Creative Capital Announces Grants; 4 to Southerners

Sorry, looks like no contributors are set
Clockwise from top left: Marisa Morán Jahn, Video Slink Uganda. Eileen Myles. Robin Frohardt, Dumpster Monster. Ahamefule J. Oluo. Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite. desert ArtLAB, Desertification Cookbook. Jeff Becker, Sea of Common Catastrophe. Irvin Morazan, Performance in the Center of the World, Times Square, NY. Eva & Franco Mattes, Fukushima Texture Pack.
Clockwise from top left: Marisa Morán Jahn, Video Slink Uganda. Eileen Myles. Robin Frohardt, Dumpster Monster. Ahamefule J. Oluo. Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite. desert ArtLAB, Desertification Cookbook. Jeff Becker, Sea of Common Catastrophe. Irvin Morazan, Performance in the Center of the World, Times Square, NY. Eva & Franco Mattes, Fukushima Texture Pack.

The innovative arts-funding organization Creative Capital has just announced its 2016 grants in the fields of literature, performing arts, and emerging fields. Notable for its risk-taking and entrepreneurial model, the New York-based organization awards grants of up to $50,000, along with support resources and advisory services, such as financial consulting and communications support. This year, the total of grants and services amounts to $4.37 million, divided among 46 projects that represent 63 artists.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

Winners were chosen from 2,500 applications received from an open call. Creative Capital consulted with over 100 curators, programmers and other arts professionals from around the country to determine the 763 artists who were invited to submit full proposals. Of those, 231 made it to the panel review stage.

Four of the 46 winning projects came from Southern artists.


Heather Hart and Jina Valentine (Brooklyn and Durham, NC) are producing The Black Lunch Table, which will provide sites where black cultural producers can engage in critical dialogue on topics directly affecting the black community.


Irvin Morazan of Richmond, Virginia, is creating a performance series, titled Silent Zooomorph, which will consist of fictionalized rituals and wearable sculptures that will be activated in art galleries, burial sites, temples, places of natural phenomenon and a radioactive desert.


Kenya (Robinson), based in Gainesville, Florida, will present CHEEKY LaSHAE: Karaoke Universal, which uses the structure of an online course to perforate the boundaries between audience and performer, evoking the history of drag performance, puppetry, model-making and social media.


New Orleans artist Jeff Becker’s Sea of Common Catastrophe is a multimedia performance event, inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that explores resilience amid the turbulent community change caused by a catastrophic flood.

Here are the other awards in all categories, along with the panelists who selected the winners.


Poetry, fiction, non-fiction and web-based work are among the six selected projects, including new takes on immigration, memoir and the book as authoritative object.
Jesse Ball, Chicago, IL
The Census Taker, a travel-narrative following a retired doctor traveling door-to-door with his adult Down Syndrome son.

desveladas (Macarena Hernández, Sheila Maldonado, Nelly Rosario), Brooklyn, NY
desveladas: a fotoconversation, which borrows from the narrative elements of the graphic novel to explore the border encounters of three over-documented daughters of the Americas.

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, New York, NY
Global Studies, a collection of poems and flash prose that mimes the textbook structure to examine the ambiguity of history.

Percival Everett, South Pasadena, CA
The Trusted Story, an experimental novel that questions the authority of the book, the text, the author and the reader.

Eileen Myles, New York, NY
My Travels, a series of linked travel essays that tell the author’s life story through specific experiences in Boston, New York, India, Russia and Ireland.

Dao Strom, Portland, OR
Postwar Tablefruit, a hybrid memoir that juxtaposes prose and visual elements to articulate silences, survival, shadows and the obscuring of history.

The 17 selected projects cover a wide-range of “emerging” practices, including technology-based work, social practice and interdisciplinary work. They address a range of issues and ideas including climate change, the preservation of American history, and the commodification of human DNA.
Tanya Aguiñiga, Los Angeles, CA
Casa de Cambio/House of Change, a center for art creation and dissemination based in a repurposed storefront at the U.S./Mexico border crossing.

Zach Blas, Brooklyn, NY
Contra-Internet, a multimedia installation that engages emerging political militancies and artistic subversions of the Internet.

