Artadia's mission is to encourage innovative artistic practice and meaningful dialogue across the United States by providing artists in specific communities with unrestricted awards and a national network of support. Once an artist receives an Artadia Award, he or she becomes a lifetime member of the national Artadia network. Artadia was founded as The ArtCouncil in 1997, by investment banker and art collector Christopher E. Vroom, in response to the demise of the National Endowment for the Arts' artist fellowships.
Since Artadia's first San Francisco grants in 1999, four targeted cities have been added, and more than $2 million has been distributed to 200 awardees in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Boston, and most recently Atlanta. In eight years, more than 6,000 artists have applied for the Artadia Awards. In 2002, Artadia moved its headquarters to the gallery district in Chelsea, New York City to maximize proximity and access for its network and program. Guided by entrepreneurial principles, a full-spectrum board of arts patrons and philanthropists from across the country provides governance. Artadia is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.