Last Tuesday night, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Institute of International Education and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced the exciting launch of a pilot program to save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries. The Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of artistic endeavor, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work.
In many parts of the world, artists suffer harassment, imprisonment, violence, and even death as a direct consequence of their unique role and power to advance free and creative expression. With participation of many arts organizations and partners from around the world, IIE has taken action to develop the Artist Protection Fund to fill a critical unmet need and provide relief and safe haven to artists on a large scale.IIE is calling on arts organizations around the world to join in this important effort over the next three years. The launch of the Artist Protection Fund makes an excellent story opportunity for publications covering the arts industry and sends an important message to the many audiences of the arts community about how to become involved as a host or nominate a threatened artist in the world.
Please see full press release here.
My first nominee for this program is Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, and I call for the APF to award a grant to this jailed artist and to join our voice in demanding the release of Bruguera from the Castro Brothers' prison island.