Open Fund Press Release

Artist Project Grant Now Open

April 25, 2022 Milwaukee, WI

In the second round of funding, artist-run Open Fund in collaboration with The Poor Farm and with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Re-granting Program is expanding to support public facing visual art projects. 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 cultures 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, and civic sites in addition to other inventive models of artistic engagements.

The Open Fund Artist Project Grant will award twelve $5,000 grants to artist-organized projects in Milwaukee County. A jury of artists and curators from outside the region will select the program recipients. Jurors include Pao Her (Minneapolis), Daniela Lieja Quintanar (Los Angeles), and Nat Pyper (Chicago).

In response to the impact on visual artists caused by Covid-19, The Open Fund was created to administer Covid-19 emergency relief funds in our communities. Open Fund distributed $60,000 of emergency grants in winter of 2020. Open Fund provided $1,000 grants to 60 visual artists living within the Milwaukee metro area with a high level of financial need.

This current cycle marks a shift to support public facing artist-run-initiatives. Applicants are encouraged to apply with proposals that reimagine the form and content of public facing visual art initiatives. A great emphasis on experimentation is encouraged. Applicants must live within Milwaukee County but do not need to be US Citizens. 501c3s, commercial galleries, incorporated businesses, commercial studios, and students are not eligible to apply.

The Open Fund Artist Projects Grant application is open now and closes May 22, 2022 at 11:59 pm (CST). Recipients will be notified in June and funds will be distributed by July 2022. Application information and more details can be found at

John Riepenhoff, artist and the director of The Open says, “artists play an important role in our communities bringing meaning and perspective to our lives. We hope that by supporting public-facing artists-run-projects we will raise the value of life for everyone they touch, and through bringing awareness of these projects we can encourage collaboration and connection in the visual arts.”

About The Open:

The Open began in 2016 in Riverwest, Milwaukee, as a utility to support ephemeral art-makers and social platforms. It hosts a range of artist-operated venues. This project is an experiment in durational cultural investment, foregrounding the importance of place and alternative economic exchanges.

About The Poor Farm:

The Poor Farm is an art experiment founded in 2008 at the former Waupaca County Poor Farm (built in 1876) in Little Wolf, Wisconsin. It is a not-for-profit project space and residency that supports artists and their ideas.

For more information about the Open Fund, please contact John Riepenhoff at or 414 226-1978.