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Woodland Indian Arts Initiative


FY17 Application is available here.

The next application deadline is October 28, 2016 for FY17 projects. Activities will run from January 1, 2017 - November 30, 2017.

NOTE! The first time you open the application, the full application will appear after you answer the fiscal receiver question.


FY17 Guidelines are here.

Guidelines include instructions for preparing your application and other required materials.

Peer Review

Peer review meetings are held at the Wisconsin Arts Boardís office in Madison and are open to the public. All applicants are welcome to attend.

Next WIAI panel meeting: November 18, 2016

Final Report

Deadline: 12/29/17 for FY17 awards

12/31/16 for FY16 awards
FY16 Final Report

12/31/15 for FY15 awards
FY15 Final Report

12/31/14 for FY14 awards
FY14 Final Report

The Arts Board is using a form service called JotForm. Please allow links that transfer you to their site. Call Dale Johnson at 608-264-8191 with questions.


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The Woodland Indian Arts Initiative (WIAI) is designed to promote and develop a foundation of cultural and economic support for traditional and contemporary Native American arts in Wisconsin. As part of this work, the Arts Board annually distributes funds from Gaming Compact monies to support artistic activities among Wisconsin's tribes, bands and urban Indian communities.

Types of Activities Funded

Funding priority goes to activities that work to build a long-term structure of support for Native arts in Wisconsin. These include but are not limited to:

  • Professional arts administration positions in support of Native arts,
  • Documentation of arts activities and cultural knowledge in Wisconsinís Native communities,
  • Technical assistance and professional development to Native artists and arts organizations,
  • Presentation and promotion of Wisconsinís Native artists through festivals, markets, exhibitions, various media and other forms of presentation, and
  • Planning grants in preparation for any of the above.

New, expanded or existing projects are eligible. Traditional and contemporary art forms are welcome.

To find recent reports on needs articulated by Wisconsin Native artists, see here.

Grant Amounts

Award amounts are $1,500 - $4,000 for an 11-month period. See guidelines for details on matching requirements and eligible use of funds.

Who Can Apply

Applicants must be organizations that provide direct services to members of Wisconsinís Indian communities and: 

  • are a unit of tribal government or hold tax-exempt status from federal income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code;
  • are incorporated in and conduct business in Wisconsin and have been doing so for at least 3 years;
  • conduct arts-related work that involves and benefits Wisconsinís Native American communities;
  • are the most appropriate sponsor for the proposed activities; and
  • are able to match each dollar of Arts Board support with cash constituting at least Ĺ of the match. The other half of the match can be in-kind, cash, or a combination of the two.

Unincorporated nonprofit groups and incorporated nonprofit organizations that have been doing mission-related work for at least three years but lack 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can apply using a separate nonprofit organization as a fiscal receiver. See the guidelines for more discussion of working with fiscal receivers.

To Apply

Complete these three steps:

  1. Submit an electronic WIAI grant application by 3 p.m. on the due date. Applications submitted after 3 pm that day will not be accepted.
  2. Mail a printed copy of the completed application with original signatures to the Arts Board. This must be postmarked no later than the next day of business.
  3. Submit a work sample by the next business day.  These can be either mailed with the signed application or can be uploaded through the on-line application form.

The guidelines provide detailed guidance on completing and submitting the application and work samples.

Timeline (for FY17)

  • October 28, 2016: Electronic applications due
  • October 31, 2016: Postmark deadline for mailed materials
  • November 18, 2016:  Panel meets to review applications
  • December 2, 2016:  WAB votes on panelís funding recommendations
  • December 2016:  Contracts are mailed to successful applicants. Awardees must sign and return contracts and other required paperwork. Checks will be issued upon WAB receipt of all necessary materials.
  • January 1, 2017: Projects can begin
  • November 30, 2017:  Project end date
  • December 29, 2017:  Final report due 

Resources for Applicants



Updated:  Tuesday, August 16, 2016