Carolyn Ramo, the longtime executive director of the grant-making nonprofit Artadia, will step down from her position at the end of May. A nationwide search for Ramo’s successor is underway. Meanwhile, Suzy Delvalle, who is currently serving as interim executive director for the arts nonprofit A Blade of Grass, will assume leadership of Artadia starting in June.
For 11 years, Ramo has led the New York–based organization, which has distributed funding to some of the most closely watched artists grants in the industry. Many of those artists were not yet widely known when they received their grants.
While Ramo was at the helm, Artadia vastly expanded its operation: it now serves art communities in seven cities across the country, and has more than doubled the amount of $15,000 grants it provides artists annually, from 10 to 22.
“As we approach our 25th anniversary, Carolyn’s leadership has put Artadia on the path to a sustainable, incredibly impactful future,” Artadia board co-chairs Laura Roberson Fisch and Aurele Danoff Pelaia said in a joint statement. “We are so grateful for Carolyn’s accomplishments and visionary leadership over the last decade-plus. Carolyn has helped elevate Artadia in terms of its scope of work and mission in support of the artist community.”
Although Artadia’s awards do not carry with nearly as much money as the country’s top art prizes, the grants are coveted, as the program can provide crucial support to artists who have yet to hit it big or are just starting to receive larger exposure.
Nick Cave, for example, won an Artadia grant back in 2006; he is now the subject of a Guggenheim Museum survey in New York. Daniel Lind-Ramos, who received an Artadia award in 2019, is the subject of a MoMA PS1 show that opens this week.
The organization awards grants to artists based in the metropolitan regions of Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, among elsewhere. Last year, Artadia also revived its grants to artists in Boston.
“I am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished in the past 11 years; it has been an honor to play a small part in supporting the visual artists who enrich our collective culture,” Ramo said in a statement. “Artadia is strong and stable, with a dedicated staff and an incredible national community. I’m excited to hand the reins to new leadership to continue to grow the organization and its impact.”