UCROSS — Ucross, an artist residency program and creative laboratory for the arts, recently announced that it has been awarded $30,000 from the National Endowment for the Art’s Art Works program to support residencies for Native American visual artists and writers.
The grant award, which was funded through the NEA’s Artist Communities program, will allow Ucross to expand its successful fellowships for Native American visual artists, now in its third year, to include Native American writers.
“As governor and a former board member of the Ucross Foundation, I’d like to congratulate Ucross for securing this funding from the NEA,” Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said. “It’s well-deserved recognition. I’ve heard over and over from artists whose masterpieces were inspired by their time at Ucross and its historic Wyoming ranch, which has become a leading artist-in-residence program in the country — Ucross is a special place.”
According to the NEA, the Art Works funding category supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life; and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Overall, the NEA has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Through its Artist Communities program, the NEA is committed to providing assistance to artist communities for projects that encourage and nurture the development of individual artists and foster and inspire their creative processes. Since this funding field was created in 2009, the NEA has granted more than $4.4 million to artist residency programs around the country. This is Ucross’ first NEA Art Works grant award.
“We are honored to be awarded this grant,” Ucross President Sharon Dynak said. “We’re especially proud of our work to expand residency opportunities for Native American artists and writers. NEA’s support is a boost of confidence in this initiative, as well as recognition from the NEA that our residency program is exceptional.”
Specifically, the grant funding will support three residencies for Native American writers and/or visual artists in 2020. Each resident will receive uninterrupted time, living accommodations and studio space on the 20,000-acre Ucross ranch. In addition, each artist will receive a stipend. Participating artists will be encouraged to share their work and participate in public programs, such as workshops, panel discussions, open studio events and/or readings.
“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter said. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects such as Ucross’s fellowships for Native American artists and writers.”
For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, see arts.gov/news.