For immediate release
Oct. 2, 2020

Contact: Lisa Demer, 907-545-3555 (cell)

Anchorage, AK — Rasmuson Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2021 Distinguished Artist Award. The nomination period opened Thursday, Oct. 1. The deadline for nominating artists is Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The Distinguished Artist Award is part of the Foundation’s Individual Artist Awards program, which also include Project Award and Fellowship grants. Applications for those awards will open Dec. 15 and close March 1, 2021.

Rasmuson Foundation offers one $40,000 Distinguished Artist Award annually in recognition of an Alaskan’s significant artistic accomplishments and creative excellence over multiple decades. These artists have chosen to make their lives and careers in Alaska, thereby contributing to the richness of arts and culture in the state.

An Alaska-based arts panel of artists and experts in the field is assembled each year to review nominations. Distinguished Artist Award recipients are generally full-time professional artists and will be recognized by peers and experts across the state as among the most accomplished in their field. Since the beginning of the Individual Artist Awards program in 2004, the Foundation has honored 17 Distinguished Artists.

“We encourage nominations of mature artists whose work enriches the lives of Alaskans,” said Sharity Sommer, a Foundation program officer who leads the program. “This special award is reserved for an artist with extraordinary talent and an extensive body of creative work. Artists have used the award to create new work, document and preserve their art, and simply enjoy time to reflect.”

In addition to the singular Distinguished Artist Award, the Foundation grants Project Awards of $7,500 available to artists of all career stages, and Fellowships of $18,000 for artists who are at least mid-career.

The 2020 Distinguished Artist Award recipient was Wayne Price of Haines. A special feature on our website showcases all past recipients. You can learn more about the Individual Artist Awards program, and nominate an artist, online at

Download press release here.

About the Foundation
Through grantmaking, Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans with investments of $25 million to $30 million a year. Main funding areas are the arts, housing, homelessness, education, healthcare and organizational development. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband, E.A. Rasmuson.