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Biennial Foundation was established in 2009 as a pioneering initiative aiming to create a platform for dialogue, networking, and knowledge sharing among contemporary art biennials around the world.

In its first five years, Biennial Foundation developed new connections and exchanges amongst biennials and biennial practitioners worldwide. One of the Foundation’s main endeavours during that period was to act as catalyst and facilitator in the process of forming a new professional member association for biennial organizers: the International Biennial Association (IBA) founded in 2014.

Having consigned the professional networking to IBA, the Biennial Foundation became an independent think-tank directing its efforts towards research, discourse, advocacy and diversity without being tied to interest of any particular biennial.

With the success of the two editions of the World Biennial Forum conference organized in Gwangju (2012) and São Paulo (2014), a series of publications and research initiatives, Biennial Foundation has established itself as thought leader in the field, while its website became the single most important resource on biennials on the web.

Biennial Foundation was initially registered in 2009 with the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. In 2016, a new legal entity, Biennial Foundation Inc., has been formed in the United States, under the New York State Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. It is organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.