Peter Burr and Porpentine, Brooklyn, NY and Oakland, CA
Aria End, a digital artwork that draws on video game design to immerse participants in a disorienting narrative that unfolds through both downloadable content and public performances.

Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo and Sable Elyse Smith, Brooklyn, NY
Mirror / Echo / Tilt, a collaboration with formerly incarcerated people that uses magical realism to investigate representations of criminalized black and brown bodies.

desert ArtLAB (April Bojorquez and Matt Garcia), Pueblo, CO
Desertification Cookbook: Strategies for Beautiful Living in a Dryer, Hotter World, a manual that will instruct on both the cultivation and preparation of a desert-based food practice.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Chicago, IL
Sell/Bio, a multidisciplinary investigation of the ethically controversial and largely unregulated practice of extracting and selling human DNA.

Liz Glynn, Los Angeles, CA
Gol[den], a monumental installation based in a foreclosed home in Southern California that explores pleasure, quality of life and income inequality through participatory events.

Marisa Morán Jahn, New York, NY
Video Slink Uganda, a collaboration with three superstar VJs in Uganda to insert artwork into bootleg DVDs shown in Ugandan video halls.

KCHUNG, Los Angeles, CA
News Body, a mobile, roving broadcast that brings live interviews, reporting and production training by KCHUNG’s cooperative content producers to any location in Southern California.

Yotam Mann, Brooklyn, NY
Interactive Music, a collection of interactive musical experiences in the form of browser-based songs, musical installations and a collaborative concert.

Eva and Franco Mattes, Brooklyn, NY
Fukushima Texture Pack, a publicly-accessible collection of surface textures based on photographs taken in the radioactive Fukushima Exclusion Zone.

Laura Parnes, Brooklyn, NY
Tour Without End, a multi-platform project resulting in a film, video installation and web-based archive of local musicians and venues in New York City.

Evan Roth, Paris, France
Voices Over the Horizon, a paranormal investigation, utilizing ghost hunting technologies and rituals, into the invisible existence of the Internet.

Chris E. Vargas, Bellingham, WA
Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects, a visual and material exploration of objects that hold significance in narrating the history of transgender communities.

The 23 funded projects draw on a wide array of performance practices and ideas, including tragic operas, the criminal justice system, Greek mythology, the sounds of fracking, and the body as instrument.

Cornell Alston and Kaneza Schaal, New York, NY
KNOTS, a performance of psychological, social and political entanglements that explores the conundrums citizens face when re-entering society after incarceration.

Peter Born and Okwui Okpokwasili, Brooklyn, NY
Poor People’s TV Room, a multi-disciplinary performance piece that investigates the tradition of women’s collective action in Nigeria.

Ligia Bouton, Matt Donovan and Lei Liang, San Diego, CA
Inheritance, a multimedia chamber opera that explores America’s deeply complex relationship with violence and guns through the life and legacy of Sarah Winchester, heir to the gun-manufacturer fortune.

Sharon Bridgforth, San Francisco, CA
dat Black Mermaid Man Lady, a series of writing workshops, tarot readings and storytelling gatherings based in a tiny house, built for the project, in a San Francisco neighborhood facing gentrification.

Ben Thorp Brown, Brooklyn, NY
Freedom From Everything, an archive, video work and performance investigating the practices and economics of contemporary forms of labor, including digital labor and crowdsourcing.

Ann Carlson, Santa Monica, CA
The Symphonic Body, a performance by people from any workplace or institution made entirely of gestures based on the motions of their workday.

Mallory Catlett, New York, NY
M/F Future, a diptych of performance installations about the future and the possibilities of becoming.

Ellen Sebastian Chang and Amara Tabor-Smith, Oakland, CA
HouseFull, a site-specific dance-theater piece addressing issues facing women of color in Oakland, from gentrification to sex trafficking.

Jim Findlay, Brooklyn, NY
Electric Lucifer, a futuristic, music-driven theatrical work that reanimates Bruce Haack’s cult classic albums by the same name, imagining a war between heaven and hell in a 21st-century context.

Robin Frohardt, Brooklyn, NY
The Plastic Bag Store, a puppetry-based live performance and elaborate installation situated in a storefront in Manhattan.

