Cultural Transformation

Wagner Foundation and VIA Art Fund are thrilled to announce the inaugural grantees of the Incubator Grant Fund. For many small communities, cultural spaces are vital gathering places which build stronger civic bonds, help people discover their own voice, and hear the voices of others. Each selected organization represents a different aspect of how small cultural institutions are uniquely able to foster distinct communities and new artistic practice at the same time. Not only does the Incubator Grant Fund recognize the important role of such cultural institutions, but how this role reflects diverse histories, locales, and visions. We are especially inspired by this group as founding grantees of the Incubator Grant Fund. Collectively they represent the transformative role a cultural institution can play in their communities. We are honored to stand with them in support of this vision.

Click here to learn more about the VIA | Wagner partnership and the Incubator Grant Fund.

Recent Press
"How These Collectors Are Supporting Culture outside of Art World Centers" Benjamin Sutton, Artsy

Atlanta, Georgia

Burnaway is a decade-old online publication that has earned international recognition for its focus on the art and artists of the American South. An impressive enterprise that gives voice to a burgeoning but dispersed art world, Burnaway incubates critical writers that feed micro arts ecologies in the vast, artistically active, but critically neglected region of the South/Southeast. Apart from their online publication, Burnaway also runs an Art Writing Incubator, a five-week non-traditional educational program for aspiring writers and artists in the South. Burnaway will use the VIA | Wagner Incubator grant to solidify its plans for the next ten years by increasing its organizational capacity, staffing, and digital infrastructure.

For more information, please visit Burnaway.

York, Alabama
Coleman Center for the Arts

The Coleman Center for the Arts is a 34-year old art space and artist residency that is redefining what it means to be an arts organization in the rural South. With an emphasis on the artists versus objects, the Coleman Center supports creatives in practice, community in cooperation, and makes a proposition – how does contemporary visual art stimulate discourse, challenge, or even dismantle the effects of ongoing inequity and geographic isolation.

The Coleman Center works through five main programming arms: a community-based artists’ residency that produces socially engaged public art projects and events; exhibitions that feature the work of regional artists; arts educations for area youth and adults; a free, public community garden that promotes small-scale food production; and, Pop Start, a storefront space for artist-community experimentation. With the VIA | Wagner Incubator grant, the Coleman Center hopes to strengthen the organization in ways that will increase capacity, cultivate a more abundant, diverse arts programming in the region, and allow them to provide more consistent communication in service to the local community.

For more information, please visit Coleman Center for the Arts.

Iowa City, Iowa
Public Space One | Center for Afrofuturist Studies

Public Space One (PS1) is an artist-run, community-driven nonprofit arts organization that was founded in 2002 out of a need for more diverse space for artistic experimentation, independent of Iowa City’s dominant academic institutions. Housed at PS1 since 2016, the Center for Afrofuturist Studies is an initiative to reimagine the futures of marginalized people by generating dynamic workspaces for artists of color.

With the Center for Afrofuturist Studies (CAS), PS1 distinguishes itself through its commitment to binding the local to the global in the Midwest. A presenting organization and discursive platform, CAS offers fully funded residencies to emerging black artists to support the creation of new work, innovative opportunities for public engagement, and professional development. Support of the Incubator Grant Fund will cover CAS operations for a period of two years and support a decisive moment in the organization’s growth.

For more information, please visit The Center for Afrofuturist Studies.

Portland, Maine

SPACE is an alternative art space and artist residency whose multidisciplinary programming has made it a regional leader. Through its home on Congress Street in Portland, Maine, SPACE curates visual arts exhibitions, presents music performances and film screenings, programs lectures and discussions, rents below-market studios to artists with active practices, and oversees a statewide granting program for artist-led initiatives and projects.

Deeply rooted in local Portland, SPACE also manages to be internationally outward facing, as demonstrated by their responsiveness not only to larger contemporary art trends but also to issues facing LGBTQ+ communities and their local refugee population.". The VIA | Wagner Incubator grant will be harnessed to increase organizational capacity.

For more information, please visit SPACE.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Midway Contemporary Art

Founded by artists, Midway Contemporary Art is a non-profit art space and proven outpost for the presentation of both emerging and more established contemporary art in the Twin Cities. Over the past two decades, Midway has commissioned new projects for over 100 exhibitions, launched an impressive research library, begun a publishing program, presented public lectures and events, cultivated institutional partnerships and visitor engagement, and initiated a re-granting program supported by the Warhol Foundation that directly supports artists in the region. Support from the Incubator Grant Fund will help Midway expand their exhibition budgets in order to realize new commissions at a larger scale.

For more information, please visit Midway Contemporary Art

The VIA l Wagner Incubator Grant Fund aims to strengthen the capacity and programming of organizations across the country in order to ensure a robust and inclusive national arts ecosystem.