Woodland Indian Arts Initiative

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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 Wisconsin’s Native communities,
  • Technical assistance and professional development to Native artists and arts organizations,
  • Presentation and promotion of Wisconsin’s 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.

For additional information on the grant program and reports on needs articulated by Wisconsin Native artists, see this​ page.


Grant Amounts

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


Who Can Apply:

Applicants must be Native-led organizations and/or organizations that provide direct services to members of Wisconsin’s 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 Wisconsin’s 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 ½ 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:

Submit an electronic WIAI grant application by 3 pm on the due date. The program guidelines provide detailed guidance on completing and submitting the application, budget, and work samples. 

Note: Only one application per institution is permitted.


Timeline (for FY21):​

  • October 29, 2020: Application Deadline​
  • November 20, 2020: Panel meets to review applications
  • December 4, 2020: WAB votes on panel’s funding recommendations
  • December 2020: 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, 2021: Projects can begin
  • November 30, 2021: Project end date
  • December 31, 2021: Final report due

Resources for Applicants

 ​