Open Fund Artist Project Grants

The Open Fund Artist Project Grant supports visual artist initiatives that are experimental and public oriented. This includes wide-reaching and innovative projects that are unique to communities and the culture at large. Examples of the 2022 grantees include the presentation of creative and experimental work via film screenings, exhibition series, pop-up presentations, zines and media, 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 2022, the Open Fund distributed $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.

We hope to accept applications online in 2023 but do not have funds secured or schedule in place yet.

Grantees are selected from a field of eligible applications through a jury system.

Jury process takes place on-line or if Jurors are able to convene in person we accommodate that. 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 or (414) 226-1978.

Our 2022 Jurors

Pao Houa Her is a visual artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She works across multiple genres and technologies of photography to address Hmong identity and related notions of desire and belonging within the Hmong American community. Pao holds a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, MN, and an MFA in Photography from Yale University, CT. She is the recipient of many prestigious fellowships and grants, and has exhibited extensively in Minnesota, as well as across the United States, and more recently, in Southeast Asia. Her work is included in this year’s Whitney Biennial 2022.

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, 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.