Indigenous Arts Initiative

Dec 18 2018

The Indigenous Arts Initiative at the University of Kansas invites two (2) emerging Indigenous artists to participate in a two-week residency from March 24 to April 6, 2019. 

As a partnership between the KU Spencer Museum of Art, KU Film and Media Studies, the Lied Center of Kansas, and the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, the Indigenous Arts Initiative supports a rotating series of Indigenous art labs that provides Indigenous artists opportunities to expand their professional networks, hone creative skills, and gain leadership experience through collaborative, mentorship-based programming at the University of Kansas.

During this collaborative, lab-based residency, these emerging artists will work alongside 2019 Visiting Artists Sterlin Harjo (film) and Steven Grounds (visual art) and with KU and Haskell Indian Nations University faculty and students to create socially-engaged works of art, strengthen ties between Kansas and Indigenous communities, and enhance Indigenous leadership at the border of artistic and community practice. 

The residency will include a series of master classes, workshops, and roundtable discussions in subjects ranging from Indigenous aesthetics to professional development to community leadership. Artists are selected according to the primary medium of our visiting artist-mentors, this year in film and visual arts.

Applications should include a representative sample of creative work, a brief statement on the applicant’s perspective on the relationship between arts and community leadership, and a proposal for a creative project in either film or visual arts. Successful applicants will have a strong body of work with a voice that reflects the artist’s own community.

Applications are due by January 14, 2019 with notification last week in January, 2019.

All applications must be submitted via an online form:

Artists will be selected based on review of applications by a jury:

Peter Jasso (Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission); Joshua Miner (KU Film and Media Studies); Cassandra Mesick Braun (KU Spencer Museum of Art); Norman Akers (Osage Nation, Associate Professor, KU Department of Visual Arts); Anthea Scouffas (KU Lied Center of Kansas); Rhonda LeValdo (Haskell University Film Faculty); Steven Grounds (Navajo-Euchee, Visual Artist); Sterlin Harjo (Seminole-Muscogee, Filmmaker)


  • Artists will stay in Lawrence during the period of March 24 – April 6, 2019.
  • During residency, each artist will present a session at the 2019 KU Indigenous Cultures Festival on April 6, 2019 focused on their time at KU.
  • Selected artists, working with guest artists, will produce or plan an original work of art while at KU and will assist with guest artist’s work.
  • Participation in workshops, classes, masterclasses and discussions – with KU, Haskell faculty, staff, students and community members.


  • Artists will be provided with fourteen nights of free lodging in Lawrence, KS.
  • Artists will receive a $500 stipend to help cover food and materials and up to $300 for travel reimbursement
  • Some meals will be provided