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Arts & Entertainment Atlanta Announces 2022/23 Grant Program Recipients

Eighteen artists and arts organizations to receive a total of $150,000, supporting operations and projects in Downtown Atlanta

Pictured above: still from "Out From the Deep: A Meditation for Them Turners" by T. Lang Dance

ATLANTA (November 28, 2022) – Arts & Entertainment Atlanta (A&E Atlanta) is pleased to announce the recipients of its third grant cycle. Grants of up to $10,000 have been awarded to eighteen artists and arts organizations, representing a diverse spectrum of creative talent. The program furthers A&E Atlanta’s mission of enhancing the vibrancy of Downtown Atlanta by championing local arts and culture. From public installations and education to performances and films, Downtown's burgeoning arts community is poised for its most high-profile year yet. A&E Atlanta is dispersing a record $150,000 to its new grantees, which will support vital operations and the development of multidisciplinary projects to be realized throughout 2023.

A&E Atlanta’s 2022/23 grant recipients are Andrew Blooms, Anicka Austin, Ashlee Haze, Carley Rickles & Erin Palovick, Carl Janes, Cienna Minniefield, DanceATL, Eso Tilin Projects, Fly on a Wall, Future Dead Artists, Gavin Bernard, Kerri Garrett, La Candela Flamenco, Mike Stasny, NOVA CYPRESS BLACK, Praise House Project, The Evil Doers Mega, and T. Lang Dance.

“A&E Atlanta's grant funding has increased yearly, giving us a greater opportunity to showcase the local creative community and their work in Downtown Atlanta,” said Fredalyn M. Frasier, ADID’s Project Director of Planning and Urban Design, who oversees the initiative and its grants. “This year's submissions were impressive, making the review process very competitive. We're excited to announce these eighteen grantees and look forward to experiencing their creations.”

A&E Atlanta is a neighborhood activation and economic development project for Downtown Atlanta. The program fuses new outdoor media, art, and advertising to fund and present cultural and public space programming in the city’s core. The effort is managed by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) and self-funds its management and programming through revenue-sharing agreements with media companies within the district, which include Orange Barrel Media, and BIG Outdoor.

Andrew Blooms
Project Support: Art Exhibition

Andrew Blooms is a Taiwanese-American painter and tattoo apprentice. He earned a Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Georgia. Blooms will use A&E Grant funds to curate an art event at Peters Street Station that celebrates both Black and Asian cultures. Rush Hour will feature work by artists, musicians, and creatives in the Atlanta area.

Anicka Austin
Project Support: Dance/Performance

Anicka Austin is an Atlanta-based choreographer and archivist. In 2021-2022, she wrote on site-based performance in Atlanta as Art on the Atlanta BeltLine Scholar-in-Residence. Her work has been presented by The Lucky Penny, City of Atlanta, Adult Swim, Fulton County Arts and Culture, and Dance Canvas. Grant funds will support "Untitled," a dance-based project activated by Atlanta’s archival material and institutions. Archives from the Lucille Clifton papers; Carmen de Lavallade papers; and Katherine Dunham collection at Emory University’s Rose Library will be used to create a speculative embodied narrative of Clifton, de Lavallade, and Dunham’s lives. The project aims to elucidate the archive as a source for meditation on the interior worlds of Black women artists.

Ashlee Haze
Project Support: Performance/Poetry

Ashlee Haze is a poet and spoken word artist from Atlanta by way of Chicago. Earning the nickname “Big 30" because of her consistency in getting a perfect score, she is one of the most accomplished poets in the sport of poetry slam. She has been a part of the Atlanta Poetry circuit for over a decade and has been writing for over 15 years. Ashlee Haze is a 3-time Queen of the South poetry Slam Champion, 2-time Women of the World Poetry Slam Finalist, and 2-time National Poetry Slam semi-finalist. She was one of the first poets to appear on NPR’s Tiny Desk. Haze is the host of Moderne Philosophy, an educational podcast for creatives. Grant funds will support “Smoke,” a poetry show based on Haze's experiences with grief and heartbreak. Featuring poetry, original music, and comedic interludes, SMOKE investigates love, growth, and transformation in this performance piece.

Carley Rickles & Erin Palovick
Project Support: Community/Education

Carley Rickles is an Atlanta-based artist, designer, and researcher. Rickles’ projects interrogate themes related to everyday life and the built environment through field research, documentation, scholarship, exhibition, and social practice. Erin Palovick is a multimedia artist and educator who focuses on togetherness. Her practice situates itself at the intersection of performance, installation, and research. Together, Palovick and Rickles present Land Soundscapes, a long-term public walking series in Downtown Atlanta that will culminate in a virtual archive. Participants will discover new ways of engaging with Downtown through sound, strengthening their sense of place in this unique and complex part of the city. Soundwalks will be publicized and archived on an interactive website offering the potential for the series to continue and inspire additional engagement with Downtown’s landscape of sounds.

