At Wagner Foundation, we believe that contemporary art is a space for interrogating the past, wrestling with the current moment, and envisioning alternative futures. Our grantmaking is centered on the belief that contemporary art has the transformative potential to foster social healing and wellbeing, strengthen community access and power in cultural and civic institutions, and tell inclusive and necessary histories in public space.

Installation view, Simone Leigh, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2023. Photo by Timothy Schenck


Visual art exhibitions, commissions, and experimental initiatives who are imagining and enacting visionary projects for healing, wellbeing, and care.

Pepón Osorio, Convalescence, 2020. Wood, mannequin, two channel video, pins, magnifying glasses, anatomical model, bandages, rubber, medical equipment. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Contemporary.

Our partners in this area include Pepón Osorio’s Convalescence, an installation and public programming series at Thomas Jefferson University medical campus that addresses the systemic failure of the U.S. healthcare system for many communities of color; Black History in Action for Cambridgeport, an inclusive Black space for arts, documentation, organizing, and joy; and Eastern Woodlands Rematriation, a collective of Indigenous womxn restoring the spiritual foundation of their livelihoods through regenerative food systems.

Contemporary visual arts organizations, institutions, and publication programs that serve as anchors for culture and creativity within their communities, with an emphasis on equitable practices, responsiveness to local contexts, and a commitment to welcoming diverse publics.

Feature on Alison Croney Moses, Boston Art Review Magazine, Issue 11: Emerge (Fall/Winter 2023).

We have supported our partners in establishing a fully funded residency opportunity at Boston Center for the Arts; launching new field-building initiatives at Printed Matter; strengthening the capacity of the community-led publication Boston Art Review; and supporting inclusive initiatives and exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Baltimore Museum of Art; among other projects.    

Public art initiatives and commemorative landscape projects that tell inclusive histories, experiment with form, and engage in innovative and responsive community processes.
The Embrace and The 1965 Freedom Plaza, Hank Willis Thomas, Mass Design Group, and Embrace Boston. Photo courtesy of Mass Design Group.

Our partnerships have supported civic exhibitions, regional triennials, and groundbreaking new monuments and memorials through Now + There, Counterpublic, Monument Lab, Rose Kennedy Greenway Public Art Program, Prospect New Orleans and its Artists of Public Memory Commissions, Embrace Boston, and Mass Design Group.

Wagner Foundation’s Cultural Transformation funding is national and we offer both multi-year general operating support as well as project-specific funding. In Greater Boston, we focus on strengthening the visual arts ecosystem through artist fellowships, artist-run initiatives, publications, and studio spaces. We do not fund individual artists; project funding must be in partnership with a non-profit organization or fiscal sponsor.

Wagner Foundation takes a highly relational approach to our grantmaking built through a series of conversations to identify potential alignment.  Although we do not have a typical request for proposal/unsolicited application process, if you believe your work is a good fit for Wagner Foundation, you are welcome to submit your contact information and a description to [email protected]. Please be advised that although we review each inquiry, due to our small staff, we only respond to those that we wish to pursue further.