Show Me the Money: Alternative Exposure Applicants
Show Me the Money is an earnest attempt to get people to talk about money in the visual arts.
Alternative Exposure is a grant program run by Southern Exposure and funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with additional support by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. Alternative Exposure was launched in 2007 in order to support the independent, under-the-radar work of artists and small groups that are a defining feature of the San Francisco Bay Area art community. Since developing Alternative Exposure with SoEx, the Andy Warhol Foundation has invested in the creation of a growing national network of regional regranting programs, supporting the Idea Fund in Houston, Texas; the Propeller Fund in Chicago; and Rocket Grants Kansas City, Missouri.
Since the program’s launch, Southern Exposure has awarded $351,000 in direct funds to 104 Bay Area projects. As a recipient of funds from Alternative Exposure, I can tell you that this grant has significantly impacted my practice. For the Present Group Art Subscription Service, it came at a time when we were feeling especially downtrodden, both financially and in the form of public recognition. This grant and the vote of confidence it provided helped propel us forward for another four years after receiving it. For another project spearheaded by my partner, it helped launch a new project (Art Micro Patronage) that we continue to learn from. Bay Area–wide, it has helped to spur and support a range of activity, all focused on creating systems and structures of support for artists.
This year I was asked to help jury the pool of applicants. A difficult process, but all through it I couldn’t help to wonder what all these budgets could tell us if I could look at the entire pool. I decided I should find out, and share the results. If we dream a little and imagine what would happen if all of these projects were funded, there would be an incredible burst of activity throughout a pretty amazing year. Very little of this money goes back to artists or the people that run these projects, so the economy in the area would be getting quite a nice little boost, as well. This year Alternative Exposure awarded $65,000 to 15 projects, which is still pretty great.
The information provided below is from a pool of 115 applications. There were some applications pulled before I had access to them for reasons of unsuitability to the grant.