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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Warhol foundation aids art museum

    The Museum of Contemporary Art will be expanding its current location at 174 E. Toole Ave. thanks to a grant received from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts.
    The Museum of Contemporary Art will be expanding its current location at 174 E. Toole Ave. thanks to a grant received from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts.

    Andy Warhol’s legacy is being carried on in Tucson.

    Recently, the Museum of Contemporary Art, 174 E. Toole Ave., received a major capacity-building grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

    MOCA is one of 12 organizations in the country invited to participate in the program. The grant will allow for expansion and stability.

    MOCA began programming as a museum in the Downtown warehouse district in 2003. It established itself as a spot to fill a void in the cultural landscape of Tucson, giving local artists a place to showcase their work.

    But the grassroots organization has had difficulties keeping artists from moving their work to New York or Europe.

    “”We want to create a healthy enough ecosystem to support contemporary art,”” said Anne-Marie Russell, MOCA’s executive director.

    Russell has held her position for five years and often sees great artists come and go. She said MOCA wants to have a place that ensures they can keep doing what they are doing in Tucson.

    Here enters Andy Warhol.

    Warhol died unexpectedly in 1987 and dictated that the majority of his estate be used to create a foundation dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts.

    The Andy Warhol Foundation created the Warhol Initiative to invest in quality organizations to ensure their permanence and stability.

    The foundation extended an invitation to MOCA to join the highly competitive program. MOCA will receive a $100,000 capital infusion grant, $10,000 in technical assistance grants and consulting expertise.

    With help from the grant, MOCA will be closer to making sure that the exposure of new art and new ideas is an integrated part of the Tucson community experience.

    “”This couldn’t come at a better time,”” Russell said. “”What we are doing won’t change, but it will be bigger, better, and there will be more of it.””

    Russell attributes MOCA’s success to the individuals who have helped it grow.

    “”So many people have worked hard for this,”” Russell said. “”And the most significant category that helped first build the museum was students at the U of A.””

    In the past five years, 65 UA students have participated in the Museum Studies Internship Program and have been a major factor in helping further MOCA as a museum. The interns come from all different majors but have the common goal of improving MOCA.

    This opportunity for MOCA to stabilize and grow is a wonderful development for the whole Tucson community, artists and audiences alike,”” said Karen Christensen, MOCA vice president.

    Although MOCA is closed for regular hours during the summer, it will give Tucson the opportunity to celebrate the award at an open house July 28 from 5-7 p.m.

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