December 3, 2018 - VIA Art Fund - Announcing new fund to empower small arts organizations
December 3, 2018

VIA Art Fund / Wagner Foundation

Ann Carlson, Symphonic Body / Water, Emigrant, Montana, July 2018. Photo: Elly Stormer-Vadseth.

Announcing new fund to empower small arts organizations

VIA Art Fund and Wagner Foundation have partnered to establish a five-year USD 1 million fund to support small to mid-sized nonprofit arts organizations throughout the United States. Building upon their individual missions and common vision for impact in the arts, VIA Art Fund and Wagner Foundation recognize the importance of these entities to both the national arts ecosystem and to local communities. The new Incubator Grant Fund will offer 25 organizations unrestricted grants of up to USD 40,000 to fund general operating costs and/or specific initiatives.

Five grants will be awarded per annual cycle in amounts up to USD 40,000 per grantee disbursed over two years in equal installments of up to USD 20,000. Interdisciplinary visual nonprofit arts organizations with annual operating budgets under USD 2.2 million are eligible to apply. Proposals considered under this category include local art spaces focused on production and exhibition; artist residency programs; online or print discursive platforms; and curatorial or artists’ initiatives. All Incubator Grant proposals are reviewed through an open call letter of inquiry (LOI) accepted on a rolling basis between January 1 and May 10 2019, followed by an invitation-only application process.

VIA Art Fund and Wagner Foundation share the belief that: 

–Art has the power to engage, challenge, inspire, and transform individuals and communities
–A geographically diverse and programmatically dynamic network of small-scaled arts organizations cultivates innovative and creative artistic voices, and is vital to the overall health of arts in America
–Local arts organizations play a critical role in creating inclusive and supportive communities, and expanding access to creativity and well-being through engagement with the arts
–Small to mid-sized arts organizations face considerable challenges in attracting and sustaining both capital and human resources

“We are particularly proud to have supported many small-scaled arts incubators over the past five years and are excited to announce this partnership. These organizations play a central role for artists and communities, fostering innovation and experimentation and championing new and exciting artists and art forms, while often challenging dominant definitions of art and artistic value. We consistently see that a modest amount of funding can create significant impact.” –Bridgitt Evans, President and Co-Founder of VIA Art Fund.

Charlotte Wagner, Founder and CEO of Wagner Foundation, commented: “Despite their importance, small and mid-sized arts organizations often struggle. When a local venue disappears, a community loses part of what makes it special. Not only must we protect and expand art access, we must consider which communities have been left out and why. Our partnership with VIA will invest in cultural access for underserved regions across the country, so that future generations are able and eager to make new contributions.”

About VIA Art Fund
VIA Art Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit philanthropic arts organization founded by an international coalition of individuals and private foundations who believe in the central role art plays in society. VIA’s activities support innovative, ambitious, and rigorous works of art, and endeavors with far-reaching public impact realized in various forms including institutional production and acquisition, exhibitions, public installations, curatorial research, publications and symposia. Funding artists, curators and arts organizations around the world, VIA Art Fund awards grants in three categories—Artistic Production Grants, Incubator Grants and an annual Curatorial Fellowship—that exemplify VIA’s core values of Artistic Production, Thought Leadership, and Public

About Wagner Foundation
Wagner Foundation
 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation working to build just and robust community where all people have equitable access to opportunity and the ability to live a life of purpose and dignity. Wagner Foundation supports organizations that improve health equity, increase economic mobility, expand institutional fairness, and strive for cultural transformation. In these efforts, we welcome creative solutions bringing communities together. We are committed to encouraging visionary individuals, as well as arts institutions that expand cultural access. The willingness to explore, ask questions, and support one another makes new solutions possible, transforming culture in the process.

VIA Art Fund
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