Through the Native Artist-in-Residence Program, Seattle Rep aims to highlight Native voices and educate non-Native audiences and our staff through art, discussion, and community engagement.

2021/22 Native Artist in Residence

On August 31, 2021, Seattle Rep announced it has selected its first Native Artist-in-Residence Arianne True, a local poet and folk artist. 

“Arianne’s project excited the selection committee on many levels,” Director of Arts Engagement Nabra Nelson said. “The way she approaches poetry seamlessly integrates performance and writing, and her showcase installation will bring the PONCHO Forum alive in a way that has never been seen before. Not only will her interactive installation inspire audiences and community members, but additional community engagement throughout her residency will open our eyes to experimental poetry and Native art throughout the season. Seattle Rep feels prepared and excited to support Arianne in this next stage in her artistry, and to kick off the Native Artist-in-Residence program with her vision at the forefront.”

Meet the Artist

Arianne True

2021/22 Native Artist in Residence


Seattle Rep sits on the stolen land of the Coast Salish people, specifically the Duwamish Tribe, who remain and continue to steward this land. Seattle Rep actively benefits from the disenfranchisement of Native people and from the fact that the Treaty of Point Elliott was never upheld. We recognize this debt will likely never be paid in full.

Seattle Rep staff are actively examining and dismantling the systems of oppression that exist within our organization on a personal and company-wide level. Learn more about our ongoing commitment to racial equity and social justice and some of our action items here.

About the Program


The Native Artist-in-Residence Program is a season-long program in which one Native artist of any discipline is paid a stipend to create art, gain professional development, and build a relationship with Seattle Rep. The entire program is informed by the Artist-in-Residence—they will decide what kind of art they want to make, what kind of professional development they will benefit from, and what they would like their interaction and relationship to the Seattle Rep to look like. The only fixed requirement of the program is that it culminates in a public or invited event featuring either a finished product or work in progress around which staff and guests can engage in dialogue. The subject of this dialogue and the focus of the event will be entirely up to the choice and interest of the artist.

Artists/applicants can come from any discipline: theater, visual arts, writing, dance, 3D or 2D art, film, design, etc. Applicants need not have any formal training but should have some previous experience creating in their preferred medium.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Include local Native art and artists in every season at Seattle Rep
  • Begin to develop relationships with local indigenous artists and communities through critical dialogue shaped by the work of Native artists themselves
  • Make Seattle Rep available to Native artists, informed by their wants and needs
  • Create a space at Seattle Rep more explicitly inviting to Native community members

Budget & Compensation

The Native Artist-in-Residence’s total budget for the year will be $10,000.

Applicants who are invited to interview will be asked to share how they would like that $10,000 to be allocated. This budget encompasses compensation for the artist during their residence and expenses for the culminating art project, as well as meetings, events, and professional development associated with the project. Seattle Rep can collaborate with the artist to help develop their proposed budget and will mutually agree to a payment schedule. The Artist will be paid as an independent contractor.

Time Commitment

The residency spans from September to June with the first season beginning in September 2021.

The Artist-in-Residence will determine how much time each week or month they will spend on their project and in meetings and events at Seattle Rep. As long as they stay in consistent contact with Seattle Rep and maintain progress with their artistic project, they can determine how they would like to spend their time throughout the season.

Who Can Apply

Any person who identifies as American Indian or Alaska Native and who lives in or around King County (or on any reservation or tribal boundary in western Washington regardless of county), and can maintain a consistent connection with Seattle Rep.

Program Timeline

  • The application deadline for the 2021/22 Native Artist-in-Residence program has passed.
  • Late August 2021: 2021/22 Native Artist-in-Residence selected and announced
  • September 2021: Residency begins
  • June 2022: Public or invited showcase
  • Summer 2022: Check back for information about the 2022/23 application and program timeline


Who qualifies?

Anyone who is indigenous to the American continent and/or the territories of the United States qualifies, regardless of tribal enrollment or federal recognition status. We use “American Indian and Alaska Native” as a recognizable and broad term that aligns with other organizational opportunities nationally, but we recognize that no term can encompass the diversity and myriad of experiences with Native identity. In the application, we ask you to share your tribal affiliation in any way that you would like. As a regional theater, we additionally prioritize centering local communities and the tribes of Washington state.

Who is on the selection committee?

The selection committee consists of members of the Arts Engagement and Artistic departments at Seattle Rep, along with paid local Native consultants / artists.

Will meetings and events be online or in person?

The program can be a blend of in-person and virtual, depending on the access needs of the person selected. The intent is for the public or invited showcase to be an in-person event. We are monitoring the guidance of King County and the CDC regarding safety protocol for the COVID-19 pandemic. Strict health and safety guidelines will be followed for all in-person meetings or events.

How can I use the funds throughout the season?

The $10,000 budget for the program encompasses the art project, as well as meetings, events, and professional development associated with the project. The artist can choose exactly how they would like the money to be allocated – whether the full amount would go to their personal compensation, or whether an amount would go to materials or events or specific professional development opportunities. Seattle Rep can collaborate with the artist to help develop their proposed budget and will mutually agree to a payment schedule.

You can meet with a Seattle Rep staff member who can help you develop a budget and provide application assistance. If you are working on a performance project, we recommend you speak with a Seattle Rep staff member so that your budget reflects our union rates for performances in our spaces. To schedule free application and budgeting assistance, contact Nabra Nelson.

Example Budget:

Artist-in-Residence Compensation:

  • Compensation for project development: $5,000
  • Consulting and public appearances (approx. 10 hrs) - panel discussion on Native activism, consulting with Seattle Rep staff: $500
  • Professional development (approx. 20 hrs) - community mentorship, local conference attendance, meetings with Seattle Rep staff: $500

Residence Expenses:

  • Project materials and supplies: $2,000
  • Showcase event: $2,000

TOTAL: $10,000

Do I have access to spaces for rehearsals, performances, and/or exhibits?

Yes! You will have access to our rehearsal spaces as available, the PONCHO Forum (at Seattle Rep) for performances, and the lobby spaces for exhibition. If the spaces you need are not available when you need them, we will work with you to find space for your project, and space rentals can be included in your project budget.

What kind of public interaction will I have to do during my residency?

The way that the public interacts with the Artist-in-Residence will be informed by the desires and preferences of the Artist-in-Residence. You may want to have several public appearances or events, or no direct interaction with the public. It is also possible that you may prefer a curated and invited audience for the showcase event. Native people have been historically exploited and tokenized in the name of performative inclusivity, so we seek to avoid that by allowing the Artist-in-Residence to decide if, when, and how they want to interact with the public during their residency. Instead of focusing on public offerings, the program centers relationship-building and professional and artistic development.

What other ways does Seattle Rep support Native artists?

We offer free tickets for Native individuals to see our productions; we provide our PONCHO Forum space for free for one-day public events or non-public group use; we provide space on our lobby resource table for Native organizations; and we work to feature Native visual artists in our lobby Art Walk each season. Learn more here.

I have a question not answered here.


The deadline for the 2021/22 Native Artist in Residence application period has passed.

With questions about the program, contact Nabra Nelson.