AMERICAN RIVERS Southwest Emerging Artist Scholarship

Funded by American Rivers  |  Full tuition award  |  Open to emerging artists and storytellers with deep ties to the Southwest  |  For use on courses in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, or Utah

In 2023, The Southwest River Protection Program at American Rivers offers one full-tuition scholarship to one emerging writer, artist, or storyteller. The Southwest Emerging Artist Scholarship may be put toward a Freeflow course in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas or Utah.

Artists and writers from Indigenous and historically underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants may be aspiring storytellers in any medium, emerging journalists or artists, university students, faculty, or environmental, social, or educational communicators. Writers and artists of all backgrounds and all skill levels are invited to apply. 

We can accept applications in written, audio, or video formats. If you have trouble understanding or accessing the application, please contact us and we will help you.

The Southwest Emerging Artist Scholarship is open to any qualified applicant, from anywhere and any background, though preference will be given to BIPOC candidates with deep ties to the Southwest. There is no limit to the number of candidates that can apply from one institution, organization, or community.

Before you apply, please familiarize yourself with the visions of Freeflow Institute and American Rivers. Then craft a compelling pitch for an original creative project that is somehow related to the Freeflow Institute experience, to be used and distributed by American Rivers once it is completed. It’s important that you’re able to research and craft an excellent story, communications project, or work of art. We ask that your project be at least tangentially related to rivers in the American Southwest. Your project should focus on the following goals, through whatever creative medium you choose:

  • enhance and expand public awareness of an issue facing the particular river, watershed, landscape or people in the Southwest
  • ignite compelling dialogue around important issues related to American Rivers’ mission to protect free-flowing rivers in the Southwest
  • encourage people to celebrate, experience, and protect Southwestern rivers 

Please apply on a timeline consistent with the course you’re applying to. The hard deadline for ALL applications is May 5.

We can’t wait to read about your ideas! Please get in touch with Mike at American Rivers at [email protected] or Chandra at Freeflow at [email protected] with any questions.

Scholarship Application Form

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Remember that this award is eligible for courses in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, or Utah only. Please note that Craig Childs’ April 2023 course has an EARLY application deadline of March 15.

1. PROJECT PROPOSAL: Please respond to the following questions in written, audio, or video form. You may address these questions however you’d like. Upload a file with your written response here, or share in one of the following ways: by email or Google Drive to [email protected], or by mail to Freeflow Institute / P.O. Box 602 / Milltown, Montana 59851. Audio or video submissions should be shared by email or Google Drive.

  • What’s the story you’re hoping to tell? 

  • Tell us about your project idea and how you’ll meet the goals listed in the scholarship description. Please explain how your project will support the priorities of American Rivers in the Southwest, and how it aligns with the values of Freeflow. Give us as much detail as you can; we’d love to hear the specifics of your vision. 

  • Why is the American Rivers Southwest Emerging Artist Scholarship a good fit for you? 

  • How will this particular Freeflow course enrich and support your creative work, advocacy, education, or professional development?

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      You may choose to share how your participation will contribute to a more diverse, inclusive, and complex cohort. You may also share with us how you’ve experienced barriers to the outdoors, to writing, or to creative work, generally.
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