Founded in 1997, Art21 is a nonprofit organization that produces documentary films about contemporary artists from across the globe. It produces three film series: "Art in the Twenty-First Century" on PBS, "New York Close Up," and "Extended Play." The main office is located in New York City. All Art21 films are available to stream for free online.[1]

As stated on the company's website, the mission of Art21 is "to educate and expand access to contemporary art through the production of documentary films, resources, and public programs."[2]

By exploring art creation beyond individualized and personal conceptions, Art21 opens up a more familiar and inclusive approach to appreciating the diverse world of art.[3]

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Film Series

Art in the 21st Century is a PBS series about contemporary artists that premiered in 2001. Premiering a new season every two years, Art in the Twenty-First Century is the only series on United States television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists. "For making 'art' more knowable and familiar, yet more individualized, more distinctive, and more personal,"[4] Art21's Art in the Twenty-First Century received a Peabody Award in 2007.

New York Close Up is a digital series that “focuses on artists in the first decade of their professional careers, discussing their work and lives in New York City.”[5]

Extended Play is a digital series that follows artists in their careers.[6]


Art21 provides free materials and programs to educators and students.[7] Programs include Art21 Educators, a year-long intensive professional development program,[8] and free teacher workshops offered throughout the year.[9]

"Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season synopsis

Each season is separated into episodes by themes. Each theme showcases artists that fit into that niche in some fashion.

Season one (2001):

Season two (2003):

Season three (2005):

Season four (2007):

Season five (2009):

Season six (2012):

Season seven (2014):

Season eight (2016):

Season nine (2018):

Season ten (2020):

Season eleven (2023):


Susan Sollins and the crew of Art-21-Art in the Twenty-First Century at the 67th Annual Peabody Awards




Additional conferences: New York City Art Teachers Association/United Federation of Teachers (NYCATA/UFT) Annual Conference Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA) Annual Conference Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) Annual Conference New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) National Education Telecommunications Association


  1. ^ Waddoups, Ryan (2020-08-26). "Essential Art21 Documentaries to Stream Now". SURFACE. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  2. ^ "About". Art21. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  3. ^ "Peabody Awards Stories That Matter". Peabody Awards.
  4. ^ "Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  5. ^ Press, Clayton. "Watch About It. Understanding Art And Artists At". Forbes. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  6. ^ Press, Clayton. "Watch About It. Understanding Art And Artists At". Forbes. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  7. ^ Education, P. B. S. (2024-02-20). "10 Ways to Integrate Art into Your Classroom". PBS Education. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  8. ^ Abramson, Stacey (2018-09-10). "Back to School". Galleries West. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  9. ^ "Calendar". Art21. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  10. ^ "TRAILER: Season 8 of ART21 "Art in the Twenty-First Century" (2016)". Art:21. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2016-05-28.