CICF News / 2011 / January / News Post
January 25, 2011
CICF Receives Joyce Award for Fred Wilson Public Art Project

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Central Indiana Community Foundation is proud to announce it has received the prestigious Joyce Award from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation in support of E Pluribus Unum, a public art project by Fred Wilson commissioned for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. Since 2003, the Joyce Awards program has been the only granting opportunity exclusively supporting artists of color in major Midwestern cities. The $50,000 award is made directly to arts organizations, and is meant to support the work of individual artists as well as significant community engagements.

Joyce Awards are made throughout the Great Lakes/Midwest region; applications are reviewed by independent artists from outside the Midwest and approved by the Joyce Foundation’s board of directors. E Pluribus Unum is the only Indianapolis-based project to receive a 2011 Joyce Award. Past Indianapolis-based recipients include the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indiana Repertory Theatre and other organizations. (For a complete list of Joyce Award recipients in 2011, go here:

“Receiving a Joyce Award is a great honor,” said Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) President and CEO Brian Payne, who is leading the Cultural Trail's $2 million investment of new public artwork along the Trail. "While we remain fully committed to a process that will allow much more dialogue about this project, a process that is fully supported by the Joyce Foundation, this type of national recognition acknowledges and celebrates the vital role art is playing in creating the opportunity for dialogue around race relations in Indianapolis." Additional information about The Indianapolis Cultural Trail may be found at:

The grant may be used in part to underwrite Wilson's artist commission, and the remainder will be used as part of an effort to engage in ongoing public outreach and education about the artwork. Since October, E Pluribus Unum has been on hold while the CICF and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee's Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network hold additional community conversations in 2011.

The first series of conversations, entitled “Art Matters,”will provide opportunities for residents to obtain comprehensive information about E Pluribus Unum, talk and discuss feedback about the project. Facilitated by local art educators, in these sessions community members will view images related to the project, and “unpack” the meanings they convey. Each discussion is limited to 20 participants. After the group discussion, people will be invited to record (in writing or in audio form) their perspectives and opinions on the project. The collective dialogue may influence when the art is installed, what’s around the art, where it’s located and what other artworks might be commissioned as a result of this project’s completion. A second series of conversations, based upon the Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network’s Study Circle process, offers small groups an opportunity to discuss race or other issues and develops a plan to implement specific outcomes.

Included in the public outreach is the development of an educational website devoted specifically to the project, The site’s goal is to provide comprehensive information and perspectives about the project, including previously undistributed illustrations, videos and links to a variety of previous media coverage. It is being designed to feature significant contributions from area high school and college students to serve as both an arts education opportunity as well as a public site for community youth interested in public discourse and journalism.

The “Art Matters” schedule will be announced soon, and will also be posted at; those interested in participating may use the site to register and RSVP for attending or by calling Alicia Barnett at 317.631-6542, ext. 173 or The site will also include community feedback and additional information.

Fred Wilson is a conceptual visual artist who has worked with museums and collections around the world. He is best known for rearranging art objects and other collectibles into unusual displays to portray the under-represented perspectives of people of color. Wilson’s compelling, site-specific installations draw upon standard curatorial practices to tease out connections between objects, people, places, and local or national histories. Wilson has a long list of honors and awards that includes a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award (1999) and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2003). He is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Object, Exhibition, and Knowledge at Skidmore College; has represented the United States at the Biennial Cairo (1992) and Venice Biennale (2003); and in 2007 received an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University.