Queer|Art Announces Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant

Queer|Art Announces Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant

Queer|Art, NYC's home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ artists, is proud to introduce the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists. The new $10,000 grant will be awarded to US-based artists for making cutting-edge dance and movement-based performance work. Women(+): The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant employs an expansive definition of the word "woman." Queer|Art strongly encourages self-identified women, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary artists to apply. The 2018 grant is administered through Queer|Art by women(+) for women(+), including an intergeneratinal panel of judges from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Named in honor of visionary dance curator, critic, and educator Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the grant seeks to highlight the important contributions queer women have made to dance throughout history.

"Folks who care about the art of dance-an art of the moving body in time and space-try to preserve its wonders against disappearance," Yaa Asentewaa writes. "In a society ambivalent about, and sometimes hostile to, both the body and its artistry, lovers of dance honor the body in all of its variations, its rich stories, its wisdom and creative expression. With this award, we seek to record and honor the creative innovation and labor of queer women dance artists. To acknowledge them as full humans and artists informed and nourished by love, by experience, and by culture. To support and revere our artists for exactly and completely who they are; so they know a fierce community of peers, elders, and ancestors has got their back; and to make our world a safer, more empowering place for queer artists and, in truth, for all artists and for all people."

The grant is application-based and will be awarded to benefit specific projects. Funds can be requested to support work at any stage of development, from concept to presentation. Qualifying work may be dance and/or movement-based performance work of any format. Prospective applicants should review application requirements and apply directly through the Queer|Art website.

The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists expands Queer|Art|Awards, a growing initiative of grants, prizes, and awards that provides various kinds of direct support-monetary and otherwise-to LGBTQ artists. Other support provided through Queer|Art|Awards also includes the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant (applications open through October 1) and the Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement and Recent Work, now in their second year.

Applications for the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists will be open September 6th - October 21th, 2018. The awardee will be announced in December. The judges, who have been selected by Queer|Art to review applications for the grant, include dance and movement-based performers and curators from around the country: Nora Sharp (Chicago), Julie Tolentino (LA), and Marýa Wethers (NYC). Questions about the application process may be directed to Grant Manager mayfield brooks.

In addition to being the honoree for Queer|Art's new dance grant, Yaa Asantewaa has recently been appointed to the newly created position of Curatorial Director at Gibney. In this role, Yaa Asantewaa will lead all public performance, residency, and discourse programs at Gibney, with a focus on putting forth an expanded public performance plan that builds on Gibney's existing momentum as a presenter and deploys new resources in response to the ever-shifting needs of artists and audiences. "Eva brings to this role such tremendous knowledge of and dedication to the dance field, and a deep interest in raising the voices of NYC dance artists," says Artistic Director and CEO Gina Gibney."We at Gibney are thrilled to join forces with her to build this new model for public performance."

About Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Eva Yaa Asantewaa is Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney, New York's acclaimed center for dance and social activism. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance as a veteran writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed writing on dance to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York, and other publications.

Ms. Yaa Asantewaa joined the curatorial team for Danspace Project's "Platform 2016: Lost and Found" and created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, an evening of group improvisation featuring 21 black women and gender-nonconforming performers. Her cast was awarded a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. As EYA Projects, she has begun partnerships with organizations such as Gibney, Abrons Arts Center, Dance/NYC, BAX, and Dancing While Black to curate and facilitate Long Table conversations on topics of concern in the dance/performance community.

She was a member of the inaugural faculty of Montclair State University's MFA in Dance program and has also served on the faculty for New England Foundation for the Arts' Regional Dance Development Initiative Dance Lab 2016 for emerging Chicago-area dance artists. In May 2017, she served on the faculty for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography's inaugural Forward Dialogues Dance Lab for Emerging Choreographers.

A native New Yorker of Black Caribbean heritage, Eva makes her home in the East Village with her wife, Deborah, and cat, Crystal.

