Artist Programs Overview

The Artist Centered Program demonstrates the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s commitment to understanding the needs of visual artists throughout their lives, through awarding individual artist grants, administering aid programs, and funding arts organizations.

Since 1994, artists have been selected through an intensive nomination and review process for the Foundation's Painters & Sculptors Grant Program. Nominators are asked to recommend candidates who they feel deserve more recognition and would benefit from the financial support. The Foundation currently awards twenty-five grants in the amount of $25,000 each, based on the quality of the applicants’ work. Recognizing the needs of emerging artists graduating from MFA programs across the country, the MFA Grant was later established with the first round of artists funded in 1997. MFA Grant recipients were also included in annual group exhibitions at the CUE Art Foundation with an accompanying catalogue. This program was suspended in 2012, as the Foundation seeks to engage an even broader, more heterogeneous group of artists, beyond the system of higher education. The Emerging Artist Grant Program is a new initiative designed to assist emerging visual artists across the United States. This pilot program awards a diverse group of ten artists with an unrestricted grant of $12,000 per artist in addition to professional support throughout the year.

In response to artists impacted by the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001, the Foundation expanded to provide emergency grants to individual artists in communities affected by man-made and natural disasters. In 2008, the Foundation administered a Career Opportunity Grant for New Orleans based projects, providing Gulf Coast area artists with assistance for specific career opportunities. Since 2007, the Foundation’s Creating A Living Legacy (CALL) Program has sought to educate and support artists in the creation of a comprehensive archiving system to document their artwork and careers.

While primarily focused on the support of individual artists, the Foundation began in 1995 to fund arts organizations that work directly with artists in their communities. Grants to organizations have provided support in areas such as professional development, publications, and exhibitions. The Foundation’s focus in organizational granting is the promotion of diversity and expanding opportunities to under-recognized artists. Organizational support has focused to a large extent on the New Orleans arts community post-Katrina. The Foundation has expanded its commitment to the city through the formation of the Joan Mitchell Center on Bayou Road, an artist in residence program.