November 21, 2015
Diana Arce

Artist Protection Fund & other support for Persecuted or Threatened Artists

The Institute of International Education (IIE) offers fellowship grants to persecuted or threatened artists from any field to place them in institutions and countries where they can practice safely.

At AWAC, we recognize that Activist Artists face potential prosecution throughout the world. They deal with censorship, loss of support, repression and sometimes punishment for their work in pointing out the injustice in the world. Sometimes by creating their art, their lives and the lives of those around them can become threatened. One of our main topics of research is to identify these dangers and help support artists in creating such work, while minimizing the risks.

owen maseko installation

Zimbabwean Artist Owen Maseko’s exhibition ‘Sibathontisele’ (Lets Drip on Them) was removed earlier this year by order of the Courts.

IIE’s Artist Protection Fund is currently open for applicants for it’s Feb 2016 cycle until January 6th, 2016.

Eligibility requirements are well documented in the FAQ and displaced artists have a priority due to limited funds. What qualifies as a threat is: “Any threat of persecution or violence due to an artist’s practice, identity, or beliefs would qualify. This includes intimidation, harassment, repression, censorship, unjust punishment and violence arising out of an artist’s work, and/or exercise of her/his fundamental human rights. APF may also make a limited number of awards to artists facing general insecurity, instability, or civil conflict that affects the whole population of a country or region.”

For displaced or persecuted artists either already in the United States or at risk in their home countries seeking temporary, permanent residence or Asylum in the US can also look into the Artistic Freedom Initiative for assistance and support.