The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Bard College $2,000,000 to support the research, artistic production, and curatorial practice of Tania El Khoury. The funding will allow the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard (CHRA), the Fisher Center at Bard, and El Khoury to implement a new model in which the college provides infrastructure to support El Khoury’s creative and scholarly output.
El Khoury is the Founding Director of CHRA, and a Distinguished Artist in Residence at Bard’s Theater & Performance Program, and guest co-curator at the Fisher Center at Bard. The grant will support her live art production and touring, her scholarly and artistic research, and her curatorial work at CHRA and the Fisher Center.
The $2,000,000 Mellon Foundation grant makes it possible for CHRA and the Fisher Center to offer El Khoury tangible resources to develop and disseminate ambitious, forward-thinking work, of her own and by other artists. This new model of artist-institution engagement follows the Fisher Center previous experience in becoming an artistic home for artists and supporting their practice, infrastructure, and livelihood. It will also allow CHRA to expand its team, intensify its public programming, and support future editions of an international art festival.
El Khoury said, “This generous grant from Mellon Foundation comes at a time when the live performance industry is experiencing a fundamental restructuring due to the recent pandemic and major shifts in public and private funding streams. The grant will allow me to further pursue my artistic and curatorial practices, deepen my experimentation with new models of collaboration and institution-building, and reflect on my trajectory as an artist working at the intersection of politics and research.”
About Tania El Khoury
Tania El Khoury creates interactive and immersive installations and performances that reflect on the production of collective memory and the cultivation of solidarity. Her work is activated by tactile, auditory and visual traces collected and curated by the artist and her collaborators, and they are ultimately transformed through audience interaction.
El Khoury’s work has been translated to multiple languages and shown in 33 countries across 6 continents in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars. She is the recipient of the Herb Alpert Award, the Soros Art Fellowship, the Bessies Outstanding Production Award, the International Live Art Prize, the Total Theatre Innovation Award, and the Arches Brick Award.
El Khoury is a Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Theater and Performance Program and Founding Director of the OSUN Center for Human Rights & the Arts at Bard College. She holds a PhD in Theater Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. El Khoury is a co-founder of Dictaphone Group, a research and live art collective in Lebanon, and is associated with the Forest Fringe collective of artists in the UK.
About the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts
The OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College (CHRA) is an artist-led center that researches and supports art and activist practices globally. CHRA is committed to creating networks of collaboration and solidarity and to enriching the conversation on the political potential of art within human rights discourse. Through its international M.A. program, it opens a space for activists, artists, and scholars to colearn and cocreate. The center teaches, studies, and engages innovative art practices that investigate human rights violations and grassroots activism that uses creative tools of resistance. Its public program, operating locally in New York’s Hudson Valley (occupied homelands of the Munsee and Muhheconneok people) and internationally, includes public talks, art commissions, activist collaborations, accessible publications, and multidisciplinary art festivals.
About the Fisher Center at Bard
The Fisher Center develops, produces, and presents performing arts across disciplines through new productions and context-rich programs that challenge and inspire. As a premier professional performing arts center and a hub for research and education, the Fisher Center supports artists, students, and audiences in the development and examination of artistic ideas, offering perspectives from the past and present as well as visions of the future. The Fisher Center demonstrates Bard’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. Home is the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and located on the campus of Bard College in New York’s Hudson Valley. The Fisher Center offers outstanding programs to many communities, including the students and faculty of Bard College, and audiences in the Hudson Valley, New York City, across the country, and around the world. Building on a 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders.