “Eighty Words,” two affordable five-hour feminist collage workshops. Open to the public, the two workshops used Deborah’s list consisting of 80 gender-specific words meaning “bad woman” to engage in conversations about language bias among its female, male, and LGBTQ participants.

In 2008, Deborah received national attention for her “impeachment ornament,” which she created for the White House, upon invitation from former First Lady Laura Bush. The full story about the controversial bulb, which briefly decorated the White House’s Christmas tree, can be viewed here.

“These days, I keep my scissors extra-sharp, taking heed from the words of Bertolt Brecht: ‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it,’” comments Deborah on her upcoming show.

The opening reception for Strumpet of Justice will be held on Wednesday, August 3 from 6-8 PM at BONFIRE gallery with an artist talk beginning at 7 PM. For more information about the show, contact Bill Gaylord of BONFIRE Gallery by email or phone at 206/790-1073.

BONFIRE gallery is located in the historic Panama Hotel, a six-story building in Nihonmachi (Japantown), an area in the Chinatown International District. During WWII, the basement of the Panama stored the belongings of dozens of Japanese-American families who were sent away to internment camps. More information about the Panama Hotel can be found on the Wing Luke Museum’s website.

2010 EDGE Grad Elissa Washuta and the “Business of Being a Writer”

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Elissa Washuta, My Body Is a Book of Rules Reading at Hugo House, Performance still, 2014. Photo: Sarah Samudre.

Born and raised New Jersey, Elissa Washuta is a Seattle-based writer of personal essays and memoirs whose work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, BuzzFeed, among other publications. She was named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and is the author of two books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules.

Elissa received a BFA in English from the University of Maryland and a MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and currently serves as the undergraduate adviser for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. She is a nonfiction faculty member in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, a faculty advisor for Mud City Journal, and the Saturday editor for The Rumpus.

Although Elissa is a gifted writer, she once harbored apprehensive feelings toward applying for grants. “I’d spent a lot of hours learning the craft and working on my prose, but I didn’t know much about the business of being a writer. I remember hearing that I’d be learning about how to apply for grants and thinking, I’ll never, ever get a grant. I thought my work was too weird and too far out on the margins for someone to want to fund it,” she lamented.

In the past few years, Elissa has received fellowships and awards from major Washington State organizations including Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund, and Hugo House. She attributed much of the successful outcomes of her grant applications to the skills she gained from participating in Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program, which she enrolled in after completing her graduate studies.

“The EDGE program taught me how to present my work and its significance on paper, how to present myself as a professional, and how to delineate what I needed and why I should receive it,” Elissa explained. “I began receiving smaller grants to support my writing, and in 2016, I received the Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award, $25,000 in unrestricted funds, in large part because of the professional presentation (on paper and in person) skills I gained from the EDGE program.”

Beginning this summer, Artist Trust is offering a series of professional development courses through Art Business Night School. Inspired by the content and curriculum of the EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School’s evening classes focus on teaching valuable, fundamental skills to help prepare participants for a career as an artist.

To learn more about Art Business Night School, read our blog post here.

Take the 2017 Annual Artist Survey!

Shannon Halberstadt

Chief Executive Officer

Dear Washington State Artist,

I’m writing to invite you to take Artist Trust’s Annual Artist Survey. Year after year, Artist Trust works hard to provide funding, support, and connections for the talented artists in Washington State. This is our third year conducting an annual survey, which has proven crucial in our ability to respond effectively to artists’ needs. Your feedback is core to the work we do and we are so grateful for your participation.

I’d like to invite you to share your perspective with Artist Trust: Click here to take the 2017 Artist Survey Now.
It takes an average of just five minutes to take this survey, which closes midnight on August 30, 2017.

It’s important to us to hear from artists of all disciplines, geographies, cultures, and ethnicities, so please share this survey with other Washington State artists in your network. As an extra incentive, artists who take the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card to a store of your choosing, which one lucky individual can use to get supplies to support their creativity.

Thanks in advance for your input. This survey will help inform our work and will be shared with hundreds of organizations that support artists in all corners of the state. A few minutes of your time can make a huge difference for Artist Trust, and for your fellow artists in Washington State.


Shannon Roach Halberstadt
Chief Executive Officer | Artist Trust 

A Look Behind the Curtain of Art Business Night School

Katie Creyts

Board Member

Katie Creyts, Goldilocks, As Told by the Mirror, gilded and etched glass, ready-made frames, 12”x24”, 2013.

