The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Pamela Clapp (212) 387-7555
MAY 22, 2003 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Announces Major Grants to Six Contemporary Art Centers

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts today announced grants of  $100,000 each to six small-to-mid-sized visual arts organizations.  The grantees are: the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center of Atlanta, 911 Media Arts of Seattle, the Salina Art Center of Salina, KS, Southern Exposure and The Luggage Store/509 Cultural Center, both of San Francisco, and White Columns of New York.  The grants, designed to help ensure the groups’ continuing fiscal health and their contributions to their communities, are part of the foundation’s $5 million nationwide Warhol Initiative, which provides capacity-building grants to small-to-midsized non-profit visual arts organizations.

Announcing the awards, foundation president Joel Wachs praised the groups for the pivotal role they play in strengthening the arts infrastructures of their regions.  The Warhol Initiative was created, he said, to assist such non-profits in achieving the long-term fiscal stability they need in order to effectively serve artists and their communities.

Oftentimes, Wachs noted, these organizations are the main support for artists within their communities.  They nurture America’s artists where they live and work, offering both needed services and supportive environments.  “To a very great extent, organizations like these are what keep American creativity thriving,” Mr. Wachs said, “and we owe them a great debt of gratitude for the important work they do, generally with very limited resources.”

Foundation program director Pamela Clapp called the Initiative “an excellent example of the Warhol Foundation’s proactive approach to assisting our primary constituency, the nation’s non-profit visual arts organizations.”  She said that the Initiative had been launched in response to the fact that while small-to-midsized visual arts organizations play a unique and essential role for artists in this country, they are often financially fragile, especially during an economic downturn. The Initiative was designed specifically to meet the needs of groups like these, “artist-centered organizations” with budgets of $1 million or under.   It offers sizable grants for organizational capacity-building, and also provides technical assistance.  The resources it provides are generally used to support stabilization-oriented efforts like starting endowments, paying off mortgages, creating cash reserves, and other similar projects.