Carl Janes
Project Support: Artist Studio & Performance Venue

From a childhood living in different cultures and in different parts of the World, Carl Janes has developed with a global eye and an acute understanding of our human connection. His artwork is not limited by medium or style but rather follows recurring interests that then spawn formative concepts. Janes recently completed a one-year residency in Beijing, China with Red Gate Gallery. Janes was also selected to represent his Atlanta at SXSW as a culture generator and an example of why young artists should choose Atlanta as their city to live in. Grant funding will support The Inner Space, a creative space for diverse performative artists. The studio and venue located in Underground Atlanta seeks to fills a void for any and all artists looking to get their art in front of an audience.

Cienna Minniefield
Project Support: Community/Education

Cienna Minniefield also known as THE COLOR, is a Black trans non-binary, Atlanta-based multidisciplinary artist. Hailing from East Atlanta, Cienna’s visual artwork is deeply influenced by the Black South through a contemporary lens. Their mediums include acrylic on canvas and paper, photography, sound, digital illustration, collage, and murals. The COLOR’s work also has been featured and commissioned by WMBA, Facebook, Glossier, and I.D. Magazine, and Living Walls. Grant funds will support the Blaqueer figure drawing project, honoring and celebrating the beauty of all Black trans identities. The project is an attempt to create safe spaces to express Black bodily autonomy, and to make choices about their bodies without fear, violence, or coercion. The figure drawing classes feature live models who are of different body sizes and Black trans or gender expansive.

Project Support: Dance/Performance

DanceATL is a non-profit dance service organization that works to nurture and sustain dance and dance artists in the Metro-Atlanta Area. They provide creative and educational programming and online content and expand access to available resources in the Atlanta arts communities. Their programming encourages collaboration and empowers artists to learn and develop the skills necessary to be a professional working artist. Grant funds will support a showcase of work by participants of A.M. Collaborative, a 6-month program for artists who are interested in collaborating and exploring new methods of making work. The artistic mediums that may be represented in the showcase include but are not limited to dance, printmaking installations, puppetry, projection, film, photography, string quartet.

Eso Tilin Projects
Project Support: Art Exhibition

Eso Tilin Projects is an experimental 12:1 scale project space and curatorial practice founded in 2021 by Noah Reyes and Sergio Suarez. It aims to embrace the work of emerging artists, by providing a space for young practices to unfold, expand and perhaps diverge according to the artist's needs. Eso Tilin acts as a nomadic curatorial endeavor that induces a sensation of encouragement and playfulness. This miniature approach to grandiose ideas is intended to foster experimentation and ambitious proposals for artists to grow from.

Fly on a Wall
Project Support: Dance/Performance

Fly on a Wall is an Atlanta based arts platform that supports and creates innovative performance. Fly on a Wall aims to provide opportunity, space, and resources for artists to create work that responds to, reimagines, and activates the ever-evolving moment within our community. In 2023, Fly on a Wall will present Astro Show, a monthly community gathering centered around the astrological forecast for the zodiacal month. Each show, an astrologer will guide the audience through the dynamic shifts of the month as interpreted by the astrological transits in the sky. Simultaneously, dance artists will move throughout the audience using a movement operation and thought model that allows artists to respond with their moving bodies, to the energy, tone, and imagery being spoken by the astrologer.

Future Dead Artists
Operational Support: Gallery & Community Arts Programming

Future Dead Artists (FDA) is an Atlanta-based arts organization founded by EuGene V Byrd III that works to educate the community on the importance and value of investing in original local art. FDA emerged from the fundamental need to connect young entrepreneurial artists with art patrons. FDA focuses on expanding the public’s cultural repertoire by creating a platform that highlights local living artists. Grant funds will benefit the organization’s exhibition space, Future Gallery, located at Underground Atlanta.

Gavin Bernard
Project Support: Visual Art

Gavin Bernard is a British artist, educator, designer, and performer living in Atlanta, GA. His creative work focuses on site-specific installations for both commercial design clients and in his art practice. He is the co-founder of interior design firm Grafite, creating spaces for numerous, beloved Atlanta businesses and arts non-profits. A&E Atlanta grant funds will be used to support a project highlighting one of Atlanta’s richest assets, its bounty of trees. This project works with a tree that is dying, dead, or soon to be removed, using molded PVC piping to mimic and map the organic structure of one tree, heating and wrapping pipe to the tree’s organic form. It captures and offers reverence to one tree's life journey by mapping its architectural path.

