Continuing our Focus

We believe in the power of the arts. These difficult political times have served to reaffirm our belief that artists are the key to help build bridges to understanding. An artist’s work can be transcendental, it can help reveal the truth, challenge our way of thinking, challenge us to feel, and help us connect to our common humanity. The Foundation is proud to continue its work in support of artists and arts organizations who are making positive change in the world.

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.

Art Scholarships

Our vision is to eliminate the idea of the ‘starving artist’. We believe that artists and the arts are the keys to vibrant, thriving communities. We see the arts as a tool for transformation: a way to enhance the beauty of the world around us, opening the minds of people and expanding society as a whole.

Through our Art Scholarship program we are able to directly impact the lives of individuals; creating a ripple effect that helps build community and will help reshape the way people view artists and the arts.

Our annual scholarship competition is a talent based competition. Our aim is to find young artists who exhibit the most artistic potential and talent and those that have the greatest potential for making change in the world through their profession and community contributions. While need and merit will be considered, 70% of our selection process is based on artistic ability.

  • Awards up to $25,000 per year (after all other scholarships/grants)
  • Renewable
  • Visual Arts Majors
  • First year, transfer, graduates, returning, foreign and domestic students eligible


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.

Artwork by: Alex L. Bennett

Robert B. McMillen Foundation’s
List of Approved Colleges

  • Cornish College of the Arts
  • DigiPen Institute of Technology
  • Northwest College of Art & Design

Artwork by: Ethan Claunch

Art Scholarship & Fellowship

Through our Art Scholarship & Fellowship programs we are able to directly impact the lives of individual artists; generating a ripple effect which will strengthen the economy, build vibrant communities, improve academic performance, and create a paradigm shift in the way people view artists and the arts.