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Spokane Arts Grant Awards (SAGA)

The Spokane Arts Grant Awards seek to enrich artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy within our city. SAGA's goal is simple: to serve as a catalyst, fostering a robust, healthy arts community where individual artists, creative industries, and non-profit arts and culture organizations, thrive. Together, we can tell the story of how the arts enliven the Spokane region.


2019 Round 2 grant recipients will be announced on August 1!


Round 1: February 1, 2019 (11:59 pm). Awards announced April 1.
Round 2: June 1, 2019 (11:59 pm). Awards announced August 1.
Round 3: October 1, 2019 (11:59 pm). Awards announced in December TBD.

SAGA at a Glance

  • The 2019 Round 2 grant cycle is now CLOSED.

  • Please read the Guidelines, FAQs, and Application Instructions (below) for more information, and before you apply.

  • The funding period is for one year. Grants are non-renewable.

  • SAGA invites applications from artists, arts service organizations, large and small organizations and collectives, community-based arts programs and organizations, and culture and heritage groups.

  • Supported arts disciplines include but are not limited to visual, performing, literary, ear-oriented, media arts, and folk/traditional arts, and more.

Grant Information

Read our Frequently Asked Questions, Guidelines, and Application Instructions before you apply. Past SAGA winners can be found on our Grantees page. Register for SAGA Grant Writing Workshops and find other tools on our Resources page. Application forms are found on our Apply page.

2018 SAGA Selection Panel Members

Every new granting year, SAGA seats a new selection panel of five to six individuals from the Spokane community, who review and determine awards for qualifying applications over the course of the year. The panel remains anonymous during the granting year, and is composed of one Spokane Arts Commissioner, one member of the Spokane Arts Governing Board, and three or four members of the community with experience in the arts. With administrative oversight from the staff of Spokane Arts, funding allocations are made three times a year with award announcements made on April 1, August 1 and during the month of December.

In 2018, SAGA had the pleasure of working with: E.J. Iannelli (Arts Commission), Cary Boyce (Spokane Public Radio), Nathan Huston (Giant Nerd Books), Randi Madison (Ammonite Ink), Dean Davis (Spokane Arts Governing Board), and Rickey “Deekon” Jones (New Developed Nations).

Together, they granted more than $90,100 to artists, collectives, and arts organizations working in the Spokane region. You can learn more about our 2018 panelists here:

E.J. Iannelli
New Jersey born Eric J. (E.J.) Iannelli is a dilettante of sorts, with waxing and waning interests in art, theater, photography, pop culture, languages, cinema, and automobile repair. Literature and music (jazz, classical, punk, alternative, indie) are perhaps the only constants. He's a part-time journalist and frequent contributor/editor to Resonance, a Seattle-based music and style magazine, as well as several Web/print, music/non-music publications. Locations, however, have been known to change as quickly as his age. He is currently at work on the Great American Novel.

Randi Madison
Co-owner of Ammonite Ink

Cary Boyce
Cary Boyce has served as president and general manager of Spokane Public Radio for the last seven years.  Before coming to Spokane, Cary was the operations director, production manager, and interim station manager of WFIU in Bloomington Indiana, where he was the producer and executive producer of several award-winning radio series including the early music program Harmonia, the jazz program Nightlights, and numerous music specials.  He is also an Emmy-winning composer and musician with several national and international film, television and documentary sound tracks to his credit.  He has appeared as the featured artist on several national and international tours and concert festivals around the world, on the BBC, NPR, and other nationally syndicated radio and television programs.

Nathan Huston
Nathan Huston returned to his hometown in the early 2000’s and opened a business (Giant Nerd Books) in an attempt to become Spokane’s tallest bookstore owner. His plans include taking over the world, one dirty picture book at a time. A fan of creative thought and expression, he also likes rusty old vehicles and lizards.

Dean Davis
Dean Davis was born in Wurzburg Germany to a military family and spent seven years in the Army as a young adult, his last four years as a Dutch translator in Holland. He was part owner of Spokane’s first microbrewery, The Fort Spokane Brewery. He founded the Inland Empire Blues Society in 1991 and spent 13+ years as co-host of The KKZX Blues Show with Ted and Dean. Dean started his photography business in January 1997 and has been involved with the community in many ways since. He is a past president of the American Advertising Federation, a former board member of Spokane Regional MARCOM and is currently a board member of Spokane Arts. In addition to his commercial photography, Dean produces personal fine art work. His most recent show was a seven-month exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture titled, “The Artist’s Palette – Through the Lens of Dean Davis”.

Rickey “Deekon” Jones
Until 2014, Deekon was the Director of Clinical Support at the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations, a residential chemical dependency treatment center here in Spokane. While at the Healing Lodge, Deekon developed a program that encouraged residents to express their thoughts and feelings through music. This program gained national attention and recognition. In 2011, the program won the Washington State Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery’s "Innovative Program of Year” award and an honorable mention in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s “iAward” program. That same year, one of the program participants placed second in the annual Musicares contest, run by the Grammy Foundation; and as the program’s founder, Deekon was a finalist in President Obama’s “Native Youth Challenge.”

Jones was also awarded the 2012 co-occurring innovative program of the year award, NIATx's “Revolutionary Innovation Award,” and was fortunate to teach this new approach to trauma and substance abuse at the number one private university in Washington State, Trinity Lutheran College, as an adjunct professor.

Deekon is now the owner of New Developed Nations: a substance abuse outpatient treatment program for youth.

In 2017, our selection panelists were:
Derrick “D.O.” Oliver,
Spokane Arts Commission and Sr. Talent & Culture Specialist, etailz Inc.
Kevin J. Twohig, CEO, Spokane Public Facilities District and Spokane Arts board member
Elizabeth Hooker,  Marketing & Programming Director, Spokane Downtown Partnership
Shalon Parker, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Chair of the Art Department, Gonzaga University
Shawn Vestal, Writer

Statement of Equity

SAGA exists to bolster the work of all artists in Spokane by providing grant funding and other resources to artists, arts organizations, collectives, and heritage groups of all disciplines. We provide funding and resources regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, mental and physical status, or age. Ensuring artists of all backgrounds are included in our cultural narrative is central to having an accurate and fair depiction of who we are as a people. 

History of SAGA

SAGA was launched in January 2017, and was designed by Grants Administrator, Jennifer Knickerbocker. The program was initially made possible by community members and arts advocates, who spoke passionately in public forums and city council meetings regarding the need to increase the capacity of our arts economy. 

Spokane has a unique cultural, artistic, and creative scene, and the city recognized that Spokane needs individual artists, organizations, and local businesses to stay and grow in order for our city to thrive.

Directing a stable funding source to be invested in local arts organizations and individual artists will make Spokane a more appealing place to live, work, and visit for years to come. We look forward to sharing our grantee's success stories with you!

The City of Spokane is so excited to see the launch of SAGA. We voted to approve this funding for Spokane Arts in early 2016 because we understand that a successful creative economy makes for a more successful Spokane!
— Ben Stuckart, City Council President

SAGA Strategic Goals

Contact the Grants Administrator  
Phone: 509.321.9614