This is pretty awesome! Our lil' ol' Missoula Art Museum just won a very prestigious award that comes with a $100,000 grant. Obviously, I'm kidding about that "lil ol" part, the MAM is a very huge deal. It opened in 1975 and has been accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1987. The MAM is a fully accessible, free to the public, with an Art Park, six main exhibition spaces, a library, and education center. Here's the info from the press release.

The Missoula Art Museum announces the receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support MAM’s programming with contemporary Native artists. This highly-competitive program supports contemporary art with a focus on work that engages questions of social and political import and is “experimental, under-recognized, and challenging in nature.”


MAM, which sits on the ancestral territories of the Salish and Pend d’Oreille peoples, works to respect the indigenous stewards of this land and acknowledge their rich cultures as fundamental to artistic life in Montana and to the work of MAM. To that end, MAM has long held a focus on contemporary Native artists with a dedicated gallery and through the MAM Collection.


The inaugural gift to MAM’s Contemporary American Indian Art Collection (CAIAC) in 1997 was two prints by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Following Quick-to-See Smith’s 1998 survey exhibition, the artist pledged a significant number of her printed oeuvre. To date, she’s donated 45 works (31 of her own, 14 by others). This generous pledge, which Quick-to-See Smith describes as “putting a stake in the ground,” challenged the museum to make a long-term commitment to develop a significant collection of contemporary Native art, which now features almost 250 objects by the nation’s most recognizable and powerful Native artists and is the most sought-after part of the collection with frequent requests for loans.


With MAM’s expansion in 2006, the Lynda M. Frost Contemporary American Indian Art Gallery was dedicated. Since that time, MAM has presented over 27 solo and 12 group Native-focused exhibitions with over 100 educational programs, discussions, lectures, master classes, and workshops.


“We are so fortunate to have such strong support from the Warhol Foundation in our focus and dedication to amplifying Indigenous voices, which are underrepresented in contemporary art. MAM, which lies in the heart of Indian Country, is especially well situated to work with artists who are making compelling new work. I feel like we have an obligation to take on critical issues affecting this region, and to represent the complexities of our shared history through art,” said Brandon Reintjes, senior curator.


In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given over $200 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.


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