Our most recent grants reaffirm the Foundation’s commitment to building bridges across disciplines and cultural differences and to supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Indigenous communities. These projects, totaling nearly $8 million, will amplify AAPI stories, strengthen efforts for greater community self-governance and knowledge ownership, uplift underrepresented voices, and foster mutual understanding.
The Luce Foundation recognizes the unique role that the visual arts play in strengthening visual literacy, engaging with new perspectives, and providing entry points to critical conversations. Five new grants to university museums will integrate the visual arts across curricula and engage audiences in culturally underserved regions. These include a major grant to the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, which will reintroduce its collections to a broader and more diverse public in a newly-built facility and reinvigorate the university’s commitment to placing artistic practice at the center of cross-disciplinary teaching, experiential learning, and civic dialogue.
Two Asia-focused exhibitions—“The History of Himalayan Art” at the Rubin Museum and “Flowers on a River: The Art of Chinese Flower and Bird Painting” at the China Institute Gallery—will also facilitate the use of art in multidisciplinary education while bringing attention to an understudied region and a significant but underexplored artistic tradition.
As we grow our support for diverse knowledge makers, the Foundation also recognizes the importance of strengthening community-based efforts to promote knowledge accessibility, ownership, consent, and self-management.
Four grants to regional museums will fund the ethical study and presentation of Native American art, encouraging collaboration with Indigenous artists and scholars. Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona will work to implement principles of data sovereignty across repositories of Native knowledge to provide greater access and ownership to Indigenous communities.
Blackspace Urbanist Collective—a group of African-American architects, designers, and urban planners dedicated to improving the physical spaces in which Black people live and work—will collaborate with community constituents to support designers of color, amplify their perspectives, and develop community-based design projects.
Namati, a legal empowerment organization, will use a grant to train community-based paralegals to intervene on behalf of individuals and communities, educating people about their rights and ensuring that they have knowledge of the law and access to practitioners who will act in their interests.
New investments in research, storytelling projects, and network-building will increase awareness and understanding of Asian American experiences.
The US-China Education Trust will launch a new project that highlights the achievements and experiences of Asian Americans, members of the Asian diaspora, and Chinese students in the US by producing programs and platforms through which they can share their work and stories.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, which has fought for civil rights for AAPI communities for fifty years, also aims to shift attitudes about immigrants through storytelling. A grant will fund the Yuri Kochiyama Fellowship which supports formerly incarcerated Asian-Americans as they share their experiences, advocate for the rights of the formerly incarcerated, and grow their own leadership capacities.
Finally, the Foundation will support two projects focused on the religious realities of Asian Americans. The Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI), a network of researchers dedicated to understanding AAPI religions, will establish its home at UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Religion where it will continue to support emerging scholars and promote greater public engagement through collaboration and resource sharing. And a research project based at Baylor University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Michigan will study how diverse, religiously-inspired Asian-American community partners collaborate across their differences on democratic and justice-oriented causes.