Installation view, Cog•nate Collective: Manos a la Obra, 18th Street Arts Center’s Propeller Gallery, October 25, 2021-February 5, 2022.
Installation view, Cog•nate Collective: Manos a la Obra, 18th Street Arts Center’s Propeller Gallery, October 25, 2021-February 5, 2022.

Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts Awards Organizational Support Grants for the Second Year

LOS ANGELES, CA., March 21, 2022 – The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced today the recipients of its second year of Organizational Support Grants, an initiative established in 2021 to address the immediate and pressing needs of Los Angeles arts organizations contending with the effects of the pandemic. These grants replace the Foundation’s previous Artist Project Grants, which funded specific projects. Eighteen grantees will receive unrestricted funding to support their organizations’ operations and programming. The Organizational Support Grants further Mike Kelley’s philanthropic mission and honor his legacy by supporting organizations that are committed to risk taking, critical thinking and provocation in the arts. This year’s grantees are the 18th Street Arts Center; Active Cultures; Armory Center for the Arts; Beyond Baroque; Center for the Study of Political Graphics; Clockshop; Craft Contemporary; Feminist Center for Creative Work; Fulcrum Arts/homeLA; Highways Performance Space & Gallery; Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA); JOAN; LA Freewaves; LAXART; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Los Angeles Poverty Department; Pieter Performance Space; and Side Street Projects.

"This year’s grantees have all demonstrated incredible resilience and resourcefulness, but still face their own unique challenges. Unrestricted grants can be used where they are needed most, from strengthening infrastructure to sustaining and building staff to creating visionary programming,” said Mary Clare Stevens, Executive Director of the Foundation. "It’s an honor to support these 18 organizations and the indispensable contributions they make to the arts in Los Angeles.”

This year's grant awards range from $13,500 to $30,000, and target small and mid-size institutions. The recipients present a wide range of programming within contemporary art practice including performance, poetry, multimedia art and archives. "We’re incredibly grateful to have received this grant from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts because it provides us with crucial resources to continue our artistic programming after a difficult two-year period. Small and mid-sized artist-centered nonprofits are absolutely essential to nurturing L.A.'s most innovative art,” remarked Quentin Ring, Executive Director, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. “Mike Kelley himself knew this because he found early support and community at Beyond Baroque and other, similar organizations. It’s therefore an incredibly moving addition to his rich legacy to have the Foundation invest so generously in L.A.’s arts ecosystem.”

The 2022 grantees were selected through an application process by an independent panel that included rafa esparza, Los Angeles-based artist; Naima Keith, Vice President of Education and Public Programs at LACMA; Rebecca McGrew, Senior Curator, Benton Museum of Art, Pomona College; and Anuradha Vikram, Los Angeles-based independent curator and writer.

“We are delighted to be included among such important and intrepid organizations for this year's Operational Support Grant. Our work at Active Cultures is rooted in experimentation and intersectional practice, and we are especially honored to receive support from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, which has long supported rigorous, new and vital programming that is embedded in small organizations like ours across Los Angeles,” explained Laura Fried, Executive Director, Active Cultures.

About the Foundation
The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts advances the artist’s spirit of critical thinking, risk taking and provocation in the arts. Established by Kelley in 2007, the Foundation seeks to further Kelley’s philanthropic work through grants to arts organizations and artists for innovative projects that reflect his multifaceted artistic practice. The Foundation also preserves the artist’s legacy more broadly and fosters the understanding of his life and creative achievements through educational initiatives including exhibitions, educational events, publications and the preservation and care of the Foundation’s art collections and archives.

About the Artist
The work of artist Mike Kelley (1954–2012) embraced performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, sound works, and sculpture. Kelley began his career in the late 1970s with solo performances, image/text works, and gallery and site-specific installations. He came to prominence in the 1980s with a series of sculptures composed of common craft materials. The artist’s later work addressed architecture and filmic narratives using the theory of repressed memory syndrome coupled with sustained biographic and pseudo-biographic inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Kelley produced a body of deeply innovative work in dialogue with American popular culture as well as both modernist and alternative traditions.