Announcing the 2024 Arts Innovator Award Recipients

Published: June 6, 2024

Categories: Artists | Featured | Grants & Fellowships

2024 Arts Innovator Award

Congratulations to Anida Yoeu Ali and Kamari Bright! 

We are proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Arts Innovator Award (AIA), Anida Yoeu Ali and Kamari Bright. 

Created in partnership with The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, the Arts Innovator Award recognizes artists who are originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries of their fields. Both artists will receive $25,000 in recognition of innovation in their artistic practice.

“We are honored to support Anida Yoeu Ali and Kamari Bright with this year’s Arts Innovator Award. Each of these incredible artists exemplifies the qualities of innovation and experimentation we aim to celebrate with this award,” says Artist Trust Board President, Joseph Sunga. “We are grateful to The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation for their visionary support of this award, one of the largest available to a Washington State artist of any discipline. To date, $710,000 has reached 32 artists since the beginning of this important partnership.”


Anida Yoeu Ali
Anida Yoeu Ali; photo: Scott Leen, courtesy of Seattle Art Museum
Anida Yoeu Ali, Water birthWater Birth, The Red Chador: Genesis I series, 2019, Performance by Anida Yoeu Ali; photo by Masahiro Sugano, image courtesy of Studio Revolt

Anida Yoeu Ali (Pierce County)
is an artist, educator, and global agitator born in Cambodia, raised in Chicago, and currently rooted in Tacoma. Ali’s artistic works span performance, installation, new media, public encounters, and political agitation. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking, her installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual, and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. Ali has performed and exhibited internationally at the Haus der Kunst, Palais de Tokyo, Musée d’art Contemporain Lyon, Jogja National Museum, Malay Heritage Centre of Singapore, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Smithsonian, and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Ali’s solo exhibition Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence is currently on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum through July 7 and marks the first time a Cambodian American artist has been shown in the museum’s 90 year history.

“I have been self-funding my work for a long time, and it has been exhausting and unsustainable,” says Ali. “When one puts on a solo show or a high-stakes performance, especially ones at major institutions, viewers see the finished works but without all the challenges, difficulties, strains, and financial struggles that go on behind the glitz and glamour of those achievements. It’s sad that the default statement is ‘you cannot make a living as an artist.’ I’m trying to make my life as an artist work. This award will keep me going. It will keep my dream of raising a family and making art something achievable.
Learn more about Anida Yoeu Ali »

Kamari Bright
Kamari Bright; photo: Rubin Quarcoopome
When you left meWhen You Left Me, film still, 2024, Nana Yaw Apenteng Asiedu

Kamari Bright (King County) is a St. Louis-born videopoet and multimedia artist heavily inspired by human psychology and the growth and healing process. Her work, which explores the mechanisms of communication through the interplay of imagery and language, has been showcased at the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia, the Academy Award-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival, the Seattle Art Museum, TriQuarterly, Moss, the International Video Poetry Festival of Athens, and more. The 2023 Bainbridge Island Museum of Art BRAVA Emerging Artist award recipient is currently developing a multimedia project on the influence of Christian folklore on present-day misogyny, as well as a series of videopoems examining the impact of environment on collective well-being. She is a community-taught creator and advocate who lives, loves, and eats on the land of the Duwamish.

“This award means a period of rapid artistic growth for me. Like many other creatives, I’ve worked odd jobs over the years to self-fund projects, which has considerably slowed my creative process. This award is like rocket fuel for the string of projects I have been conceptualizing. It’s an affirming nudge to stay the course on this journey of curiosity and reflection,” shares Bright.
Learn more about Kamari Bright »
Anida and Kamari were selected as awardees from a cohort of eight finalists by a multidisciplinary panel comprised of five artists from across the state. The remaining six finalists will each receive a $500 honorarium in recognition of their collective achievement and time they invested to participate. The 2024 grant cycle saw one of the largest AIA applicant pool since the award’s founding in 2010, underscoring the need for amplified artist support during this time.

See the full lists of finalists and panelists below!
2024 Arts Innovator Award Finalist Cohort 

Stephen Anunson (Media, King County)

Jade Solomon Curtis (Performing, King County)

Jaleesa Johnston (Visual, Skamania County)

Haein Kang (Visual, King County)

Olivia Stephens (Literary, King County)

Anthony Thambynayagam (Media, King County)

2024 Arts Innovator Award Panelists

Xavier Cavazos (Kittitas County)

Joe Hedges (Whitman County)

Ben Hunter (King County)

Emily Somoskey (Walla Walla County)

Tara Tamaribuchi (King County)


Funding for this award is generously donated by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation. 

2024 AIAAnida Yoeu AliArts Innovator AwardGrant AnnouncementGrant RecipientKamari Bright