A few common themes emerged from the organizations and projects that received funding in this cycle. Some initiatives are social justice-oriented, highlighting issues surrounding Indigenous land rights, climate change and sustainability, and racial inequity. Others hope to train an eye on forgotten figures who have been buried in the historical archive as a result of structural forces that worked against them in their lifetimes: Several grants will support major museums and institutions that are putting on an underrepresented artist’s first solo exhibition or retrospective. A number of organizations celebrate film, multimedia, and performative arts through restoration, programming, and commissioning experimental work, and $356,000 in curatorial fellowships were also announced for curators working on projects about disability, alternative spiritual practices, bio-art, and art created by immigrants.
Black Cube, based in Englewood, Colorado, is a distinctive nonprofit “nomadic art museum” that operates as a traveling institution of contemporary art. The name is a play on the conventional “white cube” museum experience. Black Cube, which received a $60,000 grant from the foundation for program support over two years, hosts 18-month artist fellowships and has showcased site-specific installations in Colorado, New York City, Pittsburgh, and the US-Mexico border.
“As an artist-centric nomadic nonprofit, it means the world to us to have the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation,” Cortney Stell, Black Cube’s chief curator and executive director, told Hyperallergic. “Not only does the Warhol Foundation bring with it recognizable cache that is delightful to share with our community, but they are a foundation known for supporting artists above all else, a vision that we are deeply aligned with.”
The National Museum of the American Indian, located in Manhattan’s Financial District, received a $100,000 grant to stage a retrospective of Shelley Niro, a multidisciplinary Mohawk artist from New York and Ontario known for her portraiture and filmmaking. Titled Shelley Niro: 500 Year Itch, the subtitle of the exhibition is derived from a self-portrait of the artist donning a white dress and blonde wig in the guise of Marilyn Monroe.
“Through her art, Niro brings attention to the stories of Native women and the challenges posed by colonialist patriarchies,” David Penney, the exhibition’s curator, said in an email. “This grant will help us create an exhibition that explores these themes through Niro’s remarkable body of work.”