Artist Programs Overview

The Foundation runs a set of artist-centered programs that fulfill Joan Mitchell’s ambition to “aid and assist” artists through grants, residencies, and related initiatives. We currently administer the following programs.

The annual Painters & Sculptors Grants, first awarded in 1993, provide unrestricted funds of $25,000 each to a diverse group of 25 artists. Selected through a tiered process of nomination and jurying, these grants seek to recognize artists who are making exceptional work, who are deserving of greater acknowledgment on a national level, and who will benefit from the recognition and funding that the award provides. Over the last 25 years, the Painters & Sculptors Grants have supported more than 500 artists in communities across the US, often at crucial times in their career. By providing unrestricted funds, we give grant recipients the freedom to decide how best to further develop their work and careers. Learn more and see past recipients here.

Through our Emergency Grants, the Joan Mitchell Foundation provides emergency support of up to $6,000 to US-based visual artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and/or drawing, who have suffered significant physical losses after natural or man-made disasters that have affected their community. Artists whose creative practice has been negatively impacted due to catastrophic situations of this nature can apply to the Foundation for funding to assist with the repair of homes and studios, replacement of art-making materials, and subsidize rent for temporary studio space, as well as help cover basic living expenses such as food, child care, and travel. Learn more and apply here.

The Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) initiative recognizes that artists of all ages may need support to organize their studios and take charge of their creative legacies. CALL provides a comprehensive suite of resources to help artists create usable documentation of their artworks and careers, manage their inventory of artworks, and start the legacy and estate planning process. After a number of years of field testing—in which emerging artists were trained by the Foundation to assist older artists with career documentation—the Foundation expanded the vision for CALL, making its resources widely available through free workbooks and online toolkits. These include a Career Documentation Guide and two Estate Planning Workbooks for visual artists and their attorneys. Learn more.

Complementing the Joan Mitchell Foundation's grant programs, the Joan Mitchell Center was developed to host artist residencies, providing working and living space on a two-acre campus in the historic and culturally diverse city of New Orleans. In addition to the Artist-in-Residence Program, which welcomes local, national, and international artists, the Center produces public programming for the broader community of New Orleans, and serves as an incubator, conduit, and resource for partnerships in the arts.

The Foundation partners with consultants and external organizations to provide grant recipients with professional development services, such as financial planning assistance and career management advice—at no cost to the artists. Free downloadable resources available to all artists and educators are located here. 

Additional programs historically offered by the Foundation include MFA Grants (1997 to 2012), Emerging Artist Grants (2015 & 2016), the Art Education Program (1997 to 2016) and Organizational Grants (2005 to 2017).