Fund helps protect persecuted artists

The Institute of International Education has called on universities to host vulnerable artists. 

May 29, 2015
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The US-based not-for-profit organisation has launched a fund to help save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries.

The Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot programme supported by a $2.79 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will provide fellowship grants to threatened artists and place them at host universities so they can safely continue their work.

Arts universities that join the scheme will be requested to match the fellowship support through contributions that may include housing, studio space, art supplies or other support from their networks.

The programme is similar to the IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, which was launched in 2002 and has provided fellowships for more than 600 scholars from 53 countries.

Speaking at an event at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this week, 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 organisations. 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.”

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