New Over-the-Rhine gallery offers inaugural artist’s Empowerment Grant

A new art gallery on Race Street, Bader + Simon, is planning to open its doors in early 2025. The urban space is the latest project of founder and president Tamara White, Ph.D., a visual activist, artist and scholar with a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies.

“The art scene in Cincinnati is incredibly vibrant,” says White. “I find the community support, collaboration between artists and organizations, and the ongoing programming incredibly inspiring. As someone who spends much time in New York and California, many people are surprised when I share the vibrancy of Cincinnati.”

As the physical space gets renovated and ready to showcase the work of emerging, underrepresented artists, Bader + Simon is kicking off its inaugural Empowerment Grant open to any individual artist creating projects embedded in social justice.

For artists who would like to be considered for the $7500 grant, the application is due by March 15, 2024. Applying artists are asked to submit information about themselves and their intended project. In specific, applicants will provide a bio or resume, a short artist’s statement in written or video form, images of previous work, references, a project timeline and expected budget.

Renovation efforts are underway, with the gallery scheduled to open in early 2025. The Empowerment Grant recipient’s work will be displayed at Bader + Simon when the gallery opens early next year. On April 20, 2024, the grant recipient will be announced, with the funding to commence on May 1st.

Board members of Bader + Simon created the Empowerment Grant in 2023, and plan to offer one grant each year to support new and emerging artists. Offering grants like this one is an important way communities can support and encourage artists. “I have served on several nonprofit boards and sat as a juror on grant panels,” shares White. “I have seen firsthand how arts funding and grants can directly help an artist and make a difference in their work and in providing breathing room to create.”

Like any artist whose work is featured at Bader + Simon, the grant recipient will receive 100% of their sales proceeds. “Operating as a non-profit gallery allows us to further support artists in a financially meaningful way,” explains White.

This grant is particularly accessible for new artists, says White. “We especially encourage individuals who have never applied for a grant previously, who are creating work that educates, informs and provides perspective on social justice topics. We intend to focus on the quality of the work, the proposed project, and the ability to follow through. This importance rises above a stellar resume or C.V.”

And there’s a perk for those who apply but are not ultimately awarded the grant. “We plan to hold onto the names of individuals who have applied for consideration in future programming,” explains White.

Beyond the grant recipient’s work, the gallery will present rotating shows featuring both local and global artists. The gallery’s goal is to be collaborative visual activists working together to educate, enlighten and create lasting change.

Although White splits her time between the Queen City, the Big Apple and Berkeley, CA, she has deep connections to Cincinnati. She sits on board of ArtWorks and has served on the acquisitions committee at the Cincinnati Art Museum. She received her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies and certificates in Museum Studies and Design Thinking.
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Jessica Bozsan is a writer, content marketer and overall passionate communicator who lives in Ft. Thomas, KY, with her hectic family of five. She’s also a reader of novels, a yogi, a walker and a hiker. Additionally, she loves to knit, sew, draw, make jewelry and throw pottery on the wheel.