Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announces recipients for the inaugural round of its Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant Program

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • February 02, 2012

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: Robert Rauschenberg with Merce Cunningham and members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. The Eisenhower Theater, John F. Kennedy Center, Washington DC, 2000.
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation” when discussing the Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program.


Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announces recipients for the inaugural round of its Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant Program. Each $50,000 – $150,000 grant will enable cultural organizations to support fearless innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration by diverse artists.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of its new Artistic Innovation and Collaboration grant program (AIC) to advance the values promoted by artist and activist Robert Rauschenberg during his lifetime and career. The AIC grant program is the first national competitive grant program for the Foundation.  It propels the organization’s philanthropic mission of cultivating, promoting, encouraging and supporting the production and exhibition of art.

“This grant program is rooted in the defining characteristics of Bob’s legacy – fearlessness, innovative practice, cross-disciplinary exploration and collaboration among artists – and supports new work in a time when funding artistic experimentation is receding.  We are delighted to be able to support projects that are pushing the boundaries of artistic practice and helping artists and cultural organizations investigate new territory,” said Christy MacLear, Executive Director of the Foundation.

In 2011, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation invited 65 arts organizations across the country to apply for the inaugural grant cycle. After a competitive application process, nine grants, totaling $800,000 were awarded to a diverse group of innovative projects.

List of Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program grantees 2012:

Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX 

To support "Carbon 13", a multi-disciplinary artistic investigation of issues related to climate change. Artist and project director David Buckland will work with participating artists Heather Ackroyd, Amy Balkin, Erika Blumenfeld, Antony Gormley, Dan Harvey and  Cynthia Hopkins on developing new works, and these works will be presented in an exhibition in conjunction with public programs as part of The Marfa Dialogues. 

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE 

To support "Town Hall," a project to design and develop a new cultural space and a residency program for local artists in North Omaha, the poorest community in the city. The project will be led by artist Theaster Gates and the Bemis Center and engage local artists and community members in strengthening North Omaha as a creative place. 

The Drawing Center, New York, NY 

To support the commission of three new multi-disciplinary works that illuminate links between drawing and the performing arts. The works will be showcased as part of the Center’s Performance Series and staged in its newly renovated galleries. Artists include Susan Hefuna, Luca Veggetti and Morphoses; Rashaad Newsome; and Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers. 

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), Los Angeles, CA 

To support the launch of HOLA’s Public Art Project, a collaboration between HOLA and Otis College of Art and Design in which HOLA teaching artists Claudio Stickar, Gary Garay, Pearl C. Hsing and Patricia Yossen will work with other leading Los Angeles artists to engage youth in planning, creating and installing permanent installations in HOLA’s Lafayette Park neighborhood.

Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA 

To support Machine Project’s first large-scale project in public spaces. Conceptual works will be created by collaborative teams of artists, filmmakers, sound engineers, floral sculptors and others, which will be installed in unexpected public sites. Participating artists include Kelli Cain, Brian Crabtree, Juliana Snapper and Holly Vesecky. 

Mary Miss/City as Living Laboratory, New York, NY

To support the City as Living Laboratory project, BROADWAY:1,000 STEPS, which will establish Broadway as a green corridor for New York. Working with artists, scientists, urban planners and others, the project will establish 20 Hubs along Broadway, each of which will use visual art, text and cell technology to help passersby explore themese in PlaNYC-air, water, waste, energy and land.

North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND 

To support the commissioning of artists Rena Effendi, John Hitchcock, Terry Jelsing, Bill Harbort, Mary Lucier and Tim Schouten to create work exploring life on North Dakota’s mixed race, multi-cultural Spirit Lake Nation of the Dakota (Sioux) people. The project brings together artists from various disciplines and backgrounds, including Native Americans, to create work with and about a community that has minimal contact with contemporary artists. 

Space One Eleven, Birmingham, AL 

To support planning for (re)Moving Walls, a collaborative, multi-media project in which Birmingham-based artists will travel around the country and engage local artists in exploring barriers their communities face, such as economic disparities, race relations, and environmental degradation. The vehicle that the artists travel in will become the collectively created work, contributed to by artists along the way before returning to Birmingham. 

STREB, Brooklyn, NY 

To support "ESSENTIALIST ACTS," a multi-stage, multi-disciplinary artistic exploration of action, in which artist Elizabeth Streb will collaborate with Robert Woodruff, David Van Tieghem and Erik Pearson as well as members of the STREB company, to create large-scale works, including major public presentations in London as part of the London 2012 Festival of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.


About the Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program

The goal of the Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program is to provide support for innovative projects in which a visual artist collaborates with one or more artists in any discipline to make a new work, advance a multi-stage artistic exploration or push forward
a new artistic form, all in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg. Grantees will be small and mid-sized cultural organizations with a strong
track record of creative risk-taking, experimentation and identifying emergent talent, for whom the Foundation’s grant will be significant

 in enabling them to achieve their artistic goals and leverage other resources.


Grants are generally in the range of $50,000 to $150,000. This amount can be given over a period of one to three years. These creative initiatives may open the doors to new ideas that many people might not understand now but which will become increasingly relevant
in the future.


About the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (RRF)

RRF was formed by Robert Rauschenberg in 1990 to promote awareness of the causes and groups close to his heart. Activities of the Foundation include managing the artwork, exhibition and scholarship of Robert Rauschenberg as well as the growth of the philanthropy programs which intersect art and issues central to Robert Rauschenberg’s concerns during his lifetime.  The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s programs now include the new grant program for artistic innovation and collaboration and direct assistance for the advancement of art. The Foundation’s Vision, Mission and Strategy are coordinated to promote the founder’s values and ensure that all endeavors express the essence of Robert Rauschenberg’s philosophy.

Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program Grants 2013: 

Proposals to the AIC program are made on an invitational basis, based on nominations by distinguished leaders in the field. Cultural organizations with annual budgets under $5 million that wish to be considered may send a brief statement (not more than one page) describing their overall artistic program and a project they believe to be in keeping with the goals of the AIC program.
Submissions should be addressed to:


For more information about the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation grant programs, click here.


Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

381 Lafayette Street

New York, NY 10003-7022


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Press Contact: Christa Carr at (203) 275-7565 or

Christa Carr
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
203 275 7565

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
455 W 19th Street
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