Artist-Initiated Public Art Microgrant 2021

Multicoloured hands reach to the stars in a colourful mural.

The Project

In 2021, Calgary Arts Development invited Calgary and area artists to submit ideas to create art in public spaces. This program provided one-time funding of $150,000 overall to support the local artist community through the impacts of COVID, to a maximum of $40,000 for each project. This microgrant program recognized that public art opportunities can come from grassroots ideas that are initiated by professional artists.

Professional artists of all experience levels were encouraged to partner with community associations, businesses or private landowners to explore any form of public art in any part of the city. Artists were asked to engage with relevant communities to inform their artwork design and create work in locations that are accessible to the public. Additionally, artists were encouraged to explore the multiple histories of the Calgary area, and in particular Indigenous histories, and foster dialogue towards greater understanding of Truth and Reconciliation in connection to their projects.

Funding for this program was provided through the Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary. We thank these funders for their generous support.

Applications were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of artists and community member, and the following four projects were selected:

Excavation: Unearthing the Story and History of a Space
Journey’s Home
Filipinx Female and Youth Empowerment Murals
Mother Nature Reclaims What Belongs to Her