This award for artists of marginalized genders was created in honor of Lilla Jewel, an artist, mother, grandmother, and radical suffragist active during the turn of the 20th century. The Lilla Jewel Award seeks to amplify the work of Oregon-based artists of marginalized genders, who advance a social change message through their work. Created nearly 25 years ago, Lilla Jewel awards have funded poets, choreographers, singers, painters, photographers, and more.

There are two awards of $10,000 available for individual artists.

*Please note that MRG Foundation cannot make grants to individuals, so this award will be considered taxable income.


In order to be eligible for funding from the Lilla Jewel Fund, the artist must live and work in Oregon, be at least 18 years old, and be of a marginalized gender, including cis and trans women, trans men, nonbinary people, gender non-conforming people, and people of all genders that have been historically underrepresented and/or oppressed by structures of power.

The artist’s overall work must:

  • Address progressive social, racial, economic, disability, gender and/or environmental justice issues; and
  • Be timely and relevant to the struggles of social justice movements and communities most impacted by injustice.

If selected for an award, the artist must be willing to serve in the Lilla Jewel Award Committee in the years following their selection.


This opportunity is open to individuals (not organizations) and we’ll be accepting applications from musicians, performers, filmmakers, dancers, writers, poets, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, and multi-disciplinary and spoken-word artists, among many others.

For our purposes, artists do not need to be considered “professionals” or work full time as artists in order to qualify. However, their work should have had exposure to an audience or the general public in order to accomplish our goals of supporting social justice movements.


Applications for our 2021 Lilla Jewel Awards are now closed! If an artist is selected to receive an award, they will be notified no later than mid-June, at which time, we will ask for:

  • A complete W-9 Form; and
  • A picture and short bio.

Thank you for applying! 


Due to the high volume of inquiries and our limited staff capacity, please watch the recording of the March 12, 2020 informational webinar before contacting us. If you still have questions after watching the webinar, please send an email to [email protected].


Please visit to create an account and submit your application.