The Union for Contemporary Art’s Populus Fund awarded a total of six $10,000 grants for projects with a visual arts component proposed by artists or artist groups that provide experiences, content, materials, activities, platforms, etc. that engage and connect with the community through art.
Populus Fund grant recipients receive funding for projects that promote collaboration with the public and are radically accessible. Funds can be used for the research, development, and creation of public-facing new work, a project, or performance. The 2022 grantees include artists of a wide diversity of backgrounds and disciplines, each with a unique approach to engaging their communities.
2022 Populus Fund Grantees
Fortuna (Allegra Hangen and Enero y Abril), Fortuna in Residence
Fortuna is an artist-run space and transdisciplinary artist residency program that connects artists and art communities in Omaha, NE and Mexico through reciprocity and exchange. By bridging the physical and rhetorical distances between Omaha-area artists and artists based in Mexico, Fortuna grounds its artist exchange program in collaborative, community-centered, site- and situation-specific residencies that cultivate a deeper cross-cultural understanding of place. The Union Populus Fund will provide Fortuna with the funds to sponsor two consecutive artists in residence and to finance an exhibition that the artists in residency will co-curate to take place in Omaha, paired with a public program.
Mary Lawson (aka Mesonjixx), Everyday Performances
What happens when the unexpected interrupts the mundane?Throughout a tour of public places and spaces that commonly go overlooked in our day to day routines of ordinary life Mary Lawson aka Mesonjixx plans to organize a series of performances and beautified happenings in partnership with local and regional artists and orgs to help bring attention to actions and stories that need our attention.
David Manzanares, Sculpture for Mayan Community Garden
This project will generate the collective conceptualization and creation of a Sculpture in the Community Garden de la Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim of Omaha.
The Mayan Community of Omaha Pixam Ixim wants Art that represents Mayan Culture in their public spaces, they don’t have much money but they have the space would love a collaboration with the Indigenous artist David Manzanares. The creation of a Sculpture for the community Garden of the Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim in the city of Omaha. The Mayan Community of Omaha and the Chinanteco Sculptor David Manzanares will work together in the creation of a nine feet sculpture made of concrete and painted. The sculpture will be made in David Manzanares’ workshop and then will be placed in the Community Garden Of Pixam Ixim , in the south of Omaha.
Alajia McKizia, Sunday Soul
Alajia McKizia’s 2022 Populus Fund project, Sunday Soul, is a five part event series, centering womyn identifying artists and connecting communities through culturally exceptional experiences.
Oria Simonini, Desde que Me Fui/ Desde que Te Fuiste: Communities in movement tracing the shapes of their journeys
This public art project seeks to create two murals as a space for dialogue between communities in North and Central America affected by the journey of migration. The project will take place in Schuyler, Nebraska, and a location to be determined in Guatemala.
Tugboat Gallery, Porch-Art-Palooza
Porch-Art-Palooza is a free, community art event that takes place on Artist porches in the historic Everett, Near South and South Salt Creek neighborhoods in Lincoln, Nebraska. On Sunday August 7th from 1-6, Artists will have their work displayed on their porches or yards available for the community to view, interact with the Artists and also to purchase art work. This 8 mile route is perfect for biking, walking, skating or boarding.
Tugboat Gallery is a collective made up of artists Peggy Gomez, Nolan Tredway, Toan Vuong and Keith Buswell, that burst onto the Lincoln art scene in 2005 and has exhibited over 500 artists. Tugboat is a non-commercial, non-commission, all volunteer gallery that has served as an exhibition space for experimental work, underrepresented artists and nonconformist ideology for over eighteen years.