Creative Impact Award

Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the Arkansas counties of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian, and Washington.

Artists 360 is designed to elevate and energize greater Northwest Arkansas artists by providing them with:

  • grants to support creative practices;
  • learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurship skills; and
  • connections to a dynamic regional artist network.

The Artists 360 Creative Impact Award provides one exceptional artist based in Northwest Arkansas with unrestricted funds of $25,000 and professional development opportunities, including retreats that facilitate network building. This award is designed to strengthen the artist’s career and deepen the arts community in Northwest Arkansas through participation in the Artists 360 Retreat, conversations with the Artists 360 peer network, and at the annual Full Circle Showcase.


To be eligible for the Artists 360 Creative Impact Award, you must:

  • Be considered mid-career or established in your artistic practice.
  • Make exceptional work and be recognized as a professional in your field both within Arkansas and nationally.
  • Have noted contributions to Northwest Arkansas’s cultural ecosystem.
  • Be without access to longstanding institutional support and resources.
  • Be committed to building and supporting the arts community in Northwest Arkansas.
  • Create work that may come from any artistic discipline, including but not limited to dance, film, folk, music, theatre, and visual art.
  • Commit to participating in peer-to-peer professional development activities during the grant year, including:
    • the Artists 360 Retreat at the 21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR from 9:00 a.m. Saturday, October 19, 2024 through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, 2024 (meals and private lodging provided);
    • the Artists 360 Alumni Retreat at the 21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR on Saturday, April 26, 2025 and give a 60-minute keynote presentation about their art practice with Q&A (meals and private lodging provided); and
    • the Artists 360 Full Circle Showcase at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR on Sunday, April 27, 2025 and give a 10-minute workshare presentation (meals and private lodging provided).
  • Be a resident of the State of Arkansas and have established residency of at least one year at the time of application in one of the following counties: Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian, or Washington.
  • Retain residency within the five-county region for the duration of the award period (October 2024 through October 2025).
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have non-resident status and provide a valid Social Security Number if selected for funding.
  • May not be currently enrolled in a degree seeking program.
  • May not have previously received an Artists 360 Creative Impact award.
  • May not have received a grant or award of $1,000 or more through any other M-AAA granting program during its 2024 or 2025 fiscal years (July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2025).
  • Not be a full-time employee of Mid-America Arts Alliance or an immediate family member of a full-time employee of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Review Criteria

Artistry: Selected artists will demonstrate a high level of artistic excellence and show a deep commitment to their work. Selected artists will be advanced in their practice, considered mid-career or established, make exceptional work, and be recognized as a professional in their field both within Arkansas and nationally.

Community Impact: Selected artists will have noted contributions to the Northwest Arkansas cultural ecosystem and have a history of commitment to building and supporting the arts community in Northwest Arkansas.

Leadership: Selected artists will have a vision for using this opportunity to provide leadership and mentorship in the further development of the Northwest Arkansas artistic community.

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by anyone, including community members, colleagues, family, and friends. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nominations are due May 24, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Each nominated artist will receive written communication from Mid-America Arts Alliance by May 29, 2024. Nominees will be asked to submit the following by June 24, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.:

  • Completed online application form.
  • Artist Biography (maximum 100 words).
  • Artist Statement or Description of your Artistic Practice (maximum 250 words).
  • Artist Resume/CV (maximum 3 pages, pdf format).
  • Up to 5 work samples.
  • Work Sample Summary (1000 words maximum).
  • A statement telling us why they should be considered for the Creative Impact Award (1,000 words maximum).
  • Proof of residence (Arkansas driver’s license, bill from a bank, mortgage company, utility company, credit card company, doctor, or hospital, bank statement, property tax bill, current valid homeowner’s or renter’s policy or motor vehicle insurance card or policy, current valid Arkansas motor vehicle registration, 2023 tax filing (IRS or state of Arkansas).

Creative Impact Award Nomination Timeline

  • Creative Impact Nominations
    • April 22, 2024 – May 24, 2024: Creative Impact Nomination Period
  • Creative Impact Nominee Applications
    • May 29, 2024 – June 24, 2024: Creative Impact Nominee Application Period
  • Application Reviews:
    • July – August 2024: Panel Review
  • Notifications:
    • September 1, 2024: Applicant notification
  • Important Dates:
    • October 19 – 20, 2024: Artists 360 Retreat
    • November 2024 – January 2025: Funding distributed
    • April 26 – 27, 2025: Artists 360 Alumni Retreat & Full Circle Showcase
    • November 3, 2025: Final Reports due