National Endowment for the Arts Announce Grant to the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Posted on 01/22/2011
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts has received an Artists’ Communities grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to provide direct financial support to 36 Artists-in-Residence in 2011. The $50,000 grant marks an increase in funding for the Bemis Center, up from $25,000 in 2009. The international Residency Program provides support to artists of all visual disciplines in the form of time, space and monthly stipends. Three-month residencies allow artists time to reflect, research and take risks. The Bemis Center’s famously large live/work studios and installation spaces allow artists to bring demanding work into fruition. Access to on-site facilities and a $750 monthly stipend allow each Artist-in-Residence to concentrate fully on their creative process.
“We are thrilled to once again be recognized by the NEA as a leader in the field of artist communities.” said Mark Masuoka, executive director of the Bemis Center. “The Bemis Center will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011 and I can’t think of a better way to signify this milestone than to be able to increase our capacity to support individual artists.”
Since 1981 the Artist-in-Residence program has supported nearly 600 artists from around the world with the gift of time, space and support. In 2011 the Bemis Center celebrates its 30th year of bringing art and artists to the forefront of contemporary culture. The Building | Bemis capital campaign, launched to build capacity and expand the Residency Program will allow the Bemis Center to serve more artists and continue the incredible momentum of the past 29 years. The Building | Bemis Campaign will support 5 additional studios for resident and visiting artists, expanding the current Artist-in-Residence program from 24 annual residencies to 36. With a record 1,001 residency applications in 2010, the additional space will meet the increased demand of the program by awarding more artists time, space and support.
Other improvements to the Bemis Center include a new loading dock and new windows throughout the facility. These improvements will strengthen the aesthetic appearance of the facility both internally and externally, while improving accessibility and energy efficiency. Renovations to the Okada Sculpture Facility will update formalized workspaces and kilns. Artists will have the unique ability to create large-scale sculpture and ceramics that they cannot make elsewhere.
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.