The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has announced the winners of its 2016 Artist as Activist Fellowship, a two-year program that funds U.S.-based artists and artist collectives whose work addresses critical social issues. The 2016 awardees are Maria Gaspar, The Graduates, Titus Kaphar, Los Angeles Poverty Department, Jeremy Robins/Echoes of Incarceration, Favianna Rodriguez, Paul Rucker, El Sawyer, jackie sumell, and Shontina Vernon. They are each planning to create works that “address the intersections between race, class, and mass incarceration,” according to a press release.
The group of artists, which together represent Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Seattle, and Philadelphia, have planned a variety of projects and interventions that will address juvenile detention, the effects of incarceration on inmates’ children, the difficulties of re-assimilation, economic, social, and political links between immigration and increased rates of incarceration, the severe and long-lasting effects of solitary confinement, the economic incentives that drive the prison industrial complex, and more.
Selected from a group of 228 applicants, each artist or collective will be granted between $50,000 to $100,000 over the course of two years.