Grit Fund.

The Grit Fund Second Round Grantees Announced

The Contemporary is pleased to announce the second round of grantees of the Grit Fund. In 2016, the Grit Fund received over 70 applications and awarded $67,000 to 13 projects with grants ranging from $2,171 to $6,000. Awards were determined by a five-person jury of national arts leaders: Natalie Campbell (Washington D.C.), Ryan Dennis (Houston, TX), Kimberly Drew (New York, NY), Dave Eassa (Baltimore, MD), and Jackie Milad (Baltimore, MD). The Contemporary would like to congratulate this year’s grantees: 'sindikit; Acres Issue 4: Video Series; BALTI GURLS: "Self Care" "Exposure" and "Practice" Programming Series; Ceramic Workshops at The Rec Room; Current Space; Good News Baltimore Collaborative Arts & Research Environment; Hack the Patriarchy; KAHLON: the Festival; La Bodega Collective; Oak Hill Reconstruction Workbook; Peace Love Camera; True Laurels; and XXChange: A showcase of self-identifying artists, designers, and makers in Baltimore.

The Grit Fund supports unincorporated and collaborative artist-organized activity that contributes significantly to Baltimore's arts landscape but seldom qualifies for traditional funding. Established with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and bolstered in this round with additional support from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the Grit Fund encourages projects that generate opportunities and create platforms for artists to engage with each other and with the public. Funded activities could include but are not limited to: exhibitions, publications, public events, public art, film screenings, the ongoing work of an existing arts venue or collective, and the founding of a new arts venue or collective.

The next Grit Fund round will open on December 6th, 2016.

About the Grantees


'sindikit by Zöe Charlton and Tim Doud; funded $6000. ‘sindikit is a project space to support experimental work, practice-based research, and a site for conversations. Housed within Area 405, in the growing Station North Arts District, 'sindikit adds to the already vital and growing creative community in of Baltimore and the greater DC metro area. The Grit Fund supports a year of general operation and programming—including 6 exhibitions and several community driven events with artists and arts supporters.

Acres Issue 4: Video series

Acres Issue 4: Video series by Danielle Criqui, Jasmine Sarp, and Marian Blair; funded $5000. Acres is a Baltimore based curatorial project that has been self-publishing an annual arts and culture magazine since 2013. The Grit Fund will support Acres expand upon its next issue by producing a video mini-doc series that takes a closer look at the artists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers that make up Baltimore’s current cultural landscape.


BALTI GURLS: "Self Care" "Exposure" and "Practice" Programming Series by Jenne Afiya, Khadija Nia Adell, Ashley Chambers, Christianna Clark, N'Deye Diakhate, and Alejandra Nune; funded $5000. BALTI GURLS is an art squad of black and brown female-identified artists with a particular focus on new media and cross-disciplinary practice. Their mission is to create a community of like-minded folks, IRL and URL. The Grit Fund allows BALTI GURLS to curate a three part series of community events. Structured around the themes of “Self-Care” “Exposure” and “Practice”, these events will further the collective’s programming goal of providing “creative safe space” for women of color. All events will be professionally documented, archived, and made publicly available online. A limited edition print zine will also be compiled and made available via a public zine release event. An online version will also be available on the collective’s site.

Ceramic Workshops at The Rec Room

Ceramic Workshops at The Rec Room by Christina Haines and Maggie Fitzpatrick; funded $5480. The Rec Room is an artist-run interdisciplinary arts center located in East Baltimore. With the help of the Grit fund, The Rec Room will offer a series of affordable ceramic workshops, catering to local artists seeking access to shared studio equipment and classroom space.

Current Space

Current Space by Michael Benevento, Andrew Liang, Monique Crabb; funded $6000. Current Space is an interdisciplinary, experimental, volunteer artist-run gallery, studio, and performance space. For the past 11 years, Current Space has occupied vacant city-owned property, but are presently negotiating for ownership of their building and a neighboring property on Howard Street. The Grit Fund supports a year of general operations and programming–including 18 exhibitions, 5-10+ outdoor performance events, festivals, and affordable studios/facilities–while Current Space puts the bulk of their resources towards securing these buildings permanently.

