Distinguished Artist Awards
Note: The Foundation has temporarily paused grantmaking. The timing of the next cycle of the Individual Artist Awards will be announced in mid-2024. The Foundation will not be seeking nominations for the Distinguished Artist Award this winter. Read more here.
Honoring decades of artistic accomplishments
Rasmuson Foundation offers one $50,000 Distinguished Artist Award annually in recognition of an Alaskan’s creative excellence over multiple decades and significant artistic accomplishments. These artists have chosen to make their lives and careers in Alaska, thereby making our state a more culturally rich place to live. First and foremost, they have made creatively incisive art reflecting their particular and extraordinary perspective. Award recipients will most likely be full-time, professional artists, and will be recognized by peers and experts across the state as among the most highly accomplished in their field. Artists may work in any artistic discipline.
Distinguished Artist Award recipients have created an extensive independent body of work representing life-long investigation and development of their personal creativity. They must have decades of experience creating art and contributing to advancement of arts and culture in Alaska.
About the Distinguished Artist Award
Artists may apply or be nominated for a Distinguished Artist Award if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Artist must be a full-time Alaska resident and have lived in the state for the past five years at the time of the nomination and remain a resident, living in Alaska for the duration of the grant period.
- Artist must have decades of experience creating art and contributing to advancement of arts and culture in Alaska and must be established in an artistic career. An established artist has created an extensive independent body of work representing a life-long investigation and development of their personal creativity. They demonstrate a high-aesthetic level of artistic ability with a strong consistency of expression over a professional art career.
- Artist must currently be producing work.
Artists are NOT eligible to apply or be nominated if they are:
- Individuals whose work or project is primarily of a research, scholarly or commercial nature.
- Individual Artist Award recipients who received their award in the prior three years or who are previous Distinguished Artist Award recipients. Project Award and Fellowship recipients in 2020 and earlier will be eligible for the 2024 award.
Selection criteria for awards include:
- The impact the artist has had on arts and culture in Alaska.
- The quality of artistic work over their decades-long career.
- The artist’s creative accomplishments and the promise of future artistic excellence.
- Eligible artistic disciplines: Dance/Choreography, Crafts, Folk and Traditional Arts, Literary Arts/Scriptworks, Media Arts, Multidiscipline, Music/Music Composition, New Genre, Performance Art, Presentation/Interpretation, and/or Visual Arts.
- A nominated artist’s work must be culturally responsible and not contain elements of cultural appropriation, defined as the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.
Rasmuson Foundation assembles an Alaska-based panel of artists and arts experts to assist in the selection process. Decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. The Distinguished Artist is honored at a public celebration.
Nominate an artist
The nomination period is currently closed. In mid-2024, we will announce the timing for the next cycle.
If you are not sure where to start, fill out a form to connect with our grantmaking team. We are here to help!