McMillen Artist Community
Fellowship Program

The Robert B. McMillen Foundation believes in the power of the arts to change lives, to make the world a better place, to build vibrant communities, and to build bridges of understanding. We believe in a just, equitable, and inclusive society and we feel that artists are the key to advancing these ideals.

Since 2004, the Foundation has supported artists and the arts. We continue to look for innovative ways to get the tools artists need into their hands as directly as possible. To that end, we are excited to announce that we are adding a Fellowship program to our lineup of grantmaking strategies.

Our Vision

This program is designed to support Visual Artists of Washington State. Our work aims to dispel the ‘starving artist’ concept and focuses on ensuring artists thrive. Artists thrive when they are paid and/or earn a living wage, when they stop giving their work away for free, when they have opportunities for artistic growth and development, and when they have time and space to devote to creative practice.

January 1, 2024 Update:

In the summer of 2023, the Robert B. McMillen Foundation office relocated from Ellensburg, WA to Tucson, AZ. To add even more excitement, with the arrival of the new year, the Foundation celebrates 20 years in business!

As we settle into our new hometown and consider this huge milestone for our organization, it seems the perfect time to pause and reflect. To do this work, the Foundation will be temporarily pausing all of its grant making programs for 2024. This will be an invaluable break from regular programming to give us an opportunity to connect with both artists and arts organizations in Tucson, review and improve our systems, and assess and evaluate our work overall, all to better support our grantees and the communities we serve. We plan to resume our regular grantmaking activities in 2025.

We are sharing this update to be as transparent as possible. Our goal in taking time to complete this work now is so that we position the Foundation to serve most effectively as far into the future as possible.


Connecting dots. We understand that the arts world is small; that we are all interconnected and share similar passions to advance the field together. We realize that convening, networking, and learning together create opportunities to brainstorm and spark ideas and create artistic fire! This is the purpose behind the McMillen Artist Community (MAC). The MAC is a cohort of artists that the Foundation has supported through its scholarship and fellowship programs. To date, we’ve invested over $2.3 Million dollars and have helped 74 artists directly.

The MAC Fellowship

The purpose of which is to build and foster community and fellowship among visual artists in Washington State and Alaska, and to encourage such artists to contribute to the enhancement of the community through art and creativity.

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