The Pittsburgh Foundation

Foundations award $175,000 to support artists in the region


PITTSBURGH, Apr. 17, 2014 – The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation have awarded grants totaling $175,000 to thirteen artists and organizations during the third funding cycle of Investing in Professional Artists, a program jointly sponsored by the foundations.

Applications to the new program were received from 182 individuals and organizations from 27 cities and towns throughout the region.  A peer panel comprising regional and national experts from a variety of artistic disciplines reviewed applications and made awards to 11 artists and two organizations based on work quality and the potential of the proposed project to advance an artist’s career. Grantees include established and emerging artists working in visual arts, multimedia, dance, music, theater and literature.  A complete list of grants appears below.

“It is exciting to see the quality and diversity of work being produced in Pittsburgh, and reaffirming to have national panelists praise the work as well,” said Janet Sarbaugh, Senior Program Director for Arts and Culture at The Heinz Endowments.  “It is our continued hope that this program will contribute to increased visibility and opportunity for the recipients, and will help make Pittsburgh a supportive place for artists to live and work.”

Investing in Professional Artists is a multi-year program whose goals are to support creative development of professional artists in the region; create career advancement and recognition opportunities for artists; encourage creative partnerships between artists and local organizations, and increase the visibility of working artists in the region’s cultural life.

“Today Pittsburgh’s arts community is as vibrant as in any other period in the city’s history,” said Germaine Williams, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Senior Program Officer for Arts and Culture. “The region’s artists are finding important opportunities to show work not only within the region but across the country and the globe; what artists have been able to do with modest investment is simply incredible.”

National Panelists included Curator Astria Suparak; Terrance Hayes, Literary Artist and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh; Andrea Snyder, Co-Director of American Dance Abroad; Pablo de Ocampo, Artistic Director of the Images Festival in Toronto; Meiyin Wang, Director of the Devised Theater initiative and the Co-Director of the Under the Radar Festival; and Composer Libby Larsen.

Regional Panelists included Literary Artist Tameka Cage-Conley; Jeffrey Carpenter, Artistic Director at Bricolage Production Company; John Carson, Department Head, Carnegie Mellon University School of Art; Harris Ferris, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; Barbara Jones, Curator at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art; and Ben Opie, Music and Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.

New applications for grants to be awarded in 2015 will be accepted later this year.

2014 Investing in Professional Artists Grants

Creative Development Grants awarded:

  • Jan Beatty ($10,000)  To support the creation of a poetry-based memoir.
  • Paula Bohince ($7,540)  To support the completion of a manuscript of poetry examining the artistic lives of French and expatriate artists.
  • Steven Gurysh ($9,700)  To support the creation of a public art project titled, "SLVRSFR."
  • Jenny Johnson ($10,000)  To support the completion of a first manuscript of poetry focused on genderqueer lives, histories, and imagination.
  • Lauren Knapp ($10,000)  To support a documentary project on rock musicians in Mongolia.  
  • Daniel McCloskey ($10,000)  To support the creation of a serialized hybrid novel titled, "Cloud Town."
  • John Peña ($10,000) To support the development of new and ongoing artworks, including the drawing project "Daily Geology."
  • Jon Rubin ($10,000)  To support the production of a pilot for a transnational sitcom that will act as a tool for citizen-to-citizen diplomacy.
  • Ed Steck ($8,568)  To support the creation of new body of visual artworks based on previous literary works.     
  • Reza Vali ($10,000)  To support the creation of a new composition based on the Persian modal system. 
  • Gregory Scott Williams, Jr. ($10,000)  To support  a documentary project on the work of Urban Innovation21.  

Grants to Organizations for Artist Residencies:

  • New Hazlett Center for the Performing Arts ($35,000)  To support an artist residency with Alexis Gideon to create a new stop-motion, animated, video opera.
  • Quantum Theatre, Inc. ($35,000)  To support an artist residency with Barbara Luderowski to develop set design for a new Quantum Theatre production.