Burnaway Announces Major Support from Ruth Foundation for the Arts

By June 08, 2023

The Future Includes the South


Burnaway is excited to announce our inclusion in the inaugural cohort of Future Studies, a new multi-year initiative from the Ruth Foundation for the Arts. Under this initiative, Burnaway is receiving an unprecedented multi-year, six-figure grant, the largest single gift in our 14-year history. This is in addition to opportunities for knowledge-sharing and collaboration among five cohort members.

With this support, Burnaway will restore/add organizational capacity, and build towards new regional and national initiatives in the fall and winter of 2023/2024, all towards sustainability: for our staff, our collaborators, and our ecosystem.

Read our thoughts on serving our audiences, the necessary and doable, and the state of art writing and publishing from the Ruth newsletter.

Inspired by the Foundation’s namesake, Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, Future Studies is designed to support organizations that are “ambitious and outward-looking… those who are at a transformational moment in their own development and ready to work on a more impactful scale’.


“As Burnaway enters the next step of our evolution, we’re excited to be a part of this cohort working towards expansive and inclusive futures in visual art,” said Brandon Sheats, Burnaway’s Executive Director. “It was apparent from our first ‘Are we going to do this?!?’ conversation that there’s a dedication to innovation and progress while having fun. This is an amazing cohort—we’re excited to learn from and advance with them. Having support from allies like Ruth Arts positions us well to do what we do best, supporting and covering, and educating a new public on contemporary art from the South, our diaspora, and making (inter)national connections. We are grateful to Ruth Arts’ leadership for selecting us.” 

“We are so honored to launch Future Studies with this brilliant, thoughtful cohort of artists, writers, organizers, and thinkers. We very much feel that this program is guiding us in the direction of what’s next, with these organizations working towards a world as we all want to see it,” said Ruth Arts Program Director Kim Nguyen. “There has never been a loss for imagining—but how do we materialize these imaginings for our communities and for everyone who comes after? The program is not only about conceiving what is possible but also showing that we are in a position to do it.”

Burnaway joins:

The Black Embodiments Studio, (Seattle) is an art writing incubator, public programming initiative, and publishing platform dedicated to building discourse around contemporary black art. (They were also partners with Burnaway on the 2022 Art Writing Incubator as part of The Luminary’s Arts Writing Residency.)

New Crits (Virtual) provides one-on-one studio visits, portfolio reviews, and mentorship with some of the world’s most visionary artists. Their online platform is accessible to all artists at every level of their career, creating an inclusive critique experience outside the traditional arts education system. Their mission is to democratize access to arts education and grow a healthier arts education ecosystem worldwide. (Former Executive Director Erin Jane Nelson is a collaborator on this project.)

Related Tactics (Bay Area, CA/Washington, DC) is an artistic collaboration between artists and cultural workers Michele Carlson, Weston Teruya, and Nathan Watson. Their projects are made at the intersection of race and culture, exploring the connections between art, movements for social justice, and the public through trans-disciplinary exchanges, collective making, and dialogue.

BUSH Gallery (Secwépemc Nation) is a space for dialogue, experimental practice and community-engaged work that contributes to an understanding of how gallery systems and art mediums might be transfigured, translated, and transformed by Indigenous knowledges, traditions, aesthetics, performance and land use systems. This model of decolonial, non-institutional ways to engage with and value Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous creative production is at the heart of BUSH GALLERY.

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