Curatorial Research Fellowship

From The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts preserves Warhol’s legacy by responding to the needs of artists and fostering creative innovation across the full spectrum of visual artistic activity, from public-facing grassroots collectives, to major exhibitions at high-profile institutions. They actively support work by underrepresented practitioners and strive to recognize organizations that address the systematic marginalization of artists based on race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, immigration status, and income level.

Grant uses

Overview

Proposals are accepted from 501c3 arts organizations on behalf of curators at any stage of their careers, with or without institutional affiliation, working towards projects that will manifest at least two years after a grant is made. Grants are intended to cover expenses incurred during the research and development stage of an exhibition, public-facing project, or other visual arts-based initiative that contributes in an original way to contemporary visual arts discourse.

While the Foundation encourages new and groundbreaking approaches, our mission is focused on art that is anchored in the visual, with the understanding that such work can vary widely in format, medium, style, subject, concept, tone, and intention. Above all, we actively support projects that challenge the status quo and push the field in new directions through risk-taking and experimentation—the twin engines that drove Warhol himself.

The Foundation is committed to fostering a more equitable and inclusive contemporary art field—one that reflects the broader population of the United States—and we encourage proposals that highlight artists and communities that are underrepresented in the cultural sector and beyond. The foundation believes that freedom of expression is a core principle of an open and enlightened democracy. It welcomes proposals from artist-centered organizations that share this belief, reject bigotry of any sort, and promote inclusive dialogue regarding social, political, cultural, and economic issues affecting not only artists but all people.

Eligibility

Organization's Location
Global
Program Location
Global, with strong preference for USA
Organization Type
501(c)(3) arts organizations submitting on behalf of a curator
Organization Budget And Years
Organization's annual budget is less than 200k
Other
  • Requested grant amount should represent no more than 25% of an organization’s annual operating budget.
  • The Foundation suggests getting in touch with program staff to talk through ideas for a proposal before submitting one.
  • Organizations with an outstanding grant should contact the Foundation before applying.
  • Grants are most often made to organizations that have already received support from multiple sources and are at a moment of programmatic strength, having figured out the best ways to support artists.
  • Priority goes to first time grantees.

Ineligibility

Projects that specifically relate to Warhol's life or work (projects should not have any explicit connection to Warhol or his work nor should applications focus on his legacy, his methodology, or his vision)
The Foundation tends not to fund art prizes, named Fellowships, or permanent installations of any kind
up to 50k

Submission

You may submit applications every year.
Required Attachments
Letter of Inquiry (LOI)
Letters of Support
Project Budget
501(c)(3) Letter
Contact info
Rachel Bers
Rachel Bers, Program Director, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 65 Bleecker Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Review Criteria

Letter Criteria:

  • A clear articulation of the opportunities that the applicant can offer to artists. This is the central criterion by which all proposals are judged.
  • A demonstrated commitment to supporting artists, facilitating the expansion of their creative practices through, for example, commissioned new work, publications and public programs that bring critics, scholars, artists and the public into dialogue with their work, connections with communities and community leaders, opportunities to experiment and take creative risks
  • Precision around the curatorial perspective. An argument should also be made for the importance of the project(s) at this specific cultural/political moment.
  • Inclusion of concrete details concerning participating artists, curators, jurors, writers, speakers, performers and other interlocutors.
  • Evidence that the proposed program is not wholly dependent on funding from the Foundation. Avoid aspirational phrases such as “If funded we would raise all stipends for artists” or “with Foundation support we will add ten new residencies…” and use language that is actual, rooted in experience, and realistic.
  • A request for funding that is 25% or less than an exhibition’s total direct costs or 25% or less than an organization’s annual operating budget. Please request a specific dollar amount and use whole numbers.

Proposal Criteria:

  • Proposals should start off with a description of the organization that is applying. Please give a holistic picture of the opportunities it provides to artists and describe what makes an artist’s experience there unique.
  • Describe the process by which artists are selected or invited to work with the organization. Is there a curator or visual arts director? Please name them. Is there an advisory board? Who is on it? Is there an open call for artists? A nominating process? An array of ways an artist might approach the organization?
  • Indicate if there is a particular population of artists being served. Is the focus on emerging artists? Mid-career artists? Artists whose practices have been marginalized in the mainstream art world? Artists with experimental, hard to categorize practices?
  • Proposals should encompass all programs – not single out specific program streams for funding – and these programs should be up and running. Brand new initiatives are unlikely to be funded until they have had a few trial runs.
  • Keep the focus on the artists and the ideas. A competitive proposal will highlight these over any institutional or outward benefit. We are less likely to fund shows centered around an institutional anniversary or a celebration of the institution itself.
  • Be open with us about staff transitions. If there is a major shift coming for the curatorial staff or for the director of the organization, it is probably not the right time to apply.
  • Include a compelling argument for why this is the right moment for the foundation to be involved as a funder: Is a new artistic vision coming to fruition? Is there a program that has deepened or strengthened your work with artists? Are there strong community resources available? Are you able to facilitate meaningful collaborations with longstanding and/or reliable partners?

International Applicants:

  • If international projects have a US venue, provide opportunities for a broad network of underserved international artists, or undertake themes that have not been adequately engaged in the US, they will be more competitive.