upcoming grant deadline: 03/01/2018

upcoming grant deadline: 03/01/2018

Taína Asili

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Tainaasili 05

2005 Leeway Transformation Award – $15,000

Taína’s art carries on the tradition of her “Puertorriqueño, Taíno and African ancestors, blending spoken-word, poetry, song, visual art, and creative writing — historically voiced by my ancestors through poetry-prayer-songs called arieto and etchings archeologists call petroglyphs and hieroglyphs.” She weaves stories of resistance, anti-colonialist struggle, desecration of spirituality, and ancestral remembrance into her stories. Starting as a singer classically trained by a local Peruvian Opera singer, Taína later found punk rock, as she desired to move beyond the limitations of classical music. For eight years, she “wrote and sang songs of rage and resistance” with Antiproduct, touring the country and putting out four albums. During this time, she fell in love with spoken word and after a trip back to her homeland, Puerto Rico with her brother; together they created the spoken word group, Rebel Poets. Taína moved to Philadelphia to be closer to a Puerto Rican community, teaching poetry and drawing in many places, including Taller Puertorriqueño and a women’s correctional facility. She works collaboratively with groups like Nzinga7 Arts Collective, a Philadelphia-based women’s afro-modern dance collective with whom she performs choreo-poems and sings with the underground Puerto Rican punk rock/hip hop band, Ricanstruction. Her art is not just “politically conscious, but it is based in the concrete organizing work” she does in her community, using “art as a weapon for the mental and physical transformation and freedom” of her people. The goal of her art is for it to “speak to and with as many of those as possible who find themselves along the margins” of society.

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Leeway grant?

Leeway Transformation Award

The Transformation Award provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000 to women and trans* artists living in the Delaware Valley region who create art for social change and have done so for the past five years or more, demonstrating a long-term commitment to social change work. 2018 applications will be available in January, 2018. [read more]

deadline 05/15
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