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Foundations Create “Art In This Present Moment” in Support of BIPOC Artists

Initiative seeks to amplify the voices and experiences of Minnesota artists by placing a spotlight on their music, dance and visual arts.

August 18, 2020

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation), in partnership with the McKnight Foundation, today announced “Art in This Present Moment,” an initiative supporting and celebrating Minnesota artists whose work addresses social issues, particularly those relevant in this moment of time. Their work will be featured on the Foundation’s website in early October.

With the intent of placing a spotlight on artistic expression, the Foundation and McKnight Foundation are investing in Minnesota artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their art. Current crises have hit BIPOC communities especially hard. Black, Asian and Latinx communities continue to be hospitalized for COVID-19 at a rate significantly higher than the white population. Additionally, with the closures of arts venues and cancellations of in-person events, artists have lost income.

“During challenging and turbulent times, artists have been on the forefront of expressing our community’s demand for change,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Foundation. “In the wake of COVID-19 and the aftermath of George Floyd’s tragic murder, Minnesota artists have continued this tradition. It is imperative that we amplify their voices by supporting their work as they memorialize and mark this moment.”

Twelve nonprofit arts organizations were invited by the Foundation to select member artists who will receive funding as participants in “Art in This Present Moment.” Over the course of six weeks, the artists will share new or in-progress work by using the hashtag #ArtInThisMoment. At the conclusion of the project, their work will be documented and found at spmcf.org/art.

“The diversity of artists and artwork is beautiful, provocative, and astounding, but not surprising, given the rich artistic environment we have in Minnesota,” said Pamela Wheelock, interim president of the McKnight Foundation. “We are pleased to join forces with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and with artists whose work inspires and gives us hope for a more equitable tomorrow.”

Participating organizations include:

  • American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)
  • Brownbody
  • Catalyst Arts
  • Don’t You Feel It Too
  • Gizhiigin Arts Incubator
  • Indigenous Roots
  • Million Artist Movement
  • Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop
  • Penumbra Center for Racial Healing
  • Soomaal House of Art
  • TruArtSpeaks
  • Walker|West

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