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New York’s ISE Cultural Foundation to Close Its Doors

New York’s ISE Cultural Foundation—a nonprofit organization established in 1984 to promote emerging and under-represented artists and curators—has announced that it will shutter its doors permanently on December 31.

In an open letter, director Tomi Ise cited a sudden decision made by the foundation’s headquarters in Tokyo as the reason for the closure. “After this unexpected notice was delivered, we searched for any possibility to continue our activities in New York. However, we could not overturn the decision in Japan . . . It is so regrettable and disappointing that we have to stop our activities in the middle of operation.” He added, “We deeply appreciate your support and friendship to the foundation for such a long time and we apologize for any inconvenience caused by this closure.”

For more than two decades, the foundation organized exhibitions at its gallery located at 555 Broadway in SoHo. It was known for presenting projects such as the “Asian Art Series,” which focused on introducing Asian artists to US audiences; the “Program for Emerging Curators,” an open call for curators worldwide to present exhibitions; and its “Art Student Exhibition” and “ISE NY Art Search” programs.

In 2015, the foundation shifted its focus to issuing grants in support of artists and art communities. In May 2015, it was awarded the Consul General’s Commendation from ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, the consulate general of Japan in New York.

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