Native Launchpad FAQs

Can I apply for this award if I don’t have a live performance sample? Can I apply for this award if I don’t have a video work sample and only have audio recordings?

This award is focused on building professional capacity for touring. Video and live performances are strongly preferred to evaluate readiness for the program. If you do not have live video, you may submit your application with a non-live set or with a music video performance. Applications without any video cannot be considered at this time.

 I won’t be able to commit to all three years; can I still apply?

The purpose of the award is to build capacity over time, through mentorship, networking, and promotion of your work. If you have concerns about the amount of time that it would take to complete this program, please contact the Program Manager, Ed Bourgeois

I would like to learn more about who qualifies in terms of tribal enrollment.

WAA uses the following language regarding Native identity: Member or descendant of a Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian nation or community, including US-based Native/First Peoples of Canada, Mexico, and US Territories of American Samoa, Guam Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US 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. Still, Native identity can be a complicated issue. Please contact Ed Bourgeois if you have further questions.

I have never toured before; can I still apply?

Yes. The AIP program is designed to accommodate Native performing artists at all stages of their careers. We will work with the individual awardees to identify appropriate resources, mentors and map a path forward together.

I have a mentor in mind already; could I use them?

We are open to considering mentors that you nominate. The program is adaptive and we recognize the value of using established relationships for mentors. Program participants may work with multiple mentors over the span of the program and allocate the mentor stipend accordingly.

How do you define a professional artist?

We would like to see applications from artists who have at least three years of paid performance experience before live audiences and have press reviews or audience responses that they can share.

How do you define a performing artist? Does it matter if my work is traditional or contemporary?

We do not ask that your work conforms to Western labels or constructs. If your art is performed and has a live audience, regardless of discipline(s) or category, you meet the qualification criteria.

I'm not a member of WAA; can I still apply? 

Yes, WAA membership is not required to apply. Selected artists will receive a WAA membership as part of their award.