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WGBH Media Library and Archives

Contemporary Art Fund (CAT)

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Summary
The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund was a joint venture between Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) and WGBH's New Television Workshop. Funding came from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities' New Works program in 1983. Co-directors were WGBH's Susan Dowling (New Television Workshop Director, 1982-1993), and David Ross (ICA Director). Kathy Rae Huffman served as curator and producer. The Fund's primary objective was to award money to video artists for new works. Among the funded artists were Bill Viola, Tony Oursler, Laurie Anderson, and Marcel Odenbach. The goals were to foster excellence in the exploration of television as a creative medium, broaden video art's international audience through broadcast and gallery exhibition, and increase revenues for artists from the distribution of their works in all markets. Many of the works were broadcast as part of "New Television," and appeared in festivals worldwide. The Fund was also used to sponsor international symposia among curators, distributors, and producers to help promote the growth of video art. In 1990, the ICA assumed full sponsorship of the Fund, where it continued for another year.
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