NEW YORK, November 11, 2015—The Institute of International Education (IIE) today announced that threatened artists around the world can now apply to the Artist Protection Fund for fellowship support. Artists from any country and artistic discipline or practice may qualify. Applications will be reviewed for artistic merit and the severity of the threats that the applicant faces. The new Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from every artistic discipline, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work and plan for their future.
The application is online at www.artistprotectionfund.org.
IIE is calling on arts organizations around the world to join in this important effort. Hosts can be university arts programs and arts residencies, as well as arts centers, performing arts organizations and less traditional arts communities. Hosts will be requested to match the fellowship support, through contributions that may include housing, studio space, art supplies, and other support from their networks.
Mariët Westermann of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Allan E. Goodman, IIE’s President & CEO announced this exciting new initiative to the public at a reception at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in May, and the response from the international arts and higher education communities has been resoundingly positive.
The Artist Protection Fund builds upon IIE’s nearly 100 years of support for threatened scholars. This includes the work of IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, which has, since 2002, provided fellowships to enable over 625 threatened scholars from 54 countries to escape from harm and continue their work in freedom and safety.
Speaking at the May event, IIE President Allan Goodman said, “As in the case of persecuted scholars, threats against just one individual artist can have an immediate chilling effect on entire artistic communities. The Artist Protection Fund will connect artists to opportunities in a way that provides mutual benefit to both the artists and the arts organizations. Our goal is to build connections and skills that will help the artists to thrive after the fellowship is over and enrich the artistic communities that host them.”
Mariët Westermann, Vice President of the Mellon Foundation, said, “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is proud to support IIE’s launch of the Artist Protection Fund, a pioneering effort to create a fellowship program to rescue threatened artists and get them working again in the safest, most productive, and most welcoming atmosphere possible. The program will enable their work and voices to continue to be seen and heard, which, as many artists tell us, is of critical importance to them. The benefits will accrue to the artists and their families; their host and home communities; and the larger world in which their art can continue to play a prominent role.”
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad. Programs in which IIE currently works with artists or on behalf of the arts include the Department of State’s Fulbright Program and International Visitors Leadership Program, IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund and the Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Programs.
About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.