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Lauren Halsey’s The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project.

Mike Kelley Foundation Awards $400,000 to Ten Los Angeles Arts Organizations

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts has announced the recipients of its 2019 Artist Project Grants. The initiative will provide $400,000 to ten arts organizations across Los Angeles: 18th Street Arts Center; California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH); Dirty Looks Inc.; the Echo Park Film Center; Equitable Vitrines; the Ford Theatre Foundation; IF Innovation Foundation; the Los Angeles Poverty Department; the Pomona College Museum of Art; and the Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens.

“This year’s recipients of the Artist Project Grants exemplify the innovation, rigor, and daring that the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts supports,” said Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of the foundation. “It will be exciting to see the culmination of multi-year efforts from artists such as Sharon Lockhart, whose film emerges from her collaboration with young girls in Poland, or Todd Gray, who will be mining his archives of photographs from West Africa and Europe for a large-scale exhibition at Pomona College Museum of Art.”

Among the other projects to be realized with the funds are a thirty-one-day festival produced by the curatorial collective Dirty Looks Inc.—founded by Bradford Nordeen, the group uses historical and contemporary time-based media to explore the queer histories, spaces, and aesthetics of New York and Los Angeles—and artist Lauren Halsey’s residency at CSUDH, which will culminate in an exhibition that builds upon her work The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project.

The 2019 grantees were selected by a panel comprising Ruth Estévez, senior curator at large of the Rose Art Museum and cocurator of the XXXIV São Paulo Bienal; Jamillah James, curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and cocurator of the 2021 edition of the New Museum Triennial; Heather Pesanti, chief curator and director of curatorial affairs at the Contemporary Austin; artist Lari Pittman, whose career retrospective will open at the Hammer Museum next fall; and artist Gary Simmons, whose current installation Fade to Black is on view at the California African American Museum.

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