upcoming grant deadline: 05/15/2019

upcoming grant deadline: 05/15/2019

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Twenty-six Philadelphia-Area Women Artists Receive Leeway “Window of Opportunity” Grants

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Leeway Foundation awarded Window of Opportunity (WOO) grants to 26 women artists in the Philadelphia area after evaluation from a local peer jury panel of artists–Magda Martínez, Sarah McEneaney, and Shivaani Selvaraj (see bios below).

In the November 2004 cycle, grants totaling $42,853 were awarded to women artists living in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties representing a broad range of artistic disciplines. These 26 recipients were chosen from a pool of more than 80 applicants. The WOO grants provide short-term, immediate assistance of up to $2,000 to women artists living in the five-county Philadelphia area who wish to take advantage of specific opportunities to significantly impact their work as artists. These grants support women artists at all stages of development and in all disciplines.

In 2004, WOO was Leeway's only grantmaking program, as the foundation took time to work alongside artists, community leaders and arts advocates to develop new programs. In total, Leeway awarded, $141,689 to 83 women artists in the Philadelphia area through the 2004 WOO grants. In 2005, Leeway will launch new grantmaking programs to support women artists who engage in the work of change through their art.


Vivian Appler | Philadelphia | awarded $1,560
Theatre: Intensive training with performance ensemble Lume in Brazil to explore the impact of physical theatre on the audience and its relationship to the everyday. Support for travel expenses.

Heidi Barr | Philadelphia | awarded $1,475
Costume Design: First international venue to highlight a costume created for a multi-media project in which the role of the costume is elevated to that of an active participant, to premier at the National Arts Festival/ Festival Fringe in Grahamstown, South Africa. Support for materials and construction.

Jennifer Blazina | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Visual Arts: Residency at the Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA, in experimental printmaking, to create work that incorporates film, glass, and screenprints from family home movies. Support for materials, shipping, and travel expenses.

Astrid Bowlby | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Drawing Installation: Exhibition in the Portland Museum of Art Biennial, to show first public drawing installation using color. Support for installation, documentation, and travel expenses.

Gail Bracegirdle | Bucks | awarded $715
Painting: Residency at the Vermont Studio Center, to focus on creating non-representational art using monoprinting, handmade watercolor paper, as well as natural earth and mineral watercolor pigments. Support for materials and travel expenses.

Tally Brennan | Philadelphia | awarded $950
Fiction: One-on-one mentoring with writer, Dominic Preziosi to create a collection of Lesbian-themed short fiction. Support for mentoring fees and travel expenses.

Charletta Brown | Philadelphia | awarded $945
Mixed Media: Solo exhibit at the Journey Home Community Gallery of artwork consisting of acrylic painting, hand-made cards, dolls and ceramic masks that depict scenes of joy, peace and tranquility. Support for materials and framing.

Ellie Brown | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Photography: Solo exhibition of an ongoing project photographing pre-adolescent and young adolescent girls dealing with issues of gender and identity, at the Morris Graves Museum in Eureka, CA. Support for framing, shipping, and catalogue expenses.

Shinjoo Cho | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Music: One-on-one mentoring with Hector Del Curto for instruction in tango music to focus on developing fundamental techniques and improvisation skills with the bandoneon. Support for mentorship, equipment, and travel expenses.

Kate Doody | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Ceramic Sculpture: Exhibition in conjunction with the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts in Baltimore, MD, as part of "The Clay Studio: Thirty Years" celebration, enabling a move from smaller, composite like pieces to a larger scale installation. Support for materials, documentation, and travel expenses.

Vivian Green | Montgomery | awarded $1,950
Playwrighting: Public reading of "The Pact" at the Philadelphia Dramatists Center, this pre-Holocaust full-length work focuses on how people relate to each other and societal pressures in a time of war. Support for artist fees and production expenses.

Adele Aron Greenspun | Philadelphia | awarded $1,115
Writing/Photography: One-on-one mentoring with author, Joy Cowley to provide editorial support for transition from picture books to writing young adult novels. Support for mentoring fees and travel expenses.

Rain Harris | Philadelphia | awarded $1,400
Ceramic Sculpture/Installation: Exhibition of multi-tiered embellished porcelain sculpture, "Queen for a Day" in the 54th Premio Faenza Biennial at the International Museum of Ceramics in Italy. Support for shipping expenses.

Roko Kawai | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Dance: Japanese Classical Dance performance along with master dancer and teacher Hanayagi Kazu's Wa no Kai (community of apprentices), providing opportunity to experiment with movement and perform in a full production at the National Theater in Tokyo. Support for performance costs.

Hee Sook Kim | Montgomery | awarded $2,000
Painting/Printmaking: Solo exhibit of "Medicine, Meditation, Metaphor" at TMCC Main Gallery, Reno, NV, showcasing work based on the spiritual and healing power of nature. Support for materials, shipping, and travel expenses.

Lynn Levin | Bucks | awarded $826
Poetry: Book tour/launch of Imaginarium in Bemidji, MN, organized by Loonfeather Press, will include a public reading and workshop for local poets during National Poetry Month. Support for travel expenses.

Erica Zoë Loustau | Chester | awarded $2,000
Sculpture: Solo exhibit at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE, to enlarge "Peep Shows," from a series of intimate wall sculptures in box form to a larger than life size installation. Support for materials, installation, and documentation.

Sumi Maeshima | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Ceramics: Solo exhibit at St. Joseph's University Gallery of ceramic vessels with pottery decoration patterns traced on with nails that alter the form of the vessel. Support for materials, equipment, and documentation.

Lisa Murch | Philadelphia | awarded $1,580
Sculpture: First solo exhibition at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education of "Natural Artifice," sculptural forms that explore the complex relationships between organisms and their environments. Support for materials and transportation expenses.

