Ten Artists to Receive Two-Year Grants for Projects Addressing the Epidemic of Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) Chasing Monsters from Under the Bed 2015. A performance addressing police violence and mental illness. Photo: LAPD

Ten Artists to Receive Two-Year Grants for Projects Addressing the Epidemic of Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

Today we announced the ten artists and artist collectives selected for the 2016 Artist as Activist Fellowship—the Foundation’s two-year grant program designed to support independent artists and artist collectives who tackle important social challenges through their creative practice.  

With 2.2 million people currently in U.S. prisons or jails, the growth rates of this industry combined with the disproportionate number of people of color locked up, mass incarceration is one of the most pressing issues of our time. The Rauschenberg Foundation believes that artists are key partners in addressing these issues, and generating lasting social, political, and economic change.

The Foundation identified this year’s cohort through a competitive, nationwide call for proposals to U.S.-based artists. From an initial pool of 228, the following ten artists and artist collectives were selected to receive support ranging from $50,000 - $100,000 over two years:  

Maria Gaspar, Chicago

The Graduates, Louisiana

Titus Kaphar, New York City and New Haven

Los Angeles Poverty Department, Los Angeles

Jeremy Robins/Echoes of Incarceration, Brooklyn

Favianna Rodriguez, Oakland

Paul Rucker, Baltimore and Seattle

El Sawyer, Philadelphia

jackie sumell, New Orleans

Shontina Vernon, Seattle

Through various mediums such as film, performance, radio, public art, music, and theater, the 2016 Artist as Activist Fellows—many of whom have been previously incarcerated or impacted by the prison system—will share the stories and experiences of people directly affected by mass incarceration, and will each develop projects that address the intersections between race, class, and mass incarceration.

Join the conversation on art, activism, and mass incarceration with the Foundation via Twitter {@RRauschenberg }, Facebook {@RauschenbergFoundation }, and on Instagram {@rauschenbergfoundation } with the hashtags #ArtistasActivist, #RRgrants, and #RauschenbergFoundation.

Read the official announcement > 
Learn more about Artist as Activist >