The Impact Award for Native American Art

Starting in 2024, Harpo Foundation will offer an annual $25,000 fellowship to amplify the contributions of under-recognized Native American contemporary visual artists. The Impact Award for Native American Art aims to further the Foundation’s mission to expand creative inquiry through inclusivity and equitable representation in the visual arts.

Application Process and Deadline

To be considered for the The Impact Award, artists must submit a Grants for Visual Artists  application online by our annual deadline to join the pool of artists who are considered for this grant. Our 2024 grant cycle is now closed. Please check back next February for our 2025 grant opportunities.

Required materials include: 

      • Artist resume
      • Artist statement
      • Work samples (up to 10)

To join the second applicant pool for the The Impact Award, artists will follow the application’s prompts to register their eligibility and submit additional information, including answering (in 200 words or less each) the following questions:

    1. What is your tribal affiliation?
    2. Describe your artistic journey, highlighting any challenges or obstacles you have faced as an under-recognized Native American contemporary visual artist. How do you define recognition in the context of your work?
    3. In what way(s) has your cultural heritage influenced (or not influenced) your artistic practice?
    4. Explain how receiving this fellowship would impact your development as an artist. What specific goals do you hope to achieve?

A $15 application fee is required. As a small non-profit with limited staff, we rely on these fees to ensure an easy-to-use open application platform and a thorough and equitable review process involving a diverse group of professional advisors. Artists who are experiencing financial hardship may request a fee waiver by submitting a written request to  Fee waiver must be requested BEFORE submitting your application.

Impact Award Eligibility

    • Applicants must be an enrolled member or citizen of a state or federally recognized American Indian tribe, an Alaska Native corporation, or of Native Hawaiian ancestry and may be asked to provide documentation to confirm eligibility.
    • Must be a United States citizen
    • Self-defined under-recognized visual artist 21 years or older
    • Students who (as of the date of this year’s deadline) are currently enrolled in an art-related degree program,  have been enrolled in an art-related degree program within the last 12 months, or are planning to attend an art-related degree program in the coming year are NOT eligible.
    • Artists who are previous recipients of the Grants for Visual Artists award ARE eligible to apply for The Impact Award.
    • Artists who were supported by the New Work Project Grant in the past are eligible for the Grants for Visual Artists award and The Impact Award, but cannot receive both in the same year.
    • Artists who have received the The Impact Award are ineligible to receive it again.

Review Process

    • Submissions will be reviewed annually on two tracks:

      1. One track is the review process for the Grants for Visual Artists program, a process that involves independent professional advisors and up to 4 rounds of review. 
      2. A second track for The Impact Award will use a Native-peer review process to evaluate artistic merit and potential and recommend candidates from the qualifying pool of artists for the fellowship award. 


Applications are evaluated on the basis of the quality of the artist’s work, the potential to expand aesthetic inquiry, and the ability to fulfill the Foundation’s priority to provide support to visual artists who are under-recognized by the field.

Additionally, The Impact Award focuses on amplifying the contributions of under-recognized Native American contemporary visual artists.

Funding Decisions

Funding decisions are made by the Board of Directors, following review of applications by independent professional advisors, including regional, national, and international experts in a wide range of disciplines. Each application is reviewed by at least three advisors. Finalist applications will have been reviewed by a minimum of 5 advisors as well as internal staff and committees over the course of four rounds of consideration.

Reporting Requirements

All Harpo Foundation grants are unrestricted, merit-based, awards made to support the development of artists’ work. A grantee may use their award to support any activity toward that purpose. A report detailing how funds were used is due within 10 months of receiving funds.


Grant decisions are usually announced no later than December 1.


Visit our FAQ page or contact us.

Previous Recipients

Miatta Kawinzi

Miatta Kawinzi

Miatta Kawinzi is a Kenyan-Liberian-American multi-disciplinary artist working with multimedia sculptural installation, still and moving images, the voice and body, gesture, language, objects, space, and sound to explore practices of re-imagining the self, identity,...

Sarah Zapata

Sarah Zapata

Sarah Zapata employs labor-intensive processes such as handweaving, rope coiling, latch hooking, hand tufting, and sewing to explore intersecting theories of gender and ethnicity within pre-colonial histories and techniques. Making work with meditative, mechanical...