In March 2020, the novel Coronavirus began its assault on communities across the nation. Forced to close its physical Bushwick offices, Eyebeam swiftly moved its programs online, including its annual Residency. As a result, we found ourselves needing to interrogate and reimagine what it meant to run an artist residency and public program when social interaction was prohibited. We immediately engaged in conversations with our global stakeholders, asking them, What do artists need now? We consistently received the same feedback: Artists urgently need financial resources and a dedicated space for contemplation and imagination.
In collaboration with trusted advisors—who represent a wide range of communities—Eyebeam swiftly put forward an open call for Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future (RR).
The selected awardees formed an active virtual cohort of practitioners who were in regular communication, received expert consultation, skill-sharing, and group critiques — all facilitated by Eyebeam online.
When Phase 1 was complete in October 2020, Eyebeam moved onto Phase 2. For this portion of the Rapid Response Fellowship, Eyebeam selected 8 artists from the original cohort to receive an additional award of up to $25,000 each and more dedicated project management support, visibility, and community.
Throughout this process, we were met with incredible support from leading institutions, including Henry Luce, Andrew W. Mellon, and Ford Foundations. With their generosity, we were able to increase the amount of artists supported and the value of the cash award.
Hear the 30 participating artists, hailing from nearly every continent, present their projects to build a more humane future during this dynamic weeklong showcase held in October.Watch Now!
Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future has been generously made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, and Jerome Foundation.
Eyebeam is grateful for the long-standing visionary support of the Atlantic Foundation and the New York Council on the Arts. We are pleased to also acknowledge the support of the Beatrice Snyder Foundation and The O’Grady Foundation. Thank you to all our donors who believe in our work.