About the 2018 Judges

Queer|Art Announces Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant

Nora Sharp (Chicago) is a Chicago-born and based writer and performer whose work uses dance, sound, cultural analysis, and comedy, among other tools to reflect lived experience as a queer white Midwestern millennial. Nora has recently been a Co-MISSIONS Artist-in-Residence at Links Hall as well as a participant in LANDING 2.0 with Miguel Gutierrez, and has performed with and for Udita Upadhyaya, the Fly Honey Show, Bill Young, and Ayako Kato, among others. Along with offering individual process support for artists, Nora has facilitated Research Project, a works-in-progress performance and response series, since 2014, and has organized workshops in queer ballet, anxiety management, creative visioning, and solo-making process via the Chicago Artists Coalition, the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and elsewhere. Nora has written for Full Stop and Performance Response Journal and holds a BA from Oberlin College.

Queer|Art Announces Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant

Julie Tolentino (Los Angeles) is a performance installation maker whose work draws from visual, archival, and movement strategies. Her work has been presented by the New Museum, The Kitchen, Participant Inc., Danspace Project, Volume, LACE, Commonwealth & Council, The Lab, Joe Goode Annex, PSi Stanford, Performa '05 and '13, The Wexner Center and others as well as across Europe, the UK, Philippines, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Greece. A contributor to the Smithsonian's Art AIDS Oral History Project, she was a part of a recent Visual AIDS panel at the Whitney Museum. She co-authored the group essay, "The Sum of All Questions" published in GLQ Journal (Gay & Lesbian Quarterly) focused on the legendary queer space she originated in New York City's Meatpacking District: Clit Club (1990-2002). She recently received the Pieter Women Over-40 Grant, a Boffo Fire Island Residency, and is a Dean's Distinguished Fellow at the University of California at Riverside.

Queer|Art Announces Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant

Marýa Wethers (New York City) is a "Bessie" award winning performer (Outstanding Performance with skeleton architecture, 2017) and works as an independent creative producer and curator. As a curator she conceived and created the three-week performance series "Gathering Place: Black Queer Land(ing)" at Gibney and curated for Queer NY International Arts Festival (2015 & 2016) and Out of Space @ BRIC Studio series for Danspace Project (2003-2007). Her writings have been published in the Configurations in Motion: Curating and Communities of Color Symposium publications, organized by Thomas DeFrantz at Duke University (2016 & 2015) and UnCHARTed Legacies: women of color in post-modern dance in the 25th Anniversary Movement Research Performance Journal #27/28 (2004). She has served on selection panels for several presenting and funding organizations in NY and nationally. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Dance, minor in African-American Studies.

About Queer|Art

Queer|Art launched in 2009 to support a generation of LGBTQ+ artists that lost mentors to the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. By fostering the confident expression of LGBTQ+ artists' perspectives, stories, and identities, Queer|Art empowers a population that has been historically suppressed, disenfranchised, and often overlooked by traditional institutional and economic support systems. The current programs of Queer|Art include: the year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship program; the long-running Queer|Art|Film series, held monthly at the IFC Center in lower Manhattan; and Queer|Art|Awards, an initiative of grants, prizes, and awards that provides various kinds of direct support-monetary and otherwise-to LGBTQ artists.

The Queer|Art|Mentorship program, launched in 2010, supports a year-long exchange between emerging and established artists and produces an evolving intergenerational dialogue within the LGBTQ+ arts community. The program has propelled the careers of a new generation of creators. Queer|Art|Film, which has presented more than 100 screenings since 2009, provides a space for invited artists to present films that have inspired them, charting a uniquely queer cultural lineage through cinema to other artistic disciplines. Queer|Art|Awards was initiated last year with the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant and the introduction of the Queer|Art|Prize (for Sustained Achievement and Recent Work). Both awards are entering their second year; more to be announced soon.

A list of the intergenerational community of artists supported and brought together by Queer|Art includes: Silas Howard, Jennie Livingston, Matt Wolf, Hilton Als, Sarah Schulman, Pamela Sneed, Justin Vivian Bond, Jibz Cameron, Trajal Harrell, John Kelly, Geoffrey Chadsey, Everett Quinton, Geo Wyeth, Angela Dufresne, Nicole Eisenman, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Pati Hertling, Jonathan Katz, Tourmaline & Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, Troy Michie, Tommy Pico, Justin Sayre, Colin Self, Jacolby Satterwhite, Rick Herron, and Hugh Ryan, among many others.

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