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Awards to Washington Artists to Acknowledge Artistic Excellence and Originality

Arts Innovator Award (AIA)

GrantWatch ID# 173568
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
Artist Trust (AT)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Washington

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/20/23 11:59 PM PST Save

Grant Description
Awards of $25,000 to Washington individual artists and teams of artists to acknowledge excellence and originality. Applicants who wish to apply as a team must contact program staff prior to applying. This program is open to artists in any genre who are creating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries of their fields.

The Arts Innovator Award recognizes artists who demonstrate innovation in their art practice. 

Selection Criteria

  • Advancement of the artist’s practice;  
  • The background and experience of the artists. 
  • Artist’s continued dedication and exploration of new work; 
  • Artistic excellence and innovation within applicant’s field/medium;  


Additional Eligibility Criteria
The 2023 Arts Innovator Award is open to artists and artist teams residing in Washington State working in all disciplines.

Applicants Must Be:
- 18 years of age or older by application deadline;
- Washington State residents at the time of both application and payment (payment will be made June 2023);
- Generative artists (those who are the originators of works of art) with a minimum of five years in professional art practice;
- Available for finalist interviews on Friday, May 12, 2023.

A team of two or more artists may apply if you have a documented history of creating and presenting work as a team for at least three consecutive years. Artists applying as a team must contact Artist Trust to confirm eligibility before applying. If eligible, one artist will submit the application and list team members. All team members must meet the eligibility requirements for the respective award.

Applications made on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, community group, or a fiscally-sponsored entity will not be accepted.

Applicants Must Not Be:
- Recipients of more than one AT grant per calendar year;
- Previous recipients of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award or Arts Innovator Award;
- Current graduate or undergraduate students enrolled at the time of both application and payment (payment will be made June 2023);
- Applying as cultural organizers, curators, or applying on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, fiscal sponsorship, or community group;
- Current AT staff, Board of Trustees, honorary committee, consultants, contractors, AIA panelists, or their family.
- Affiliated with Chihuly Studio, Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, Portland Press, or family of Dale or Leslie Chihuly.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Office Hours: 20-minute consultations with our staff, provided over Zoom or by phone, on March 2, 9, & 10. Make an appointment at

Study Hall: Pop into this open Zoom session on March 14, 1-3 p.m. to work on your 2023 AIA application. During Study Hall you can speak with a program staff, work through your application on mute, or request a breakout session with another applicant for support. This is not a private session, but rather a space for information sharing and work time. No registration is required.
Zoom Link:
Meeting ID: 826 4407 4674

Pre-Application Information
Deadline: March 20, 2023 at 11:59pm

2023 panels will be held virtually via Zoom. Interviews are held on Friday, May 11. Finalist orientation will be held on Tuesday, May 9. Artists selected as finalists must be available for interviews.

2023 Timeline
- January 20 Guidelines available.
- February 20 Application opens.
- March 2, 9, & 10 Office Hours.
- March 14 Study Hall.
- March 20 Application closes.
- March – May Panel review.
- May Notification of award status.
- May Board votes.
- June Newsletter Public announcement.

Applying for Grants:

To learn how to apply for the 2023 Arts Innovator Awards, check out the How to Apply webinar on the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Number of Grants
Number of Awards: 2

Estimated Size of Grant
Amount Awarded: $25,000

Contact Information

If you aren’t able to sign into Submittable, have questions about uploading or formatting files, or other technical questions, visit

If you have questions not addressed in this FAQ, please email the program manager, Grace Nakahara at

Luther Hughes // Program co-Director 206/467-8734 x 20

Lydia Boss // Program co-Director 206/467-8734 x 25

Grace Nakahara // Program Manager 206/467-8734 x 23

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