The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art Receives $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Grant will support upcoming exhibition of work by Cuban artist Roberto Diago opening in January 2018

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston has received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant is in support of our upcoming exhibition of work by Cuban artist Roberto Diago, which will be on view January 19 – March 3, 2018. The grant will provide funds for video documentation and a brief residency for the artist, in which he will create new works for the exhibition. Diago, who lives and works in Havana, creates work that examines the vestiges of slavery in the Caribbean, and his exhibition here will explore connections between slavery in Charleston and his native Cuba. 

Curated by Mark Sloan and presented at the Halsey Institute, the exhibition will explore themes of racism and slavery in Cuba through paintings and conceptual installations made out of raw materials sourced from objects found in the artist’s neighborhood. The exhibition will complement a semester-long interdisciplinary project at the College of Charleston focused on Cuba that will include special topics courses, lectures, and performances across college departments.

For more information on Roberto Diago, visit our website. For hi-res images, visit our press kit.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $15,000 to the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Halsey Institute, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

“We are thrilled to once again have the support of the National Endowment for the Arts for our upcoming exhibition of Roberto Diago,” said Mark Sloan, Director and Chief Curator of the Halsey Institute. “Such funding is critical in helping us to bring thought-provoking and innovative programming to Charleston.”

This is the fifth NEA grant the Halsey Institute has received in recent years. Past grants from the NEA have supported Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto (2012), Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art (2013), Lonnie Holley: Something to Take my Place (2015) and Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South (2018).

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. Connect with the Halsey Institute online on Facebook, Twitter(@halseyart), and Instagram (@halsey_institute). For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to



Born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba, Juan Roberto Diago Durruthy has been featured in exhibitions at Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Wilfredo Lam, Havana, Cuba; the 47th Venice Biennale; the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Havana Biennials; and more galleries and museums in Latin American and across the world. His work is included in the collections of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana; the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; and the Rubin Foundation, New York, NY; among others. In 2002 he won the Award for National Culture from the Cuba Ministry of Culture. He graduated from the Academia de Artes Plásticas San Alejandro, in Havana in 1990. He is the grandson of Cuban artist Roberto Juan Diago Querol (1920-1955).


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