Slide background
SOS Blog

Save Our Wild Salmon

INWAAE Logo Claire Waichler Free the Snake square title no URL 800wNTRODUCTION:

Since 1992, Save Our wild Salmon (SOS) has had offices in Seattle and Spokane and has led a diverse coalition of organizations – conservationists, fishing people, businesses, clean energy and orca advocates – to protect and recover endangered wild salmon and steelhead populations in Northwest rivers and marine waters for the benefit of people and ecosystems.

Our advocacy is focused on the Columbia-Snake River Basin where we're working to secure programs and policies that protect, restore, and reconnect the resilient rivers and habitats that wild salmon and steelhead need. The Columbia-Snake River Basin was once the most prolific salmon landscape on the planet – experiencing returns of adult wild salmon and steelhead exceeding 16 million fish annually. Salmon are vital to WA's economy, and iconic to the history and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Today, however, due mainly to the scores of large dams built on the Columbia and Snake Rivers last century, populations have plummeted. Thirteen populations are listed under the Endangered Species Act. All four remaining salmon and steelhead populations in the Snake River Basin are at risk of extinction. Wild salmon —and the Southern Resident orcas who rely on them—are at risk of disappearing today.

Salmon are a keystone species, providing for countless species and the overall health and function of the region, and a crucial part of the spiritual and cultural identity of our region. The salmon and steelhead sustained the cultures and economies of Tribal Nations since time immemorial. For the Tribes, their past, present, and future is inextricably linked to the continued existence of salmon and the health of the rivers that support them. Tribes, our ecosystem, and communities experience profound consequences from the dwindling salmon runs.

Art is an essential part of the fabric and identity of the Pacific Northwest - just like salmon and orcas. So it makes sense that artists would team up with advocates and reach out to others to speak up on behalf of some of this region's defining species that are struggling for survival today. The Pacific Northwest is home to amazing artists – many of whom are inspired by the region's rich lands and waters and fish and wildlife.

At SOS, we are honored by the opportunity to partner with them - and highlight their artwork - to reach new people and connect with policymakers and communities in creative and compelling ways.

Northwest Artists Against Extinction is a creative collaboration between artists, SOS, and advocates, to build public support - and political leadership in 2022 - to restore the lower Snake River and its imperiled wild salmon and steelhead.

Unlike anything else, art can draw people in and inspire them to care about issues and people beyond themselves and their communities. When it comes to environmental activism, art is not a supplemental tool, but rather a necessary and vital part of the work towards environmental justice.

The vision for NWAAE isn’t a new concept, it is art + activism. Knowing that emotions and cultural connection, more than anything else, move us to action- we are engaging artists whose work is connected to conservation, endangered species and the environment, that we believe will engage the public in a new way around the campaign to restore the Snake River and its endangered salmon. Our

partnership with artists will help us access people on an emotional and cultural level and invoke in them a sense of regional identity and action.


Save Our wild Salmon (SOS) Coalition developed the program Northwest Artists Against Extinction (NWAAE) to provide interested artists with the opportunity to support our Campaign to restore the lower Snake River, recover imperiled salmon, and support artists whose work is connected to conservation, endangered species and the environment.

NWAAE is a creative collaboration with artists who value healthy rivers and salmon abundance, and our partnership is engaging the public in a new way around the campaign to restore the Snake River and its endangered Salmon, and the many ecological and community benefits they bring to our region.

SOS is launching NWAAE efforts in Spokane, and as a first step- seeking proposals for a mural in Spokane that incorporates these benefits, values, and challenges into an engaging, uplifting design.


The scope of work includes developing a design in partnership with SOS, and painting a 10x10 mural in Spokane highlighting the purpose and values of the campaign to restore the lower Snake River and recover imperiled salmon.

LOCATION: TBD (SOS will secure private space preferably in North Hill, Perry, or Emerson-Garfield neighborhood). We will develop a written agreement regarding long-term maintenance and will negotiate a stipend with artist for future repair work.

BUDGET: $2,500-$3,000 (including labor and supplies). SOS will support the planning and execution of this project in ways that honor artists’ time, contributions and partnership. If labor costs exceed the proposed budget, we will work to secure supplies separately and additional funding as needed.

DETAILS: The mural should be long-lasting and at least 10x10 in size, designed to capture the attention and action of community members, and highlight the importance of salmon recovery.

Several important criteria for this piece are:

  • SOS website or QR code included
  • Appropriate for family-friendly audience
  • Welcoming and inclusive


  • Artist RFP submission due: August 5, 2022 (5 p.m. PST)
  • Artist Final Selection: August 15, 2022
  • Contract executed and notice to proceed issued: August 20, 2022
  • Final Artwork approved: August 31, 2022
  • Installation: September 1-15th


Artist eligibility will not depend on an artist’s professional status; however, it must reflect a high quality of work. (Non-professional artists are encouraged to participate). Preference will be given to Tribal artists to honor the history, connection, and importance of salmon to their culture.


The deadline for RFP submission is 5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time), August 5, 2022. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Please email application materials to

For application questions, email

For general questions or to get involved in NWAAE, contact

Application Requirements:

Please note we are not asking for artwork proposals for this project during the artist selection. Application materials to submit:

  • Letter of interest: Please describe your interest in this unique opportunity, your design concept, and how you envision executing this project.
  • Biographical statement: The biographical statement replaces a resume and is a space where you can summarize your experiences as a creative individual.
  • Up to four work sample images: Identify samples with title, year created, client, and medium
  • Two references: Please include the name, a brief statement about your working relationship, and contact information (email and/or phone number) for each of your references.


  • CV or resume


SOS will establish a Selection Committee with NWAAE participating artists, SOS staff, and community members. The Selection Committee will review all proposals and select an artist based on previous work, connection to issue, interest, vision, and overall design concept.


Applicants will be notified of the decision by email by August 15th, 2022.

Share This