2014 NEA Arts Org Grantees: The Texas List

by Paula Newton December 16, 2013

NEAThe National Endowment for the Arts has announced its 2014 grants to arts organizations and some Texas groups received a good share of the $25.8 million given nationally. In addition to a large number of performing arts organizations that received NEA funding, the following arts groups received grants (for a full list of grantees, go here):

Amarillo Art Center Association (aka Amarillo Museum of Art)
$10,000 to support “Side by Side,” an exhibition of mixed-media works and a site-specific installation with associated programming.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth
$70,000 to support the exhibition “Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River.”

Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont
$10,000 to support “Beili Liu: Opposing Forces,” a site-specific installation and residency program.

Austin Creative Alliance
$25,000 to support professional development for African-American and Hispanic teaching artists who will help implement the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative in Austin.

Artpace, San Antonio
$65,000 to support the International Artist-in-Residence program.

Austin Film Society
$20,000 to support the presentation of several curated film and video series.

Ballroom Marfa
$20,000 to support the exhibition “Now and Then.”

Big Thought (formerly Young Audiences of Greater Dallas)
$25,000 to support DaVerse: professional writers and teachers lead a year-long, bi-weekly middle school arts program in poetry writing and presentation.

Cine Las Americas, Austin
$10,000 to support the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival.

City of Austin, Texas (aka City of Austin Cultural Arts Division)
$30,000 to support the development of cultural resource maps and associated community and economic development strategies.

City of El Paso, Texas (aka El Paso Museum of History)
$15,000 to support professional development workshops for local visual artists.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
$40,000 to support the exhibition and catalogue “Marilyn Minter-Pretty/Dirty.”

Documentary Arts, Dallas
$40,000 to support the development of the Masters of Traditional Arts Interactive Website.

FotoFest, Houston
$50,000 to support the 2014 international citywide biennial of photography.

Houston Cinema Arts Society
$10,000 to support the 7th Houston Cinema Arts Festival

Menil Collection, Houston
$65,000 to support the exhibition “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926-1938.”

Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin
$20,000 to support the Emerging Artists Exhibition Program.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
$60,000 to support the exhibition and catalogue “Georges Braque: A Retrospective.
$65,000 to support the Glassell School of Art’s Core Residency Program.

Project Row Houses, Houston
$60,000 to support a series of residencies for artists to undertake projects in the Third Ward.

San Anto Cultural Arts, San Antonio
$10,000 to support the creation of an anaglyph 3D mural and associated outreach activities.

SAY Sí, San Antonio
$10,000 to support the SAY Si Media Arts Studio.

University of Houston
$25,000 to support the exhibition and catalogue “Time/Image.”



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Bill Davenport December 16, 2013 - 11:13

I’m beginning to see what Dave Hickey was saying about the NEA . . . I’m wondering how many of these programs are going to produce art that is worthwhile for people other than it’s makers and the administrators of the grant money. Some will, I’m sure, but many won’t.

But then, How WOULD you go about promoting the creation and exhibition of art that was really vital with public money? New art’s a bad bet; it often doesn’t work out. Nor is it easy to tell ahead of time what will be valuable later. Maybe there’s no better way, and the NEA’s doing as well as can be expected.

Rainey Knudson December 17, 2013 - 05:13

I think part of Dave’s point is that so much grant monies get siphoned off by administrative overhead of the grantees — very little ends up in the hands of the artists making the work. As one artist I know says, “everyone’s getting paid except the artists.” I think this is mostly the artists’ fault.

Which doesn’t speak to your point about the quality of the work actually getting made. But then again, neither the government nor the marketplace do a very efficient job of supporting the best art.

Loli Fernandez (-A Kolber) December 24, 2013 - 10:29

The people that compose the different committees to give grants or whatever moneys to artists, they all have a different and personal agenda and consequently it is difficult to get an objective result . But I think, that we must be aware when we talk that money and making art are two different things. Of course this is obvious and known.