Kerri Garrett
Project Support: Visual Art

Kerri Garrett is a multidisciplinary artist based in Atlanta, GA. A Clark Atlanta University alumnus, she intertwines the art forms of dance, film, and fashion to create compelling narratives about the black experience. Kerri has graced the stages of Synchronicity Theatre, True Colors Theatre, and CATCO. In 2020, she was a recipient of the Alliance Theatre’s Reiser Lab. Project support funds have been granted for a two-day photo activation, The Shadows Whispered Secrets, offering free portrait photography to Atlanta residents. The first photography activation day is “TSWS: The Family Portraits I Never Had,” an open studio session where Garrett and collaborators will offer free portraits to Atlanta families. The second photography activation, “TSWS x Black Magic,” will offer free tintype portraits shot by photographer Adam Davis.

La Candela Flamenco
Project Support: Dance/Performance

La Candela Flamenco’s mission is to bring people of diverse backgrounds together, inspiring them through traditional and reimagined flamenco performances. A&E Atlanta grant funds will be used for Inspiración, a series of live flamenco lecture-performances that feature traditional flamenco dance and music infused with jazz and classical music. La Candela founder Ania Bartelmus is a flamenco dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist.

Mike Stasny
Project Support: Artist Studio & Performance Venue

Inspired by the intrinsic learning achieved by a state of childish “flow” while at play, Mike Stasny often refers to his work as “the same thing I was doing at 4, but on the scale of a 41-year-old.” He is a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, producer, and curator from the midwest working and living in Atlanta for the past 10 years. Grant funds will support Stasny’s Mom Said It’s Fine gallery in Underground Atlanta as well as BIG YOU, a 15’ tall doll humanoid inflatable to be displayed in the gallery. The inflatable serves as a projection screen with regularly transforming content catering to the needs of events. In its “natural resting state,” BIG YOU displays the faces of people that interact with it.

Project Support: Film

NOVA CYPRESS BLACK is a collage of Midwest tranquility, Southern hospitality & East Coast grit. NOVA is a writer, filmmaker, mover, and educator that pledges allegiance to Black queer and trans prosperity. A Georgia State University graduate, 2021 Outfest Screenwriting Fellow, and 2021 Hillman Grad Mentee, NOVA was also a staff writer on season 3 of Showtime's The L Word: Generation Q. A&E Atlanta grant funds will support (dey/dem), a short experimental documentary film that explores how the lived experiences of Black non-binary folks in Atlanta echo the nearly erased history of gender non-conformity in pre-colonial Africa.

Praise House Project
Project Support: Multimedia Installation

Created and led by artist Charmaine Minniefield, Praise House Project is a community-based initiative which places multimedia, site specific public art installations within communities to uphold the African American histories and narratives of the area to address issues of erasure and systemic inequities. Each Praise House is a small wooden structure with a fully immersive digital projection installation of a Ring Shout, created from archives and/or footage collected from the community in which it resides, with a sound installation emanating from within, inviting gatherings in safe spaces, like praise houses once before. Considering the history of the 1906 Race Massacre, the creative team of the Praise House Project will present a new body of work through a collaboration with the Creative Media Industries Institute of Georgia State University which will activate histories and Black narratives in Downtown Atlanta.

The Evil Doers Mega
Project Support: Art Exhibition

Husband and wife DJ duo, Theo Celeste and Lillie Madali founded the entertainment conglomerate The Evil Doers Mega, an innovative creative agency that leverages their passions for music, art, tech, and cultural pride. The Atlanta-based brand is home to a successful series of unique events like Barkada ATL, a collective of Flipinx creatives located in Atlanta providing an inclusive cultural experience and ATL 공주 KPop Party, a dance party centered around KPop music. Grant funds will support Kamay, an art show with a mission is to fight anti-Asian hate by telling the stories of heroes from Cambodian and Filipino folklore from the perspective of contemporary SE Asian American artists in the South.

T. Lang Dance
Project Support: Dance/Performance

T. Lang Dance creates poetic movement landscapes, illustrating deep and rousing investigations into interdisciplinary creative practices, historical narratives, and identity. Artistic director T. Lang is dedicated to exposing the arts and emerging communities to the creative impact and genius of dance. Lang’s work has been commissioned by the High Museum of Art, Goat Farm Arts Center, Flux Projects, and others. Grant funding will support Out from the Deep: A Meditation for Them Turners, an immersive virtual reality performance. Out from the Deep was created to honor the life and memory of Mary Turner, who was brutalized and lynched in 1918 after publicly objecting to her husband’s murder. This piece compels audiences to encounter truths that grapple with and work to overcome trauma.