I am an artist and an art professor and never had a course or workshop focused on professional practice. My interest in the Artist Trust’s professional development program started as a participant in the EDGE Professional Development Program, a week-long seminar held in Port Townsend. The experience was profound for a number of reasons; the people, the seminar content, and the synthesis of content by artists to suit their professional goals. The people involved in this program included efficient and accommodating staff, a wide range of enthusiastic seminar leaders who were experts in their fields, and 18 visual artists eager to network and grow their practice. The comprehensive content ranged from the artist statement to issues of copyright to grant writing. Embedded in these learning sections were opportunities to apply this new knowledge, critique in small groups, and revise.  I left feeling pleased and slightly overwhelmed with new business goals and practices.

Why change a good program?

• The structure of the EDGE program was exclusive in that it was costly and participants had to be able to leave work for a week;
• The program was not inclusive of the range of artists Artist Trust would like to serve, such as musicians, performers, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary artists;
• The intensive nature of the program did not allow time for thoughtful reflection, implementation of practice, and follow-up questions;
• A modular program would allow participants to focus on certain facets of development. This also allows Artist Trust to package smaller programs and workshops throughout the WA State;
• The EDGE curriculum needed to be updated to reflect current trends in creative careers, financial management, digital culture, and business practices.

When Artist Trust approached me about revising the EDGE curriculum, I was eager to help. My process for rewriting the curriculum involved editing, updating, and streamlining hundreds of pages of curriculum into four themed modules. I researched best practices in books, online, and sourced ideas from successful practicing creative people. I submitted and revised based on the invested feedback of Brian McGuigan, Artist Trust’s program director. The work resulted in a new structure for the Artist Trust professional practice workshop, Art Business Night School!

The curriculum addresses all the aforementioned changes. There are four themed sections that are taught in six-week modules. Participants meet once weekly for a two-hour section taught by an expert in the subject matter. Meeting weekly allows participants to digest and implement the curriculum. The coursework is interdisciplinary in the arts, promoting networking and cross-pollination. The curriculum is flexible and relevant, allowing the instructor to prioritize the participants’ needs and encourage connective conversation.

In a nutshell, if you are looking to start a creative career or need to jump start your practice, Art Business Night School will give you a great support system, tactics, structure, and resources to help you on your way to success. It’s all in there, and after meeting the instructors I can’t be more excited for the implementation of this program.

Based on our long-running EDGE Professional Development Program, Art Business Night School provides a comprehensive survey of business practices through a hands-on, interactive curriculum. Topics covered include: Business Fundamentals, Career in Focus, Polish and Prep for Opportunities, and Promotion Fundamentals.

View our current course schedule on our website at Programs Calendar.

2017-07 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the July 2017 (re)Source here.


Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

THANK YOU to all who visited our #Generocity2017 booth last night at the Living Computers: Museum + Labs.

It was a lot of fun talking about Artist Trust and introducing our mission, strategic plan, and upcoming artist support programs. We are so touched that many people felt strongly toward what we do and want to get involved and do their part to support art at its source.

Sending vibes of gratitude to Vulcan Inc. for sponsoring the 4th annual event and to Seattle Met Magazine for inviting us to participate! We appreciate and enjoyed being apart of a wonderful night that celebrated Seattle’s fabulous non-profit organizations!

2017-06 (RE)SOURCE

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

Happy 1st of the month! Read the June 2017 (re)Source here.

Panel: “In Support of Artists: The Evolution of Seattle Exhibition Spaces”

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

On Thursday, May 25, a panel discussion titled “In Support of Artists: The Evolution of Seattle Exhibition Spaces” took place at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district. The event was hosted by Greg Kucera of Greg Kucera Gallery and co-hosted by Sharon Arnold of Bridge Productions and Gail Gibson of G.Gibson Gallery. All proceeds of the evening benefited Artist Trust.

Building off the momentum of a conversation ( that began in January 2017 at Town Hall, “In Support of Artists” addressed current issues facing Seattle’s galleries including rising real estate costs, loss of funding for arts writing, and lack of diversity and representation in the arts. The panel also illuminated on the practices of art spaces that do not adhere to the traditional gallery model. Read more about the panel on The Stranger (

Presenters (L-R): Brendan Kiley of The Seattle Times, Dawna Holloway of studio e, S. Surface of The Alice, Robert Yoder of SEASON, Beth Sellars (moderator), James Harris of James Harris Gallery, Julia Greenway of Interstitial, Tariqa Waters of Martyr Sauce.

Art Business Night School is Open for Registration!

Erika Enomoto

Communications Manager

School is now in session! Art Business Night School is back to put some spring in your entrepreneurial step.

