Supporting art & artists at the intersection of social, cultural, and political issues of their time
MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo by Pablo Enriquez.

Grantee Cohort Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Location New York and International

MoMA PS1 champions how art and artists are at the intersection of the social, cultural, and political issues of their time. Providing audiences with the agency to ask questions, access to knowledge, and a forum for public debate, PS1 has offered insight into artists’ diverse worldviews for more than 40 years. PS1 has been a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) since 1982, and affiliated with The Museum of Modern Art since 2000.

With previous support from Art for Justice, PS1 mounted the debut of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” an exhibition of works by currently and formerly incarcerated artists brilliantly curated by Dr. Nicole Fleetwood. Both the exhibition and the accompanying book for Marking Time received significant acclaim, garnering the National Book Critics Circle Award and outstanding press coverage (including being named “best in show” and one of “the most important art moments of 2020” by The New York Times). Marking Time was PS1’s first exhibition when it reopened in September 2020, and it welcomed 32,000 visitors. It was widely praised by art critics and mainstream and arts media, and it gave the public a window into the visual culture of incarceration.

Related to the exhibition, PS1 leveraged its institutional resources and platforms to amplify and support formerly incarcerated artists. Artist residencies, mutual aid initiatives, training workshops and teaching-artist initiatives have now been integrated into PS1’s long-term programming.

In response to the visionary ideas and networks of the show’s curator and participating artists, MoMA PS1 seeks to become an institution synonymous with support of formerly incarcerated artists. During the exhibition, PS1 piloted a wide range of justice-centered programs—from artist residencies to youth programs—all of which it hopes to continue while providing additional support for system-impacted artists through an Art for Justice Activating Art and Advocacy grant.

Art for Justice support for PS1’s Residency at Large allows the museum to continue to provide tailored support to an emerging, justice-involved artist regardless of his or her geographic location. The year-long program supports one justice-involved artist at the beginning of their career, offering workshops on the core aspects of developing a sustainable career as an artist. The residency features networking and mentorship opportunities with professionals and peers in the commercial art market. Ultimately, the long-term objective is to support a community of justice-involved artists and contribute to movement building, creating a sustained peer cohort with shared values and a commitment to change.