upcoming grant deadline: 05/15/2018

upcoming grant deadline: 05/15/2018

Maori Karmael Holmes

Maori Holmes
(1) by Constance Mensh

Maori Karmael Holmes is the Director of BlackStar Film Festival, which she founded in 2012. Since 2002, she has organized programs in film and performance at a myriad of organizations including: Anthology Film Archives, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Barnes Foundation, Asian Arts Initiative, Painted Bride Art Center, Scribe Video Center, International House, and Swarthmore College. Other projects include KinoWatt (2011-2012), co-curated with Sara Zia Ebrahimi, and Black Lily Film & Music Festival for Women (2006-2010). 

As a filmmaker, her film and video works have screened internationally and been broadcast throughout the US, including most notably, her feature documentary Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop. As a graphic designer she has worked on several book projects including (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race (Yaba Blay, BlackPrint Press, 2011) and Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA Workshop (eds. Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Andrea Walls, Adriana E. Ramírez, Camille Acker, and Marco Fernando Navarro, Thread Makes Blanket Press, 2014). She has designed costumes for several short films and plays including working with director James Avery on a production of King Hedley II. Maori has received awards from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Leeway Foundation, Independence Media, Women’s Way, and Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights. In 2009, she was named a Creative Ambassador by Visit Philadelphia and was a fellow at the 60th Flaherty Film Seminar and a 2016 Ford Foundation Rockwood JustFilms Fellow. 

She received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University, her BA in History from American University, and did postgraduate studies in Costume Design at California Institute of the Arts. She has been an adjunct lecturer at Drexel University, University of the Arts, Temple University, and Villanova University. Her writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Weekly, Washington City PaperBlackAmericaWeb.com, Blu Magazine, and Alternet.org.


Leeway grant?

Leeway Transformation Award

The Transformation Award provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000 to women and trans* artists and cultural producers living in Greater Philadelphia 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. [read more]

deadline 05/15
Upcoming events
04/301:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Facebook LIVE Info Session

Are you thinking about applying for the Art and Change Grant or the Leeway Transformation Award but not sure of how to go about it? Join us on Facebook LIVE and get your questions answered.​

[learn more]

05/082:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Applicant Support Session at William Way LGBT Community Center

Applicant support sessions are an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Leeway representative and get direct feedback on your application. Drop-in sessions are held from 2:00pm and 7:00pm. No appointment necessary. 

[learn more]