Artist Engagement Fund

The Artist Engagement Fund advances racial and cultural justice, increases artist mobility, models equitable artist fees, and centers community engagement through the support of artist’s fees for artistic activity taking place in NPN Partner communities.


Advancing racial and cultural justice
NPN recognizes there are many strategies to advancing racial and cultural justice and will support a variety of approaches that benefit artists, organizations and communities marginalized by current and historic systems of oppression. Furthering this goal may look like: commissioning an artist of color, indigenous artist, artist with disabilities, or trans artist; supporting a project that deals with issues of racial or cultural justice; supporting a process that builds work with communities who have been underinvested in, etc.

Artist mobility
Mobility is at the heart of the Artist Engagement Fund. NPN continues to support and advocate for greater opportunities for artists to move their work throughout the country. Recognizing that creating opportunities for artists to be presented in their own communities can be critical to cultivating and building a national career, the Artist Engagement Programs offers Partners the flexibility to work with local, regional, and national artists as well as Mexico-based artists.

Modeling equitable artist fees, while respecting relative economies
In order to ensure artists are paid equitable fees, the Artist Engagement Fund has a minimum fee structure that projects must meet in order to be eligible. Partners may pay artists more than the NPN minimum artist’s rates, however, so Partners and artists have the flexibility to structure projects and fees according to their needs.

Centering community engagement
Recognizing that true community engagement is deep, multifaceted, and reciprocal, there is no restriction on the maximum length of an Artist Engagement. Partners will describe how Artist Engagement projects intend to develop meaningful engagement between communities, artists, and presenters, which is central to the Artist Engagement Fund and NPN’s mission.


  • Open to NPN Partners
  • Open to artists of any discipline as long the project includes live experiential exchange between artists
    and community. This can take any format such as a public presentation, performance, interactive
    exhibition, community residency, etc.
  • Partners may work with U.S. or Mexico-based artists
  • Partners may work with local artists
  • Project advances racial and cultural justice
  • Community engagement is central to each project
  • Partners must pay minimum artist fees (see below)
  • Engagements should be a minimum of four days
  • Artist Engagement Fund applications must be submitted 60 days prior to activities
  • No funds will be released without a completed application and signed contract
  • NPN Partners must credit NPN in all promotional and marketing material (credit language can be found
    on the NPN Partner Portal)
  • Final Reports are to be submitted by the Partner and Artist 30 days after the final Artist Engagement

The NPN Artist Engagement Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

NPN Partners may applications by logging into the NPN Partner portal. Guidelines and Sample Application for reference only:

Past Issues