From writing a contract to polishing your presentation skills, there is always something new to learn when you’re preparing or strengthening your business as an artist. We know the days are full so we’re bringing you four six-week evening sessions, each geared towards different learning goals. You’ll walk away with a full brain, new skills, and concrete takeaways that will help you along the path to sustainable entrepreneurship, successful grant applications, and more. Space is limited so reserve your spot today!

Need-based and Filipinx scholarships available by request.

Promotion Fundamentals
Thursdays, July 27-August 31, 7-9pm
Hugo House (Gary Classroom)
with Natasha Marin
This class, led by conceptual artist, writer, and communications professional Natasha Marin, will help you develop strategies and goals for effectively promoting your work. Through interactive exercises and group discussions, you’ll identify the best platforms for your work, learn the key components of your web and social media presence, and practice your networking skills, so you can talk about your work online or in person with confidence.

Business Fundamentals
Mondays, August 7-September 18 (No class on 9/4), 7-9pm  
Mt. Baker Lofts (Community Room)
with Ben Kerr
In this class, attorney Benjamin Kerr leads you through the essentials of business and finance for artists. Copyright, earning scenarios, patent law all those complicated legal terms you didn’t learn in school you’ll learn here. By the end of the class, you’ll know how to create a business plan; understand contracts, taxes, and insurance; and be able to organize and manage your finances, so you can support yourself and your artistic practice. 

Career in Focus
Tuesdays, September 5-October 10, 7-9pm
Tashiro Kaplan (Community Room)
with Leilani Lewis
Led by arts leader Leilani Lewis, this class will help you sharpen your professional vision and realize your aspirations. Through assignments, exercises, and group discussion, you’ll create a 10-year vision for your artistic practice, set short- and long-term goals, and practice the professional skills you’ll need to turn your plans into action. By the end of the class, you’ll know what it takes to make it as an artist and sustain your work over the course of a career.

Polish & Prep for Opportunities
Thursdays, 10/5-11/16 (no class on 10/12), 7-9pm
Mt. Baker Lofts (Community Room)
with Kristen Ramirez
In this class, multidisciplinary artist and public art manager Kristen Ramirez covers the essentials any artist needs to apply for grants, residencies, calls for submissions, and other opportunities. In-class exercises and discussion will help you better understand the application process, prepare application materials, and identify the right opportunities for your work. At the end of the class, you’ll have an artist statement, resume, biography, and other parts of a successful grant application and portfolio, and be ready to apply for support for your work.

Questions? Contact Zach Frimmel at

Many thanks to you, 2017 GiveBIG Donors!

Sonja Roach

Development Manager

Artist Trust staff on GiveBIG day. Photo by Erika Enomoto.

During GiveBIG on May 10th, Artist Trust’s amazing community of donors raised $9,421.26. With matching funds of $6,495 from our board of trustees and friends, our total is $15,916.26.

Thank you to the following donors for making this year’s GiveBIG a huge success, underwriting 10 Grants for Artist Projects!

Lynn Adams
Francie Allen
Heather Allen-Lilly
Ginger and Parks Anderson
Claudia Bach
Kimberly Bateman
Wally and Julie Bivins
Antonia Blume
Jennifer Campbell
Margaret Carter
Nancy Chang*
Carl Chew
Barbara Courtney
Andrew Creech
Katie Creyts
Robin Dearling
Dottie Delaney
Cora Edmonds and Phil P. Crean
Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Doug Smith*
Gary Epstein and Susan Kunimatsu
Kathi J. Erickson
Alma Feldpausch
Bridget Fischer
Kathleen Fowells
Richard Freedman (In Memory of Jennifer Smith)
Cristina Friday
David Gloger and Meegan McKiernan
Kristina Goetz (In Honor of the Artist Trust Development Team)
Salyna Gracie
Joy Hagen
Shannon Halberstadt
Ronald Hammond (In Honor of Ezra Dickinson)
Toby Harris
Pamela Hastings
Heather Joy Helbach-Olds*
Tina Hoggatt
Sibyl James
Lisa Jaret
Zabrina Jenkins
Michael Lane and Paul D. McKee
Gar and Barbara LaSalle*
Larry Laurence
Carol Levin
Len Lewicki*
Daniel Loewenstein
John Lucas
Linera Lucas
Frederick Mendoza
Maya Mendoza-Exstrom
Natalie Miller
Suzanne Moore
Quinton Morris and Thomas Grant*
Byron and Phyllis Olson*
Susie Parrent
Steven Peters
Robert Pillitteri
Michael Reid
Barbara Renfrow-Baker
Patricia Resseguie
Perri Rhoden (In Honor of the Artist Trust Development Team)
Paula Riggert
Grant Robinson
Brian Rothstein
Paul Rucker
Lillian Ryan
Line Sandsmark
Cathy Sarkowsky
Pablo Schugurensky and Renata Tatman
Gautam SenGupta
Kimberly Shine
Kathleen A. Smith
Darby Smith (In Honor of Artist Trust Staff)
Larie H. Smoyer
Julia Sokolova
Sheila Sondik
Joannie Stangeland
Asia Tail
Timea Tihanyi
Tanya Trejo and Keane Watterson*
MegganJoy Trobaugh
Kenneth Turner
Lorraine Vagner*
Susan Wagner
Brenda J. Walker
Beth Warshaw (In Honor of Kristina Goetz)
Rebecca Watson
Charlotte Watts
Kristen Webb and David Schooler
Bryan Webster
Lynne White
Sally and Bryan Yates

