Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 20, 2016

Native Arts and Cultures Fellowship Awardees 2016


By Liz Hill
Top image: art by Mateo Romero
Censored News

VANCOUVER, Wash., July 20, 2016 – For the sixth year, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) has awarded its National Artist Fellowship to a new group of 16 artists in five categories selected from a national open call of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artist applicants who were reviewed by a panel of art peers and professionals.

The awardees reside in 14 states: Alaska; California; Connecticut; Georgia; Hawai'i; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; Oklahoma; Oregon; Virginia and Washington.

"NACF fosters and supports the vision, creativity and innovation of Native artists in a number of disciplines that feature the ongoing vibrancy and range of artistic careers and accomplishments across the U.S.," said NACF Director of Programs Francene Blythe, Diné/Sisseton-Wahpeton/Eastern Band Cherokee. "We are honored to award this year's National Fellows. They, too, continually raise the visibility of Native arts and cultures to higher levels of achievement, excellence and endeavor."

The NACF National Artist Fellowship includes a monetary award that provides additional support for Native artists to explore, develop and experiment with original and existing projects. Fellows also work with their communities and share their culture in numerous ways. The National Artist Fellowships are made possible with support from the Ford Foundation, Second Sister Foundation and the generosity of arts patrons.

2016 National Artist Fellows:

Artistic Innovation
  • Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu, Native Hawaiian
  • Erica Tremblay, Seneca-Cayuga Nation 
  • Kelli Jo Ford, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Susan Power, Yanktonai Dakota
  • Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Mnicoujou/Itazipco Lakota
  • Thea Hopkins, Aquinnah Wampanoag
  • Laura Ortman, White Mountain Apache
  • Aaron J. Salā, Native Hawaiian
Traditional Arts
  • Theresa Secord, Penobscot Nation
  • TJ Young, Sgwaayaans, Haida Nation
Visual Arts
  • Luzene Hill, Eastern Band Cherokee 
  • Cannupa Hanska Luger, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota
  • Brenda Mallory, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Preston Singletary, Tlingit
Visual Arts in Painting
  • Bunky Echo-Hawk, Pawnee, Yakama
  • Mateo Romero, Cochiti Pueblo 
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation's mission is to promote the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures through grant making, convening and advocacy. To date, NACF has supported 180 artists and organizations in more than 26 states and Native communities. To learn more about the National Artist Fellows and NACF's work—nurturing the passion and power of creative expression, visit:

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Note to Editors:  High-resolution photographs are available at  Photos courtesy the artist(s).