Soros Arts Fellows 2023

Soros Arts Fellows 2023

Open Society Foundations

Courtesy of Open Society Foundations. 

October 24, 2023
Soros Arts Fellows 2023
Open Society Foundations
224 West 57th Street
10018 New York NY
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The Open Society Foundations today announced the recipients of their 2023 Soros Arts Fellowships, the preeminent award supporting socially engaged art. This year marks the fellowship’s largest cohort, awarding 18 artists from around the globe 100,000 USD each to pursue ambitious projects that propose bold solutions to address the climate crisis, reclaim and uplift indigenous knowledge, and imagine and build sustainable futures.

Open Society’s 2023 fellowships are centered around the theme of “Art, Land and Public Memory,” focusing on artists who are pursuing projects that offer tangible solutions to address environmental harms. The fellowships recognize artists from around the world—from Brazil, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq, Mexico, Morocco, Palestine, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, South Africa, Syria, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota Tribes, the US and their diasporas. Their work also engages communities in which they work across the Global South, places often on the frontlines of the climate crisis and environmental injustice driven by global settler colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy. 

“Art and culture are essential drivers for social change,” said Tatiana Mouarbes, Open Society’s Team Manager for Culture and Art, Expression. “One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is the health of our planet. Through their art and culture work, the 2023 Soros Arts Fellows are taking action to help heal a planet in crisis through community-led solutions for environmental justice. We are proud to support their visions.” 

In addition to unrestricted funding, the fellowships offer recipients a holistic suite of services and resources to help the artists build sustainable artistic careers, including leadership development, mentorship, peer-to-peer exchanges, and networking opportunities.  

Working in diverse forms and global contexts, the 2023 Soros Arts Fellows are: Bilia Bah (Guinea), Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota Tribes/USA), Carolina Caycedo (Colombia/Latin America/USA), Chemi Rosado-Seijo (Puerto Rico), Ixchel Tonantzin Xochitlzihuatl (Ecuador), Dalton Paula (Brazil), Deborah Jack (St. Maarten), Kenan Darwich & Sami Rustom (Lebanon/Germany), Jordan Weber (USA), Martha Atienza (Philippines), Molemo Moiloa (South Africa), Mónica de Miranda (Portugal), Nida Sinnokrot (Palestine), Omar Berrada (Morocco/North Africa), Rijin Sahakian (Iraq/USA), Sari Dennise (Mexico), Yto Barrada (Morocco).

With a long history of supporting arts and culture to advance social change, the Open Society Foundations recognizes the importance of artists’ contributions and the essential role that art plays in civic discourse and open societies. In particular, the foundations seek to honor the aesthetic, political, and capacity needs of arts leaders, individual artists, and cultural activists.   

Since 2018, the Soros Arts Fellowship has awarded more than three million USD in unrestricted funding to 29 artists around the world; this year’s 1.7 million USD investment is the largest annual amount to date. The fellowship was on a hiatus from 2021-2022 during the height of the COVID pandemic, when more than 500,000 USD was awarded to support existing fellows.  

The 2023 fellowship selection committee includes Azu Nwagbogu, Curator and Founder of African Artists’ Foundation; Diane Lima, Curator of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo; Eriola Pira, Curator at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics; Helena Nassif, Director of Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy); Paulina Suárez, General Director of Ambulante; Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Senior Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation; Siobhan Riordan, Consultant and Creative Strategist; Tania El Khoury, Artist and Director of the Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College; Open Society’s Culture and Art staffers Tatiana Mouarbes, Ayoka Wiles, and Ibrahima Niang, and Alvin Starks, Director, Narrative and Culture Change at Open Society-United States. 

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