Upending the familiar model of art grants going to big institutions, a new program from the San Diego Foundation aims money at individual artists’ ideas. If a museum or an orchestra wants in on the game, it must agree to house or support the selected artists’ work.
In our interview a couple of months ago with Felicia Shaw, the San Diego Foundation’s arts chief, Shaw said the program is a shot at retaining artists in San Diego.
But if we don’t support individual artists to do what they want to — not what you want them to do — they’ll move away to New York and Los Angeles, and our community will suffer. We have to do something directly for them.
While I was out of town for the holidays, the foundation announced its winners in a story in the Union-Tribune. Fifteen artists will share more than $285,000, selected from a pool of 175 applicants, and will team up with local institutions.
The projects include film, storytelling, music, dance and theater. They all sound intriguing. Here’s a handful:
• Sound artist Margaret Noble (also a celebrated digital art teacher at High Tech High Media Arts) will install a piece of art involving poetry, photography, sound and design called “44th and Landis,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego this summer and fall. She told the U-T she grew up in City Heights in the 1980s and connects her art, DJing and philosophy to her childhood.