Foundation for Contemporary Arts: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts supports a wide range of visual artists including, but not limited to photographers, sculptors, and performance artists.

IP TAKE: This funder doesn’t award a large number of grants each year so grantseekers should expect competition—intensified by the fact that grants here are unrestricted.

PROFILE: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) was founded by artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg in 1963 and since then has been awarding grants “to encourage, sponsor, and promote innovative work in the arts created and presented by individuals, groups, and organizations.”

Grants for visual artists come out of the foundation’s Grants to Artists program. Unrestricted grants of $40,000 are awarded to artists who have been nominated by their peers; recipients are chosen by a selection panel. Grantseekers should note that FCA awards are not intended to back specific projects but to support artists and their creative pursuits.

Visual artists supported by FCA include David Hartt, who used his funding to produce two film installations, titled adrift and Interval. David Diao is also a past grantee who used the funding to prepare for his retrospective, an exhibition of 125 paintings at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.  

To learn more about FCA grantees, explore its grant recipients page, which gives a detailed description of grantees. 

In addition to its regular grantmaking, FCA offers the $40,000 Robert Rauschenberg Award to visual and performing artists “in recognition of outstanding achievement that reflects the spirit of its namesake.”  A $50,000 John Cage Award is given biennially in honor of its namesake composer.

Finally, FCA operates an Emergency Grants program for both performing and visual artists who have incurred unexpected expenses or have been presented with unanticipated opportunities which they can't fund through other sources. Emergency grants range from between $200 and $2,500. Open applications are accepted for this program.


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