The recent past has been marked by escalating cultural wars, the erosion of rights, censorship, self-censorship, and withdrawal from the public sphere. Nationalism, populism, and public intimidation are clear and present threats. For several years, the Foundation for Arts Initiatives has focused its support on individuals, collectives, and institutions whose research and practices address such conditions of constraint. 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. 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 that are developing new and dynamic definitions of community, connectivity, and solidarity. We are interested in practices that do not reproduce existing power relations. Our support includes:

  • Grants to individuals, such as artists, activists, researchers, writers, and others active in the visual arts. The support is intended for temporary refuge or travel, but also to make possible the continuation of work and research in one’s own context. FfAI is especially invested in work that fosters collectivity.
  • Grants to artists, activists, writers, researchers, writers, and others active in the visual arts for travel and research that are directed toward specific areas that are central to FfAI’s ongoing concerns. These include alternative forms of institutionality (their history, successes, and failures), the redefinition and use of archives, new applications for the commons, and the development of dynamic definitions of community, connectivity, and solidarity
  • Grants to institutions whose continued existence is under threat and whose practices we consider essential.

The Foundation for Arts Initiatives is a private foundation that has been making grants in the arts since 1999, independent of any governments, agencies, NGOs, or their related agendas. It has its own endowment and does not rely on donors or public sources. FfAI’s independence is central to its work and identity.

FfAI is run by a Board of museum directors, curators and heads of arts organizations around the world that is actively engaged in all funding and policy decisions and in considering all proposals.

Formerly known as the American Center Foundation, FfAI is the successor to the American Center in Paris, a cultural center that championed avant-garde work in the arts. Today, FfAI’s grant programs support curators, arts institutions, and special projects in the visual arts.