Performa Bags $460,000 Mellon Grant for Curatorial Fellows

RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Performa, New York’s performance art biennial, is $460,000 richer today, thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Four freshly minted PhDs will serve as curatorial fellows for two years each, coordinating the program of talks and events during the biennial as well as developing research projects and helping to produce performances. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work on developing editorial content for Performa Magazine. The fellows will serve to beef up a curatorial staff of five, led by Performa director RoseLee Goldberg, curator and historian of performance art and all-around dynamo.

The biennial is known for organizing performances by canonical contemporary artists like Joan Jonas and Ragnar Kjartansson as well as spotting young talent. For example, a performance by Adam Pendleton in 2007, involving a choir and a celebration of gay men, brought visitors to tears and helped launch the young artist’s career.

“Our enormous gratitude goes to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and to their Board of Trustees for this extraordinary opportunity that will profoundly shape our organization, and that will also shape the field of curatorial and museum studies,” said Goldberg. “The new curators of the 21st century, who will take up positions in the performance art departments now being established in many museums, will need the skills that we’ll be offering.”

Performa turned ten years old in 2014 (see Marina Abramović, Maria Baibakova, Cindy Sherman Grace Performa Gala, and Performa’s 10th Anniversary Gala Will Honor “Renaissance Women”). Performa 15 takes place in November.

For more information on Performa’s new Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowships, or to apply, contact [email protected]

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