Lannan Foundation: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: Lannan Foundation provides grants and creates programming to support contemporary artists, writers, and Native American activists.

IP TAKE: Lannan Foundation prioritizes contemporary artists who are in their “mid- to senior-career stages.” More generally, it works to support and create a broader audience for and awareness of contemporary art.

PROFILE: The Lannan Foundation was established by entrepreneur and financier J. Patrick Lannan, Sr. in 1960. It seeks to promote “cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired native activists in rural indigenous communities.” Its Art Program supports grantmaking to non-profit arts organizations, collecting and exhibiting artwork by living artists, and donating art to American museums and public galleries.

Lannan Foundation supports contemporary artists who are in the "mid- to senior" stages of their careers by supporting the arts organizations who exhibit and disseminate their work. The foundation prioritizes programs that foster discussion and create audience outreach. Since its Art Program was established in 1986, Lannan Foundation has distributed more than 400 Arts Grants to projects initiated by more than 200 arts organizations all around the United States. Grant funding through this program primarily manifests as support of exhibitions and publications, and all grants going to non-profit organizations.

Past visual arts grantees include: Providence Productions for the publication of a paperback edition of Nancy Holt: Sightlines, “the first comprehensive monograph of Holt’s 40 plus year history of making art;” The Land Arts of the American West program at the University of New Mexico for general operating costs. This is “an ongoing experiment in an interdisciplinary model for an Arts pedagogy based in place;” Radius Books for publication of Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape: “This comprehensive volume is the artist’s first monograph and features color reproductions of more than a decade of Sambunaris’s work;” The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin for its exhibition and publication of Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt; The Art Institute of Chicago for the exhibition Steve McQueen: A Survey, “the first American museum survey of the artist’s work and the first major show by an artist of color at AIC since 1991;” The Santa Fe Art Institute for general operating expenses, supporting its “broad range of offerings including their artist and writer residency program, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and educational programs for youth and teens.”

A little digging and backtracking through the Lannon awards of past years can be enlightening about which path past recipients may have taken. Unsolicited applications are not accepted, though taking a look at the bios of people who Lannan has funded in the past may give some ideas of a road in. It does not accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiries. It is also always good for grant seekers to become involved in the organization, so take a look at the events and sign up for the newsletter.


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