The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has approved Light Work for a $25,000 Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) award in the Visual Arts category. Light Work, an artist-run, non-profit organization housed in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center at Syracuse University, is one of 1,248 projects across America selected to receive this first round of 2022 funding, totaling $28.8 million. The grant will directly support Light Work’s renowned residency program, offering support and visibility to emerging and under-recognized artists working in photography and image-based media.
Each year, following an international call for submissions, Light Work selects 12 to 15 artists for a one-month residency to pursue creative projects. To date, more than 500 artists have participated in the residency program, and many have gone on to achieve international acclaim.
This grant signals national recognition that champions Light Work’s nearly 50-year legacy of advocacy through exhibitions, publication of the print publication Contact Sheet, a state-of-the-art community-access digital services lab, and permanent collection comprising more than 4,000 photo-related objects and images.
“We are honored by this generous recognition from the NEA,” says Dan Boardman, Light Work’s director. “This funding helps us continue to create transformative moments for artists, gallery visitors, students, educators and the public during this tenuous time in the arts community.”
GAP awards reach communities in all parts of the country, large and small, and with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. These awards represent 15 artistic disciplines and fields: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk and Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting and Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects that help support the community’s creative economy,” says Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “Light Work is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts. The supported projects demonstrate how the arts are a source of strength and well-being for communities and individuals, and can open doors to conversations that address complex issues of our time.”
For more information on other funded projects, visit arts.gov/news.