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Mike Kelley Foundation Awards $400,000 to L.A. Arts Organizations

Lauren Halsey, The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project (Prototype Architecture), 2018, gypsum, wood, tape, and acrylic.

BRIAN FORREST/COURTESY THE HAMMER MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES, AND DAVID KORDANSKY GALLERY, LOS ANGELES

The Mike Kelley Foundation in Los Angeles has named 10 recipients of its 2019 Artist Project Grants, with $400,000 going to local organizations in support of exhibitions, performances, films, workshops, and other projects.

The nonprofits receiving funding are 18th Street Arts Center (which will get $45,000); California State University Dominguez Hills ($28,000); Dirty Looks Inc. ($45,000); Echo Park Film Center ($36,000); Equitable Vitrines ($25,000); Ford Theatre Foundation ($46,000); IF Innovation Foundation ($45,000); Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) ($45,000); Pomona College Museum of Art ($40,000); and the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens ($45,000).

Six of the projects recognized by the Mike Kelley Foundation this year include multiple artists, including that of 18th Street Arts Center, which will commission five new works as part of its presentation “Commons Lab: Place and Public Life.”

The curatorial collective Dirty Looks Inc. will put on a 31-day festival spanning 31 sites in Los Angeles, and, with California State University Dominguez Hills, artist Lauren Halsey will mount her public installation The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project. The Pomona College Museum of Art will present “Todd Gray: Euclidean Gris Gris,” an exhibition focused on colonialism in the U.S., Europe, and West Africa.

The 2019 grantees were selected by an independent panel that included Ruth Estévez, senior curator at large of the Rose Art Museum in Massachusetts and co-curator of the 34th São Paulo Biennial; Jamillah James, curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and co-curator of the 2021 New Museum Triennial; Heather Pesanti, chief curator and director of curatorial affairs at the Contemporary Austin; and the artists Lari Pittman and Gary Simmons.

Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of the Mike Kelley Foundation, said in a statement, “This year’s recipients of the Artist Project Grants exemplify the innovation, rigor, and daring that the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts supports. There is such depth and breadth to Los Angeles’s artistic and curatorial practices, and it’s an honor to help realize these adventurous projects.”

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