From 2015 to 2020, the Foundation conferred two annual Arts Writing Awards in Digital Art, including an award to an established arts writer in the U.S. who has made significant contributions to the field and an award to an emerging arts writer in the U.S. who demonstrates great promise. Recipients in 2018 and 2019 also receive fully-funded Robert Rauschenberg Residencies of 5-6 weeks in duration.
The annual merit-based awards were no-strings-attached and by nomination only, recognizing the achievements that the writers had contributed to new dialogues and growth of the field. The Arts Writing Awards recognized sustained and innovative work, from general audience criticism to academic scholarship, in articles, books, blogs and alternative media. Winners addressed important issues in the field, such as Internet art; software art; locative media; mixed, augmented and virtual reality; installation environments; and device art, and art addressing evolving technologies.