The Buffalo, NY region is the birthplace of electric power as we know it: Nikola Tesla used the power of the Niagara River to create the first alternating current and transmit electricity over a great distance – to Buffalo. Drawing from that historic development, the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art is announcing the Generator Fund, $60,000 annually in support for visual arts projects that propose new directions for the creation and presentation of contemporary art.
This fund will target informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and independent organizers whose work often falls outside the reach of typical funding sources. The Generator Fund is meant to fund artistic activity outside of the studio, encourage collaboration, and foster new connections among artists in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and the suburban and rural areas it surrounds.
In its first year, the Generator Fund will consist of two grant types: Kinetic Grants of up to $2,000 to fund artist’s production for a new project with a publicly accessible component and Potential Grants of up to $10,000, intended to act as seed funds to sustain novel, long-term platforms for artistic expression and experimentation that foster collaboration and the creative discourse in our region. Proposals will be reviewed by a jury of artists and curators, and the first round’s will consist of Tiffany Gaines, curator at the Burchfield Penney Art Center; artist Julia Dzwonkoski; and artist Pablo Guardiola. Guardiola is a founder of artist run space Beta-Local in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Over time BICA hopes the Generator Fund will increase artistic dynamism in our region and empower artists in our community to think beyond the entrenched systems in our art world,” said BICA Executive Director Emily Reynolds. “We’re grateful that the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts sees our region as a site for creative investment and are eager to shepherd this program forward.”
The jurors will look for proposals that exemplify collectivity, equity, or unexpected collaboration; those which nurture and sustain our creative ecosystem; and/or those which represent a distinctive or new approach to the visual arts or culture in the region.
Along with the fund, BICA announced that artist and creative organizer Wavy will be promoted to the role of Project Coordinator to help manage the granting program. Applications will go live August 1, 2023 and will close at 11:59 pm on September 30, 2023. Artists can learn more about the fund, eligibility, and proposal details by visiting generatorfund.org, or at info sessions to be held in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and virtually while the application is live.