California institute of arts photo - southern california news
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Michael Ned Holte, co-director of the art program and faculty member at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), was awarded the 2016 Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.

The grant awards $15,000 to $25,000 to arts writers whose work “addresses contemporary visual art through project-based grants issued directly to individual authors,” according to the grant website.

In total, 20 arts writers, including Holte, were awarded grants for their work in four categories: articles, blogs, books and short-form writing.

Holte received the grant for his book “Too Small to Fail: Art and Microinstitutions in Los Angeles,” which is an “embedded account of the present, the recent past and the probable near future of Los Angeles art worlds,” according to the grant website.

Holte said he was notified of the award by the Warhol Foundation in November.

“I imagine that the impact of the Arts Writers Grant will be substantial,” he said.  “But, most importantly, the grant helps me focus my attention on a singular project, which in this case is a book built on an accumulation of research and my ongoing interest in ambitious, but tiny art institutions in southern California.”

The book examines small-scale ventures, self-styled museums and community-centered artist-operated spaces that serve overlooked, but important, artists constituencies.

These places include the Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Museum of Public Fiction and pirate radio station KCHUN.

Holte is an independent curator and writer who has organized exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Torino, Italy and Auckland, New Zealand.

Previously, he organized exhibitions as a co-curator of “Made in L.A.” at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

He has written for independent arts and culture magazine “Brooklyn Rail,” contemporary art magazine “East of Borneo,” and contemporary art journal “X-Tra,” among others.

Holte has served as a CalArts faculty member since 2009 and as co-director of the art program since 2014.

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Christina Cox
Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.
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