Native Launchpad Program


Kaumakaiwa photo by Adam Palumbo@visionhorsemedia

Native Launchpad will provide Indigenous artists with tools and resources needed to further their careers and introduce them to the world of arts presenting and management. It is a development program for professional Indigenous artists who are interested in touring yet have little experience working with presenters and need guidance and assistance to break into the touring market. 

The Launchpad is a response to the demonstrated need among U.S.-based Indigenous artists and is open to those who self-identify as such.  In AIP documents and forms, the term Indigenous refers to: member or descendant of a Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian nation or community, including Native/First Peoples of Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes individuals without official tribal status who are members of Native communities, and tribal members or descendants not living in their homelands or home community. 

The total estimated value of each Native Launchpad award is $40,000 over the three-year cycle of the cohort including a $17,000 cash award, membership in the Western Arts Alliance and Association of Performing Arts Professionals, travel support, professional development and mentoring. Recipients of this award are asked to commit to engage in all elements of the Native Launchpad award for the duration of the three years. Participants will be eligible to seek additional funding through WAA’s Advancing Indigenous Performance’s travel and touring funds during the three years of the award.

In the 2019 round, four (4) Native Launchpad Artist awards will be made. In addition, a cohort of up to ten (10) AIP Fellows will be selected to attend the WAA Conference (August 26-28, 2019; Los Angeles, CA) and receive access to AIP professional development webinars and networking opportunities.

Learn about our Native Launchpad Artists

Native Launchpad award cycle (for 2019):

  • Call for Submissions:  Applications open – February 18, 2019; Application deadline – April 26, 2019, 5:00 pm PST
  • Notification:  May 31, 2019
  • Western Arts Alliance Conference (location changes every year):  August 26-29, 2019
  • Association of Performing Arts Professionals Conference (New York City):  January 10-14, 2020

Applications will require:

  • At least one video work sample (preferably of live, staged work)
  • An artist’s statement
  • A statement of Native Identity
  • A statement of touring goals and objectives
  • A letter of recommendation from an individual or organization that has presented or produced your work in the last three years
  • A standard application form

For more information about this program, please contact Ed Bourgeois