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Grant Applications Open to Oregon Artists Responding to BLM Movement

Elizabeth Gabriel


Jordan Schnitzer, in a partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Museums of Art (JSMA) at the University of Oregon, Washington State University, and Portland State University, announced Monday that they will provide grants for local artists. The funding will support Oregon artists responding to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Funded through The Harold & Arlene CARE Foundation, the art museums will receive $50,000 each, totaling $150,000 altogether. Each museum will then distribute the Black Lives Matter Artist Grant of $2,500 to 20 artists.

Selected artwork will reflect marginalized communities, social justice efforts, or responses to systemic racism.

“I have often said artists are chroniclers of our time,” wrote Jordan Schnitzer in a press release. “We all feel anguish about the death of George Floyd and many others at the hands of racial oppression. We, more than ever, need artists to help us understand this issue and help us heal.”

According to a press release, the JSMA is partnering with The Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center to determine grant recipients. They are also forming a panel to review artist submissions, which will include JSMA Executive Director John Weber, Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center Coordinator Dr. Aris Hall, UO School of Music and Dance Dean Sabrina Madison-Cannon, UO Multicultural Center Program Advisor Jamar Bean, and Department of Art Assistant Professor Jovencio de la Paz.

During a press conference, JSMA Executive Director John Weber said this project is a step toward a more equitable community.

“I see this project grant as but one component of a desperately needed, and far larger, longer-term effort across cultural, educational, governmental organizations,” said Weber. “To listen to Black voices, read Black scholars and authors, study the work of Black artists—and commit to long-term actions to understand, address, and materially, structurally counter the legacies of white supremacy.”

Artists 18 years and older, working in all mediums, are encouraged to apply. Community members can propose collective projects, community-based projects, or outdoor public artworks.

Applications are open to artists in Oregon, who reside outside of the Portland area—excluding Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia, and Washington Counties.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, and grantees will be notified by October 31. Selected works will be exhibited at the JSMA when the museum reopens this fall.

For more information, you can visit the JSMA website. 

Elizabeth Gabriel is a former KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She is an education reporter at WFYI in Indianapolis.
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