Jun 2, 2008

144 NY Artists, Including Painters, Playwrights & Choreographers, Receive Nearly $1 Million in Unrestricted Funds from NYFA

New York, NY (June 2, 2008) – New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), New York's leading provider of unrestrictedfunding to individual artists, has awarded 136Fellowships to 144New York artists representing eight artistic disciplines that cover the visual, performing and literary arts. Reflected in the total are eight artistic collaborations. A NYFA Fellowship comes with an unrestricted grant in the amount of $7000.

For the second consecutive year in the 23-year history of the program, called Artists' Fellowships, the greatest number of awardeeshail from Brooklyn – a distinction that has typically gone to Manhattan. Attached please find a complete list of the 2008 NYFA Fellows,which indicates each artist's county of residence. 

This year's 144 NYFA Fellows – who were chosen from among over 4,500 applicants –include architects, choreographers, composers, fiction writers, painters, photographers, playwrights/screenwriters and video artists. The Fellows were selected by peer panels, which were assembled according to each artistic discipline. 

For 38 year old Brooklyn painter Allison Gildersleeve, the award is potentially career changing. "Getting a grant from NYFA is more than the financial boost," she said. "We all need more money – to buy supplies, for studio space, and to purchase that most precious commodity: time to make work. But wrapped up with that check in the mail, comes the icing on the cake, that outside affirmation all of us need when we're sequestered in our studios trying to figure out what to do next – that you have been picked out of the most competitive pool. This is New York after all, and now you share recognition with artists that you've respected and admired."

Overall, NYFA awards Fellowships to artists representing sixteen disciplines – eight one year and another eight the next, but always the same 16. Past NYFA Fellows include Spike Lee, Tony Kushner, Julie Taymor, Carroll Dunham, Todd Haynes, Tamara Jenkins, David Hammons, Junot Diaz (author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) and many others. Since 1985, over 3,700 New York artists have received NYFA Fellowships. 

"Whether it's Brooklyn, Manhattan or Queens, one thing is certain - New York is the place to be for all artists, emerging or mid-career," said NYFA Executive Director Michael L. Royce. "New York is Warhol. New York is Spike Lee. New York is Gershwin. While we hope that our unrestricted grants help to perpetuate that reality, we also hope that they do something far simpler – give talented artists the time and space needed to create their next great work. When they do, New York will be all the better for it."


About New York Foundation for the Arts
New York Foundation for the Arts provides more support and services to artists and arts organizations in all disciplines than any other private organization in the country: nearly $7 million annually. Nearly one out of every five public, modern artworks created for the New York subway and regional rail system was done by a former NYFA Fellow. 

Major funding for NYFA's 2008 Artists' Fellowships is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency Major funding has also been provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Alex G. Nason Foundation, Norton Family Foundation, The Buddy Fund at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, an anonymous donor, and individual donors.

Lishan Chang is one of the 2008 NYFA Fellows in the category of  Architecture / Environmental Structure.