The big question is: How can an artist make a living making their art?: By art I mean out on a limb art or whatever political correct words one wishes to use for art versus “art”.
Difficult answer and just as difficult to do.

Dorota Biczel December 16, 2013 - 23:02

Bill, I think it is worthwhile to remind everyone here that NEA stopped funding individual artists, based on their accomplishments, due to the political backlash during “the culture wars.” For the conservative politicians, i.e. the same guys that have staunch faith in the market, much like the one that Dave Hickey has, betting on existing art was simply unacceptable. As much as awarding grants to artists “by committee” is not perfect, awarding grants to organizations to commission what you call “new” art only further dilutes the process of selection and increases risks associated with “investment.”
In the end, however, who’s to say what art is really vital and to what peoples (emphasis on plural)?

Loli Fernandez (-A Kolber) December 24, 2013 - 10:38

It is vital certainly for those who are compelled to make it to begin with and then…must I continue?

FreeKlowne December 17, 2013 - 19:08

Look at the artist on your left , now look at the artist on your right . Neither of them are going to be there in the next round. Now why are you still sitting there waiting for a hand out? Neither were getting a grant before the music stopped and neither should you bother hanging around. Artists aren’t hot house glowers.

David F. Brown December 24, 2013 - 16:19

Amen! therein is Hickey’s point the artificial environment and grant criteria skews the field, debilitates curiosity and creativity while building another art world dependent on govt largess which depends on the culture wars which can only channel artists tuned to the next big feed. Go make art, fail and try again.

Michael K Taylor December 18, 2013 - 07:47

As an working artist who has worked for institutions and non-profits, I’ve noticed that a large amount of staff are artists. Although a large portion of the money does not go to individual artists it still ends up in the arts community. Gallery installers, docents, attendants, educators, etc are tied in and are usually artist or art students.
Not saying that things are ideal for the individual artists, but “administrators” are generally artists, art historians, or art lovers working also. And that part of the economy and community has to be funded as well. Texan Dave Hickey is great at his job (see his assessment on why Texas is so German), and if you need him to write an insert for a show catalogue that also needs a professional photographers, editors, etc . . . someone might need exhibition support funds.
The ones on this list I’m familiar with take 0% of money from sales unless a specified fund raiser, and we artists love when that part works out in our favor.

Dorota Biczel December 18, 2013 - 13:22

The model of “trickle-down” economy has obviously failed this country, and I don’t think it can do any better for working artists. To support the economic model in which the artist earns her daily bread through an administrative salary is to encourage a model in which an individual is obliged to work 80 hours a week: dutifully going to her studio day by day after she’s done with her “day job.” The model is not healthy and way too self-sacrificial.
Re: “Texan Dave Hickey” what clearly came across in his talk at Rice is that he really believes in the good old-white heterosexual boys’-club and the value criteria this club established. So, no, I don’t think we need him to write any inserts for any show’s catalogue (at least not paid by my tax money).

Rainey Knudson December 24, 2013 - 06:26

We will be posting Dave’s talk soon in a series of videos, so everyone can judge what they think he believes.

Loli Fernandez (-A Kolber) December 24, 2013 - 10:31

To the “old boys club commentary”: Let us not throw away the baby with the bath water. There is lots to learn from everyone.

Dave Hickey December 23, 2013 - 11:04

I don’t much like old boys. I believe in art

Loli Fernandez (-A Kolber) December 24, 2013 - 10:36

Art. Yes, just do it.

David F. Brown December 24, 2013 - 16:29

Joshua Reynolds wrote “take here the grand secret–if not of pleasing all, yet of displeasing none–court mediocrity, avoid originality, and sacrifice to fashion…” to which William Blake added marginalia “& go to hell”

Dave Hickey December 25, 2013 - 15:07

I genuinely detest being called “Texan Dave Hickey.” I have lived in Texas for short periods of my life. I remember it as a place where “Remember the Alamo and Don’t Take a Chance” is the motto, along with “Don’t try to vote or get an abortion.”


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