Sites & Stewardship

Sites & Stewardship nurtures the ever-evolving relationships between artmaking and place. Rooted in Ruth DeYoung Kohler II’s long standing love of artist-built environments, this inaugural program stems from the belief that new possibilities emerge when we value the specificity of sites in the pursuit of creativity.

Retrospective and forward-facing, this program supports projects that intersect with the extraordinary aspects of an artist’s community, home, studio, archive, collection, or built environment. Reflecting on both the tangible and ephemeral qualities of our surroundings, we encourage initiatives that connect location to creativity, artist to community, histories to futures.

Through grantmaking, convenings, and sustainable resources, this program empowers both those who take the lead in investigating where and how creativity flourishes and those who activate the imprint artists make on our cultural landscape. Our inaugural Sites and Stewardship grantees will be announced in 2023.

Photo: Grandview, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Nick Engelbert’s Grandview art environment in Hollandale, WI


An integral aspect of the Sites and Stewardship program is centering artists and site-specificity at all stages of a project, from planning to realization. Initiatives can be short or long-term in duration and must have goals to:

  • Honor the specific qualities of a location
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the creative process
  • Offer a fuller picture of our past
  • Generate new offerings for the future
  • Connect with surrounding communities


This year, Sites & Stewardship will invite up to thirty organizations and initiatives to apply for two streams of funding: seed grants and major project support.


Through partnerships, gatherings, travel, professional development, and knowledge sharing, we hope to expand connections between artist legacies, artist homes and studios, and artist-built environments.


We are actively compiling a list of advisors available to assist at various project phases. This list will include: artists, curators, archivists, folklorists, filmmakers, scholars and researchers, writers, community organizers, preservationists, collections managers, architects, legacy specialists, equity consultants, and elders to name a few.