*Matching pool donor

Behind the Curtain: Grant Panels

Owen David

Program Coordinator: Grants to Artists

If you’ve ever submitted a grant application you must have wondered: who sits on the selection committee, and how do they decide who gets the money? The answer is nuanced, as it varies from grant to grant and between organizations, and it is important for you to do some research and read the grant guidelines and any supplemental materials (FAQs, example applications, etc.) before applying. While there are some big differences in eligibility and selection criteria across the different grant programs at Artist Trust, our selection process generally follows a pattern.

While you are working on your application, Artist Trust is busy assembling a committee of 3 to 5 knowledgeable panelists who will review your online submission. These individuals are working artists or cultural workers (curators, instructors, administrators, etc.) who have achieved a measure of professional recognition and are regarded as having expertise in their field. To ensure a fair decision making process, Artist Trust is careful to build panels that include panelists from outside of King County and from underrepresented communities. We give them the grant guidelines and selection criteria as well as our organizational Equity Statement before asking them to review, depending on the grant, a set of applications that represents either just the submissions for one discipline (ex. Literary Arts, Media, Performing Arts, or Visual Arts) or all submissions regardless of discipline.

For example, while the Artist Trust GAP is open to artists working in any discipline, the disciplinary category that an applicant chooses determines which panel reviews their submission. For example, a painter submitting their GAP application in the Visual Arts category might be reviewed by a gallerist, a sculptor, and a photographer, while a playwright submitting their GAP application in the Performing Arts category might be reviewed by a choreographer, a musician, and a dramaturg. In contrast, all applications to the Arts Innovator Award are reviewed by the same five-person panel where there is one person representing each of the four disciplinary categories plus one interdisciplinary artist. In this scenario an experimental poet might be reviewed by a fiction writer, a filmmaker, a composer, a muralist, and an interdisciplinary artist. While working on your application, it’s important to remember that your audience will consist of knowledgeable professionals but might not include anyone working in your specific medium.

Artist Trust facilitates the selection process by helping panelists with questions surrounding eligibility and selection criteria, but all decision making power belongs the panelists. No Artist Trust staff ever votes on applications.

After the deadline closes, the panel is given access to all of the online submissions and a simple voting system of Yes, No, or Maybe on advancing an application to the second round. Panelists are required to keep their identities and decisions confidential, and at this point they do not know who the other panelists are. As they vote, we ask them to give constructive comments that we might use to give feedback to grant applicants later. We tell them to vote Yes whenever they feel that they cannot evaluate the work (because it is outside of their medium or field of expertise) and want to discuss it live with the other panelists.

With regard to conflicts of interest, we ask panelists to abstain from voting on applications from anyone they are related to or have business dealings with. Because they are themselves artists or cultural workers, panelists are often familiar or friendly with some of the artists in the applicant pool. We ask them to abstain from voting if this relationship is intimate, otherwise we ask them whether they can be objective in evaluating an application before tallying a vote. In all cases, we ask panelists to declare any potential conflicts to their fellow panelists in the second round. Panelists are asked to abstain from voting on an application if their fellow panelists decide that a conflict prevents them from judging objectively.

Following the first round of online scoring, panelists gather at the Artist Trust office for a day (or more) of intensive discussion and decision-making. Yes, Maybe, and No votes are converted to scores of 1, 0, and -1 to rank all submissions by numerical value and establish a threshold for round two. Applications below the threshold are not brought forward for further discussion. The cutoff value varies depending on the size of each pool, but generally the top 20-30% of applications advance to the second round. The only exceptions are Passion Votes, which each panelist can cast for one application that might not have scored very highly but warrants closer deliberation.

