Surdna Foundation Announces Nearly $13 Million Investment in Artists of Color to Advance Racial Justice

Surdna’s Artist Regranting Initiative Will Support up to 260 Projects in Communities Across the Nation over Three Years

The Surdna Foundation announced today a nearly $13 million commitment to support artists of color working to advance racial justice within their local communities. The funds will be distributed through an artist regranting initiative featuring a diverse cohort of eleven intermediary organizations, which are national and regional in scope, and include several municipal and local partnerships.

As part of Surdna’s Thriving Cultures program, the artist regranting initiative will support artists of color around the country, funding up to 87 artist-led projects each year and approximately 260 projects over three years. Regranting partners will distribute Surdna’s funds to artists, artist collectives, and small artist organizations to work with their communities to imagine and practice racially just systems and structures at a local scale.

Signed by interpreter Lee Ann Tang via Creando Lazos and captioned by ACS Captions.

Surdna’s regranting initiative reflects its commitment to its social justice values and the core strategy of its Thriving Cultures program: Radical Imagination for Racial Justice. As Culture/Strike, a long-standing partner to Surdna’s Thriving Cultures program, reminds us, “arts have a history of successfully speaking to our hearts and minds by shining a light on injustice and by articulating alternatives that can make communities more sustainable.” This truth is foundational to Surdna’s artist regranting initiative under its Create strategic approach.

“As communities across our nation work together to survive COVID-19, artists are uniquely positioned to help us imagine and build a more just future in which we all can thrive,” said F. Javier Torres, Program Director of the Foundation’s Thriving Cultures program. “We are proud to partner with organizations that provide direct, on-the-ground support and technical assistance to artists of color. Our artist regranting cohort invests in the leaders and communities most impacted by injustice because they bring the necessary lived experience, strategies, and creativity to realize racially just societies.”

The key aspect of the Foundation’s regranting initiative is its diverse cohort containing several learning clusters attempting to impact prevailing inequities in arts grantmaking in specific ways. Among the clusters are organizations focused on the U.S. South, local cross-sector partnerships between municipal governments and local arts nonprofits, and culturally specific intermediaries serving Latinx and Indigenous communities.

The eleven member organizations of the regranting cohort are listed below with additional information on partnerships and funding regions.

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Artists of color working together in a community

Correction: At 00:42, the video says the program funds “at least 87 artist-led projects per year and a total of 260 projects over three years.” It should say “up to 87 artists artist-led projects per year and approximately 260 projects over three years” instead.