Open Fund Artist Project Grants

The Open Fund Artist Project Grant will support visual artist initiatives that are experimental and public oriented. This will include wide-reaching and innovative projects that are unique to communities and the culture at large. Examples may include the presentation of creative and experimental work via film screenings, exhibition series, pop-up presentations, zines and media, sound installations, broadcast work, educational models, civic sites in addition to other inventive models of artistic engagements.

The Open Fund is administered by two Wisconsin artist-run spaces, The Poor Farm and The Open. In the spring of 2022, the Open Fund will distribute $60,000 in Artist Project Grants to artists living in Milwaukee County, providing $5,000 grants to 12 visual artists or artist groups living within the Milwaukee County.

Applications will be accepted online beginning Monday, April 25th at 11:00 am (CST). The application portal will close Sunday, May 22nd at 11:59 pm (CST).

Applications will be selected from the field of eligible applications through a jury system.

Jury process will take place on-line and will culminate in a virtual meeting. If Jurors are able to convene in person we will accommodate that while closely monitoring the public health safety of travel and meeting in person. In the future we hope to bring jurors to Milwaukee to review applications in person. We encourage applications from underserved communities, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ artists, artists with disabilities, and those caring for dependents.


What We Fund

  • Projects that have a publicly accessible component

  • Projects could include exhibitions or installations held in temporary spaces, new publications, a series of events or performances, digital initiatives, public art projects, and other activities that are related to the visual arts

What We Do Not Fund

    • ́An individual artist presenting exclusively their own work

    • ́Projects that are part of the programming of a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization

    • Projects at a commercial gallery

    • ́Projects that do not offer an opportunity for free public engagement


Please read the eligibility and application guidelines closely prior to applying. These guidelines can be made available in alternative formats or languages. To make a request, or if you have questions, please contact us at apply@theopen.fund or (414) 226-1978.



Our 2022 Jurors

Daniela Lieja Quintanar is a Los Angeles-based curator and arts researcher. She is the Chief Curator and Director of Programming at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). Her curatorial practice takes inspiration from everyday spaces of political struggle and collective forms of knowledge production. Her research focuses on gestures of collective solidarity and organizing within the Americas. In 2018, she received the Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Research Grant for the exhibition Intergalactix:against isolation/contra el aislamiento (2021), which featured collaborative work across Central América, Mexico and their diasporas in the US. Lieja Quintanar has served as part of the curatorial team of the MexiCali Biennial 2018-19, and participated as the Project Coordinator and Contributing Curatorial Advisor for Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in the 1990s Mexico at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Getty PST:LA/LA initiative. In 2016, she was Project Coordinator of La Sombra by Teresa Margolles for the Public Art Biennial CURRENT: LA Water. Some of her recent exhibitions include Unraveling Collective Forms(2019), CAVERNOUS: Young Joon Kwak & Mutant Salon (2018) and Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language (2018 co-curated with Essence Harden) at LACE.

Nat Pyper is an alphabet artist. In their work and writing, they use language as a sieve and they push the body through it. Their visual work has shown at Chuquimarca Projects, Gene Siskel Film Center, and RUSCHWOMAN in Chicago, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and Printed Matter in New York City. Their written work has been published by Are.na, Draw Down Books, Drawstring Magazine, GenderFail, Inga Books, Martian Press, Queer.Archive.Work, and the Walker Art Center. They received their MFA from the Yale School of Art. They are currently a 2021-22 HATCH Artist Resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition.

Pao Her