At this point, the process becomes an organic dialogue between panelists, with panelists candidly discussing why they voted Yes, No, or Maybe on the applicants within the “Maybe” threshold. Sometimes a Yes vote is resounding but sometimes it means just “good enough,” and sometimes No or Maybe votes are persuaded into Yes votes based on the impassioned advocacy of one panelist. Sometimes panelists respond to a strong work sample but take issue with other parts of the application (and vice versa), and often an observation or some background knowledge that one panelist shares is enough for the others to see the materials in a different light. Issues of aesthetic bias and cultural literacy come up, as do issues of historical and ongoing disparities in access to resources, services, and opportunities for artists to present their work.

In this process, Artist Trust serves as a facilitator for the conversation. In this role we push panelists to adhere to the guidelines and selection criteria while asking them to be mindful of an equitable distribution of funding across all demographics of Washington State artists. Dialogue winnows the applicant pool down as panelists go through all applications above the scoring threshold, eventually coming around to frontrunners. At this point applications get compared to each other as panelists ask: Which ones most strongly meet the criteria? Which ones would be most impacted by the funding? What work is most important for this panel to support right now? 

Panelists are tasked with making tough decisions among indisputably qualified and exceptionally talented artists well before the pool gets to the final recipient(s) and alternate(s). It’s important to remember that being declined for an award is not necessarily a substantive statement on the merits of your work or on the strength of your application. At the end of the day panelists never have enough funding to give every qualified applicant an award, and maybe this year just wasn’t the year for your application.

Artist Trust announces the final recipient(s) and releases the names of panelists after its Board of Directors approving the selection and disbursement of funds. Artists are encouraged to approach Artist Trust and the panelists for feedback on their application and comments on the selection process.

The selection process might differ from the above depending on the grant. For instance, the Arts Innovator Award funded by The Chihuly Foundation includes interviews, while the Conductive Garboil Grant administered in partnership with 4Culture includes studio visits for finalists. As another example, while most Artist Trust grants are open to the general public, the James W. Ray Awards, funded by the Raynier Foundation and administered in partnership with the Frye Arts Museum, involves a nomination process in which we solicit nominations from distinguished artists or cultural workers and only nominees are eligible to apply. Again, it is important do some research and read the guidelines and any supplemental materials (FAQs, example applications, etc.) before applying to a grant.

Reach out if you have any questions about the selection process for any Artist Trust grant! We offer a host of services and resources to help you, and love talking to artists.

Find information on our website, or reach out to:

Owen David, Program Coordinator: Grants to Artists | 206/467-8734 x14


Katy Hannigan, Artist Liaison | 206/467-8734 x25

GAP Story: Casandra Lopez

Casandra Lopez

2016 Grants for Artist Projects Recipient

Portrait by Christine Marie Larsen

Dear Artist Trust Supporter,

When I was notified of my Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award last fall, I was thrilled. It was also a relief – a moment of clarity that my path and purpose was right on track.

Artist Trust supports writers and artists like me who are in critical stages of their careers and in the development of projects. When I applied for GAP I knew that the project I was working on, A Few Notes on Grief, would be difficult to write, but it was urgently calling me. There was nothing I wanted to write more. I wanted to write from an Indigenous perspective on how violence and grief had impacted not only me, but my family and community. Having my work acknowledged by Artist Trust in this way meant that others saw potential in my project and that I would have the funds to further my research.

When I begin a new project I often second-guess myself. It is a scary process filled with blank pages, but receiving recognition from Artist Trust has been validating. Writing A Few Notes on Grief remains scary and frustrating at times, but I am now confident that I will complete my manuscript.

Each year, Artist Trust invests in working artists like me through grants and educational programs. When I see that national arts funding is under threat, I am relieved to know that artists in Washington State can still depend on Artist Trust. This support of individual artists has never been more important, and it depends on the generosity of folks like you and me.

Your gift right now will help Artist Trust support artists who share the challenging, transformative stories that make our communities vibrant. Artists like me. Thank you for the support you have shown Artist Trust in the past, and thank you again for the support I hope you will lend this year.


Casandra Lopez

P.S. Thanks to donors like you, last year Artist Trust awarded over $350,000 to 85 artists, and reached thousands more through educational programs. That’s why I am excited to share these opportunities to support artists with you!

1. Click here to donate online!
2. Click here to donate through GiveBIG April 28 through May 10! Your gift will be matched by our generous Board of Trustees and friends.
3. Click here to read about the Campaign for a Creative Future and make a pledge.

About the Artist

Casandra Lopez is a Chicana and California Indian (Cahuilla/Luiseno/Tongva) writer and educator who has received fellowships from CantoMundo and Jackstraw. She has been selected for residencies with the SFAI, School of Advanced Research and Hedgebrook. Her chapter book, Where Bullet Breaks, was published by the Sequoyah National Research Center and her hybrid chapter book, After Bullet, is forthcoming from Yellow Chair Press. She is the managing editor of As Us: A Space for Writers of the World.

