Artist Spotlight: Arts Innovator Award

In 2011 Artist Trust received an impressive total of 133 Arts Innovator Award applications from artists practicing in a variety of disciplines across the state of Washington. Award recipients Pat Graney and Eyvind Kang were honored as the two arts innovators for the year, receiving the largest monetary award available to generative artists in the state. The Arts Innovator Award is made possible through a three-year gift from the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation.

Award recipient Pat Graney is a choreographer who has taken her work into diverse communities, creating new and enduring connections to art. The award for her is a life-changing gift.

“Support from Artist Trust and the Chihuly Foundation for the Arts Innovator Award is monumental!” said Graney. “These funds will allow me the very important time for exploring a new work and to be able to step away from my everyday obligations to go into the ‘creative channel.’ This is a life-changing award. It not only affords me more time to work creatively, but also speaks to acknowledgment from my peers—both are incredible gifts.”

Award recipient Eyvind Kang is a composer, arranger, performer and multi-instrumentalist whose work spans and masters a variety of genres. His Arts Innovator Award affords him resources to make his music dreams a reality.

“For several years I was daunted by a big recording project—concerto for Persian ney and orchestra. I wrote the piece for Ostad Hossein Omoumi a few years ago and it’s solid, but I needed orchestra musicians who are familiar with the Persian music system. I found them. Just a few days ago we started the recording!” said Kang. “I’m thinking this award has been an affirmation. Those works, which had been abandoned or which I was ambivalent about, are back on. I’m really grateful for this support, for all those that made it happen—the Chihulys [and] Artist Trust. Also, it’s very humbling.”

Artist Trust’s mission is to support artists that are residents of Washington state. “We are always delighted when we are able to provide support to any artist that is creating new works that enrich the cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” said Miguel Guillen, Program Manager. “These two artists have been recognized by a panel of their peers for the outstanding work they are doing in forging innovative paths within their discipline.”

This year marks Artist Trust’s 25th anniversary. Join them in 2012 to celebrate 25 years of developing programs to support, honor and encourage Washington’s practicing artists. For more information, visit