upcoming grant deadline: 08/01/2018

upcoming grant deadline: 08/01/2018

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$208,618 Awarded to 24 Women Artists: 12 Transformation Awardees and 12 Art and Change Grantees

Including these final grants of $208,616, Leeway has awarded a total of $280,363 to 55 women artists in the five-county Philadelphia region during our inaugural year of art and change grantmaking.

"The work of these women artists is important to the life of our communities. Now more than ever, there is a need to fund this art. These artists, like myself, are folks who have been doing change work on their own and with each other, without recognition for so many years; this is just their life's work, how they express who they are and what they believe," says Julia Lopez, a community-based artist and member of Leeway's Advisory Council. Lopez emphasizes, "Too often, this work is not validated or given the same importance as mainstream artmaking." Leeway hopes to illustrate the power of this work by focusing its grantmaking entirely on artists creating change in their lives and in their communities.


This past October, during the last of 4 cycles of the 2005 Art and Change Grant, a panel of local woman artists (Vashti Dubois, Nijmie Dzurinko, Joan Huckstep and Rana Sindhikara) selected 12 recipients, from more than 90 applications–these Grantees all shared amazing ideas for how their art makes an impact on their communities. Grantee projects range from Sandra Andino's photography of Puerto Rican women working in North Philadelphia to Suzanne Povse's manuscript about being the only woman tool and die maker in the workplace. The Art and Change Grant provides immediate, short-term grants of up to $2,500 to women living in the Philadelphia area.

The following artists are the Grantees from the last cycle of the year, October 2005:

Sandra Andino (photography)
Chanté Brown (music, organizing concerts)
Christine Duffield (poetry)
Tamika A. Jones-Nwalipenja (performing arts)
Nana Korantemaa (African drumming)
Ham'Diya Mu (spoken word)
Nancy Bea Miller (painting)
Suzanne Povse (writing, public presentation)
Patience Rage (storytelling, writing)
Mary Roth (singing, songwriting)
Shivaani Selvaraj (digital film)
Dante Toza (radio documentary)


Leeway announces the first-ever annual Transformation Awardees, selected by a national peer panel of women artists working for change (Wendi O'Neal, Michelle Parkerson, Bushra Rehman, Favianna Rodriguez, and Risë Wilson) the first week of December. This $15,000 unrestricted Award (not project-based) is given to celebrate the work of women artists who have a long-term commitment to creating art and change work in the Philadelphia area. In conjunction with the Award, each Awardee will create an event to share their art and change with the larger community, free of cost.

Like all the Art and Change Grantees, these Awards honor the work of both young and older artists, women working in all art forms, and artists who are greatly impacting their world with their art. This first group of Awardees include artists creating visionary and uplifting work, such as that of Kormassa Bobo, a Liberian folk dancer who teaches traditional dance to young refugees from her home country, and Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, a DJ and writer, who focuses on the remixing and blending of elements to create hybrid art, as well as Sonia Sanchez, an artist who uses her poetry to speak for peace and against injustice.

The following Awardees were selected from an initial pool of more than 230 artists in Stage 1, and 46 artists who were invited to apply to Stage 2:

Taína Asili (poetry, spoken word, visual arts, singing)
Kormassa Bobo (Liberian folk dance)
Iris Brown (muñecas negras: handmade black dolls)
Dao-yuan Chou (creative non-fiction)
Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela (DJ, fiction, design)
Valerie Linhart (book arts and printmaking)
Magda Martínez (playwriting, poetry, theatre)
Ione Nash (dance)
Sonia Sanchez (poetry)
Aishah Shahidah Simmons (film, video)
Michele Tayoun (Arabic vocals and dance)
Cassendre Xavier (music, creative writing)

The Leeway Foundation's mission is to support individual women artists, arts programs and arts organizations, focusing on the Greater Philadelphia region, in order to help them achieve individual and community transformation

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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
06/111:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Grant Info Session in West Chester

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 for one of these information sessions to learn how to prepare your application for the 2018 grants. 

[learn more]

06/137:00 pm - 8:30 pm

12x12: Gabriela Sanchez

What is an invisible disability? Do you have one, the person sitting next to you? The Hidden Disabilities Project will be Power Street Theatre Company’s next foray into experimental theatre making. With this new and exciting piece created by the only Women of Color led theatre company in Philadelphia, take an immersive journey exploring the gray areas of having an invisible disability in a black and white world.

[learn more]