Casandra has received GAP 2016 funding for A Few Notes On Grief, a hybrid poetry and non-fiction project which will explore grief, violence, and love in many shapes and forms from an Indigenous perspective. The book will be grounded in her personal grief and trauma from witnessing her brother’s murder five years ago, in an attempt to grapple with communal and historical grief and trauma.

Artist Trust in Walla Walla, April 27

Brian McGuigan

Program Director

On April 27, Artist Trust returns to Walla Walla for a workshop on building audience led by Rachel Smith and a panel on being a practicing artist in a rural community featuring artists Juventino Aranda, Justin Lincoln, and Nicole Pietrantoni.

Building Audience for Your Work in Walla Walla and Beyond
Thursday, April 27, 5-7 PM
Studio Articolore
226 E Main St
Walla Walla, Washington 99362
$25 / $20 for Artist Trust Members
Need-based, Latinx, and Filipinx scholarships available by request.

Led by artist Rachel Smith, this workshop will cover essential skills you’ll need to find and develop audiences for your work, including elevator speeches, networking, and effective communications strategies for approaching gallerists, curators, and other art-world gatekeepers.

Being a Practicing Artist in a Rural Community
Thursday, April 27 – Wine & Snacks at 7 PM; Panel 7:30-8:30 PM
Studio Articolore
226 E Main St
Walla Walla, Washington 99362
FREE. RSVP here.

In this panel, artists Juventino Aranda, Justin Lincoln, and Nicole Pietrantoni discuss how to thrive as a practicing artist in rural Washington while building audience for your work beyond the region. Moderated by artist Rachel Smith, the panel will address opportunities and challenges for artists living in Eastern Washington and strategies for cultivating community and support.

These programs, presented with the generous support of Blue Mountain Community Foundation, mark Artist Trust’s third visit to Walla Walla in the last three years. In 2015, we presented a weekend professional development workshop and an artist happy hour, and in 2016, we hosted our annual board of director’s retreat as well as a workshop, an Office Hours, and a networking salon featuring artist Keiko Hara. Since 2010, Artist Trust has invested more than $37,000 in direct financial support to artists in Walla Walla County.

Artist Trust in Spokane, April 28-30

Brian McGuigan

Program Director

Artist Trust’s staff and board visit Spokane April 28-30 for our annual board retreat and a series of programs, including a happy hour, an artist mentorship event, and a presentation on how to apply for artist grants presented in partnership with Spokane Arts.

Happy Hour | Spokane
Friday, April 28, 2017, 5:30-6:30 PM
Black Label Brewing Co.
19 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Free. No host bar.

Join Artist Trust staff for a happy hour kicking off a weekend of programs in Spokane. Connect with our staff and other artists and hear about upcoming Artist Trust programs and happenings.

Artist Mentorship Event | Spokane
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 12-3 PM
304 W Pacific Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Venue info
Free with RSVP.

Sometimes the art world can seem impenetrable. How can you, as an artist, break into it? And once you’ve broken into it, how do you make it? This informal mentorship and networking event gives artists of all disciplines a chance to sit down with artists and arts leaders in small groups for casual conversations about opportunities, issues, and challenges in the arts world. This event is free, but registration is required. Please RSVP to attend. RSVPs will close an hour before the event.

Featuring artists and arts leaders:
Jeff Ferguson, artist
Melissa Huggins, Executive Director of Spokane Arts  
Ginelle Hustrulid, artist & Professor at Eastern Washington University  
Juan Mas, filmmaker and board member of Washington Filmworks  
Nance Van Winckel, author & Professor Emerita at Eastern Washington University    
Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton, artist & Spokane Arts Commissioner

How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Spokane
Sunday, April 30, 10 AM-12PM
Community Building
35 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Free. RSVP here.

Writing a grant can be hard, and we want to help you. Join Spokane Arts’ Grants Administrator Jennifer Knickerbocker and Artist Trust’s Artist Liaison Katy Hannigan for an info session where you’ll learn about funding opportunities from both organizations, the ins and outs of applying for grants, and tips that will make your next application stand out. *This workshop is appropriate for artists at all stages of their careers.

These programs, presented with the generous support of the Tremaine Foundation, are part of Artist Trust’s continued presence in Spokane. Led by Spokane Program Coordinator Anne-Claire Mitchell, Artist Trust has presented 22 programs serving more than 500 Spokane artists and community members since launching the Spokane satellite program at the beginning of 2016. Over the last seven years, Artist Trust has invested more than $50,000 in direct financial support to artists in Spokane County. 


