Mike Kelley Foundation awards $400,000 to 10 organizations

Mike Kelley Foundation awards $400,000 to 10 organizations
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz filming in the cryopreservation lab at The Huntington Library, Art Center, and Botanical Gardens © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Photo by: Kate Lain.
Leading lights  -   Artists

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts (MKFA) announced the recipients of their 2019 Artist Project Grants (APG). In its fourth year, the APG works to support the collaboration between artists, working in any medium, and Los Angeles not-for-profit organizations. The projects supported in part by the 2019 APG will be shown in institutions of all sizes, focusing on various types of art. The APG’s intent is to ‘reflect Mike Kelley’s longstanding commitment to inventive and groundbreaking work and support dynamic collaborations.’ The 2019 cohort will include under-represented artists and those who have faced difficulty finding funding due to the sensitive nature of their work. A combined total of $400,000 will be awarded to the ten selected organizations whose projects will include solo, group, and collaborative exhibitions. The 2019 recipients are:


18th Street Arts Center – $45,000 – ‘Commons Lab: Place and Public Life’

University Art Museum, California State University – $28,000 – ‘PRAXIS: Lauren Halsey’

Dirty Looks Inc. – $45,000 – ‘Dirty Look: On Location’

Echo Park Film Center – $36,000 – ‘The Newsreel Project’

Equitable Vitrines – $25,000 – ‘Florian Hecker’

Ford Theatres – $46,000 – Edgar Arceneaux’s Boney Manilli

IF Innovation Foundation – $45,000 – Sharon Lockhart’s ‘On Gotland’

Los Angeles Poverty Department – $45,000 – ‘Compassion and Self-Deception’

Pomona College Museum of Art – $40,000 – ‘Todd Gray: Euclidean Gris Gris’

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens – $45,000 – ‘/five 2019’


In a press release issued on April 11th, Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of the MKFA said of this year’s cycle:

‘This year’s recipients of the Artist Project Grants exemplify the innovation, rigor, and daring that the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts Supports. It will be exciting to see the culmination of multi-year efforts from artists such as Sharon Lockhart, whose film emerges from her collaboration with young girls in Poland, or Todd Gray, who will be mining his archives of photographs from West Africa and Europe for a large-scale exhibition at Pomona College Museum of Art. Other projects are in earlier stages of development, such as The Newsreel Project at the Echo Park Film Center, which encourages filmmakers to create works that explore place, identity, and inclusion; and Edgar Arceneaux’s live stage production Boney Manilli, which will take place during the artist’s five-month residency at the Ford Theatres. There is such depth and breadth to Los Angeles’s artistic and curatorial practices, and it’s an honor to help realize these adventurous projects.

American artist Mike Kelley (1954-2012) set up the MKFA in 2007. Kelley is renowned as one of the most influential members of the Conceptual Art movement. His works, which spanned mediums including photography, painting, video, performance, and sculpture are held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Goetz Collection, Walker Art Center, and Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Since his death in 2012, the MKFA has continued Kelley’s philanthropic work.