$1 Million Invested in Northwest Arkansas Artists Since 2018
With generous support from Walton Family Foundation, Artists 360 has granted $1 million to Northwest Arkansas artists since 2018. Over the past six years, the program has awarded grants to 138 artists, including the newest cohort of 25 artists announced today.
“The unprecedented investment of $1 million in grant funds to individual artists has had such a profound impact on the arts ecosystem and creative economy of Northwest Arkansas,” says Diane Scott, director of M-AAA’s artist services. “The individual projects this investment has directly funded are diverse and inspiring. Indirectly, the investment has led to an even broader pool of innovative work through multiple project iterations and collaborations. What I’m most excited about, however, is the exponential increase in artist peer-to-peer support that the gift ignites in the region year after year.”
Artists 360 elevates the talented artists of Northwest Arkansas by providing grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the Arkansas counties of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian, and Washington. By elevating local artists, Artists 360 brings value to the greater Northwest Arkansas region overall, creating a place where creativity and the arts can thrive.
The 25 Northwest Arkansas artists selected for this year’s Artists 360 cohort are 14 practicing artists with $8,000 project grants; 6 student artists with $3,000 grants; and 5 Community Activator artists with $15,000 grants. With the additional funding, Artists 360 doubled grants to student artists from previous years (from $1,500) and practicing artists received a $500 increase (from $7,500). The artists were notified of the surprise additional grant amounts with their award letters.
“This award comes at a critical point in my career where I’m fresh out of graduate school but still not yet settled into professional work as a playwright and screenwriter,” says Adrienne Dawes, a practicing artist grant recipient from Fayetteville. “I’m grateful for M-AAA funding to support my project (a screenplay adaptation of my play Hairy & Sherri) and to offer a way for me to employ local actors in its development. This single award actually helps sustain multiple artists at once and gives everyone within this year’s Artists 360 cohort opportunities to build community and share resources.”
Along with direct grants to selected artists, Artists 360 offers intensive professional development through cohort-based training, one-on-one coaching sessions, peer networking opportunities, retreats for participants and alumni, and an alumni showcase event.
Selected artists include a wide range of disciplines and perspectives and were selected through a competitive application process. They are:
Community Activator Grants ($15,000)
Practicing Artist Grants ($8,000)
Ashtyn Barbaree (Fayetteville), Jay Benham (Rogers), Rachel Borntrager (Fayetteville), Adrienne Dawes (Fayetteville), Jessica Hale (Bentonville), Jake Hertzog (Fayetteville), Amber Imrie (Winslow), Cynthia Kresse (Eureka Springs), Candy Lee (Fayetteville), Sarah Loucks (Fayetteville), Azalia Molina (Springdale), Lacy Post (Fayetteville), Amy Scoggins (Fort Smith), and Suzanne Underwood Rhodes (Fayetteville)
Student Grants ($3,000)
This year’s Artists 360 Creative Impact Award was awarded to Lakisha Bradley for contributing to and nurturing the region’s cultural ecosystem. It was announced by M-AAA last month. The 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.