arts Blog

Finalists Announced for Open Spaces Program

Ten finalists were selected from a competitive pool of applicants for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Open Spaces Program. This program supports nonprofit organizations and artists to partner to create temporary place-based public art projects in Oakland and San Francisco. Each team will receive a $5,000 honorarium to further develop their proposals. Grantees will be announced in January 2018. Awards will range from $50,000 – $200,000 per project.

The Open Space Program funds projects that engage communities, support artistic experimentation and energize public spaces. Proposals were evaluated based on innovation and originality, relevance to the communities they seek to serve, as well as community engagement strategies.

Finalists Explore Timely Issues

The selected teams represent a range of artistic practices and consider timely issues such as immigration, climate change, and criminal justice reform. The ten finalists include:

kenneth rainin foundation, constance hockaday, public art funding

“Boggsville Boatel” by artist Constance Hockaday was a floating hotel and performance space. Photo courtesy: Constance Hockaday

  • Attitudinal Healing with Amana Harris
  • Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco with Survival Project (Rania Ho, Thy Tran and Bryan Wu)
  • Flyaway Productions with Jo Kreiter, Vân-Ánh Võ and Sean Riley
  • Galeria Studio 24 with Alexandra “Lexx” Valdez and Jessica Sabogal
  • Headlands Center for the Arts with Miriam Simun
  • Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California with Collective Action Studio (Justin Hoover and Chris Treggiari)
  • Mills College with Constance Hockaday
  • Precita Eyes Muralists with Luska/La MaestraPeace 21 and MaestraPeace Art Works
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with Suzanne Lacy
  • Youth Speaks with James Kass and Sean San Jose
“A neighborhood’s spirit and the quality of life for residents benefit from public art. It’s a medium that can break down barriers and bring people together—creating an invaluable community asset at a time when the country feels more divided than ever. ”– Shelley Trott, Rainin Foundation Director of Arts Strategy and Ventures

In addition to funding projects, the Open Spaces Program aims to bolster the public art field in the San Francisco Bay Area by building the capacity of local artists through professional development opportunities. In Spring 2018 the Rainin Foundation will host its second public art symposium. The event will bring together artists to investigate the shifting field of public artistic practice. Watch videos of the last year’s symposium presentations.

How Public Art Exposed Class Tensions in San Francisco

A series of conversations about art, class and race that emerged from “Block by Block,” the first public art project that the Rainin Foundation funded. Continue reading on Medium.


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