A new charitable arts organization called United States Artists (USA) announced last month that it will award annual grants of fifty thousand dollars each to fifty artists from around the country, including poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The USA Fellowships, which will also be offered in the categories of architecture and design, dance, music, theater, and visual arts, are given to encourage recipients “to test new ideas and applications in their work” or to pursue their art full-time. The first winners—chosen from a group of more than three hundred artists at all stages of their careers, nominated by a group of a hundred and fifty arts leaders—will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on December 4.
The formation of USA, whose mission is “to nurture, support, and strengthen the work of America’s finest living artists,” was inspired by a 2003 Urban Institute study titled “Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structures for U.S. Artists.” The founding donors, who contributed an initial $20 million in funding, include the Ford, Prudential, Rasmuson, and Rockefeller charitable foundations. Additional financial commitments from other individuals and organizations, such as Agnes Gund, Eli and Edythe Broad, the Todd Simon Foundation, and the Target chain of stores, will ensure that the fellowships will be awarded in future years.
For more information about USA, visit the Web site.