Artists 360 Announces Renewal and New Grants

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Mid-America Arts Alliance to renew and expand artist program through support of the Walton Family Foundation

Mid-America Arts Alliance is pleased to announce that its Artists 360 program has been renewed and expanded through additional support from the Walton Family Foundation. Artists 360 is a grant and professional development program for individual artists in the greater Northwest Arkansas community that began in 2018 as a three-year pilot made possible through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. Over the course of the first three years, sixty artists of all disciplines—visual artists, poets, playwrights, and musicians, among others—were selected through a competitive process from an applicant pool of more than five hundred artists who were provided professional development training and awarded grants of $342,000.

Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance, said, “We are so grateful to the Walton Family Foundation for their continuing investment in artists in Northwest Arkansas and deepened support for the Artists 360 program. We look forward to providing support to the next cohorts of artists who reside in the greater NW Arkansas region of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian, and Washington counties.”

Thanks to the extended support of the Walton Family Foundation, over the next iteration of Artists 360, $600,000 will be awarded through direct grants to artists, including $7,500 to each professional artist and $1,500 to student artists. Two additional granting categories will debut this year: Community Activator Grants will provide $15,000 awards to four artists or artist-led collectives yearly, and the Creative Impact Award will award $25,000 annually to an individual artist in the region. Additionally, artists will receive expanded opportunities to share their work with the community and other direct support services.

With these direct grants, the Artists 360 program offers intensive professional development for twenty artists annually through cohort-based training, one-on-one coaching sessions, peer networking opportunities, retreats for participants and alumni, and a new showcase event of artists. Grantmaking paired with cohort-based training and peer networking allows artists to dive deeper into projects that otherwise may not be possible.

Rachel Lynett, a 2019 Artists 360 participant, used her funding to create a new play. About the experience, she said, “This grant helped me creatively so much. In a very dark time when I lost a lot of work, this grant helped me create a virtual theatre company, Rachel Lynett Theatre Company, and that’s how we were able to do a presentation of the play. Honestly, with the pandemic, it felt like creating theatre would be impossible, and the grant gave me room to explore the possibilities.” Lynett was recently awarded the 2021 Yale Drama Series Prize for her play Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson).

Applications will open in June 2021 for the next cohort. For more information about Artists 360 and a list of past sixty participant artists in 2018, 2019, and 2020, please visit http://www.artists360.art/.