Philadelphia, PA — Dancers. Filmmakers. Poets. Quilters. Teachers. Photographers. Performers. All artists. All using their art to make a difference. The Leeway Foundation's second cycle for the 2006 Art and Change grant continues Leeway's new programming focus on funding women and trans artists who use their art and creativity as a tool for social change with a bang, awarding 14 artists with grants of up to $2,500 each to help them carry out art and social change projects in their communities.
From a pool of 43 applicants, the artists selected are creating social change in an array of ways, from Nana Korantema Ayeboafo's musical theater intended to educate the Black community about HIV/AIDS realities to Joy Esther Butts' documentary about substance abuse, holistic rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration. The Grantees address issues from teen pregnancy to Afro-Latina heritage, from teaching youth about love to educating about reclaiming sexuality. A local review panel of artists selected the Grantees. Descriptions of the Grantees' projects are attached. The review panel members were: Heather La Capria, Naima Lowe and Patience Rage.
The Art and Change Grant program provides immediate, short-term grants of up to $2,500 to women and trans artists residing in the Delaware Valley region who need financial assistance for their art and social change projects. From dancers to visual artists to photographers, this Grant supports women and trans artists working for social change in any artistic discipline.
June 2006 Art and Change Grantees
Nana Baakan Agyrirwah
Joy Esther Philips Butts
Nana Korantema Ayeboafo
Rachelle Lee Smith
Uva C. Coles
Heather La Capria is a freelance artist, social justice organizer and fancy pants baker living in West Philadelphia. A NYC native, she grew up inspired by tin foil sculpture, urban fashion, anonymous street artists, her mother's cooking and other brave and raucous LGBTQ folks like her uncle Tony. She studied at Tyler School of Art and received the Dean's Award and the Faculty Choice Award for studio work in 2006, but prefers making art that has nothing to 2006 do with still life, mostly because this existence is anything but motionless.
Naima Lowe is a writer, performer, and media-maker based in Philadelphia, PA. She has performed or had her work mounted at diverse venues all over the country including the Capitol Theater in Olympia, WA, The Community Education Center in Philadelphia, PA, Rites and Reason Theater in Providence, RI, and most recently in a TV Studio at Temple University. She is currently a graduate student in Film and Media Arts at Temple, where she is exploring stop-motion animation, experimental documentary, screenwriting and mixed-media performance art. Her work tends to explore issues of race, sexuality and growing up. She loves using animals and the tropes of myth and fantasy to tell stories, and her projects tend to be multi-layered, multi-disciplinary, multi-collaborator messes.
Patience Rage was born in Philadelphia at PGH (and you gotta be a Philadelphian to even have a clue what or where this could be). Patience is the oldest daughter of 10 children and was raised predominately in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia. She is a writer and storyteller who works mentoring youth in her neighborhood. Patience was awarded a Leeway Art and Change Grant in October 2005 for a project working with a group of women in North Philadelphia to help them tell their stories of surviving incest.