The recent past has been marked by nationalist populism, escalating culture wars, and the erosion of rights, resulting in public intimidation, censorship, and self-censorship. ​Covid-19 has created new realities for our colleagues, for the variety of individuals, collectives, and institutions we support whose research and practices address such conditions of constraint. Therefore, Foundation for Arts Initiatives has adapted and expanded its grantmaking to accommodate critically urgent needs.

During the pandemic and its aftermath, FfAI is offering greater flexibility to request general operating support for institutions, or help with pressing necessities, such as living expenses, for individuals. Our support continues to be directed toward artists, curators, researchers, and cultural institutions whose work may be threatened by extreme conflict, repressive political contexts, public intolerance, as well as restrictions —both institutional and political— on accessing funds.

This support includes grants to institutions in the visual arts whose continued existence is at risk and whose practices we consider essential. Grants are also given to artists, activists, researchers, writers, and others active in the visual arts so they can pursue their own research, without institutional, governmental, or philanthropic encumbrances.

FfAI is interested in practices that originate and/or end in the arts, but that also have broader effects and consequences. We are focusing on individuals and institutions developing new and dynamic definitions of community, connectivity, and solidarity, especially those that foster collectivity instead of reproducing existing power relations. Research in the visual arts, including alternative forms of institutionality (their history, successes, and failures), the redefinition and use of archives, and new applications for the commons remain ongoing concerns as well.