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Chitra Ganesh, Urgency, 2020.
Chitra Ganesh, Urgency, 2020.

Art Matters Announces 2020 Grant Recipients

New York–based nonprofit Art Matters today announced 37 recipients of its 2020 grants. Each will be awarded a fellowship of $5,000. The grants are awarded annually to artists or collectives working in contemporary art or performance. Among the first-time grantees this year are collective #XMAP: In Plain Sight; stage director Charlotte Brathwaite; performer and video artist Jibz Cameron, aka Dynasty Handbag; and filmmaker Shikeith. Repeat grant winners include photographer Sergio De La Torre, choreographer and movement artist Eiko Otake, and participatory artist Dread Scott.

Art Matters’ selection process this year was influenced by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and by the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the globe this summer, and eschewed application labor on the part of the artists. In keeping with the nonprofit’s mission, this year’s grantees represent QTBIPOC people (queer/trans/Black/Indigenous/people of color), incarcerated and undocumented populations, and those who are immunocompromised and/or disabled, as well as healers and activists.

“Our grantees make art that is fully embodied; art that is not risk-averse; and art that subverts structures and questions the institution,” said Art Matters director Abbey Williams. “So it was striking to engage with artists from our past and future histories. Both emerging and elder voices are expressing an urgency to find a new way forward through their work and we believe these artists can and will. These grants are our way of saying ‘We see you! Thank you for your prescient work in this current moment, it is so desperately needed.’”

For the second year in a row, a number of the Art Matters grants are supported by the Betty Parsons Foundation. These named fellowships specifically support women/female-identified artists to honor the influential legacy of artist and gallerist Betty Parsons. This year’s recipients are resistance artist Carolina Caycedo; visual artist Chitra Ganesh; and collage artist Tameca Cole, who was featured in Artforum’s September issue.

Earlier this year, Art Matters also awarded $40,000 in Covid-19 relief funds to eight artist-led mutual aid efforts, including Detroit’s Artists & Allies and Albuquerque’s New Mexico Craft Responders, both of which provided PPE to essential workers, and New York’s House Lives Matter, in support of the local house and ballroom community.

Here is the full list of grantees:

#XMAP: In Plain Sight (Los Angeles, CA)
Barak adé Soleil (Chicago, IL) 2017 Grantee
Holland Andrews (Brooklyn, NY)
Patty Berne (Oakland, CA) 2017 Grantee
Diedrick Brackens (Los Angeles, CA)
Charlotte Brathwaite (Cambridge, MA)
Jibz Cameron aka Dynasty Handbag (Los Angeles, CA)
Carolina Caycedo (Los Angeles, CA) (Betty Parsons Fellow) 2014 Grantee
Tameca Cole (Birmingham, AL) (Betty Parsons Fellow)
william cordova (New York, NY/Miami, FL) 2009 Grantee
Sergio De La Torre (San Francisco, CA) 2012 Grantee
Oletha Devane (Ellicott City, MD) 2017 Grantee
Shannon Finnegan (New York, NY)
Chitra Ganesh (Brooklyn, NY) (Betty Parsons Fellow) 2010 Grantee
Maria Gaspar (Chicago, IL) 2017 Grantee
Harriet’s Apothecary (Brooklyn, NY) 2016 Grantee
Xandra Ibarra (Oakland, CA) 2016 Grantee
Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick (New Orleans, LA) 2018 Grantee
John Kelly (New York, NY) Multi-year Grantee
Laura Kina (Chicago, IL)
Jacob A. Meders (Phoenix, AZ)
Marilyn Nance (Brooklyn, NY) 1993 Grantee
Eiko Otake (New York, NY) 2015 Grantee
Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty (Detroit, MI)
Charles Preston (Chicago, IL) 2018 Grantee
Tracey Rector (Seattle, WA)
M. Janea Sanchez (Douglas, AZ)
Tracy Schlapp (Portland, OR)
Dread Scott (Brooklyn, NY) 2013 Grantee
Peggy Shaw (New York, NY) 2007 Grantee
Shikeith (Pittsburgh, PA)
Lady Shug (Diné) (Navajo Nation)
Ahya Simone (Detroit, MI) 2018 Grantee
Studio Revolt (Tacoma, WA) 2017 Grantee
Gary Tyler (Pasadena, CA) 2019 Grantee
Kristina Wong (Los Angeles, CA)
Dorian Wood (Los Angeles, CA)