about

CUE is a radical arts initiative dedicated to supporting new generation artists who live and work on the margins. We recognize that, throughout history, some of the most important artwork was, and still is, created by artists who practice outside of conventional frameworks–underrepresented artists who, by choice or circumstance, do not participate in capitalist culture nor share in its privileges. There are bright lights shining from the cracks and corners.

CUE has developed a high-access funding program, specifically supporting artists who live on the margins and face barriers to connecting with arts funding and other professional opportunities. In addition to providing financial support for art projects, CUE offers extensive consultation and mentorship in developing and writing project proposals, budget planning, peer-support throughout the production process, and opportunity for public exhibition.

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WHY ARE NEW FUNDING MODELS ESSENTIAL?

  1. Artists on the margins may experience barriers to securing support for their work. Poverty, mental health issues, unstable housing, stigmatizations associated with racialized or LGBTQ identities, amongst other systemic adversity often excludes important artists from conventional career avenues. The net effect of this exclusion can create a homogenized artistic culture, and can reinforce power structures that have historically perpetuated inequity and cultural divide.
  1. Fostering communities where underrepresented artists are encouraged and supported builds a stronger platform for personal and creative realization. This is also how rich and diverse culture is developed. A better society is one that acknowledges perspectives across class, identity, and status gaps.
  1. Artists on the margins can a bring powerful vision, insight, and talent that cannot be learned through curriculum, or manifested simply by of way social position or privilege.
  1. Artists should be spending maximal time conceptualizing and creating work, and minimal time navigating grant processes to do so. A great painter need not be a great writer. A simplified support system is beneficial to the creative process.

HISTORY

CUE was developed by a group of young outsider artists who were frustrated by the apparent lack of accessible arts funding. Launched in 2008 as a project of SKETCH Working Arts, to date CUE has:

  • Provided over $220,000 in financial support to artists
  • Directly supported the creation of 220 art projects
  • Hosted 4 multidisciplinary group exhibitions
  • Provided thousands of hours of mentorship for artists
  • Engaged dozens of young artists in paid leadership positions within the initiative