Foundation for Contemporary Arts Awards $680,000 in Artist Grants

This year, the FCA has also launched the new Dorothea Tanning Award.

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) made two big announcements yesterday, January 25. Besides announcing the recipients of its annual artist grants, it also revealed the establishment of a new award: a $40,000 annual grant named after the artist and poet Dorothea Tanning.

Founded in 1963 by John Cage and Jasper Johns, the FCA awards yearly grants to artists in the fields of dance, music/sound, performance art/theater, poetry, and the visual arts.

This year, fourteen unrestricted awards of $40,000 each were allotted, in addition to the Merce Cunningham Award and the Robert Rauschenberg Award, also worth $40,000 each, which were given, respectively, to performance artist Linda Austin, based in Portland, Oregon; and American visual artist, poet, and activist Jimmie Durham, who is based in Berlin.

Other notable grantees include sound artist Thessia Machado, and visual artists Andrea Fraser, A.L. Steiner, and Aki Sasamoto. The complete list of winners can been seen here.

“Each November, we have the privilege of calling artists out of the blue to tell them that their peers in the artist community have nominated and selected them to receive a $40,000 unrestricted award,” said Stacy Stark, FCA’s executive director, in a statement.

“These calls were especially poignant ones, in the wake of the election. The Foundation is proud to continue its mission of supporting pioneering work and experimental practices.”

This year’s grants have been increased from $35,000 in 2016.

Adding to the FCA’s already impressive program of providing support to artists is the Dorothea Tanning Award. It is established with a $1 million endowment gift from the Destina Foundation, which distributes the assets of the late poet, who died in 2012, to philanthropic causes. The inaugural grant has been given to poet Liz Waldner.

Stark said of the choice, “Dorothea’s limitless imagination is reflected in the work of the first Dorothea Tanning Award recipient, poet Liz Waldner.”

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