Individual Artist Awards
Why give awards to individual artists?
What is the best way to support arts and culture in Alaska? In 2003, Rasmuson Foundation surveyed the field of artists and arts organizations to find out. The answer was nearly unanimous: Put money directly in the hands of artists. With those words as inspiration, the Foundation created the Individual Artist Awards (IAA) program.
In times of prosperity and times of uncertainty, art has the power to connect us.
Since 2004 and counting the 2023 recipients, we have awarded 662 grants totaling more than $6 million, all going directly to support Alaska’s artists. That’s 20 Distinguished Artists; 174 Fellowships; 466 Project Awards, and two special awards. Award amounts are increasing in 2023 to $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000.
The awards are part of a strategy to support the culture of Alaska, the vibrancy of our communities and art itself.
Support beyond the money
In surveys, artists have told us of needs beyond financial support. They also need help promoting their work and developing themselves as professional artists. So we partner with the Anchorage Museum to offer award recipients a series of professional development workshops for success in marketing, finances and portfolio growth. We also share their stories on the Foundation’s social media platforms and website, including through online galleries of artwork, stories and mini-documentaries about our Distinguished Artists. For two years, we partnered with 49 Writers, a nonprofit that supports a thriving community of writers and readers, for profiles of artist awardees.