PHILADELPHIA—Eight artists and cultural producers representing four Philadelphia neighborhoods and Delaware County have been named 2013 Leeway Transformation Award recipients, the foundation announced today.
The Transformation Awards are granted annually to women and trans* artists who have a demonstrable practice of art and social change. The 2013 awards were presented to a diverse group of artists & cultural producers working in a range of disciplines including music, visual arts, and performance.
“In our eighth cycle of the Transformation Award, I continue to be deeply inspired by the brilliant ways Leeway artists and cultural producers impact the Philadelphia area and beyond,” says Program Director, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem. “The innovative approaches to their practice, extraordinary vision and investment in community make all of our lives richer.”
The goal of Leeway's Transformation Award is to recognize women and transgender artists and cultural producers who have created art for social change for the past five years or more, and impacted a larger group, audience, or community. The $15,000 award is unrestricted—no project is required.
A national panel consisting of artists and cultural producers convened to review applications and work samples in two stages. The 2013 panel consisted of: performing artist and choreographer, Dyane Harvey; spoken word poet and performer, Hollis Wong-Wear; media and sound artist, Madsen Minax; visual artist Michelle Ortiz (LTA '08, ACG '12, '05); and performance artist and playwright, Radha Blank. Cultural worker, facilitator and writer Adrienne Maree Brown, facilitated the second stage.
This cycle’s 8 awardees, selected out of 69 applications, are:
• Chaska Sofia of West Philadelphia, Music
• Colette Fu of Chinatown North, Visual Arts and Crafts and Textiles
• Desi Burnette of Yeadon, Media Arts
• Joan Myers Brown of West Powelton, Performance
• Jos Duncan of West Philadelphia, Multi-disciplinary
• Lori Waselchuk of West Philadelphia, Visual Arts and Media Arts
• Susan DiPronio of Bella Vista, Literary Arts and Visual Arts
• Yowei Shaw of West Philadelphia, Media Arts
The selection process begins with an open application. Women and transgender artists throughout the surrounding six counties submit applications, which are then reviewed by a panel of nationally known artists, activists, and cultural producers representing a variety of artistic and cultural practices. The panel meets in the summer and makes selections for a group of finalists to move on to the second stage application, which is by invitation only. In the winter, the panel reviews the second stage applications and makes final decisions for the Transformation Award to be given to a group who, as emerging, mid-career, and established artists, fully embodies Leeway’s mission to support practitioners who create art for social change. The number of awardees selected each year is not fixed.
The Leeway Foundation supports women and transgender artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through our grant making and other programs we promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice.
Applications are available on the Leeway website and outreach events are held throughout the year. The next Leeway Transformation Award deadline is May 15, 2014.
Foundation staff members are available (by appointment) to provide support to potential applicants via workshops and advisory sessions. Applications may also be obtained by calling (215) 545-4078 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press inquiries should be directed to Denise Beek at (215) 545-4078, ext. 14 or Dbeek@leeway.org.