Nine artists & cultural producers have been named 2015 Leeway Transformation Awardees, the foundation announced today.
The Transformation Awards are granted annually to women and trans* artists who have worked at the intersection of art and 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. The 2015 awards were presented to a diverse group of artists & cultural producers working in a range of disciplines including performance, music and folk arts.
This cycle’s nine awardees, selected out of 72 applications, are (in first name alphabetical order):
Camae Ayewa of Strawberry Mansion, Multi-Disciplinary
Cei Bell of West Oak Lane, Literary Arts
Elaine T. Jones of Northeast Philadelphia, Literary Arts
Kerri Radley of South Philadelphia, Literary Arts and Visual Arts
Lanica Angpak of South Philadelphia, Folk Art and Performance
Lela Aisha Jones of East Oak Lane, Performance and Folk Art
Maggie Eighteen of West Philadelphia, Literary Arts and Performance
Nancy Lewis-Shell of Crescentville, Crafts & Textiles and Visual Arts
Zaye Tete of Southwest Philadelphia, Music and Folk Art
“The awardees represented here fully embody Leeway’s mission, and paints such a vibrant picture of Greater Philadelphia,” says Denise Brown, Leeway’s Executive Director. “The work they’ve done truly speaks to the vibrancy and resilience of our neighborhoods, and the creative lifeblood that flows through the region.”
A national panel of artists and organizers convened to review applications and work samples in two stages. The 2015 panel consisted of: graphic novelist and previous Transformation Award recipient Annie Mok (LTA ’14, ACG ’13); media artist and documentarian Portia Cobb; writer and performer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha; DJ and educator Lynnée Denise; and dancer Maria Bauman. Cultural organizer Omisade Burney-Scott, facilitated the second stage.
Applications are available on the Leeway website, and may also be obtained by calling 215.545.4078 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The next Leeway Transformation Award deadline is May 15, 2016. Interested applicants should attend one of the many applicant support sessions held throughout the year, or schedule an appointment with a foundation staff member for one-on-one support.
Press inquiries should be directed to Denise Beek at (215) 545-4078, ext. 14 or email@example.com.
*We use the term “trans” in its most inclusive sense, as an umbrella term encompassing transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, Two-Spirit people, and more generally, anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is nonconforming and/or different from their gender assigned at birth.