Kirsten Stolle's Only You Can Prevent A Forest on view at Halsey Institute through Dec 10, 2022

Sean Graney, Chicago, IL
A Ring Never Ends, a contemporary and accessible re-telling of Wagner’s masterpiece, The Ring of the Nibelung cycle.

Brian Harnetty, Columbus, OH
Shawnee, Ohio, an experimental musical collage reflecting the sounds of a small town with historical roots in coal mining and a contemporary struggle with fracking.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Carmelita Tropicana, New York, NY
Jacobs-Jenkins/Tropicana Project (working title), an intergenerational hybrid performance that explores the uses and abuses of nostalgia, race and the avant-garde, and the mystery of remaining artistically viable.

Joseph Keckler, Brooklyn, NY
Let Me Die, a durational performance in which the artist enacts hundreds of deaths, extracted from tragic operas in the public domain.

Heather Kravas, Seattle, WA
visions of beauty, a choreography for nine men that investigates the ways in which gender alters and creates meaning.

Ahamefule J. Oluo, Seattle, WA
Susan, a long-form comedic storytelling piece and a multi-movement orchestral suite based on the life story of the artist’s mother.

Pegasus Warning (Guillermo E. Brown), Los Angeles, CA
Bee Boy, an experimental music performance exploring bee colony collapse disorder and the human struggle for safety and freedom in the face of increasing violence.

Graham Reynolds, Austin, TX
Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance, an experimental chamber opera that uses the life and death of Pancho Villa to explore the intersections and conflicts in Mexican and American culture.

Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (Tei Blow and Sean McElroy), Brooklyn, NY
The Art of Luv, a series of performance-rituals exploring mythologies of romance in the Internet age.

James Scruggs, Jersey City, NJ
3/5, an immersive performance that explores the residual effects of the discriminatory “Three-Fifths Compromise” of 1787 and tracks racial tension between black and white men.

Erika Chong Shuch, Berkeley, CA
For You, an audience engagement performance laboratory in which a dance-theater piece is constructed around the hopes, dreams and fears of 36 unconnected individuals selected from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Yara Travieso, Brooklyn, NY
La Medea, which adapts Euripides’ Medea as a Latin American variety show that will be presented simultaneously as a live performance, live-stream broadcast and film.

Panelists for Emerging Fields were:
–  Regine Basha, Independent Curator, New York, NY (Lead Consultant)
–  Julia Christensen, Media Artist / 2013 Emerging Fields Awardee, Oberlin, OH
–  Malik Gaines, My Barbarian / 2012 Visual Arts Awardee, New York, NY
–  Chrisstina Hamilton, Director of Visitors’ Programs, Stamp School of Art & Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
–  Lindsay Howard, Independent Curator, New York, NY
–  Marina McDougall, Director, Center for Art & Inquiry, Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
–  Jack Stenner, Associate Professor of Art + Technology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Panelists for Literature were:
–  Peter Blackstock, Senior Editor, Grove/Atlantic, New York, NY
–  Mónica de la Torre, Senior Editor, BOMB Magazine, New York, NY
–  Ethan Nosowsky, Editorial Director, Graywolf Press, Oakland, CA (Lead Consultant)
–  Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Writer / 2013 Literature Awardee, New York, NY
–  Don Share, Editor, Poetry Magazine at Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL

Panelists for Performing Arts were:
–  Ron Berry, Director, Fusebox Festival, Austin, TX
–  Yolanda Cesta Cursach, Associate Director of Performance Programs, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
–  Daniel Alexander Jones, Performing Artist / 2000 Performing Arts Awardee, Bronx, NY
–  Miwa Matreyek, Performing Artist / 2013 Performing Arts Awardee, Los Angeles, CA
–  Michael Reed, Senior Director of Programs & Organizational Initiatives, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
–  Kim Whitener, Producing Director, HERE Arts Center, New York, NY (Lead Consultant)

Related Stories

Woven Archives: In Conversation with Akea Brionne

In conjunction with the group exhibition, A Movement in Every Direction, at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Bryn Evans speaks with featured artist Akea Brionne to discuss storytelling, ancestral media, and the relationship between identity and geography.