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Rauschenberg Foundation Asks Artists to Address Race and Mass Incarceration

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has issued a call for artists to propose “ambitious projects addressing racial justice through the lens of mass incarceration,” according to the Art Newspaper’s Charlotte Burns. Artists chosen will receive up to $100,000 for a two-year fellowship.

“One in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime,” the foundation noted. “This constitutes an epidemic.”

In 2012, Rauschenberg’s foundation initiated the Artist as Activist Fellowship. The current call for proposals, however, is the first time this fellowship has honed in on artwork that addresses a specific societal ill. “We felt it might be more effective to focus specifically on a targeted issue,” said foundation director Christy Maclear. Awards will be given out in April of next year.

According to Mike Hogan in Vanity Fair, Martin Luther King Jr. once asked Rauschenberg what he did. “When Bob said, ‘I’m an artist,’ Dr. King replied, ‘That must be really difficult.’”