UMOCA receives prestigious NEA Art Works Grant Award

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) is thrilled to announce that it is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant Award.

Since 1965, the NEA has continued to offer the funding and support to allow more and more Americans each year the opportunity to participate in the arts, to promote equal access to arts education, and to affirm and celebrate America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Through its grant-making to thousands of arts and culture nonprofits each year, the NEA supports organizations such as UMOCA in their efforts to facilitate transformative arts experiences for their communities. The federal organization celebrates art’s intrinsic value not only for art’s sake, but also for its capacity to encourage and enrich community.

In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will total $74.3 million in grants nationwide for this funding round, with well over $1 million donated to 13 different Utah arts organizations, UMOCA included.

“We here at UMOCA are exceptionally thankful to be one of the organizations chosen for this round of NEA funding,” says UMOCA Executive Director Kristian Anderson. “This is the first time since 2005 that UMOCA has received an Art Works grant from the NEA and we are thrilled to join the legacy of our nation’s arts leaders.”


Ericson & Ziegler in 1979.


The NEA’s generous $15,000 award to UMOCA will support its upcoming Main Gallery exhibition honoring the works of contemporary artists Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler.

During their 10-year collaboration (1985-1995), Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler produced influential conceptual art projects that ranged from site-specific installations to mixed media sculptures. At the time, Ericson and Ziegler redefined public art, welcoming a more diverse audience to their works. The results of their collaboration were subtle yet profound in illuminating the contexts and issues specific to each project’s site and community.

“Ericson and Ziegler’s socially engaging work resonates with the NEA’s mission to recognize and celebrate artists who have made a profound impact on communities across the United States,” says Rebecca Maksym, Curator of Exhibitions at UMOCA.

The NEA’s grant will allow UMOCA to present two parallel surveys highlighting important projects from Ericson and Ziegler’s collaboration, as well as a selection of works from Ziegler’s solo career. The exhibition, which will run from August 28 to December 19, will continue UMOCA’s legacy in bringing internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to Utah’s artistic landscape.

“The NEA is committed to advancing, learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,” says NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Funding new projects like the one from UMOCA represents an investment in both local communities and in our nation’s creative vitality.”