December 15, 2008
The McKnight Foundation has announced that mnartists.org, an artist service online community, will now manage the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers program.
Cofounded in 2004 by McKnight and the Walker Art Center, mnartists.org hosts web pages for more than 10,000 artists and serves as an information hub and gathering place for Minnesota’s arts community. (The fellowship program was previously administered by the Minnesota Center for Photography, which closed earlier this year.)
“We’re delighted to make a new home for McKnight’s photography fellowships at mnartists.org,” said McKnight President Kate Wolford. “Mission-driven to support artists through innovative programming and networking opportunities, mnartists.org is uniquely positioned to administer this program.” Since 1981, McKnight has awarded 192 fellowships to 133 photographers.
mnartists.org was developed after a survey of Minnesota artists conducted by McKnight revealed the challenges faced by individual artists. In addition to providing free web space for artists, mnartists.org hosts events, organizes community forums, streams audio and video, and provides editorial content for a diverse community of artists and art patrons. Nearly 1,800 of the artists hosted by mnartists.org identify themselves as photographers.
“mnartists.org is proud to continue the excellence set by all of McKnight’s fellowship programs with this exciting and unique partnership,” said project director Scott Stulen. “mnartists.org is perfectly suited to provide programmatic stability, professional development and community engagement to enhance the fellowship experience and further support local artists.”
In spring 2009, the photography fellowships program will identify its 28th round of awardees. The program annually awards four fellowships of $25,000 each to mid-career Minnesota photographers. In all its Artist Fellowship Programs, McKnight sets broad funding parameters and works with each administering site to appropriately tailor its guidelines and process. Photo fellows will be selected by a national panel of photography professionals, including artists and curators.
In addition to the monetary award, each fellow’s work appears in a public exhibition. In 2009, Franklin Art Works will host an exhibition of work by recipients of McKnight’s 2007 Artist Fellowships for Photographers. With a shared interest in collaborating with a broad spectrum of community partners, McKnight and mnartists.org are actively working to determine the best opportunities to showcase the fellows’ work and support photographers.
ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS
The McKnight Artist Fellowships were created in 1981 to help artists set aside time for study, reflection, experimentation, and exploration; take advantage of opportunities; and work on new projects. McKnight contributes nearly $1 million per year to individual artists through the 12 fellowship programs. The Foundation delegates management of the fellowships to arts organizations that tailor programs to the unique challenges of different creative disciplines. Interested artists should contact the appropriate administering organization for further information about potential funding:
• Ceramic Artists: Northern Clay Center, 612-339-8007
• Choreographers: Southern Theater, 612-340-0155
• Composers: American Composers Forum, 651-228-1407
• Dancers: Southern Theater, 612-340-0155
• Filmmakers: IFP Minnesota, 651-644-1912
• Musicians: MacPhail Center for the Arts, 612-321-9743
• Photographers: mnartists.org, 612-375-7616
• Playwrights: The Playwrights’ Center, 612-332-7481
• Screenwriters: IFP Minnesota, 651-644-1912
• Theater Artists: The Playwrights’ Center, 612-332-7481
• Visual Artists: Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 612-874-3667
• Writers: The Loft, 612-215-2575
ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION
The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, coalition-building and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation has assets of approximately $1.6 billion and granted about $93 million in 2007.
Developed in 2001 as a partnership between McKnight and the Walker Art Center, mnartists.org is an online database of Minnesota artists and organizations from all disciplines. In addition to serving as a marketplace and a community hub, the site provides news and features about the local arts scene.
ABOUT THE WALKER ART CENTER
One of the most celebrated art museums in the country, the Walker Art Center is known for commissioning and presenting innovative contemporary art; fostering the cross-pollination of the visual, performing, and media arts; and engaging diverse audiences in the excitement of the creative process. The museum has evolved from a small-scale, primarily regional institution into a major local, national, and international artistic resource. The Walker engages the surrounding neighborhood with four acres of green space as well as vistas onto the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The facility features exhibition galleries; education areas and class rooms; a new 385-seat theater; street-level and roof-top terraces; plazas, gardens, and lounges; and increased services and amenities for visitors. The renowned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is adjacent to the museum and features more than 40 works of contemporary and modern art. With its ambitious programming goals, the Walker provides the public with a broad-range of exhibitions and events on nearly every day of the year.