Fertile Ground Announces GROW Award Winners Ahead of New Works Festival

The winners receive $500 each to produce their pieces as part of the 2022 festival.

By: Oct. 31, 2021
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Fertile Ground Announces GROW Award Winners Ahead of New Works Festival

The Fertile Ground Festival of New Works, a program of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (PATA), has announced the five projects awarded $500 to produce new work in the 2022 festival. For the 13th annual festival, Fertile Ground will present online programming from 37 producers and more than 50 projects. Fertile Ground producers may also host in-person events in tandem with online festival events, but there must be a virtual component. The festival runs Thursday, January 27 through Sunday, February 6, 2022.

Fertile Ground's GROW Panel selected the five 2022 GROW Award-winning projects, from a submission pool of 12 applications. Fertile Ground created the GROW Awards for the 2021 festival to support organizational efforts to increase access, and decrease financial barriers to allow for a greater participation of new voices. These funds are intended to formalize and expand the festival's initiatives to address equity and access barriers to participation that exist for underrepresented (BIPOC, LGBTQ2IA+, Disabled) artists. The 2021 festival instituted an advisory group of local artists and administrators to adjudicate the GROW Awards that distribute funds to artists/producers through the GROW AWARD program.

A total of five GROW Awards have been awarded for the 2022 festival totaling $2,500. Three $500 awards were funds set aside by Fertile Ground Festival of New Works to continue to offer this opportunity to local artists/producers, and a grant from the Think System Foundation funded two more awards for the 2022 festival.

"It is truly exciting to see how the Portland Area Theatre Alliance and Fertile Ground have come together to provide a platform for new and diverse work," said Samson Syharath, GROW Panel Chairperson. "Having so many different voices in the room provides an abundance of knowledge and perspective. T he GROW Panel is incredibly valuable in working to advance projects that are inclusive, and elevate voices that are typically underrepresented. I I believe that this year's GROW Award selections will help uplift projects that align with our mission to address equity and access barriers in the festival that exist for underrepresented artists."

The winning productions are below:

Cosmogonos from producer Yatnra Productions



Yantra Productions presents


By Ajai Tripathi

Director: Ajai Tripathi

Videographer/Filmmaker: Ajai Tripathi

Cosmogonos is a multimedia presentation of creation myths told through shadow puppetry and stop-motion animation. Part I: The Cosmic Serpent presents the beginning of the universe through Mesoamerican folklore, Part II: The World Egg shows the world's origins as told in Vedic mythology.

Heart of Stone from producer Fool House Art Collective


Dance Performance

Fool House Art Collective presents

Heart of Stone

By Alisher Khasanov & Karen Polinsky

Director & Choreographer: Alisher Khasanov

Video Production: Alexandr Beran

Theater Dance Performance. A 20-minute exploration of the central theme of breaking free from oppression, the first exploratory step in the development of a full-length show by Alisher Khasanov.

Knowledge of Good and Evil from producer Project C.O.C.O.A.


Short Film

Project C.O.C.O.A. presents

The Knowledge of Good and Evil
By Valerie Yvette Peterson
Director: Valerie Yvette Peterson


Three African American brothers are faced with difficult decisions that will challenge their shared upbringing, spirituality and moral compass.

PLEDGE The Musical from producer D&M Associates


Staged Reading

DM & Associates presents

PLEDGE The Musical

By Don Merrill

Director: Don Merrill

Composer: Melody Bell


PLEDGE The Musical is a three-act play that focuses on nine days in the life of a public radio station, run by a small, conservative Arkansas college. KKAR's (KKAR.org) staff, led by station manager Ava Sanchez, navigates technical problems, political attacks and personnel issues, all while trying to successfully pull off the all-important, twice yearly pledge drive.

The Enemy of the People from producer Street Scenes



Street Scenes presents

The Enemy of the People

By RaChelle Schmidt

Director: Michael Streeter

A modern-day reimaging of Henrik Ibsen's classic play An Enemy of the People. Dr. Katherine Garcia dares to expose an inconvenient truth and faces a swift backlash and unfortunate consequences.


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