SANTA FE, New Mexico — Every year since 2016, 516 ARTS has used its Fulcrum Fund to support visual arts projects by New Mexico artists living within 80 miles of Albuquerque. 516 ARTS is a non-collecting contemporary art museum in Albuquerque, and the Fulcrum Fund is part of the Regional Regranting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. In its five years running, the Fulcrum Fund has granted $230,000 to 45 regional artists for a wide range of projects.
In late March, 516 ARTS announced that this year’s Fulcrum Fund would be repurposed to support emergency relief for local artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “With cancellations of events of all types, artists and creatives who depend on these opportunities to make ends meet are losing vital work and thereby income,” the museum said in a press release. The application for grantees is free and due on April 15.
The Warhol Foundation is distributing $1.6 million in emergency relief in 16 cities across the US, $60,000 of which will go toward this year’s Fulcrum Fund to be divided between 60 artists. 516 ARTS is also looking for additional contributions from individuals, foundations, or government organizations. The contributions are tax-deductible and 100% will go to artists who have lost income as a result of the pandemic. They are expecting at least 200 applications. More information about how to support the fund can be found on the 516 ARTS website.
Regarding the decision to switch from a project-based grant to emergency relief support, the organization “saw it as a no-brainer,” Fulcrum Fund program director Claude Smith told Hyperallergic. “Artists are used to piecing things together, artists are super resourceful. But what happens when everything falls apart? There is unprecedented hemorrhaging of opportunities and income.”
The selection of recipients will be largely need-based, though strength of work is also a component. The fund decided to maintain its usual parameters of artists living within 80 miles of Albuquerque, but widened its scope from visual artists to include multi-disciplinary artists as well. “It’s so hard, at this time, to have stringent criteria,” said Smith. “We’ve been getting submissions from poets, creative writers, screenwriters, artisans, craftspeople … there’s a mix of emerging and established. If we have a chance to help provide some income lost, that’s what we want to do.”