Jan 6, 2017

Artspace Receives $3.75 million Grant from Ford Foundation

Artspace is pleased to announce a major grant from the Ford Foundation that will provide $3.75 million for the organization to build internal capacity; restructure a number of aging properties to ensure their long-term affordability for low-income artists; and launch a new fellowship program to support emerging leaders of color working at the intersection of arts and community development.

“The importance of the Ford Foundation to the growth and stability of Artspace is impossible to overstate,” said Artspace President Kelley Lindquist. “We’ve been honored by the support and encouragement of the Ford Foundation since 2009, and this grant will allow Artspace to continue the work of providing sustainable affordability for underserved artists, and help us explore new programs that will have a long-term impact on the future of art space development.”

The work proposed by Artspace under this grant will encompass a number of activities over the five-year grant period. Major initiatives include: working at a policy and field-leadership level to expand opportunities for arts-centered community development across America; the advancement of more than 20 new capital projects in diverse regions and communities; the financial restructuring of approximately 10 existing projects for an additional 30-years of affordability for low-income artists; and the design and launch the Rafala Green Fellowship Project to help cultivate the next generation of diverse leaders working at the intersection of arts and community development.

“Artists can inspire people and drive social change, but the infrastructure for arts production in many communities remains fragile,” said Elizabeth Alexander, Ford Foundation's Director of Creativity & Free Expression. “Artspace is an unparalleled leader in developing affordable space and empowering thousands of artists and arts organizations across the country, from Hawaii to Native and Indigenous territory to El Barrio in New York City.”

Artspace’s long-term goal with this funding is to ensure that the organization has the strength and capacity to fulfill its role as a field leader in systematically expanding opportunities for equitable, sustainable, arts-centric community development work in America. Progressive goals include the emergence of more individual leaders with the capacity to advance this work; the emergence of more organizations with the capacity to support this work; the emergence of more government partners with the ability to integrate this work into their development agendas; and a broader, more replicable network of model projects that guide future endeavors.