FotoFocus grants $800,000 to Ohio and Kentucky's art communities

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FotoFocus grants $800,000 to Ohio and Kentucky's art communities
FotoFocus Biennial 2018. No Two Alike Exhibition with Thomas Ruff, photo by Jacob Drabik.

CINCINNATI, OH.- FotoFocus, the non-profit arts organization behind America’s largest photography biennial, announces that in lieu of presenting the fifth FotoFocus Biennial, originally slated for October 2020, it will pledge its Biennial budget to financially support the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio art communities during the Coronavirus pandemic.

FotoFocus will grant an immediate and unrestricted $800,000 to over 100 Participating Venues and Partners that were selected to present as part of the 2020 FotoFocus Biennial. These collaborators work every other year towards making the FotoFocus Biennial a success, including 8 of the regions most prestigious arts venues: Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, Taft Museum of Art, Wave Pool, and Weston Art Gallery (Cincinnati, OH); Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH); Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, OH); and The Carnegie (Covington, KY). The $800,000 is inclusive of all grants that would have originally gone to these venues for Biennial programming, plus an additional 10% for each grant in honor of FotoFocus’s tenth anniversary. FotoFocus is committed to supporting the community and local business partners who help bring the Biennial to fruition.

As part of this pledge, FotoFocus will support 15 academic institutions with grants totalling over $177,000, including: Art Academy of Cincinnati, Miami University, University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH); Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH); Wright State University (Dayton, OH); Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More University (KY). The region also has an impressive number of smaller arts venues that will be supported by the FotoFocus grant including: Art Beyond Boundaries, Basketshop, Clay Street Press, Kennedy Heights Art Center, Manifest Gallery, PAR-Projects, and Visionaries + Voices (Cincinnati, OH); and The Contemporary Dayton (Dayton, OH).

“After many discussions about how we should move forward with this year’s FotoFocus Biennial, we kept coming back to the same conclusion—the best thing we can do to help the arts survive this crisis is reconfigure our grantmaking. We are about to move into our second decade and we need our community with us. We hope this money will help our partners get by at the time they need it most,” said Mary Ellen Goeke, FotoFocus Executive Director.

“The theme light& is as timely as ever: our response to this crisis, and to going forward as an organization, is to choose hopefulness over isolation, support over attrition. We are choosing the silver lining, which is to reaffirm our creative community and to use the time, and funding, to create an even brighter future,” said Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator.

FotoFocus will continue to support its ongoing commitments to regional, national, and international artists and move several of its artist partnerships from the 2020 Biennial forward to 2022. The next FotoFocus Biennial will take place in October 2022 with a new theme. The Program Week is scheduled for Friday, October 1 – Saturday, October 8, 2022.

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