WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has announced the launch of its Inclusive Public Art initiative, one of three that the foundation is supporting under its exploratory and visionary ideas strategy as part of its “All For NC: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning.” A request for Letters of Intent is now available on the foundation’s website.
During the foundation’s statewide listening and learning tour from 2016-2017, it saw that there was a disparity between public art and racism and segregation. It became evident that something could be done to offset that imbalance. ZSR’s investment in inclusive public art is intended to share stories of diversity, equality, inclusion and equity as they relate to the people and places of North Carolina, especially those whose stories have not been or are often untold.
This initiative aims to include historically marginalized people in the decision-making processes about art in public places and is intended to spark healthy dialogue. The community engagement aspect of these grants will be just as important as the art installations themselves, and the foundation is looking for communities that will authentically engage a cross-section of their communities in telling, discussing and perhaps even producing the story(ies) depicted in the art.
“For many years, ZSR has supported efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and equity; however, this foray into using public art as a tool for community education and dialogue is a new approach for us,” said Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, assistant director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and lead staff managing the initiative. “We are excited to see how communities will be creative with these projects, and to learn more about North Carolina’s communities and our shared history.”
Letters of Intent for the initiative are due on Oct. 8. In November 2018, semi-finalists will receive an invitation to apply with a deadline in the spring of 2019.