Philadelphia—11 artists representing ten neighborhoods and multiple counties in the Delaware Valley have been named 2011 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 creating art for social change. The 2011 awards were made to a diverse group of artists working in a wide range of disciplines including media arts, folk arts, visual arts, performance and fiber arts. The $15,000 award is unrestricted—no project is required.
"We continue to be inspired by the caliber of applicants who compete for this award,” says Program Director Sham-e-Ali Nayeem. “This year's awardees serve as strong examples of artists involved in art-for-social change, that positively affect and respectfully engage their communities locally and nationally.”
The goal of Leeway's Transformation Award is to recognize women and trans artists who create art-for-social change for the past five years or more, that impacts a larger group, audience, or community.
A transcontinental panel consisting of five artists and cultural workers convened to review applications and work samples in two stages. The 2011 panel consisted of, dancer, choreographer, and scholar Ananya Chatterjea (Minneapolis); poet/writer Bassey Ikpi (Washington, DC); author and illustrator Elisha Lim (Montréal); interdisciplinary artist Marlène Ramírez-Cancio (New York); and Philadelphia-based multi-media artist tiona.m. (LTA ’09, ACG ’07). Poet and oral historian Emily Lawsin (Detroit) facilitated the second stage.
This cycle’s 11 awardees, selected out of 66 applications, are:
Betty Leacraft of West Philadelphia, Crafts/Textiles and Visual Arts
Janet Goldwater of Fairmount and Barbara Attie of Bala Cynwyd, Media Arts
Kathryn Pannepacker of North Philadelphia, Crafts/Textiles and Visual Arts
Kukuli Velarde of West Kensington, Visual Arts
Lynn Blackwell Denton of Bella Vista, Media Arts and Visual Arts
Mia McKenzie of West Philadelphia, Literary Arts and Visual Arts
Monnette Sudler of Huntington Valley, Music and Performance Art
Vera Nakonechny of Oxford Circle, Folk Arts
Viji Rao of Northeast Philadelphia, Folk Arts
Vivian Green of Cheltenham, Literary Arts
The selection process for the Transformation Award begins with an open application. Hundreds of women and trans artists throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding six counties submit applications, which are then reviewed by a panel of nationally-known artists, activists, and cultural workers, 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 recommendations for the Transformation Award. The number of awardees selected each year is not fixed; typically, it varies between 9 and 15.
The Leeway Foundation supports women and trans artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through our grantmaking 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 made available on the Leeway website and outreach events are held throughout the year. The 2012 Leeway Transformation Award deadline is May 15.
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 Maori Holmes at email@example.com or Sham-e-Ali Nayeem at firstname.lastname@example.org.