2018 Equity in the Arts Grant Winners

ArtsBuild, with support from the Benwood Foundation, has provided a second round of awards in the Equity in the Arts grant program to support projects led by local Black and Latino artists. Grants for 2018 were awarded to eight individual artists and organizations. The goals for the Equity in the Arts grant program are to help build the careers of local Black and Latino artists, increase sustainability of cultural organizations that focus on Black and Latino arts, build community awareness of Black and Latino arts within Hamilton County, and to support collaborations between Black and Latino artists and other arts organizations within the community.

2018 Grant Recipients:

ALEX LOZA: Dreaming Forward/Soñando Mural
Alex Loza will lead the creation of Chattanooga’s first Latino public mural titled Dreaming Forward/ Soñando. This mural will be painted on Super Carniceria Loa #7 wall facing Main Street, located on the corner of Main St. and Broad St. Loza will also meet with Latinos from Super Carniceria Loa #7 neighborhood to learn about their stories, ideals and dreams that will inspire the mural design. About 20 youth will be invited to participate in a Community Painting Day event, where they will have the opportunity to paint alongside the Artists Team. (The Community Painting Day event took place in June 2018.)

CHRISTIAN COLLIER: Manifest Poetry Documentary Series
Collier will create a documentary series that will showcase the rich history of Chattanooga poets and shed light on powerful, influential and emerging writers and voices in our community. Fifteen to seventeen poets will be interviewed and will read their poetry to bring their work to life in a unique fashion.

CREATIVE DISCOVERY MUSEUM: Artist Residency Program
Creative Discovery Museum implemented a four-month residency with local blues musician Rick Rushing. Rick spent an average of 10 hours per week, from April through July, providing music instruction and playing songs on his guitar and ukulele for Museum guests. Rick also worked alongside staff performing live music performances and worked with the Museum’s Development and Communications managers, resulting in the creation of video promotional materials for the Museum and the artist.

ELLA CHATTANOOGA: ThiRDspace
THiRDspace will be a quarterly graphic novel style publication consisting of four stories, each highlighting the cultures and challenges specific to the neighborhood of East Lake. Emphasizing the importance of visual literacy and quality illustration, the graphic novel will help children and families in this neighborhood interpret, negotiate, and make meaningful connections. A total of 2,000 copies will be published and released to five local elementary schools.

IANTHA NEWTON: My Evolution into Open Impressionism
The Equity in the Arts grant will enable Newton to utilize an explosively vibrant palette in both acrylics and oils independently, from which will be produced a body of work of approximately 25-30 canvasses of various sizes from small, medium to large sizes, that will present her landscapes in a more contemporary application, or in other words a more modern “open” impressionism. The work will be exhibited in four locations throughout the year.

LA PAZ: Entre Nosotros
The project will consist of the creation of four mobile murals (48” x 72”), which each will portray traditions, animals and customs of a specific Latin American country (i.e. Mexico, Guatemala, etc.). Each mural will be presented to a particular area of the Chattanooga community on four different occasions, which will be spread throughout the year. Attendants are invited to engage in a dialogue about the culture of the country, the artists will share their stories (personal accounts, poetry, etc.) and also food, typical of the country portrayed, will be served.

MARCUS ELLSWORTH: 8 Conversations
8 Conversations will consist of eight free performances inspired by eight controversial issues of local, national, and global concern. The topics selected are: Transgender Rights, Classism, Environmental Justice, Islamophobia, Sexism, Reproductive Justice, White Supremacy, and Immigration. The events will run from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on the last or second to last Saturday of each month for eight consecutive months at Barking Legs Theater.

JONATHAN “TRYEZZ” FOWLKES: The Arts and Groove on Wax
This project consists of an original music release and release event. The main idea and centerpiece is that this release would be pressed on 12-inch vinyl at 45 rpm. All the music would be songs first created live on the spot while performing at different events in Chattanooga, particularly participating in Soundcorps’ “Sidewalk Stages” busking program. This would be capturing the cool and energetic vibe created from the scenic atmosphere, interaction with people, and spontaneity while performing live at events and on the streets of Chattanooga. The vinyl release is a limited-edition one-time only pressing.