AOL Moves to Publicly Support the Arts


In honor of its 25th anniversary, AOL is launching an innovative new project promoting artistic talent: the 25 for 25 AOL Grant Program.

Twenty-five of the fine arts’ biggest talents will receive $25,000 in grant money as an attempt to inspire and cultivate a new generation of artistic talent in everything from painting to design. The program’s Web site states that “25 for 25 is a call to journalists, artists and innovators who believe in the power of ideas.”

According to AOL, “The grants are intended to be used to further understanding and appreciation of art in the community as well as in the lives of individuals. We want to help you excel in your field, providing these grants to help you achieve your creative goals.” The application process was three-fold: fill out and submit a short form, wait for additional forms to be mailed from AOL and then, once read and completed, return the materials.

The grant program was inspired by painter and photographer Chuck Close’s contributions to the arts and its education. Known for his up-close portraits, Close became severely paralyzed in 1988 and, since then, has concentrated on arts programs for the disabled. Close explained, “I’m very excited to be collaborating with AOL on this project. They have been rapidly evolving and intelligently investing in the global creative community. I believe this kind of thinking will help them reemerge as the pioneering American brand known throughout the world.”

The advisory board for 25 for 25 includes Andy Spade, fashion designer of the Jack Spade line and creator of Partners & Spade, a Manhattan art studio and gallery, and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

If you’re thinking of entering, we unfortunately have some bad news: Yesterday was the final deadline.

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