$45,000 In Art For Racial Justice Grants Announced By Cambridge Arts

VLA Dance members including Victoria L. Awkward, Olivia Blaisdell, Mitzi Eppley, Tabitha Hanay-Reaves, Michayla Kelly, Sarah Pacheco, Theophile Victori, and Adam Wertheimer.
VLA Dance members including Victoria L. Awkward, Olivia Blaisdell, Mitzi Eppley, Tabitha Hanay-Reaves, Michayla Kelly, Sarah Pacheco, Theophile Victori, and Adam Wertheimer.

New music inspired by Cambridge’s 19th century African American abolitionists. Poems celebrating local scientists of color. Concerts of classical music by underrepresented composers. A curriculum to decenter whiteness in contemporary dance.

These are among the nine projects that have been awarded Art for Racial Justice Grants by Cambridge Arts and the City of Cambridge. The new funding program—grants are $5,000 each, totaling $45,000 overall--support artists to create work with a lens of resilience and racial equity to benefit people who live or work in Cambridge.

Winners:
• Victoria Lynn Awkward, In “The Space Between: Building Pathways to Freedom Through Dance,” a dance performance “seeking to amplify a dream of freedom for people of color.”

• Black History in Action for Cambridgeport, Black Canvas: Creating an Arts Center for Racial Justice in Cambridgeport, arts and humanities youth programming to remedy and repair educational inequities faced by BIPOC students in the Cambridge public school system.

• DuBois Orchestra, Inclusion in Classical Music Initiative, two free performances featuring underrepresented composers in music as well as BIPOC soloists.

• Mariona Lloreta "Altars,” an experimental short film highlighting Black and brown men

• Midday Movement Series, Decentering Whiteness in Contemporary Dance: Curriculum & Workshops, creating a curriculum for contemporary dance pedagogy that places decentering whiteness at its core.

• Andrine Pierresaint, Black Girls Arts Incubator, an arts education and performance program for Black, African and Caribbean girls between the ages of 13 and 19.

• Jessica Roseman, Nourish Project, a 10-week program with Cambridge Black mothers that amplifies and shares their expertise in personal wellbeing and collaborates with them to choreograph a dance.

• Joshua Sariñana, The Poetry of Science, Cambridge poets of color work with local scientists of color to create a poem about their inspiration as scientists, then a local photographer of color will create portraits of each scientist.

• Kera Washington/Zili Misik, Project Misik Cambridge: Honoring Our Ancestor's March Towards Freedom, which will create new musical compositions inspired by the activism of Cambridge’s 19th century African American abolitionists.

Last fall, Cambridge Arts tripled funding for grants with support from the City of Cambridge. The new Art for Racial Justice Grants are one of three new funding opportunities Cambridge Arts offered last fall—including Organizational Investment Grants awarded in December and Port Neighborhood Grants to be announced shortly.

“The City of Cambridge had been planning a major increase to its funding for the arts, and we’re especially pleased at this time to be able to share this increase with the community as artists and creative organizations are facing crises from shut downs to prevent the spread of coronavirus," Cambridge Arts Executive Director Jason Weeks said.

Cambridge contributes substantial funding to arts and cultural grants in addition to funding it receives through the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Local Cultural Council Program. In the 2019-2020 grant cycle, Cambridge added $82,000 to $27,600 from the state arts agency. For the 2020-2021 grant cycle, Cambridge has allocated more than $320,000 plus $20,000 from the Cambridge Community Foundation and $5,000 from the Curious GeorgeFund.

Winners of the Local Cultural Council Grants and Port Neighborhood Grants are expected to be announced soon.
Page was posted on 2/10/2021 3:42 PM
Page was last modified on 2/22/2021 4:34 PM
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