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Two of the top art institutions get PS800k

To address racial disparities PS800,000. Two of the most prestigious art institutions in the country have been awarded to help address racial disparities in visual arts. This will allow 120 artists to collaborate with more than 30 galleries and museums across the United States.

The Freelands Foundation has announced “unprecedented” long-term financing, as in the form of a multimillion-pound pledge, to initiatives led by Wysing Arts Centre and the UAL Decolonising Arts Institute that will focus on amplifying and supporting black and Asian artists.

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The Syllabus is a 10 year artist-development program known as the Syllabus, will be funded by PS500,000 for Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire. Every year, 10 artists from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds will participate in an ambitious program executed across a nation-wide network of eight art organizations.

The groundbreaking partnership will provide a decade of support for artists from ethnic minority backgrounds as well as those from low-income backgrounds, with additional access needs or without any formal education in art.

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The program will offer mentoring in artistic development, as well as peer networking under the supervision of artistic advisors and an experienced curator.

UAL Decolonising Arts Institute will receive PS300,000 towards its three-year 20/20 programme, which will allow 20 black and Asian artists to be put in residence at the top art organizations across the UK to create new requests to be used in permanent collections. These permanent collections will “reshape Britain’s landscape for collecting exhibitions, commissioning and display”.

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The 20 partners included are Hepworth Wakefield, Box, Middlesbrough, MIMA in Middlesbrough, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum at Glasgow, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, National Disability Arts Collection and Archive, Sheffield Museums Trust and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

After a thorough review of all proposals, Wysing Art Centre was awarded and UAL Decolonising Art Institute was given the. Sonita Alleyne serves as the chairperson of the panel and she’s also the first black woman to be a master at an Oxbridge college. Other panel members include the artists John Akomfrah and Hardeep Pandhal; Sade Banks, founder of the charity Sour Lemons; and Melanie Keen director of the Wellcome Collection.

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Alleyne said: “The Diversity Action Group is dedicated to creating conditions where artists of color and black in the UK are able to thrive: removing barriers and creating ways to enter the industry in order to transform the experience of artists and the public.

“These new grants mark a significant important milestone in our ongoing commitment to combating racial discrimination in the visual arts.”

Rosie Cooper, Wysing Arts Centre director, said: “The vision and ambition of the Freelands Foundation in supporting Syllabus for a decade is beyond imagination and inspirational. It offers stability and substantial expansion for a programme which has already made significant contributions to the industry. We are extremely thankful to the foundation for choosing to help artists in this way in this tough time.

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Director at UAL Decolonising Art Institute Director, Dr Susan Pui San Lok said that “We are thankful for the assistance of Freelands Foundation in making UAL Decolonising Art Institute’s ’20/20′ project possible. After an extraordinary 18-month period, “20/20” is the outcome of the urgent need for action in the world of art that goes beyond words and gestures.

This money comes following the announcement of an innovative research commission to investigate the reasons why students of minorities are excluded from art classes. The research will be carried out by the Runnymede Trust and Freelands Foundation.


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