Arts Council of Princeton Receives $25,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to Support Project with Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson

Reported Monday, February 19, 2024

Pictured Above: The Arts Council of Princeton announces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a totem pole project with Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson, National Heritage Fellow and United States Artist Fellow. Photo Credit: Contributed.



Princeton, NJ – The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) is pleased to announce it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $25,000. This grant will support a project titled “Monumental Sculptures: Understanding the Totem Poles of the Northwest Coast”, a program honoring and celebrating the artwork of the Tlingit peoples of the Northwest Coast.

In total, the NEA will award 958 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling over $27.1 million announced as part of its first round of fiscal year 2024 grants.

Known as Northwest Coast Fromline Design, the totem poles of these indigenous Tlingit peoples captivate and intrigue visitors the world over. Having very little exposure to the depth and complexity of these artistic and cultural treasures on the East Coast, the ACP will commission renowned Tlingit artist Nathan Jackson, National Heritage Fellow and United States Artist Fellow, to carve a 9-foot totem pole that will be installed on permanent display at the ACP.  Ketchikan, Alaska native, Mr. Jackson is one of the world’s most accomplished totem-pole carvers and has created more than 50 totem poles on view across the world.

Mr. Jackson will begin this commission at the Edwin DeWill Carving Center in Saxman Native Village, Alaska, and, after shipment of the pole to New Jersey, will complete the carving at the ACP in 2024. During his stay in Princeton, Mr. Jackson will be featured in a series of events that include public carving demonstrations, panel discussions, student workshops, and a traditional dance performance. Mr. Jackson will have an allocated carving space at the ACP’s Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, open to the public throughout the week, and will offer designated carving demonstrations that involve opportunities for visitors to ask questions and engage in discussion.

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to the Arts Council of Princeton, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.”  

“We are beyond thrilled and humbled to have the NEA’s support for this very special project”, shares Adam Welch, ACP Executive Director. “We are honored to bring Mr. Jackson to Princeton to demonstrate the resplendence and power of Northwest Coast native art and culture. There is no one else like him, an artist of the highest caliber. Nathan Jackson is a true national treasure.”

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit

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