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MOCA Jacksonville Receives $30k NEA Grant For 'Project Atrium'

Michel Curi

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Jacksonville’s Museum of Contemporary Arts a $30,000 grant.

The award will launch MOCA’s “Project Atrium,” which features emerging and mid-career artists who are eager to showcase their latest work.


Amid a political climate that leaves support for the arts in doubt, MOCA curator Jamie Desimone said the grant is vital to the museum’s mission.


“This is a huge coup for local Jacksonville. It’s the first time we’ve received an NEA grant in a number of years,” Desimone said. “We’re delighted to have the NEA’s support for the type of work that we’re doing.”


Since the inception of “Project Atrium” in 2011, MOCA’s curator estimated a total cost of $120,000 per year.


“We have a number of other sponsors who help us mount this project on an annual basis.” Desimone said. “We invest a significant number of resources into providing these opportunities not only for the artists, but for the community to engage with artists.”


Gabriel Dawe’s work is the first of three installments in this season's “Project Atrium.” Dawe will use sewing thread to emulate rainbows to explore ideas related to shelter, protection and gender identity.


Following Dawe, Juan Fontanive and Anila Quayyum Agha will display their work, illustrating aspects of their respective cultures with their distinctive styles.


The instillation of Dawe’s exhibit begins Monday.


Matthew Farina can be reached at and on Twitter @themaddyice