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Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Awards $1.5 Million to Culture Orgs

Seven small and mid-sized museums will receive $50,000 emergency relief grants, and six additional organizations will get awards between $60,000 and $500,000 for equity and access initiatives.

Helen Frankenthaler, “New Paths” (1973), acrylic and marker on canvas, 54 ¾ x 109 inches, Collection Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York (© 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photograph by Robert McKeever, courtesy Gagosian)

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Studio Museum in Harlem are among the recipients of $1.5 million in grants from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation this fall meant to promote public interest in the arts.

The most recent round of funding includes $50,000 one-time grants to seven small and mid-sized art museums impacted by the pandemic, part of the foundation’s $5 million emergency relief program announced earlier this year. These include the Grey Art Gallery at New York University; MIT List Visual Arts Center; Montclair Art Museum; Parrish Art Museum; The Provincetown Art Association and Museum; and Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.

House of SpeakEasy Bookmobile (photo by Jasmina Tomic, courtesy House of SpeakEasy)

Six organizations — ArtsConnection, ArtTable, House of SpeakEasy, Studio Institute, the Studio Museum, and the Schomburg — will also receive awards ranging from $60,000 to $500,000 to produce equity and access initiatives. House of SpeakEasy, for instance, will get $100,000 over two years to continue its “Bookmobile” project — a roving truck that brings books and educational programming by writers and artists to young audiences in underserved communities. ArtsConnection, meanwhile, will use its $150,000 grant to develop the Teen Reviewers and Critics program, an after-school series for NYC high school students based on critical thinking and artistic expression.

“Support for cultural institutions is ever more critical in the face of these current crises,” said Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, in a press statement. “We launched a multi-year COVID-19 relief effort this past spring because we knew the unprecedented financial impact of this epidemic would require a long and sustained recovery resource, and are pleased to be expanding the group of organizations benefiting from this effort.”

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