The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has selected six members who are to become the inaugural cohort. The carefully selected recipients of the Artist as Activist fellowships will be awarded with unrestricted grants which range from 30, 000 to 100, 000 USD. All of the chosen candidates are pursuing highly ambitious and creative projects which are addressing a variety of timely, social issues. With their aim not being only to raise awareness, but to actually push people further to act in order to tackle the issues, the main subjects revolve around climate change, mass incarceration and caste-based sexual violence. Over the course of two years, alongside of the mentioned grants, the participants will also receive great opportunities for professional development. For other amazing residencies in United States, check out our top 10 suggestions for a young and an emerging artist.
The Artist as Activist program deals with creators from all disciplines, be it visual, media, performing, design, or any other creative profession, the key thing is that important global challenges and issues are addressed through the creative work. Three grant opportunities comprise the program’s offer. Fellows are chosen through an open call for proposals, those who can apply are the US-based creators and art collectives who have shown dedication in their work toward a social/political action. Over the period of two years, the participants may receive up to 100, 000 USD. It is important to note that for the next two years, the fellowship will be focused on racial injustice, seen through the lens of mass incarceration. Organizations which are eligible for the Artist as Activist program must have shown exemplary work in supporting names which push the boundaries and pave the way for change in art. Also, as the official information states, no new grants will be made in 2016 for this option of the program. The third and final part is the Travel & Research Grants which also includes similar artists as already described, the recipients are granted up to 10, 000 USD for conducting research, participating in residencies or other creative projects that have a social/political agenda. The same as in the organizations offer, no new grants will be made in 2016 for this option either.
Once it was announced in September, the coveted program received over six hundred applications. According to the director of philanthropy Risë Wilson, the significant response can be attributed to the growing number of creators working in this intersected mix of art and activism, underscoring the importance of people whose creative thinking is pushing boundaries and defying conventional grant categories. The names of the Artist as Activist fellows for 2015 are: Chemi M. Rosado-Seijo, Dalit Diva, Susan McAllister and Naomi Natale, Deanna Van Buren, Jasiri X and People's Climate Arts. Nine additional artists are to receive 50, 000 USD in travel and research grants, and unrestricted grants of 200, 000 USD are reserved for organizations.
Preserving and fostering the legacy of Robert Rauschenberg, the foundation nurtures the principles of philosophy that art can change the world. The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation offers a unique residency program for socially and politically engaged artists who create work in order to change the society we live in. Racial injustice unfortunately remains one of the key issues almost anywhere you go, so the effort of this program is undeniably important and will contribute to dealing with one of the most difficult discourses.
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