Sat | Feb 22, 2020

New Local Space secures €122,000 funding

Published:Sunday | January 27, 2019 | 12:19 AM
Nari Ward, at NLS.
Kearra-Amaya Gopee.

Kingston-based New Local Space (NLS) has been granted a three-year partnership with the Prince Claus Fund in the Netherlands.

“From the beginning, we had a belief that if we did what we could with the modest resources we have to support artists who challenge us culturally, then artists could make their best work, and we would all benefit from these ideas. Our outlook and work have always been steady and focused, and we are humbled, seven years later, to be able to continue to develop along with the artists and their practices. In 2019, we aim to increase our capacity for this by expanding the workspace and our programming,” said Deborah Anzinger, founder and director of NLS.

Oneika Russell, who is a Kingston-based artist and director of Tide Rising Art Projects, has exhibited and benefited from several of NLS’ programmes over the years.

“NLS is unique in understanding the needs and processes of contemporary artists. It is also a private organisation, not state run, so that gives it certain flexibilities and leaves off certain agendas that state-run spaces would need to have. You are able to engage in a very experimental and casual way with the space…. I’ve proposed events here for my own initiative, Tide Rising. [The founding of] Tide Rising was partially inspired by the work that NLS is doing,” said Russell.

As an outcome of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development Next Generation Programme, NLS will add to its programmes the Curatorial/Art Writing Intensive mentorshop programme, selecting one young mentee per year to work under the guidance of a curatorial mentor to develop a project based around the themes of gender: ecology/environment, gender: economy and/or gender: politics/space. A second main project of the partnership with the Prince Claus Fund is the introduction of an international intern rotation programme in which a promising young local artist, curator, or art administrator would travel abroad for internships.


A major fundraising goal for NLS in 2019 is to increase the capacity for artists by adding a multifunction residency space to the existing space, which will allow two resident low-income artists between the ages of 20 and 35 to live and work simultaneously. As with NLS’s current residency and curatorial programmes, candidates for internships, apprenticeships, and residencies are evaluated by NLS staff working with an independent expert panel that rotates annually.

The organisation began a programme of connecting young artists locally with acclaimed visual artists in the Jamaican diaspora, bringing New York-based Jamaican artist Nari Ward to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) as a guest lecturer to provide mentorship and to begin the development of a career pipeline for students at the college.

A subsidiary of Creative Sounds Limited, NLS was founded in Kingston in 2012 to fill a gap in Jamaica’s art scene, providing a stepping stone for young artists to develop their practice, experiment, and exhibit. Through residencies, a regular art podcast programme, exhibitions, and events, NLS has provided space and support for young artists, in a context where the majority of arts graduates eventually pursue different careers for lack of financial options. The organisation has steadily attracted growing international and local support for the work it does in the form of partnerships with the EMCVPA, the National Gallery of Jamaica, British Council Caribbean, and now, the Prince Claus Fund Next Generation Partnership.

NLS currently has calls for applications to the Curatorial and Art Writing Intensive mentorship programme as well as the Fall Art Residency programme open to local artists. The applications are available at the organisation’s website, There is no application fee for these programmes, and work stipends are awarded to qualified applicants.