The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts


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FEBRUARY 4, 2013 How the Andy Warhol Foundation Turned the Tables on a Repressive City Government

"'We’ve been on quite a surreal trajectory,' Steve Pierce, director of the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, New York, told ARTINFO. That’s putting it lightly. The small media arts organization made headlines in 2008 after the city government shut it down for exhibiting politically incendiary work by Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal. Five years later, the nonprofit is breaking ground on an expansive public art program funded in large part — here’s where it gets surreal — by that very same city government.

The trials and ultimate triumph of the Sanctuary for Independent Media — a bootstrapped nonprofit located on the poorest block in one of the poorest cities in New York State — is a rare story of David beating Goliath. The organization credits its unlikely rise in part to behind-the-scenes — and, until now, largely unpublicized — support from the Andy Warhol Foundation."

By Julia Halperin