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Warhol Foundation announces fall 2020 grants
Joshua Dudley Greer, TNT Storage Igloo N6-B, Point Pleasant, West Virginia, 2012. Archival pigment print. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Richard and Ronay Menschel Fund for the Acquisition of Photographs, 2019.345. © Joshua Dudley Greer; image courtesy of the artist. - from grantee Harvard Art Museums exhibition Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced the recipients of its Fall 2020 grants. $3.9 million will be awarded to 51 organizations from around the country to support visual arts programs, exhibitions, and curatorial research. When combined with the grants made in the spring, the foundation’s annual $8 million grant program will have supported 99 organizations in 29 states and the district of Columbia, and two additional grantees outside the United States.

“The Foundation’s commitment to supporting artists by funding the institutions that incubate, encourage, exhibit and critically engage their work is unwavering. Non-profit arts organizations face profound challenges due to the political, economic, social and cultural upheavals of our current moment. At the same time, and more than ever, artists need the supportive community and creative encouragement that these organizations provide,” states Joel Wachs, President of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, “Our granting program recognizes the equal importance of small, community-oriented spaces, major museums, and everything in between. Together, and with the foundation’s support, they work to collectively amplify the voices and visions of artists, which deepens and diversifies the national cultural discourse.”

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation developed flexible and responsive policies to address the evolving needs of its grantees as they adjusted their schedules, presentation venues and modes of engagement with both artists and audiences. To further support them during this ongoing period of great difficulty, it will continue to permit up to 50% of every grant to be used for administrative expenses.

The Fall 2020 grantees include 19 small-to-mid-sized arts organizations whose support for artists comes in the form of exhibitions, residencies, commissions, publications, virtual and in-person gatherings as well as advocacy around compensation. Several first-time grantees are dedicated to creating opportunities for emerging and underrepresented artists and writers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and who are living with disabilities: Philadelphia’s BlackStar prioritizes opportunities for filmmakers and critics; while Chicago’s Sixty Inches from Center and New York’s Wendy’s Subway focus on innovative arts publishing and archiving practices. Other new grantees such as Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ and The Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE are deeply embedded in their local communities and provide high visibility platforms for regional artists.

Special initiatives at Art Resources Transfer Inc., in New York and Berkeley’s Kala Art Institute will deepen each institution’s engagement with current and formerly incarcerated persons, and the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans will launch a year-long themed, interdisciplinary platform for art, activism and policy making, focusing on incarceration in Louisiana.

As the nation continues to grapple with COVID-19, organizations are finding innovative ways to accommodate the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Online programming and safe, sociallydistanced events animate calendars at grantee organizations like Aurora Picture Show in Houston, which has sought out new venues for artists’ presentations such as drive-in theaters, and Indianapolis’ Big Car which operates a local FM radio station to provide a safe platform for the distribution of audio works including experimental sound, artist conversations, and broadcast-specific artist projects. Additionally, W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) advocates on behalf of artists in the non-profit sector to ensure they are paid, and has expanded its purview during the pandemic to include art handlers, assistants, adjunct arts faculty and others who work in the production, presentation and circulation of art.

“In addition to providing community and context for artists and their work, the Fall 2020 grantees are active participants in the cultural life of this country; their exhibitions, publications and public programs address the crises we are facing as a nation, from racial inequity and injustice to police violence, climate change, and the ongoing tragedies wrought by the pandemic. Our grantees have a critical role to play by offering a platform to artists who speak both directly and indirectly to these issues through their work,” says Rachel Bers, Program Director of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The Fall 2020 grantees also include 22 museums, university art galleries, and other organizations that will present exhibitions that expand upon critical cultural conversations through solo presentations of under-recognized artists, first time museum-scale exhibitions of a single artist’s work, or thematic group exhibitions that confront current issues.

The Frye Art Museum in Seattle will present a survey of the work of Duane Linklater whose work addresses the ways Native culture is oppressed and suppressed yet continues to survive and thrive in the modern world. Atlanta’s High Museum will feature Really Free! The Art of Nellie Mae Rowe the first major retrospective in two decades of the visionary artist from the south, and the California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside will mount Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures, a survey of the L.A.-based artist whose work explores migration, labor, gender, and Mexican-American identity. The resurrection of a past life before history, will be Gala Porras-Kim’s first solo museum exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and the Pérez Art Museum in Miami is planning the first comprehensive survey of the artist Gary Simmons.

Some group exhibitions that undertake timely curatorial themes include the Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota’s A Picture Gallery of the Soul, which will present a panoramic vision of Black life and Black history, from the 19th century to the present; Harvard Art Museums’ Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970, an exhibition featuring more than 100 images that draw connections between military activity, pollution of the environment, and public health; and Xican-a.o.x Body, a traveling exhibition collaboratively organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Phoenix Art Museum that will showcase the works of Chicanx artists and demonstrate their influence on contemporary American art and culture.

Due to COVID-19 safety regulations limiting public access to exhibitions and programming, many institutions and organizations are using this time to conduct scholarly research and planning for future exhibitions and curatorial projects. The Fall 2020 grants include $478,000 for 10 curatorial research fellowships that will explore topics such as Caribbean modernism, the impact of technology on creative processes, and the intersectional histories and identities of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx artists and cultural producers in the Southwest region.

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