GAP Season is Officially Open!

Emily Dennis

Grants for Artist Projects is in its 29th year as Artist Trust’s flagship program and we’re as excited about it now as we were in 1988! (Maybe with slightly less neon.) GAP awards are $1,500 project-based grants, useable for supplies, travel, studio time – anything that supports your new or in-process project. There is also one one-month residency at Centrum in Port Townsend, along with a $500 stipend, up for grabs.

The application deadline is May 15th, but if you can get us your application by the early submission deadline of April 17th, we’ll provide you with feedback so you can edit, perfect, and resubmit by May.

Here at Artist Trust, we are committed to transparency, and to racial and geographic equity. With that in mind, we’re looking forward to traveling around the state with our How to Apply to an Artist Grant workshop. In these sessions, Artist Trust staff will explain the application process, provide one-on-one feedback, and answer questions. We also have a webinar and Office Hours at our home on 12th Ave in Seattle. Read on to see when we’ll be near you and of course, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

3.29 – How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Evergreen Longhouse, Olympia
Native artists are especially encouraged to participate

3.30 – How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Gig Harbor Arts Council, Gig Harbor

4.1 – How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Confluence Gallery, Twisp

4.5 – GAP Webinar
Video now available here!

4.10 – Office Hours | AT Office, Seattle

4.12 – How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Seattle
This event is co-hosted by CD Forum
Artists of color are especially encouraged to participate

4.13 – How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Department of Parks, Recreation, and Art, Auburn

4.17 – Early Submission Deadline, in order to receive feedback from AT staff

4.30 – How to Apply for an Artist Grant | Community Building, Spokane
This event is co-hosted by Spokane Arts

5.8 – Office Hours | AT Office, Seattle

5.15 – GAP Application Closes


Behind the Curtain: Changes to Artist Trust’s Grantmaking Programs

Brian McGuigan

Over the last year, we’ve made several changes to our grantmaking programs based on feedback from artists, including a new grant management system, preliminary application feedback, free post-panel feedback, launching Office Hours, and increased promotion of award winners. The intent of these changes is to make our programs more artist-focused and to demystify the grantmaking process, or, as I like to say, to show artists “the secret sauce” of applying for grants.

Beginning with the 2016 LaSalle Storyteller Award in Fiction last year, we moved to a new grant management system, Submittable. Often used in literary, film, and dance fields, Submittable gives you more flexibility in the kinds and number of work samples you can submit. Artists who work in multiple disciplines or who have work samples in many different file types can now submit in all formats, audio, video, images, and manuscript. Artists may also request preliminary and post-panel feedback and leave specific questions for the reviewer all through Submittable, making communicating with our staff easier and more efficient. 

Preliminary feedback is a new service we offer to grant applicants. About a month before the deadline, artists can request feedback on their applications. One of our programs staff will review the application and offer section-by-section feedback, either by phone or through Submittable.

Post-panel feedback works similarly. During each grant selection panel, our staff takes notes on the discussion of applicants. Panelists may also leave written notes on applications when reviewing them online before the panel. After we send out decline notices, artists may request feedback by phone or through Submittable. In the past, this was a free service only for Artist Trust members and came with a fee of $30 for nonmembers.

Opportunities for feedback have been popular. In just a few months, we’ve had 131 artists request preliminary application feedback and 161 request post-panel feedback.

We’ve also launched Office Hours, our free grantwriting support program, where artists can meet with our staff for one-on-one consultations to learn more about grants, workshop their applications, and talk through any concerns. In 2016, over 200 artists came for Office Hours in nine cities across Washington State, and several have gone on to receive our awards.

And, finally, we are increasing promotion of award winners through press and social media campaigns, networking events, and parties. From our Annual Artist Survey, we learned one of the biggest needs of artists is building audience. We’ll continue to come up with new ways to showcase our awardees in communications and to connect artists with each other and with gatekeepers and patrons.

Most of the recent changes to our grantmaking programs were inspired by our work on racial equity and geographic diversity and our partnership with Artists Up, an experimental grant program for artists of color presented in collaboration with 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. You can read more about Artists Up here, and you can read more about our commitment to racial equity here.  

If you have any questions about our grant programs and services, please email me. We’re excited about these changes and look forward to supporting more artists across Washington State. 

The guidelines for Artist Trust’s 2017 GAP Awards are now available here, and the online application opens on March 27. 

Artist Trust in Port Townsend, March 11

Artist Trust

On March 11, Artist Trust comes to Port Townsend! Meet us at our workshop on How to Build an Audience, at our one-on-one Office Hours, or the Happy Hour!

