The LaGrange Art Museum has been approved for a $20,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Grants for Arts Projects to support artist Robin Holder’s Who Art We? Exhibition and educational outreach. This project will promote a better understanding of our multicultural society. The museum’s project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.
The LaGrange Art Museum was the only art museum selected outside of the Atlanta area. The other two Georgia recipients were Emory University and the Fulton County School System. Out of the 77 museums nationally that were awarded grants, only three museums were located outside of major metropolitan areas.
“Local art collector Wes Cochran and the museum’s deputy director Lauren Oliver deserve the credit for bringing Robin’s exhibition here. Lauren wrote and successfully earned the grant to fund the exhibition,” said Laura Jennings, LaGrange Art Museum executive director. The National Endowment for the Arts grant is a matching grant, meaning the Museum must provide $20,000 of its own funds to qualify.
The Museum will collaborate with the Troup County Racial Trustbuilding organization in an effort to use the resources of this educational exhibition for the good of the community.
Artist Robin Holder was born biracial and multiethnic into an activist African-Russian-Jewish-Caribbean family in New York City.
“I developed a formidable interior dialogue that reflected my diverse heritage. While growing up . . . I studied, explored and played in a community of widely varied backgrounds. I was exposed to a world of both complicated racial, class and ethnic conflicts and integrated harmony. I was intrigued by the cultural differences between my classmates, friends and neighbors and simultaneously aware of the danger of identity ignorance,” the artist said.
“My mother cautioned me that being an African American Jewish female is automatic grounds for marginalization in the United States of America. I decided that the role of victim was unacceptable,” Holder continued.
While studying at the High School of Music and Art, she realized she could be creative instead of reactive. “I decided art making could be my constructive vehicle of experimentation, exploration, communication and courage! While living abroad I extended my perspective into a global point of view.”
Holder’s exhibition will open June 8 and run through September 11. The opening is set for Saturday, June 19 from 6-8 pm.
“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as the LaGrange Art Museum reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”
For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.