The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts (The Bray) is a public, nonprofit, educational institution that provides creators with an environment to work and connect to other artists. Their core mission is to stimulate creative work in ceramics through artist residencies, programs, community, and more.

Recognizing the transformative role that The Bray plays in the ceramic arts community, The Virginia A. Groot Foundation partnered with the foundation to provide funding and support for their various programs and initiatives such as Manchester Craftsman Youth & Arts, Theaster Gates Summer Programming, the First Fire / Earth Lodge, and the increased support for Engagement Programming. Support for The Bray’s commitment to artist exploration, allows it to continue to offer an enriching environment where creatives can freely engage in their craft. This funding ensured that artists not only had the space to work but also had access to an ecosystem designed to nurture their creativity.

The support from The Virginia A. Groot Foundation has had a profound impact on several key initiatives, including the subsidization of artist consultation fees. This financial backing has been instrumental for programs like the First Fire/Earth Lodge Project, which provides funding for honorariums, travel accommodations, housing, and material resources to artists. Specifically, First Fire has facilitated collaborative opportunities in Montana for leading Indigenous ceramic artists. Past Groot Grant recipient Raven Halfmoon was also involved in First Fire’s program. This serves as a compelling testament to the enduring impact that grants can have, enabling artists to pursue their creative visions without constraints.

Impactful partnerships have the power to allow the excitement of ceramic creation to continue to flourish, especially with remarkable foundations such as Archie Bray.