The Pittsburgh Foundation

Exposure Artist Fellowship

Multidisciplinary artist LeFawn Barefoot's current body of work is centered on ancestor veneration, snake medicine, mindfulness and release. Image by Kitoko Chargois.
Multidisciplinary artist LeFawn Barefoot's current body of work is centered on ancestor veneration, snake medicine, mindfulness and release. Image by Kitoko Chargois.
The Exposure Artist Fellowship Program is guided by the question “How can a community foundation assist in making Pittsburgh more livable for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists?”

The Pittsburgh Foundation, working with BIPOC artists and arts organizations in Pittsburgh, has explored ways to amplify the work and lived experiences of artists of color, while also asking how the artists’ experiences could inform practices at larger arts institutions that may lead to more collaborative partnerships between BIPOC artists and arts organizations. By supporting both the people and the inquiry, this program aims to foster better understanding, accountability and the advancement of actionable transformation in Pittsburgh’s arts and culture ecosystem.

This year-long pilot initiative will provide fellowships for artists who have a history working at the intersection of arts, social inquiry/practice and/or activism. Two fellows will work in tandem with arts organizations within Allegheny County, and one fellow will engage in an independent fellowship while collaborating with the fellow group. Guided by an anti-oppression facilitator, these fellowships aim to interrogate organizational practices that perpetuate systemic racism in the arts and culture ecosystem while providing a living wage and access to arts-institution resources to Pittsburgh-based BIPOC artists.

The program goals are to provide two co-fellowship experiences between BIPOC artists and arts organizations within Allegheny County and one self-curated fellowship for an artist who has a history working at the intersection of arts, social inquiry/practice and/or activism:  

  • To interrogate practices that perpetuate systemic racism in the arts and culture ecosystem.  
  • To provide a living wage to individual artists.
  • Increase access to the resources of arts institutions for BIPOC artists who approach work with a racial justice lens in support of creative and artistic development.  

The Exposure Artist Fellowship Program will award:

  • One $50,000 grant to an artist with a disciplinary focus or interest in performance to participate in co-fellowship with Kelly Strayhorn Theater.
  • One $50,000 grant to an artist practicing in any discipline(s) to participate in co-fellowship with Carnegie Museum of Art.
  • One $50,000 grant to an artist practicing in any discipline(s) for a self-curated fellowship.
  • Two $15,000 grants to Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Carnegie Museum of Art, in support of this inquiry and additional administrative supports.

Through an invitation-only nomination process, BIPOC artists who approach their work with a racial justice lens in support of creative and artistic development in any discipline are encouraged to apply. This includes but is not limited to visual, written, auditory and performance-based artists.


If you have questions about the program, please email us at arts [at] pghfdn.org