Good News Baltimore Collaborative Arts & Research Environment

Good News Baltimore Collaborative Arts & Research Environment by Tobore Sefia, Jamar Jones, Brian Dawkins; funded $5000. Good News Baltimore (GNB) is a magazine-style web series produced by Six Point Pictures that features thought-provoking documentaries, inspiring narratives, informative interviews, and exhilarating musical performances. With the Grit Fund, GNB is planning to convert a portion of its studio space currently used for storage into an operational environment for creativity and community involvement. The Collaborative Arts & Research Environment (CARE) project will be an art, culture, exhibition and research space established with the purpose of sharing knowledge and perspectives in an open environment that promotes creative collaboration, exploration, and ultimately invites people to celebrate the arts in a historically neglected portion of southwest Baltimore.

Hack the Patriarchy

Hack the Patriarchy by Katie Duffy, Jordan Bradley, Jose Andres Rosero, Amanda Agricola, and Mateo Marquez; funded $4120. Hack the Patriarchy is a week long Baltimore-wide hackathon focusing on creating experimental design apps and interfaces which tackle issues of gender, race and orientation. With help from the Grit Fund, the hackathon will be open to all self described artists and will be supplemented by a series of design and development crash courses.

KAHLON: the Festival

KAHLON: the Festival by Abdu Eaton, Johnny Rogers, Theresa Chromati, Lawrence Burney, and Ale Nune; funded $6000. KAHLON is a bimonthly music and performance showcase that creates platforms for . It’s also supported by a visual team that includes projection artist Jedicom and digital designer Theresa Chromati. The Grit Fund grant will contribute to furthering Kahlon’s impact and reach by taking the event to the next level and making it an annual festival.

La Bodega Collective

La Bodega Collective by Vincent Seadler, Margo Elsayd, Camillo Pierera, Delaney Cate, and Erick A. Benitez; funded $2171. La Bodega Collective is a socially conscious collective that operates a multi faceted gallery that aims to blur the line between art and everyday life. The Grit Fund will allow capacity expansion of the space.

Oak Hill Reconstruction Workbook

Oak Hill Reconstruction Workbook by Sean Keelan, Tanya Garcia, Ashley Hufnagel, and Nick Petr; funded $6000. The Oak Hill Center for Education and Culture is a non-traditional school in Baltimore City. The Reconstruction Workbook Project is a collaboration to produce and distribute a free tool for teaching and learning the complex relationship between race and class in the United States based inspired by an examination of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880. The Grit Fund supports the project’s capacity to span three months of public events and result in an exhibition, catalogue, and freely distributed Reconstruction Workbook.

Peace Love Camera

Peace Love Camera by Noah Scialom, Devin Allen, and Dominic Nell; awarded $6000. Peace Love Camera provides underserved and underrepresented populations in Baltimore a platform to share their voices, tell their own stories and break down stereotypes through the medium of photography. With support from The Grit Fund, Peace Love Camera will provide over 100 children at the Kids Safe Zone with daily access to photographic equipment, including digital and film cameras, video cameras, dark rooms for film development and direct artistic mentorship.

True Laurels

True Laurels by Lawrence Burney, Nia Hampton, Antonio Hernandez, Khadija Adel; awarded $5000. True Laurels is a print magazine dedicated to highlighting the most captivating and untapped artists within Baltimore City’s visual and music art scenes. With the Grit Fund, the magazine will be able to produce a greater amount of physical issues, continue to organize events and provide a one-stop destination for Baltimore artists. Previously released on an inconsistent basis due to a lack of funding for production, True Laurels’ aim, going forward, is to be published quarterly with an accompanying free event given for loyal and prospective supporters to get a first look at the magazine before it is made available online and at nationwide stockists.


XXChange: A showcase of self-identifying artists, designers, and makers in Baltimore by Hannah Wides, Breon Gillian, Jorgelina Lopez, and Letta Moore; funded $6000. The Baltimore Women’s Maker Collective is a growing, intersectional feminist group of artists and craftswomen. With support from the Grit Fund, the collective will be organizing an open-source website and XXChange, a month-long art exhibit and series of workshops at Area405. XXChange celebrates self-identified cis and trans* women and genderfluid people who are makers, artists, and designers in Baltimore.

About the Jury

Natalie Campbell

Natalie Campbell is an independent curator, artist and arts worker active in DC and New York whose interests include alternative exhibition formats and artists’ books. Recent projects include a program of artist-led walks for the February 2016 CAA Conference. Since 2007 she and Heidi Neilson have operated SP Weather Station, an artist-run weather station based in Queens, NY that organizes weatherrelated publications, events, and exhibitions. Exhibitions include The Crier, Pleasant Plains Workshop, DC (2013), Heat Island, Smack Mellon, NY (2011), Shape Language, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, NYC (2010), Artists’ Books as (Sub)Culture, The Center for Book Arts, New York (2009). She holds an MA in Art History from Hunter College and lectures in Art History at the Corcoran School of Arts + Design at George Washington University.

Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis joined Project Row Houses in Houston as the Public Art Director in October 2012. Her interests include African American and international contemporary art, with a particular focus on socially engaged practices in all media, site-specific projects, and public interventions. Ryan has organized exhibitions and programs including, Round 41: Process and Action: An Exploration of Ideas (2014); Round 40: Monuments: Right Beyond the Site (2014). She has written for the 2014 Prospect 3 catalogue and the Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine. Prior to Project Row Houses she worked in New York City at the Museum for African Art as the traveling exhibition manager. She received her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. Prior to moving to New York City, Ryan worked as a community organizer and a curatorial assistant at The Menil Collection in Houston, TX.

Kimberly Drew

Kimberly Drew (a.k.a. @museummammy) received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies, with a concentration in Museum Studies. An avid lover of black culture and art, Drew first experienced the art world as an intern in the Director’s Office of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her time at the Studio Museum inspired her to start the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, sparking her interest in social media. Since starting her blog, Drew has worked for Hyperallergic, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Lehmann Maupin. She has delivered lectures and participated in panel discussions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Performa Biennial, Art Basel, the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Creative Many (Detroit, MI) and elsewhere. Drew is currently the Associate Online Community Producer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dave Eassa

Dave Eassa is a painter and activist living and working in Baltimore. He received his BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013. He has exhibited his work in solo and two person exhibitions in Brooklyn, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Washington D.C, and Baltimore, MD and internationally in group exhibitions. His work was published in New American Paintings No. 112 and The Pinch Journal. Eassa is the founder and director of Free Space, an artist led organization, which brings arts classes to incarcerated men and women within the Maryland prison system. Free Space brings programming to three different correctional facilities in Jessup, MD. Eassa is a Baltimore Community Fellow with the Open Society Institute through 2017, and has received support from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and The Contemporary.

Jackie Milad

Jackie Milad is a practicing visual artist and curator based in Baltimore City. She began her curatorial career in 2002 as the Co-Founder of the Transmodern Festival, an artist-run performance art festival based in Baltimore. Besides numerous independent curatorial projects, Jackie has served as Chief Curator for the following institutions: Goucher College, Stamp Gallery at University of Maryland in College Park, and currently, The Delaware Contemporary (formerly Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts) in Wilmington. She earned her MFA from Towson University and her BFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts.

About the Grit Fund

The Grit Fund, administered by The Contemporary, provides 8-12 grants in amounts between $1,000–$6,000, totaling $50,000 annually. The Grit Fund will accept proposals from non-incorporated, artist-organized initiatives that work collaboratively and reside in Baltimore City or Baltimore County. Projects must take place in either Baltimore City or Baltimore County and be accessible to the general public. The Contemporary’s mission is inspired by three guiding principles: artists matter, collaboration is key, and audience is everywhere. In keeping with this mission, the Grit Fund values risk-taking, encourages collaboration, and seeks to expand points of access to contemporary art. The next Grit Fund round will open on December 6th, 2016.

About the Regional Regranting Program

The Regional Regranting Program aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The program allows The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to reach the sizeable population of informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events and other projects. The Foundation plans to expand this program with partner organizations in areas where the level of on-the-ground, self-organized artistic activity is highest.

The Foundation’s longest running regional regranting program, administered by San Francisco’s Southern Exposure, has been in operation since 2007. With the formation of the Grit Fund, The Contemporary joins eight regranting programs in San Francisco, CA (Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure); Kansas City, MO (Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art’s Rocket Grants); Chicago, IL (Threewalls and Gallery 400’s Propeller Fund); Houston, TX (Diverse Works, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses’ The Idea Fund); Portland, OR (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s The Precipice Fund); Miami, FL (Cannonball’s Wavemaker Grants); Portland, ME (SPACE Gallery’s The Kindling Fund); and New Orleans, LA (Press Street, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Pelican Bomb’s Platforms Fund).

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established in 1987 for the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation’s objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. The Foundation values the contribution these organizations make to artists and audiences and to society as a whole by supporting, exhibiting, and interpreting a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice.

About The Contemporary

The Contemporary is a nomadic, non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Our mission expands the idea of a museum as an incubator that commissions site-specific and subject-oriented projects. We engage diverse audiences and advance contemporary art through projects and educational programming. Our work is inspired by three guiding principles: artists matter, collaboration is key, and audience is everywhere.