What's Up with the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program?

The explosive growth of contemporary art is creating all kinds of demand throughout the philanthropic art world.

Alumni are endowing contemporary art curator positions. Private collectors are starting their own museums to satiate a hungry public. And museums are scrambling to acquire traditionally under-leveraged work.

This has also strengthened demand for contemporary art writers. Someone has to write about the stuff, right?

Which brings me to the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, which aims to support writing about contemporary art as well as to create a broader audience for arts writing. We first looked at it three long years before a 2016 Times article described the current art world as one where modern and contemporary art "dominate the action" and "everyone wants in."

So has the program, which recently announced the winners of its 2016 cycle, kept pace with contemporary art's growth from a financial perspective? Let's check the numbers.

In its 2013 cycle, the program awarded a total of $619,000 to 20 writers, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in four categories—articles, blogs, books and short-form writing. In its most recent cycle, the program awarded $695,000, again to 20 writers, ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 in the same four categories.

Crunch the numbers and you'll get a 12 percent increase in funding over a three-year period. Not bad. Not bad at all.

And so writers focused on contemporary art have reason to be cautiously optimistic. Not only is the money helpful, but the program supports projects addressing both general and specialized audiences, an important element given that other arts writers—say, classical music critics—are the journalistic equivalent of an endangered species.

Check out the program's 2016 grantees here.