Barbados-based Fresh Milk, an artist-led initiative founded in 2011, has been successfully awarded a grant for the 2024-2026 time-period by the US-based Mellon Foundation’s Arts and Culture programme in support of operating and programming expenses.

The visual art platform initially worked to counter the then high attrition rate of BFA students at Barbados Community College, the only institution on the island offering a BFA programme. With the aim of supporting excellence in the visual arts, Fresh Milk has been offering artist residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, conferences, exhibitions, projects, etc to provide Barbadian and Caribbean artists with opportunities for development while fostering a healthier contemporary visual art community and cultural ecosystem for over a decade.

Founding Director, Annalee Davis is honoured that Fresh Milk’s work has been recognised by Mellon. “After twelve years of working on a shoestring budget alongside my colleague Katherine Kennedy, it is both a relief and an immense privilege to have the endorsement of Mellon which recognises the need to support organisations of this nature. We hope that this vote of confidence by an esteemed international foundation will endear potential partners in the local and regional landscape to feel confident in coming on board as financial investors in support of Fresh Milk’s ongoing programming.”

Katherine Kennedy, Communications and Operations Manager adds, “This generous gift allows us to develop a re-granting programme that will put unrestricted funds directly into the hands of artists over the next three years.”  

In addition to this re-granting programme, and in alignment with the Mellon Foundation’s belief that “Art and artists are essential to human connection,” Fresh Milk will continue to contribute to the local contemporary visual art community and the region's creative network, while seeking new allies, partners and collaborators. Furthermore, the organisation plans to augment its archive, and expand the resources it has amassed over the years, such as the Colleen Lewis Reading Room and an upgraded virtual map of Caribbean art spaces.

Fresh Milk continues to nurture, empower and connect Caribbean artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide international opportunities for growth, excellence, and success. Its work in the cultural sector has spanned creative disciplines, generations, and linguistic territories in the Caribbean by functioning as a “cultural lab” - a dynamic space for artists locally, regionally, and internationally.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the USA’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

For more information, please contact Katherine Kennedy at

Image: L-R: Barbadian artists Versia Harris, Amelia Rouse, Anna Gibson and Dion Gibson. Artwork by Anna Gibson as part of the Fresh Milk / Healing Arts Initiative Public Art Project. Photo by Dondré Trotman.