Support our work
We empower artists to grow the creative economy in WV.
Support creativity in WV
We seek to create a culture and sense of place that values creativity of all expressions and sustains artists and communities.
TFA approaches our work in a holistic manner by offering programs designed to support artists at every stage of their development. Through fellowships and professional development training we foster emerging artists, assist mid-career artists, and showcase master artists. By developing a strong statewide ecosystem, we unite and connect artists with opportunities that support their creative practice and nurture cross-sector relationships with the aim of keeping creativity alive in our state.
Our organization’s efforts take us to communities both large and small across the entire state guided by the goal of helping artists realize West Virginia as the best place to advance artistry and craft a living from their creative practices. We believe that creative innovation is a vital piece for diversifying our economy.
Since 2001, the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts has helped to grow West Virginia’s creative economy by providing essential programs that equip Mountain State artists and creative entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to succeed and thrive in the place they call home.
This year is a year of piloting and transitioning. Our organizational focus has grown to include creative placemaking programming to increase connections between arts and business; increased community building between artists in the Creative Network and fellowships; and an intentional commitment to the investigation of existing inequities in the arts in this state.
Ripple Community Development
In 2022, TFA was awarded a Benedum Foundation grant for $175,00 to pilot artist-led creative placemaking programming in six communities over two years. We have selected the first three Ripple communities and are engaging community leaders in a collaborative planning process to bring stakeholders together to plan projects. TFA will assist these communities with the development of their project and provide each community with coaching and $10,000 in mini grants.
Emerging Artist Fellowship
TFA hosts the Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF); 2023 is the fourth cohort. Fellows are thriving early-career artists. They demonstrate not only a superior level of mastery in their craft, but also the aptitude to become successful professionals leading well-managed creative enterprises. The Fellowship provides technical training, mentoring, consulting, branding, and a $2,500 award to assist each fellow with the successful development and launch of their creative business. Through increased visibility, marketing and networking we assist each one to integrate into local and regional markets and access professional development. TFA is hosting five Fellows with diverse backgrounds and artistic skills. TFA will provide monthly group check-ins, a summer fellowship retreat that includes small business development training and touring artist-led communities, offer one on one support tailored to the needs of each artist, provide a video and profile essay about each artist, and increase the artists visibility across the state and region with a gallery show (in-person and virtual), social media promotion, and newsletter sharing.
West Virginia Creative Network
TFA hosts the WV Creative Network, the premier statewide platform to connect artists with other artists and creative career opportunities. Creative Network members are visual, craft, performance, literary, and design artists who are seeking out new connections and increased visibility for their work. The platform consists of an online directory on the TFA website and a private FB group to share economic opportunities, request support for challenges, and share good news stories and knowledge exchange among peers. TFA contracts Angelica Gilleran, Strong Rapport, to a manage the Creative Network. Strong Rapport is a growth strategist and works to increase the awareness of the Creative Network across the state to grow membership and increase networking potential. Current membership is at 300, and Gilleran is working diligently at relationship building to grow this to 500 by the end of 2022.
Pandemic Relief Mini-Grants
Also in 2022, TFA received $250,00 of NEA ARP funds to regrant mini-grants to artists and arts-supportive organizations in 14 central and southern WV counties. We selected our service region based on areas most economically impacted, as designated by the ARC, intersecting with areas that have not received funding, or have received little funding, from the WV state arts department in the last three years. TFA has been actively conducting outreach and working on relationship building within this service region to prepare for getting the funds to people and orgs who need them the most, to reach stakeholders that might not always be at the table for federal funds. We want to open opportunities with these funds. TFA developed guidelines and applications, keeping accessibility challenges in mind. TFA is offering robust TA support for the application process, making time and space to provide whatever support is needed to applicants.
Inequities in the Arts PAR Research Project
Benedum also provided funds for TFA to examine inequities in the arts in WV and seek out solutions from those impacted through a participatory action research project in collaboration with West Virginia University. TFA is working with a WVU researcher and PhD students to develop a methodology, research questions, tools, and materials, and to conduct outreach to marginalized communities, assist with analyzing the data, and assist with preparing documents for publication.
Annual Arts & Business Summit at Parkersburg Art Center 2022
TFA is partnering with the Parkersburg Arts Center to host the professional development component of the new Parkersburg Piccalilli conference, an exciting time when artists from all over WV will take over the city of Parkersburg for sharing, learning, and experiencing art. TFA is raising the funds to secure the three professional development facilitators. Each facilitator will teach one in person class, one virtual class, and will hold office hours and make themselves available for one on one and small group conversations with participants.
Opportunities & Storytelling Newsletters
The Tamarack Foundation is dedicated to connecting artists in West Virginia with local and national opportunities to develop their crafts, engage with their communities & grow as creative entrepreneurs.
Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter, and follow our social accounts @tamarackfoundation for the latest news.
Professional & Business Development Workshops
TFA offers a host of expert advice from career professionals to assist creative entrepreneurs in West Virginia. Check out our workshops with specialists in creative entrepreneurship, business, and finance to help you lay a foundation for a lifetime of making – and making it – in the Mountain State. Our educators for 2020 include: Elaine Grogan Luttrull of Minerva Financial Arts and Jennifer Ries of Make Do Creative. We are Thankful for the support of BB&T Now Truist to make these workshops possible, as well as offering their “Bank on Your Success” programs for building a sustainable business.
Master Artist Fellowship
Master Artist Fellows are celebrated for a lifetime of achievement in the arts in West Virginia. Their exemplary work over the course of decades both leads the way in artistic creation and expression and models what it takes to live your life as a successful artist in the Mountain State. TFA celebrates creative individuals at all stages of their career, from emerging artists, to mid-career artists, to master artists. Being named a TFA Master Artist Fellow is an honor accorded to artists who create, inspire and lead the way in bringing tradition, contemporary or cutting-edge artforms and creativity into being throughout their lives.
Make a contribution
Your tax-deductible donation allows us to support creativity in West Virginia.
Program Support & Underwriting
Donors that underwrite programs will be recognized across multiple media platforms and in organizational communications.
Partner with us
Organizations that wish to partner with us are welcome. Please reach out for details.
Because of you, the Tamarack Foundation has the potential to accelerate creative innovation across West Virginia. When you give to our visionary mission, you are investing in our communities, our economy, and a better future for our state.