With Ukrainian artists at risk of being displaced, injured or worse, and the country’s cultural heritage at risk of damage and destruction during the Russian war, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is awarding $2.5 million in grants to support artists and sites in the country and beyond. The grants include $2 million to protect artists facing hardship and persecution, and another $500,000 to safeguard cultural sites in Ukraine. Both sets of grants will be distributed through partnerships with PEN America, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting free speech, and the World Monuments Fund (WMF).
The $2 million donated to PEN America over the next three years will be split between two initiatives: one to cover the costs of basic needs, creative projects and networking for war-affected artists in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia; and another, the Artists at Risk Connection program, which supports artists facing persecution around the world. The grants “will make possible direct financial support to artists working under tremendous pressure and danger, providing emergency funds to meet basic needs and enable them to support artistic practice,” said the PEN America executive director. , Suzanne Nossel.
The $500,000 earmarked for WMF efforts in Ukraine is particularly timely as the scale of Russia’s devastation in areas around Kyiv comes into focus. Last week, Unesco said he had identified at least 53 cultural sites in Ukraine that had been damaged since the start of the Russian invasion.
Money from the Frankenthaler Foundation will enable WMF to form a Ukrainian Heritage Response Fundwho can “rapidly intervene in Ukraine – which is the most essential element of the emergency response to crises of this scale and nature – and provide early recovery actions to document and recover cultural heritage”, said the president and general manager of the WMF, Bénédicte de Montlaur. statement.