JANUARY 23, 2002 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Announces September 11th Emergency Fund for Lower Manhattan Visual Arts Organizations
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts today announced a $650,000 emergency grant fund for New York City arts organizations that have suffered severe financial hardship in the wake of the September 11th attacks. The fund will offer $600,000 in grants ranging in size from fifteen to twenty-five thousand dollars to twenty-nine small to midsized visual arts organizations located below 14th Street. These grants follow an earlier $50,000 award to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, an arts group whose offices in the Trade Center complex were obliterated on September 11th.
Joel Wachs, the foundation's president, said: "with the establishment of this emergency fund for downtown New York visual arts organizations, the Andy Warhol Foundation reaffirms its deep and longstanding commitment to New York's cultural community. The emergency fund created by our board targets organizations that are doing tremendously valuable work in the community, but were very severely affected by the September 11th attack and the economic downturn it precipitated."
Mr. Wachs continued, "we hope, by making these grants, to draw attention both to the plight of these organizations, and to their importance to New York and New Yorkers. Arts organizations are absolutely vital to the health of the city, creating the rich cultural fabric that makes New York a great world capital, attracting visitors from all over, and enhancing the daily lives of city residents. They also represent the kind of free and diverse expression that makes America a beacon of liberty for people everywhere - and enrages those enemies of freedom who attacked our city on September 11th."
The emergency grants are for general operating expenses, and are intended to assist groups suffering from loss of revenue from lowered attendance, declining earned income, cuts in city and state funding, and other direct and indirect effects of the terrorist attacks. The twenty-nine organizations range in size from the New Museum to Dieu Donne Papermill, a small artist workspace on Broome Street. All either present visual art exhibitions or have facilities which are used by artists to create their work, and all have impressive track records in the field of contemporary art.
Mr. Wachs noted that the emergency fund monies are over and above the foundation's regular national grants program, which this year will exceed $5 million. He said that while many public funders and even some private ones have cut back on their grantmaking, the foundation wished to assure its grantees that its traditional program would continue at its usual pace, with the New York City emergency fund supplementing the regular national giving this year. "In these difficult economic times," he said, "we feel a stronger obligation than ever to support our core constituency: the visual arts groups across the country that do so much to enrich the lives of Americans and to enhance both this nation's culture and its economy."