AAWM Offers Art Scholarship

Once again the Arts Alliance of the White Mountains (AAWM) presents the Michael Lacapa Memorial Scholarship for the Arts. The scholarship is made available to students of all ages in the greater White Mountains area who are pursuing a higher education in the visual, performing, culinary or literary arts.


Applications will be received, reviewed, and selected on an ongoing basis as long as funds are available.
In 2015, the Board of Directors revised the application to allow for Seniors in High School to apply for the Scholarship. There is a springtime deadline for graduating high school students. See the application for further details.

Full details and applications to download are available here – CLICK HERE

Please call, write or e-mail Arts Alliance of the White Mountains (AAWM) if you have additional questions.

The History of the AAWM Art Scholarship

Native American Artist and Storyteller

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Michael and his family moved to Whiteriver, Arizona, on the White Mountain Apache Reservation at the age of one. He was the 2nd of eight children with ethnic roots in the Hopi, Tewa, and Apache Tribes. His boyhood love of art matured with a BA in secondary education (Art) from ASU and studies in printmaking at NAU. He taught art at Phoenix Indian High School and then at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale. He then returned to the White Mountains to work with the Apache Tribe developing multi-cultural education curricula for native school-age children. Michael’s storytelling talents grew from this project as storytelling was used as a teaching tool.

Michael became well known for writing and illustrating many children’s books, including: “The Mouse Couple” (1988), the award winning “The Flute Player” (1990), and “Antelope Woman” (1992). He later collaborated with his wife Kathleen in writing and illustrating “Less Than Half, More Than Whole” (1994) for their three children, Rochelle, Anthony, and Daniel, and for all children of multicultural backgrounds.

Years ago, Michael was instrumental in organizing the first Native American Arts and Crafts Festival in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, which continues today as an annual tradition. He was sought after nationally and internationally by storyteller’s conventions to tell his wonderful native stories, many of which were based on his own experiences. In the fall of 2004, while returning from a speaking engagement, Michael was critically injured in an auto accident near Socorro, New Mexico. Paralyzed from the neck down, Michael’s good spirit and wit continued to amaze all who knew him. Then, in March 2005, Michael succumbed to pneumonia.

While he has gone on to his reward, his spirit remains with all who knew him in this life.

Of her late husband’s artistic vision, Kathy Lacapa says…”His philosophy was…’Always write about what you know, be true to your culture or region and never let go of your imagination’. “

In an effort to keep Michael’s legacy alive, AAWM has established a scholarship fund in his name to benefit any resident within the greater White Mountains area wishing to pursue higher education in the arts.