Region 2 Arts Council awards two Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Fellowships

On April 12, 2023, the Region 2 Arts Council’s Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Council, a body comprised of  Indigenous artists and arts appreciators from our region, awarded two $5,000 Fellowships through their Anishinaabe Arts Initiative (AAI) program. The AAI Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of the McKnight Foundation, and aims to assist the region’s most talented enrolled tribal members and descendants in their artwork by awarding financial support to fund creative time, purchase of arts materials, supplies, and equipment, or arts research and experiences. Eligible artists must have a substantial body of work and must reside in Minnesota’s Beltrami, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Becker, Itasca, Roseau, and Cass counties.

Photographer Ningozis White (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe).
Everyone who knows Ningozis White calls him “Gozy.” He is a graduate of Bemidji State University with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, and is highly motivated when it comes to good physical and mental health. Gozy first started practicing photography at the Lake Superior College, Duluth, MN in 2016. His experience in photography has mostly been spent in commercial photography for apparel merchandising, websites and marketing. He has a strong connection to his community and actively participates in tribal cultural activities throughout the United States and Canada. Gozy loves the outdoors and plans on improving his photographic abilities capturing nature, wildlife, and photo-documenting the important aspects of his Anishinaabe culture and people.



Bead worker Martina Isham, Bagwajikwe “Wilderness Woman” (Anishinaabe, Red Lake Nation).
Martina Isham’s work is inspired by nature and her Anishinaabe heritage.  She acknowledges her style is “very woodland.”  Martina loves to reference nature in the design, color, and flow of the beads in her work. Both of her parents are Anishinaabe artists, and Martina’s love for art and creating started with them. Martina grew up on the Red Lake Reservation, and currently resides with her partner Steve and their three smart, wildly cute, adventurous boys in Bemidji.  As a family, they love exploring new trails and are outdoors every chance they get.

Spring Arts Access Grant Panel Review

If you would like to observe our Spring Arts Access Grant Panel Review, our community panel will be meeting May 9th, 5-8 pm (approx.) via Zoom. Contact us for the Zoom link at If you are planning to apply for an Arts Access Grant in future, this is a great way to better understand the review process and to listen first-hand to comments made by reviewers.

NOTE: You are invited to participate as a listener only. Please make sure your microphone is set to Mute and your Video is Off at the time you join the meeting. If you are calling by phone, you will automatically be muted. Observers will be renamed as Guest 1, Guest 2, etc to preserve anonymity and prevent bias. See our Online Grant Review Guidelines. There are a total of 22 grant applications for review. We will review them in order (ACHA-2023(B)-01, ACHA-2023(B)-02, ACHA-2023(B)-03, etc.) starting at approximately 6:00 pm. Here is a link to the meeting agenda. Preliminary scores will be shared at the end of the meeting. 

R2AC Seeking Board Members in Lake of the Woods & Mahnomen Counties

If you recognize that the arts are valuable to the quality of life in North Central Minnesota, we invite you to consider becoming a Board Member. Our ten-member Board is comprised of two representatives from each of the five counties that we serve: Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, and Mahnomen. Get the Application here!

  • Much of the Board’s activity revolves around policy-making, budgeting, understanding and connecting with the communities we serve, and awarding and approving panel recommendation for arts grants to our region’s organizations and artists.
  • The Region 2 Arts Council operates in the spirit of the open meeting law.
  • Meetings are currently held primarily via Zoom to safeguard the health and wellbeing of board members in light of the current pandemic and to acknowledge the challenge of winter driving conditions. Meetings are typically held on the 3rd or 4th Thursday of the month and can vary in meeting time so please check our website for current dates and times.
  • Board members are encouraged to join our community panels in reviewing grants. Grant reviews occur most often on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.
  • Terms are for two years, renewable up to six years of service.

Contact for more information.