Museum of International Folk Art

$27.6 Million in Arts Grants Includes $40,000 for Museum of International Folk Art Program

January 01, 2016


The National Endowment for the Arts, the nation’s premiere public arts funding organization, announced today an important grant for the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA).

The $40,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is part of $27.6 million awarded in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016. The money will allow MOIFA to develop and execute programs that enhance public participation and community collaboration in the Gallery of Conscience, in conjunction with a new exhibition opening in 2016.

In its first 50 years, the NEA awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funding organization in the nation to do so.

MOIFA’s team-driven Gallery of Conscience spotlights how folk artists around the world deal positively with social issues through their words and their works. In previous years, the gallery has brought together artists globally and throughout New Mexico who help their communities deal with changes in their environment such as immigration, HIV, and natural disasters. 

"The Gallery’s exhibits and its method of audience engagement help open the doors of the museum to a larger audience," said Charlene Cerny, MOIFA’s acting interim director. "With this grant, we will be able to enhance public engagement through dialogues, workshops, digital storytelling programs, and a conference for folk artists, all of which will contribute to the actual content, as well as the programming of the exhibit. This will strengthen and broaden the reach of the arts community in New Mexico."

The NEA’s Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from the Museum of International Folk Art offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day."

In 2016, the Gallery of Conscience will examine the challenges and changes that folk artists face as they pass their unique way of interacting with the world from generation to generation.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

Media Contact: Steve Cantrell, PR Manager, 505-476-1144,


The Museum of International Folk Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Museum of International Folk Art’s mission is "to enrich the human spirit by connecting people with the arts, traditions and cultures of the world." Founded in 1953 by Florence Dibell Bartlett, the museum holds the world’s largest international folk art collection of more than 150,000 objects from six continents and over 150 nations. Museum exhibitions and programs supported by donors to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, International Folk Art Foundation, and its Director’s Leadership Fund, Exhibitions Development Fund, and Fund for Museum Education.

Back to Press Release List »