ArtsWave awards $212K in grants to Black, Brown artists

A collection of 22 African American and other minority artists from across Greater Cincinnati will receive a combined $212,500 in funding to support their upcoming projects and promote further diversity in the local arts community.

The grants are part of ArtsWave’s annual Black and Brown Artist Program.

Now in its fourth year, the program received 71 applications for funding from across the region. A review committee of 10 volunteer community panelists recommended the selected projects. Winning projects feature a range of media types and styles, from painting and fiber work to poetry and documentary film.

ArtsWave provided $10,000 to all but one of the projects. Emily Hanako Momohara’s “Mother Tongue” received $2,500.

Other project winners are:

  • Ethan Avery, “Student Athlete”
  • Markus Cook, “The Coming Sleep”
  • Jori An Cotton, “Voices of Healing: Connecting Back to Our Inner Girl and Finding Our Joy and Freedom”
  • Ashley Glass, “Breaking the Silence: Black Nursing” documentary
  • Brandon Hawkins, “Where Honor is Due”
  • Doug Hilson, “Strokes: Inspiring the Next Generation”
  • Chaya J., “In My Mind”
  • Faith Marie, “HeartSpace Poetry Project”
  • Noel Maghathe, “Rooted in the Land”
  • Lisa Merida-Paytes, “Flow:Flux”
  • Anupama Mirle, “DOR (Strings)”
  • Yemi Oyediran, “King of Them All: The Story of King Records”
  • Alicia Redmond, “The Village of Lincoln Heights: The History, Splendor, and Uncertainty of an (African) American People”
  • Sarah Rodriguez, “PatchWORK”
  • Gauravi Shah, “Untitled variety show”
  • K.A. Simpson, “FLIPd: Cincinnati, Ohio’s Historic Places, Spaces Told Through African American Stories”
  • Derek Snow, “The Ravenside Occurrence”
  • tt stern-enzi, “Stepping In (To Fatherhood)”
  • Margaret Tung, “Going Beyond Traditional Classical Music: Innovative Music for Horn”
  • Ingrid Woode, “Be Still”
  • Asha the Artist, “Bodies in Flux: Exploring Reproductive Choice Through Art and Words”

Next steps

Selected artists will create projects across artistic genres focusing on the themes of truth and innovation. The pieces will each connect historical events and visions of a more equitable future.

As part of their project, each artist must incorporate some form of community collaboration. The goal is to ensure “we can all play a role in reconciling the moment and innovating toward a more just and equitable future for the Cincinnati region,” according to ArtsWave.

As a group, the winning works will advance the goals of ArtsWave’s Blueprint for Collective Action, said Alecia Kintner, ArtsWave’s president and CEO. She described them as “bridging cultural divides promoting understanding and empathy, deepening the roots of residents and improving neighborhoods.”

Project descriptions are available on the ArtsWave website.

“Each of these artists tells a different story through their work, and in doing so, brings us together as a community to better understand and appreciate the value we bring to each other,” Kintner added.

‘Expressing themes of our time’

The Black and Brown Artist Program aims to give artists of color the resources they need to interpret and express the themes of our times. Over the years, this program’s projects have explored themes such as truth, reconciliation, inspiration and healing.

The Black and Brown Artists program is a component of ArtsWave’s diversity, equity, inclusion and access strategy through which ArtsWave provides professional development services to artists. Training and workshops focus on areas like grant writing and mentorship.

Through a partnership with Wave Pool, all Black and Brown Artists grant recipients will complete a “Driving Lessons” program, along with monthly networking and progress meetings with ArtsWave staff and consultants.

The Black and Brown Artists program has funded 90 artist projects, with over $950,000 in grants over the past four years.

The grants are made possible by the ArtsWave Campaign, in partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Duke Energy, Fifth Third Bank, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Macy’s, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Walter C. Frank, and Peter and Betsy Niehoff, with media support from Creativity Squared.

ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program


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