Workshop: Building Your Audience as an Artist
March 11, 2017, 12:00-3:00 PM
The Business Resource Center
2409 Jefferson St
Port Townsend, WA
$30 / $20 for Members
Need-based, Latinx, and Filipinx scholarships available by request.

Led by arts advocate and communications professional Leilani Lewis, this workshop will help you find audiences and markets for your work. You’ll learn strategies for effective communications and how to develop goals, objectives, and an action plan. The workshop will also include discussion of press releases, websites, elevator speeches, and networking to help you build your audience online and in person.

Office Hours
March 11, 2017, 12:00-2:00 PM
Northwind Arts Center
701 Water St.
Port Townsend, WA

Come to Office Hours with questions about Artist Trust’s grants! Register to reserve your appointment:

Office Hours is a free grantwriting support program for artists of all disciplines looking for advice on how to apply for funding from Artist Trust. Artist Trust staff will provide one-on-one consultation where we’ll walk artists through the application process for our grants, provide feedback on their grant application, and answer any questions they have.

Happy Hour
March 11, 2017 3:00-4:00PM
2231 Washington St.
Port Townsend, WA

Join Artist Trust grant recipients and staff for a happy hour at the Pourhouse in Port Townsend. Raise a glass to the PT arts community and connect with artists and arts lovers alike!

2016 Artist Trust Annual Report

Pablo Schugurensky

Board President

Dear artists, art-lovers, supporters, and friends,

In 2016 we celebrated the first 30 years of Artist Trust. The anniversary serves as a marker – really; an exclamation point – not only to reflect and celebrate the accomplishments to date but also to chart and track future activities.

Indeed, 2016 was a momentous year for Artist Trust: we released our Strategic Plan and Equity framework.

The plan allows us to reflect and align our activities with our values:“Artist Trust is OPEN, TRANSPARENT, RESPONSIVE, and FORWARD-THINKING in all we do. These values drive our actions and decisions, and are woven into our mission and goals.” The Equity framework reflects our strong commitment to be aware, inclusive, and fair, in all aspects or racial equity. The board and staff is engaged in productive dialogue and is enthusiastic to continue this work.

The 30th anniversary celebration took form in several events, including Artist Trust on Tour, which brought awardees in various disciplines to present their work in several locations throughout Washington State, and culminated in a joyous party at V2 where we announced the Campaign for a Creative Future.
The campaign will raise a total of $3.5 million dollars to establish a $2.5 million Fund for Grants and a $1 million Venture Fund. The full board contributed to the campaign and we thank our major donors who stepped in early… and we thank in advance all of you who will join in to help make Artist Trust a sustainable and viable resource for artists.

On that note, in 2016 we awarded over $350,000 to 85 artists, and served another 3,100 artists with programming and resources. This year we made great strides in the effort to fulfill our statewide mission, due in great part to the effort of staff and the Artist Trust Spokane satellite office.

We are truly grateful to do this important work.

These 30 years show that it is possible for a community to value its artists and support them to do their work, and that is the message we are proud to spread around Washington State.

  Pablo Schugurensky
  Board President
  Artist Trust

Thanks for your support in 2016!

Artist Trust

In 2016, thanks to the support of friends like you, Artist Trust:

- Awarded over $300,000 to 85 artists, and reached another 2,500 artists with expanding programming and resources.

- Took Artist Trust on Tour to Port Townsend, Tacoma, Bellingham, and Spokane, and brought programming and increased collaboration to eleven other locations throughout Washington State.

- Hosted a sold out exhibition with performances by Artist Trust grant recipients from across Washington State in celebration of our 30th anniversary.

- Released a Racial Equity Statement and Strategic Plan, and announced the Campaign for a Creative Future

- Grew our Spokane satellite office with the hiring of a Spokane Program Coordinator, leading to increased funding and support for artists in the Spokane region.  

Your donation now will continue to make this work possible, in 2017 and beyond. If you have already made a year-end gift, thank you! Most cultural philanthropy goes to institutions that present artists’ work; Artist Trust is one of the few 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that supports artists directly. By supporting Artist Trust, you will help ensure that Washington artists at all stages of their careers not only survive, but thrive. 

Image: Grandmother winter mask by MissTANGQ. Paper mache, acrylic, textiles, dried moss, and lichen, 16” x 14” x 4”, 2015. This mask is part of an archetypal mask series interpreting characters from Chinese folklore. MissTANGQ is a Chinese-American multi-media artist and and an Artist Trust 2016 Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) recipient. She uses animation, installation, and performance art to create cross-sensory and interdisciplinary work.