It’s been a tough two years for cultural people, not just in Buffalo, but everywhere. While most cultural rely on in-person events to generate funds, the pandemic has taken hold of the events scene. Therefore, arts organizations rely on other sources of funding to continue.
2022 has already been a big year for Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center. In early January, the organization announced that it had recruited Zainab Saleh as its new executive director. With expertise in media history and theory, leadership and development, and community building, Saleh was a natural candidate for the role.
“Squeaky Wheel continues to take the pulse of our most pressing cultural and political conversations,” Saleh says. “I’m thrilled to join the organization at such a historic time – we immediately grapple with what the past two years have brought to Buffalo’s arts ecosystem as we look to the arts for opportunity and change. . I especially look forward to working with partners, media artists and audiences to build community engagement and build authentic relationships.
“We are particularly energized by Saleh’s outstanding research and advocacy work on arts access and equity, which we consider a cornerstone of Squeaky Wheel’s programming and services,” said Dillon Joseph, Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Research Committee.
Saleh first moved to Buffalo to join Buffalo Arts Studio as Marketing and Community Development Coordinator
A few weeks after Saleh embraced his new role, more big news surfaced. Squeaky Wheel has received significant funding – $100,000 from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which will support “exhibitions and screenings, the Workspace Residency program, commissions, talks and workshops that support individual artists and demystify artistic practices.
With support from the multi-year program, Squeaky Wheel will be able to improve its accessibility to programs and events, while providing resident artists with additional financial assistance for childcare and/or disability support.
Squeaky Wheel is one of 49 organizations receiving funding through the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Fall 2021 grant cycle, with awards totaling $4.1 million.
Saleh said:We are honored to receive this grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation to support our programs. This funding will provide our organization and our artists with the crucial space to experiment and critically reflect on how the pandemic has changed the way we interact with each other, both in physical and virtual spaces..”
“Squeaky Wheel provides critical opportunities for media artists to create and present work in unconventional ways to new audiences”, said Rachel Bers, program director of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, “We are pleased to support his programs that bring experimental artists to Buffalo and provide them with a platform from which to participate in national conversations about media art.”
Main Image: Squeaky Wheel Animation Festival