Michelle Oosterbaan | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Painting: Residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY to transition work from theatre-like installations to reflective oil painting on canvas. Support for materials, shipping, and travel expenses.

Kathryn Pannepacker | Philadelphia | awarded $1,371
Textile/Visual Arts: Intensive advanced study with weaving/design mentors Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to explore integrating various techniques and materials in pictoral/gestural tapestry. Support for materials, documentation, and travel expenses.

Ju-Yeon Ryu | Delaware | awarded $2,000
Dance: Production of first outdoor site-specific performance, "Lost Spirits," a mythological interpretation of violence and dreams of people who experienced the Korean War, to take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Support for production expenses.

Anula Shetty | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Film/Video: Screening of experimental video, "Not Fair" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and on DUTV, the 10-minute video interweaves personal stories with reports on racial profiling and other effects of the U.S. Patriot Act on South Asian immigrant communities. Support for materials, editing, and distribution.

Jessica Smith | Philadelphia | awarded $966
Fiber Arts: Participation in group exhibition of digital textiles at the Museum of Design in Atlanta, GA, with an installation that incorporates both digitally woven and digitally printed objects. Support towards materials and shipping.

Elysa Voshell | Philadelphia | awarded $2,000
Book Arts: Residency at the Oregon College of Art & Craft, will produce three limited-edition book projects: Strange Encounters, The Pictures My Grandmother Threw Away, and Biblio (1). Support for materials.

Sandra Weber | Montgomery | awarded $2,000
Writing/Storytelling: Creation of a portable exhibit about Adirondack women at the Essex County Historical Society/ Adirondack History Center Museum to coincide with second printing of book co-written with Peggy Lynn. Support for materials.


Magda Martínez is a Philadelphia based writer and educator. Martínez is a native of New York City's Lower East Side in Manhattan and of Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian heritage. Her inspiration as a poet and a writer has various sources. She is drawn to small moments, and to those individuals that are rarely seen and rarely see themselves as makers of history.

Martínez is a founding member of Boricuas en la Luna Artists Collective and Las Gallas and has read, performed and produced original works at venues including Taller Puertorriqueño, Temple University's Caribbean Women Writer's Series, numerous area universities, Café Teatro Julia De Burgos and Charras, Inc. in New York City. Martínez is published in Aqui Me Quedo, a collection of works by Philadelphia Puerto Rican writers and artists published by the Stockton Bartol Rush Foundation.

She has received a Fellowship in the Arts from the Independence Foundation for her play "De Vidrio y Madera," a Leeway Foundation WOO grant in 2001 to travel to Centro Su Teatro in Denver, CO to perform "Converse Sneakers," co-written with Julia López and in 2004, a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's Artists in Communities grant for a playwriting residency in Cape May, NJ.

Martínez taught for five years at the Community High School where she spent her final year as the Dean of Academic Studies. She has facilitated workshops for a variety of groups from incarcerated women to out of school youth. Presently she coordinates off site after-school programming with Fleisher Art Memorial and consults for the Asian Arts Initiative's Artists in Communities Program. She is a Latin American Studies graduate of Wesleyan University.

Sarah McEneaney, born 1955 in Munich, Germany, attended The University of the Arts and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Primarily a painter, McEneaney lives and works in Philadelphia. Her autobiographical work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, New York and throughout the country for over 25 years. In 2004, The Institute of Contemporary Art presented the first museum survey show of McEneaney's work, along with a fully illustrated catalog, that was widely reviewed in numerous publications. McEneaney's paintings are in many public and private collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Johnson and Johnson and Microsoft Corporation. McEneaney's awards include the Anonymous Was A Woman Award, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship and residencies at Fundacion Valparaiso, MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Yaddo. Gallery Schlesinger, New York represents McEneaney; they presented a solo exhibit of her work in November 2004.

Since 1979 McEneaney has lived and worked in the neighborhood north of Vine Street now known as Callowhill/Chinatown North. In 2000, McEneaney was part of an effort led by Chinatown communities fighting the displacement of homes and businesses for a major league baseball stadium. McEneaney is a Board Member of Callowhill Neighborhood Association, a nonprofit formed after the stadium plan was defeated in 2001. In 2003, McEneaney and John Struble co-founded the non-profit Reading Viaduct Project, which is dedicated to the preservation and re-use of the Reading Viaduct as public open space.

Shivaani Selvaraj is a Philadelphia-based cultural worker and organizer. For over a decade she has worked to link media, arts and culture with initiatives for broad social change.

At the Asian Arts Initiative she coordinated dozens of performance, film, and gallery events showcasing Asian and Asian American artists inspiring dialogue about community issues. During her time there she became especially interested in media arts. She has worked as a producer for South Asian directors including Malati Rao's A Safe Place, and currently for Grace Poore's Enemy on the Inside. She currently coordinates the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association and is a media consultant with organizations in the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.

Her passions have been shaped by her early experiences with the student-based Empty the Shelters and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, an organization comprised of homeless women and their families working to end poverty. During this time, she participated in various cultural summits, tent cities, and housing takeovers. She helped to organize the first and second Break the Media Blackout Conferences in Philadelphia, connecting cultural workers with activists exposing conditions of poverty in the United States.


The Leeway Foundation was founded in 1993 to promote the welfare of women and benefit the arts. Leeway'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. Leeway envisions a world where art is recognized as an essential part of the human experience; where it is employed and respected as a powerful catalyst for personal and social change; and where women artists are honored as role models, mentors and leaders.

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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
03/2712:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Understanding Taxes for Artists

Leeway is partnering with CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia and Vision Driven Artists for three sessions designed to help artists understand tax season!

[learn more]

03/276:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Infosession at Taller Puertorriqueño

Learn more about our grant programs and application process at this information session!

[learn more]