Announcing the McKnight Culture Bearers Fellowship


The latest addition to the McKnight Artist Fellowships program in partnership with Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center 

What is a Culture Bearer?

Culture Bearers practice intergenerational lifeways and living, evolving cultural art practices that educate, exchange, and share in order to preserve ancestral knowledge. In this work, Culture Bearers hold a direct throughline from ancestors and teachers and center sharing their practice with youth. The role of culture bearer is particularly important within ancestral cultures undergoing transition or experiencing threat from outside and dominizing culture(s). 

Culture Bearers accept a responsibility to share ancestral and cultural knowledge. The practice of being a Culture Bearer is distinct from other individual art practices because the practice is a full life tradition (not separate) and includes intergenerational transmission of learning. While we honor the role of guests within lineages, the intent of this opportunity is to first resource individuals and cultures that are from the cultural and heritage lineage that they practice. 

Dancer and dance makers in forms from ancestral to hip hop can be considered. You may only apply to one McKnight Fellowship program in a year, so if you have any questions about which program area is best for you, please reach out at  or Indigenous Roots staff at 

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