The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts


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For Immediate Release
Contact: Joel Wachs, President Pamela Clapp, Program Director (212) 387-7555
JANUARY 11, 2006 Warhol Foundation Announces Emergency Grants for Katrina and Rita Victims

Responding to the devastation from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts today announced grants totaling $750,000 to benefit individual artists and visual arts organizations in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Joel Wachs, President of the Warhol Foundation, said the foundation’s contributions recognize artistic expression as the cornerstone of a vibrant and free society, and a strong belief in arts and culture as significant elements for rebuilding communities in crisis.

Pamela Clapp, the foundation’s Program Director, said that in the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes the foundation undertook an extensive evaluation to determine how best to respond to the needs of the arts community in the devastated areas.  As a result of this assessment, it became clear that grants should be made after the immediate shock and chaos subsided and at least some semblance of the area’s infrastructures were re-established.

In addition, it was determined that priority should be given to at least two categories of arts organizations: arts institutions that were recovering and rebuilding, and organizations that would provide direct support to artists facing the loss of work, studios, equipment, etc.

Grants to benefit individual artists who are victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita are being made to the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, for the KAT fund for visual artists in the tri-state region struck by the hurricanes; the Craft Emergency Fund for craft artists in the tri-state region; the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation for the benefit of the state’s artists; the Mississippi Arts Council for the benefit of the state’s artists; and, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which is giving 14 artists who were severely affected by the hurricanes studios in New York City and living stipends for 6 months.

Grants have also been made to the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, all for the purpose of rehiring staff that had been laid off after Katrina, and a further grant to the Contemporary Arts Center to support its 2006 visual arts programming featuring Louisiana artists.

Following are the grants currently being made:

Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans - $100,000

Contemporary Art Museum, Houston - $100,000

Craft Emergency Fund - $50,000

Louisiana Cultural Foundation - $100,000

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council - $50,000

Mississippi Arts Council - $50,000

New Orleans Museum of Art - $200,000

Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, Biloxi (in honor of the late David Whitney) - $100,000

Indicating the possibility of even further assistance in the future, Mr. Wachs said, “Perhaps the saving grace of our society is the beauty and understanding the arts can create in the midst of heartbreak and turmoil. We must never underestimate the critical role the arts can play in healing a stricken community.”