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Fine Line Group, the family office of Sasha and Edward P. Bass, has launched THE NEW NORMAL Rockport. The funding initiative will help Rockport artists get back to work and supports community healing, Fine Line said in a news release.
Building on the success of THE NEW NORMAL artist initiative in Fort Worth, this $150,000 competitive grant program challenges Rockport’s visual artists to create works inspired by their current experiences in the world, the news release said.
THE NEW NORMAL Rockport supports the creative community’s economic recovery through both service and art. The program will culminate with the creation of a body of work that interprets and documents the Rockport community’s experience confronting three major contemporary challenges of our time:

– Recovery from Hurricane Harvey;
– The impact of COVID-19 on health, work, and social interaction; and
– The country’s current focus on eradicating systemic racism.
A five-person panel of Rockport’s most influential art leaders will manage the selection process for this competition. Panelists will review candidate applications and provide grants of either $2,000 or $5,000 to Rockport artists based on the strength of their proposal, portfolio, and demonstrated financial need.

THE NEW NORMAL Rockport is administered by Gallery of Dreams, a Fort Worth nonprofit arts organization established by Lauren Childs of Fort Works Art.
“Cinema, literature, music, painting, sculpture and other forms of art are widely considered to be the repository of a society’s collective and indelible memory,” said panelist and Executive Director for the Rockport Center for the Arts, Luis Purón.

“Much has been written about the intrinsic value art plays in strengthening a community’s identity and sense of place. Extending our own mission to support the artists of Rockport by providing the creative space to learn, grow, and impact their studio practice economically, we are beyond thrilled to play a part in THE NEW NORMAL. Ed and Sasha Bass’ vision to further empower our local arts community through grant-making will encourage creativity, diversity, healing, and inclusion,” Purón said.

THE NEW NORMAL artist grant program is a first of its kind initiative. Its pilot program launched in Fort Worth in April 2020 has already given more than  30 grants to artists to help get them back to work.
The program’s founders, Sasha and Ed Bass, have historic family ties to the Rockport community. As the Fort Worth pilot gained traction, they began working with local arts leaders to bring THE NEW NORMAL to Rockport.

“Ed and I are excited to bring this program to Rockport’s vibrant arts community. This competitive grant initiative supports the artistic community’s economic recovery from pandemic shut-downs and sparks communal reflection on the many urgent issues every community is now confronting,” said Sasha Bass. “Artists are ‘essential workers’ in society’s processing and healing from trauma. The body of work this program helps to create will live on to tell Rockport’s story at this unprecedented moment in history.”

Applicants are asked to submit a written proposal including a personal statement in which they express how this opportunity inspires them to create and how the artwork they intend to create will support the Rockport-area community as it copes with the impact of the pandemic and wrestles to address the larger social justice issues it has helped bring to the forefront.
Applicants are also asked to provide an overview of the artwork they intend to create, examples of their current work, and a statement of need. The full application is available here.:
There is no fee to apply.
Application Open: Now
Application Deadline: July 26, 2020
Awards will be announced July 31, 2020


Sara Sells Morgan
Art Museum of South Texas

Suzanna Moroles
Founder of MorolesArtCo.
Jesús Moroles Archivist/Art Curator

Luis Purón
Executive Director
Rockport Center for the Arts

Elena Rodriguez
Curator of Exhibitions
Rockport Center for the Arts

Michelle Smythe
Executive Director
K Space Contemporary

– FWBP Staff

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