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The 21c Artadia Award

It's the beginning of a long-term partnership to grant unrestricted funds to artists within 21c communities

(LOUISVILLE, KY | April 15, 2021) – 21c Museum Hotels, a multi-venue contemporary art museum and award-winning hospitality company, and Artadia, a nonprofit grantmaker and nationwide community of visual artists, curators, and patrons, are thrilled to announce their collaboration on the inaugural 21c Artadia Award

Launching in Louisville, KY, the 21c Artadia Award marks the beginning of a long-term partnership, which will annually provide $10,000 in unrestricted funds to one artist living and working in the unique creative communities where 21c Museum Hotels are located. The 21c Artadia Award is designed to provide essential funding and recognition to artists at pivotal points in their careers, strengthen arts communities, and spur new levels of career achievement. 

In addition to the grant itself, the Award includes lifelong access to the Artadia Network, a support program nurturing strategic relationships and connecting Awardees with a community of fellow artists and diverse cohort of professionals. This partnership allows Artadia to reach new communities and artists with its Award program, with future Award cycles slated for Kansas City, MO (2022); Durham, NC (2023); and Nashville, TN (2024).

“Artists are the foundation of a creative society and their artistic endeavors form the bedrock of our cultural legacy,” says Executive Director Carolyn Ramo. “At such a critical time for artists and arts communities, we are honored to be working with 21c to broaden our geographic reach and recognize the essential contribution of artists in these American cities with this impactful award. We look forward to working together to provide vital resources to the talented voices of Louisville in 2021.”

“21c is committed to supporting today’s most dynamic artists, whose work has the power to transform communities and nurture civic engagement,” says 21c Chief Curator and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites. “We continue to discover inspiring artists in cities large and small, across the U.S., and like Artadia, we seek to provide opportunities that allow their visions and voices to be seen and heard. We are honored to collaborate with Artadia to award this prestigious grant, one that will provide not only financial support, but a network of relationships within the national art community. It is especially exciting that the inaugural 21c Artadia Award will be given to a talented artist living and working in Louisville, where art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson founded 21c fifteen years ago with a mission to support living artists and broaden the audience for thought-provoking contemporary art.”

Open May 15-June 15, 2021, the Louisville award application is open call, free to apply, and available to visual artists currently living and working within the Louisville Metro area which includes Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Bullitt, Nelson, Meade, Trimble and Henry Counties in Kentucky; and Clark, Harrison, Floyd, and Washington Counties in Indiana. Each year, a panel of leading national and international curators will jury the Award cycle and determine the 21c Artadia Awardee. 21c Museum Hotels and Artadia are honored to have Vincenzo de Bellis, Curator and Associate Director of Programs, Walker Art Center, and Soyoung Lee, Chief Curator, Harvard Art Museum as jurors for the inaugural Award in Louisville. The 21c Artadia Awardee will be announced in July 2021.

Fahamu Pecou, an Artadia Awardee whose work is included in 21c’s collection, says “I am thrilled about the partnership between Artadia and 21c Museum Hotels. Both institutions emerged to fill voids in the arts ecosystem and have significantly impacted the lives and livelihoods of artists who are often underrepresented in the major arts capitals, providing opportunities for greater exposure and professional development. As an artist living in Atlanta, fighting for visibility on a national stage has always been an arduous task, but my experience with both Artadia and 21c has helped move the needle on my career in a major way. This new collaboration will be epic, as these two revolutionary arts bodies combine to create a fellowship that highlights and furthers their unique strengths. Given the way my career has been positively impacted by both Artadia and 21c, I’m equally excited and proud.”


For more information about how to apply, click here.


About 21c Museum Hotels

21c is a multi-venue contemporary art museum combined with a boutique hotel and chef driven restaurant with nine properties across the U.S. The company was founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, contemporary art collectors and preservationists committed to expanding access to thought-provoking contemporary art. Each 21c property features exhibition space open free of charge to the public and presents a range of cultural and arts programming curated by Museum Director, Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites, including rotating solo and group exhibitions that reflect the global nature of art today, and commissioned site-specific installations. 21c collaborates on arts initiatives with artists and organizations worldwide, including North Carolina Museum of Art, Contemporary Arts Center, Speed Art Museum, Creative Capital Foundation, Creative Time, For Freedoms, and others. Since opening in Louisville, KY in 2006, 21c Museum has presented nearly 100 exhibitions, including Cuba Now!; Alter Ego: A Decade of Work by Anthony Goicolea; Hybridity: The New Frontier; Aftermath: Witnessing War, Countenancing Compassion; SEEING NOW; Wild Card: The Art of Michael Combs; Albano Alfonso: Self-Portrait as Light; Pop Stars! Popular Culture and Contemporary Art; Labor&Materials, Fallen Fruit: The Practices of Everyday Life; The SuperNatural; Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance; The Future is Female; Truth or Dare: A Reality Show; Refuge; and Wim Botha: Still Life with Discontent.


About Artadia

Artadia is a nonprofit grantmaking organization and nationwide community of visual artists, curators, and patrons. Over two decades, Artadia has worked collaboratively to foster a more just arts economy and improve the conditions necessary for artists from all backgrounds to thrive. We elevate the careers of artists at critical moments in their practice through a proven combination of recognition, grantmaking, community support, and advocacy. Since its founding in 1999, Artadia has awarded over $5 million in unrestricted funds to over 350 artists in 7 cities, with partnerships like the 21c Artadia Award allowing an even further reach.


Press Contacts

Stephanie Greene, Senior Director of PR, 21c Museum Hotels | 502.475.3862


Ed Winstead, Director, Cultural Council | 919.770.6963