Washington artists called to action in BLM movement

A new grant program created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement offers Washington artists a chance to speak to the moment.

The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program was established by philanthropist Jordan Schnitzer in partnership with Washington State University’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Twenty artists from around the state will be awarded $2,500 each to create work that reflects on social justice efforts in response to systemic racism.

“I have often said artists are chroniclers of our time. We all feel anguish about the death of George Floyd and many others at the hands of racial oppression,” Schnitzer said in a press statement. “We, more than ever, need artists to help us understand this issue and help us heal.”

The call for grant applications from Washington artists is part of a broader $150,000 effort funded by Schnitzer that includes similar grant opportunities for Oregon artists. The Oregon program is being administered through Jordan Schnitzer Museums of Art at University of Oregon and at Portland State University. A combined total of 60 grants will be issued across both states.

In Washington, WSU art museum staff plan to partner with the Black Student Union; the Department of Fine Arts; the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race; and the Honors College to determine grant recipients.

Artists residing throughout Washington are encouraged to submit proposals for new work or projects, or recently created work directly responding to: the current Black Lives Matter movement; marginalized communities; experiences with systemic racism and inequality; and artists whose work thematically connects to these experiences. Artists working in all mediums are invited to apply.

Interested artists should submit their applications no later than Sept. 30. Submission instructions can be found on the WSU art museum’s website. A panel will review submissions with grantees to be notified by Oct. 31. Selected works may be exhibited by the museum online in late 2020, followed by a gallery exhibition in winter 2021.

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