As a burgeoning organization, the Ruth Foundation recognizes the deep privilege from which it operates—from the opportunity to conceive of a foundation from the ground up, to the considerable resources that allow us to dream, to the many artists, thinkers, workers, organizers, communities, and ideas that came before that granted permission for us to come into being. We honor the inimitable Ruth DeYoung Kohler II in the way we know best: with a willingness to enter into irresolution, to be unsettled and surprised, to learn and unlearn, to always aspire for more. And to do this together.

With our privilege comes an understanding that a sense of urgency and ambition must underline all our activities. We build this foundation with a full awareness that so much in this field remains unresolved, and that we are not an island in this work. In this program, we invite a selection of long-term thought partners—like-minded companions committed to interrogating the artistic field at large, who share a desire to engage in multi-directional learning, to challenge existing structures, and to reconfigure models for the world. Each partnership involves artistic exchange or opportunity. As part of this ongoing process, we shape dialogues, gatherings, think tanks, excursions, publishing, and residencies around these transformative models.

In conversation with Fogo Island Arts, we consider the connections between land and sea, community and culture, ecological sustainability and collective prosperity, and what it means to reinvest in communities with creativity at the core of change.

With Delfina Foundation, we investigate what it means to support diasporic artists and artists from nations with infrastructural issues amidst global movements and ruptures, learning how to translate the social intimacy and hospitality of a residency to create a global community of support.

With Para Site, we work towards demystifying the operational models of arts institutions, to create pathways for open source and democratized decision-making, to imagine how we can build transnational connections, expand access, and empower individuals to organize within their own institutions.

As we work towards what is still beyond our comprehension, we invite you all to join us in these continuous dialogues. Together, we ask: how do we reimagine all the structures that we have forever assumed to be true?


Photo: Delfina Foundation, courtesy of Pari Naderi, 2016
London, UK

Based in the heart of London, Delfina Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming. Founded in 2007, Delfina Foundation promotes global artistic exchange and experimentation. They create opportunities for emerging and established artists, curators and writers to reflect on what they do, position their practice within relevant global discourse, create career-defining research and commissions, and network with colleagues.

Fogo Island, Canada

Fogo Island Arts is a contemporary arts and ideas organization on Fogo Island, located in Newfoundland & Labrador, on traditional Mi’kmaw territory and the ancestral homeland of the Beothuk. Founded in 2008 as an artists residency program, Fogo Island Arts was created with the conviction that art and artists have the capacity to instigate social change and offer new perspectives on issues of contemporary concern. By facilitating collaborations and connections between a local and international network of practitioners and thinkers, Fogo Island Arts aims to provide relevant insights on questions of human relationships with place, nature, financial capital, and one another.

Photo: Fogo Island, courtesy of Mikaela Kautzky, 2019
Photo: Para Site
Hong Kong

Para Site is Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art center and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, and educational projects. Since 1996, Para Site has grown into a contemporary art center, engaged in a wide array of activities and collaborations with other art institutions, museums, and academic structures in Hong Kong and the international landscape.