Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Joyce Awards Grant Artists of Color to Make New Works in Four Midwest Cities

By Sandra Davis
Chicago Contributor

CHICAGO - The Joyce Foundation recently announced four winners of the prestigious 2012 Joyce Awards that commission artists of color to create new works with cultural institutions. The Joyce Awards recognize innovative, thought-provoking projects and come with a $50,000 grant. Winners were selected for artistic merit, audience engagement potential, and are commissioned in collaboration with an arts or cultural institution that contributes to a dynamic community engagement plan.  In the past decade, the awards program has commissioned 32 new works from artists of color in partnership with the region's best cultural institutions.

The Joyce Foundation seeks to fund projects that bring diverse audiences together, and create common cultural experiences that encourage participants to see art as integral to their lives and communities. This year's winners will create projects in four Midwest cities; Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Indianapolis.

Beginning in 2013, the Joyce Awards program will open its application process, so that any nonprofit organization, not solely art institutions can apply to commission work and create a project with an artist of color. Annually, a minimum of four awards of $50,000 each will be granted.

Angelique Power (pictured), The Joyce Foundation's new senior program officer for Culture states, “The change we are making is because at Joyce we pay special attention to where artists are leading us. Artists have always evolved society by standing both within and outside of it. They ask hard questions, highlight what is commonly nuanced, and inspire us to think differently, see differently.

Artists (and arts institutions) are working in incredibly innovative ways within communities. They are interrupting daily life happenings with thoughtful, important work. They are confronting the Great Recession with art that is meant to change people’s lives. They are bringing together new communities through their projects.

By opening the Joyce Awards so that any nonprofit can apply to work with an artist of color on a new project that aims to change their block, their city, the world in some way we are not acting as revolutionaries – we are simply acknowledging the revolutionary work already being done – and trying to provide a cash reward large enough ($50,000) to help them change the game.”

To learn more about the 2012 winners and upcoming information sessions for the 2013 awards in Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Milwaukee and Cleveland, visit here.

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