Artist Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports working artists of all disciplines in Washington State. We fuel our funding and other programs for artists through fundraising, partnership, and community engagement. Recognized as a national model for direct funding and professional development for working artists, we have invested over $15 million in individual artists since our founding in 1986. We view our mission through a lens of racial and geographic equity and are actively working to become an anti-racist organization and build a leaderful workplace.
About Artist Trust
Artist Trust’s mission is to support and encourage artists working in all disciplines to enrich community life throughout Washington State.
In 2021, a cohort of six Washington State artists representing multiple disciplines, backgrounds, and geographies were convened to re-envision Artist Trust’s values with explicit racial equity and anti-racist language. This process was led by AV Consulting as part of Artist Trust’s Racial Equity Audit process as recommended by our community. Stay tuned for a full report on the outcomes of the audit later this summer.
Thank you to our Racial Equity Artist Cohort: Jiemei Lin, Paige Pettibon, Carl Richardson, Abel Rocha, Gilda Sheppard, and Chris E. Vargas.
We see our new values as aspirational. We are already implementing them in our processes and will use them as a guiding tool for policy creation and program development. We are fortunate to be a part of a community that pushes us to be better and are excited to grow with you by our side.
WE ARE A COMMUNITY
With artists at the forefront, we collectively build community at all levels of our organization by being welcoming, sharing space, being transparent, and elevating artists’ vision and voice. We show up for artists beyond monetary support through genuine, kind, safe, and joyful actions. Our community includes all who feel a connection with our work, including artists of all disciplines and backgrounds, culture bearers, and creatives, arts enthusiasts, supporters, organizers, and advocates.
WE SEE ARTISTS AS LEADERS
We believe that the leadership of artists has the power to create just, equitable, and vibrant communities. We work to elevate artists as leaders throughout the entirety of Washington State, centering those who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, live with or have disabilities, or come from rural or less-resourced places. We build stronger relationships with artists by respecting their voice, elevating their expertise, and creating systems that positively impact their development and success. We exist because of artists.
WE SHARE POWER & RESOURCES
To be truly antiracist and respond to the complexities of the nonprofit sector, we must share power, funding, and resources. We meaningfully engage artists to inform our power-sharing strategies, especially for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), harmed, and underrepresented communities who have been historically shut out. Our fundraising efforts are community-centric and aligned with movement building. We engage our donors as partners and actively work to build relationships between donors and artists.
WE EARN TRUST
We believe that trust is earned through transparency and that our mission is best carried forward through antiracist action. We stay accountable by collaborating with artists to develop and evaluate our goals, ensuring we stay mission-focused and in line with our values. We provide accessible information about our business practices, make clear the processes and rationale for our decision making, and communicate changes regularly and consistently. We acknowledge the errors and harm to artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in our former practices and continue to learn from our mistakes.
WE ENGAGE IN CONTINUED LEARNING
Artist Trust is committed to change. We push boundaries and welcome new perspectives by asking artists to analyze, think critically, and actively inform our purpose, actions, and role in the community. We understand that knowledge is not always static. To eliminate the white supremacist roots in the education we have received, we must honor the lived experiences of artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). We do this with intention by creating accessible and transformative spaces that shape our decision-making and programming.
Racial Equity Framework
Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization that helps Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive through direct support, connections, and advocacy. We believe a fair and just society ensures artists of all backgrounds and identities are included in its cultural narratives.
Artist Trust’s Commitment to Racial Equality
Artist Trust is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization, and to working against the systems of racism we have inherited, upheld, and perpetuated. We know we are not there yet. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have been systemically oppressed, and we are committed to partnering with them to eradicate white supremacy throughout our organization and to support historically marginalized artists across Washington State.
Artist Trust measures progress toward strategic goals and objectives through annual program evaluation, including quantitative and qualitative measures. Annual initiatives are iterative, modified as necessary to achieve the best program efficacy to support and encourage Washington State artists. It is important to note that racial equity emerged as an organizational priority, and Artist Trust has created a Racial Equity Framework to guide our strategic initiatives through a lens of racial equity.
Our 2016-2019 Artist Trust Strategic Plan was created in cooperation with and in response to the needs of artists statewide and with input from over 1,400 individuals.
Please enjoy our annual reports, offering highlights from our key initiatives, core programming, and our leaders and partners both in the field and across sectors.
IRS Form 990
Federal Tax Disclosure
An exempt organization must make available for public inspection its annual information return. Returns must be available for a three-year period beginning with the due date of the return (including any extension of time for filing) or, if later, the date it is actually filed. For this purpose, the return includes any schedules and attachments that are filed with the form.
We work hard serving thousands of individual artists across Washington State each year, but we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can support artists year-round.
2021 Artist Trust Grants for Artists' Progress Recipient Andrew Creech