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Prospect New Orleans Receives $2M Toward Upcoming Major Commissions

NEW ORLEANSProspect New Orleans is proud to be a recipient of a generous $2 million grant as part of the Mellon Foundation‘s Monuments Project, an initiative aimed at transforming the nation’s commemorative landscape to ensure collective histories are more completely and accurately represented. In 2024, the Monuments Project awarded Prospect $2 million over the next two years, both for major Prospect.6 artworks and for the next phase of Prospect’s Artists of Public Memory Commission, which invites Louisiana-born and/or -based artists to create their visions of monuments and collective memories in public space.

“As we prepare to unveil the sixth iteration of our triennial, we are honored to receive Mellon’s generous support to propel our work forward,” said Nick Stillman, Prospect New Orleans executive director. “This award will not only enhance the upcoming Prospect.6 triennial, but also expands our vision of elevating the artist’s voice, using public space as a major platform.”

Artists of Public Memory is integral to Prospect’s commitment to a presence in New Orleans beyond the exhibition. Collaborating with Louisiana-based curators and cultural organizations, the program commissions projects that engage the city’s history and communities. Initially supported by previous Co-Artistic Directors, Naima J. Keith and Diane Nawi, the program has facilitated installations in prominent public green spaces since its inception.

The 2023-2024 first wave of commissions featured works by kai lumumba barrowChandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, and an Intertribal Collective consisting of Ida AronsonTammy GreerJenna Mae, Ozone 504, and Monique Verdin. These projects include an abolitionist playground, a photographic sculpture representing the Lower 9th Ward community, and a community-built mound on the Lafitte Greenway to honor coastal and tribal communities. Each has activated the city’s landscape while fostering dialogue and artistic autonomy.

With the new grant, the initiative will expand further, incorporating new installations for the sixth edition of the triennial, titled the future is present, the harbinger is home. Monumental installations by Joiri Minaya and Raúl de Nieves, funded by the Mellon Foundation, will be unveiled during the opening weekend of Prospect.6 and remain on view through February 2025.

Minaya’s project will be her most prominent yet, transforming the visual appeal of a historic building and exploring historic and contemporary representations of identity. De Nieves’ commission will reimagine a highly symbolic and visible location in the city with elements reflecting Catholic and Carnival culture, grounded in New Orleans’ historical legacy.

Additional support for Prospect New Orleans and the Artists of Public Memory project comes from the Ford Foundation; the Lambent Foundation Fund, a fund of the Tides Foundation; the Wagner Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit prospectneworleans.org.

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