Artist Protection Fund
The Artist Protection Fund (APF) is an innovative program of the Institute of International Education (IIE), which for almost a century has championed the exchange of people and ideas across the globe. Established in 2015 and supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the APF fills a critical unmet need by providing relief and safe-haven to threatened artists on a large scale and for an extended residency period.
Artists from any country and artistic discipline may qualify. Applications are reviewed for artistic merit, the quality/potential of the applicant's work, and the severity of threats that the applicant faces. Preference is given to artists who:
- are facing or have recently fled from immediate, severe, and targeted threats to their lives and/or artistic practice in their home countries or countries of residence;
- demonstrate accomplishment and promise in their artistic practice.
The APF encourages applications from women and members of ethnic, racial, cultural, or religious minority groups, or those otherwise underrepresented in their fields.
The APF develops and designs innovative residency programs by partnering with hosts including academic institutions, arts organizations, and cultural centers from around the world. Host-partner institutions are required to provide comprehensive support that may include matching funds and/or substantive in-kind contributions such as housing, studio space, materials/supplies, social services, etc. Essential to the hosting arrangement is the active engagement of hosts in welcoming threatened APF Fellows into their community, facilitating contact with fellow artists and thought leaders, and providing access to the full range of resources and contacts available. 100% of the APF Fellowship award goes to the artist.
The APF is continually exploring new and strategic ways to respond to the specific needs of threatened artists by constructing a collaborative, transparent, and socially engaged program that stands as a leader in the artistic freedom and freedom of expression movements. To date, the APF has welcomed Fellows from countries such as: Afghanistan, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, and has overseen successful fellowships at institutions including: American Academy in Rome, Brown University, Montclair State University, University of Maine, The University of Manchester, and the Van Abbemuseum.
Make sure to explore the APF’s website to find ways to get involved with their important work. If you are an artist, you can learn more about their open call to applications. If you represent an organization, find more information about how your organization could become a host institution.
In APF Fellows’ words…
“I just wanted to break the silence, and music was my weapon…I had a big goal but it was very difficult to achieve as there were lots of limitations for female singers and musicians in Iran…I consider this residency a milestone in my musical life. Now I’m seeing a brighter future for my music.”
– Farzane Zamen, APF Fellow-in-Residence at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, 2018
"My approach to reality has always been through images. Ever since I was a child, I have tried to understand the society in which I live by creating my own world of fiction. The drawings I make are not the truth or the reality of the moment, but I do wish that they serve to reflect and question power and the established order.”
– Vilma Vargas,