Artists have helped Miami become one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the United States. For longtime residents and first-time visitors alike, the visual arts are a central part of the Miami experience. We hope this grant program, which is offering up to $500,000 this year, will be a game changer both for our visual artists and our city, by providing working artists with the resources they need to do their best work.
We’re delighted to name these awards in honor of our founder, Ellie Schneiderman, a visionary who recognized the power of supporting artists in their work. As Ellie often said, Oolite Arts is here to “help artists help themselves.”
The Ellies are offered in four categories to support Miami-Dade working and emerging artists, art educators, and established, professionally accomplished artists.
The Ellies Creator Awards
The Creator Awards support individual artists with grants of $2,500 to $25,000 to realize a significant visual arts project that will advance their careers. These projects should be bold ideas that speak to our community and our times. These awards are open to all Miami-Dade artists. A panel of arts leaders will select recipients from the applicant pool.
The Ellies Teacher Travel Grants
Teacher Travel Grants will provide K-12 art teachers with $5,000 in funds for travel that will ultimately enrich their classroom curriculum. By encouraging teachers to explore and share art experiences with their students, these grants will help create the audiences that our museums and arts organizations need to thrive. The opportunity is open to all Miami-Dade art teachers, grades K-12. A panel of arts leaders and educators will select the recipients.
The Michael Richards Award
The Michael Richards Award is a nomination based award, given to a Miami-Dade artist who has created a recognized body of original, high-quality works of art over a sustained period of time and who, through their practice, is achieving the highest levels of professional distinction in visual arts. This artist is someone who has established and sustained their practice in Miami and has given back to the community throughout their career in a variety of ways. The award will support the selected artist’s practice and creative growth through a stipend of $75,000 over a two-year period, and the opportunity to be commissioned by Oolite Arts in collaboration with The Bass, to create a work to be exhibited at the museum.
Michael Richards (1963 – 2001), to whom this award pays tribute, was an incisive, provocative, and poetic artist whose body of work primarily addresses racial inequity and social injustice. Richards, an Oolite Arts alum, passed away tragically in his art studio in the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. A jury of national and local curators and experts will both nominate candidates and select the award winner.
Learn about the Oolite Arts alumnus whom this award pays tribute to.
The Ellies Social Justice Award
The Ellies Social Justice Award honors a visual artist who has made a commitment to working for equality in their daily lives and artistic practice. This award will support the selected artist’s practice and creative growth through a stipend of $25,000. A jury of artists and social justice leaders will nominate candidates and select the award winner.