2020 Arts Innovator Award

Deadline: December 9, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST 


Artist Trust's (AT) Arts Innovator Award (AIA) recognizes artists who demonstrate innovation in their art practice. This unrestricted award of $25,000 is given annually to two Washington State artists of any discipline who are originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries of their fields. 

Funding for this award is generously donated by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation. Dale recalls receiving grants that supported experimentation early in his career, adding credibility, opening doors, and enabling new connections for him as an artist. Today, Dale remembers the importance of this support, and he and Leslie would like to help artists in a similar way.

Artists of color and artists living outside of King County are strongly encouraged to apply. For support with your application, see the Help with Your Application section below. 

Download the 2020 Arts Innovator Award Guidelines.

The 2020 Arts Innovator Award is open to artists and artist teams residing in Washington State working in all disciplines.

• 18 years of age or older by application deadline;
• Washington State residents at the time of both application and payment (payment will be made March 2020);
• Generative artists (those who are the originators of works of art) with a minimum of five years in professional art practice; and
• Available for finalist interviews on February 13, 2020. Applicants who will not be interviewed as finalists will be notified on February 10, 2020.

• Recipients of more than one AT grant per calendar year;
• Previous recipients of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award or Arts Innovator Award;
• Current graduate or undergraduate students enrolled at the time of both application and payment (payment will be made March 2020);
• Current AT staff, Board of Trustees, honorary committee, consultants, contractors, AIA panelists, or their family.
• Affiliated with Chihuly Studio, Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, or family of Dale or Leslie Chihuly.

Applying for grants can be hard, and we want to help you. Artist Trust offers the following support services and resources to guide you through the application process:

Office Hours: 20-minute consultations with our staff, provided in-person or over the phone, on November 15 or December 4. Register for an appointment here.
Preliminary Application Review: submit an application through Submittable by November 18, 2019 and check the box to request preliminary review. Our staff will review your application and provide detailed feedback by December 2, 2019. The application is then opened for editing and must be resubmitted by the final deadline, December 9, 2019.
Resources: visit our website for reference guides, toolkits, and other information.
Webinar: learn about the selection process and get tips for submitting a strong application on November 13 at 12:00 PM. Register here.
Contact Us: We are happy to answer questions about your application. Our contact information is below. Please note: our ability to answer questions in the days leading up to the deadline is limited. Start your application early and don’t wait to contact us with questions.


Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization that helps Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive through direct support, connections, and advocacy. We believe a fair and just society ensures artists of all backgrounds and identities are included in its cultural narratives. 

Artist Trust Racial Equity Statement:

Artist Trust commits to addressing historical and structural barriers in access to artist funding, resources, and leadership opportunities for people of color (POC). By working towards racial equity within our organization, funding programs, and services, we are working against systems of racism, engaging in partnership with people of color, and truly fulfilling our mission to support ALL artists in Washington State.

More information about our work towards racial equity and how it affects our grantmaking programs can be found here: https://artisttrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-Racial-Equity-Framework.pdf


Monday–Friday: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM PST 

  • with questions about application requirements, guidelines, eligibility, etc.; 
  • for any accessibility accommodations needed for you to complete the application;
  • if you need to access or edit a submitted application if it is still prior to the deadline of December 9, 2019.

Brian McGuigan // Program Director  
brian@artisttrust.org : 206/467-8734 x23  

Lydia Boss // Program Manager  
lydia@artisttrust.org : 206/467-8734 x25  

Zach Frimmel // Program Coordinator  
zach@artisttrust.org : 206/467-8734 x20  


  • with website access issues;
  • for questions about uploading or formatting images;
  • with other technical support needs.


Artist Trust