The Pittsburgh Foundation

Exposure Artist Program awards grants totaling $215,000

New Pittsburgh Foundation funding stream benefits 12 individual artists and collectives

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 24, 2022… The Exposure Artist Program, a new arts funding initiative at The Pittsburgh Foundation, has awarded its first round of grants. The 12 awards total $215,000 and include support for individual artists and collectives, transformative justice grants to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists working at the intersection of art and activism, and to artists who have never received foundation funding before.

“Exposure delivers resources to where artists and arts organization managers tell us they are most needed: directly into the hands of artists to support their creative practices,” Pittsburgh Foundation President and CEO Lisa Schroeder said in announcing the grants. The program is intended to strengthen connections across the sector, she said, “and raise the profile of artists working at the intersection of creativity and social justice.”

The awards are practice-based, meaning the artists can use the grants however they see fit. Created at The Pittsburgh Foundation in July of last year with support from the Opportunity Fund, the Exposure Artists Program is guided by a belief in the need to support creative practice, to cultivate and fund diversity, and to advocate for racial justice in the arts community. Awardees were selected by a panel of regional and national artists. In addition to funding, networking opportunities and convenings are planned. Since its inception, Exposure has awarded $395,000 in grants.

Publicity images of the artists and their work are available for media use. Details on each artist including social media handles are available on the Exposure Artist Program: About the Awardees resource page.

First-time grantee awards totaling $15,000 went to:

  • Winston Bell, musician, $5,000 to improve his musical skills and create new work.
  • Sophia Fang, visual artist, $5,000 for additional art training and residency applications.
  • Almah LaVon Rice, literary artist, $5,000 toward completion of her collection of Afro-surreal short stories.

Individual/Collective awards totaling $130,000 went to:

  • Rainbow Serpent Collective, $30,000 for projects including distribution of their upcoming film “Obi Mbu (The Primordial House): An Igbo Creation Myth.”
  • Deavron Dailey, $20,000 for mixed media works that compare and contrast Pittsburgh and Detroit.
  • Selima Dawson, $20,000 for new works of visual art and jewelry design.
  • LaVerne Kemp, $20,000 to fund a studio space for her weaving and textile art.  
  • Yvonne McBride, $20,000 toward completion of a new work of historical fiction novel and short stories.
  • Clara Kent, $20,000 to prepare for the first solo exhibition of her paintings.

Transformative Justice awards totaling $70,000 went to:

  • #notwhite collective, $30,000 to support 13 women artists who use non-individualist, multi-disciplinary art to make their stories visible.
  • Harriet A. Buckley, $20,000 to fund the creation of new music, dance, fiber, fashion and visual arts.
  • Muffy Mendoza, $20,000 to continue her Brown Mama Monologues performance series.  

Detailed information on the awardees and their work, including links to their portfolios and social media handles, and the regional and national committees who helped select the awardees is available on the Foundation’s website. Earlier this year, the Exposure program announced $180,000 in co-fellowship awards to three artists and two arts organizations. More information about the Exposure Artist Program, including complete application guidelines, is available on the Foundation’s website.

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