UPDATE 12/15/20: ANNOUNCING THE 2020-21 RESEARCH GRANTEES

Wherewithal

Grants for visual artists in the DC area

Courtesy of WPA and the Andy Warhol Foundation

2020-21 Grantees

Sobia Ahmad

Memory is a Homeland

Sobia Ahmad will conduct planning and research for the creation of a Knowledge Bank for Diasporic Futures. She will explore how textiles and traditional crafts preserve cultural memory and ancestral knowledge, specifically that of immigrant and indigenous communities. She will collaborate with elders and community members from her ancestral village in Pakistan through storytelling circles and skill-sharing workshops. 

Sobia Ahmad is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice maps the various ways the personal and the political overlap. By charting her own experiences and community narratives, and weaving them with current and historical socio-political contexts, she highlights the inseparability of the self and larger power structures. The work poses questions like: What confirms or dissipates our sense of belonging? What effects do policies have on our personal and collective psyches? And how can our deeply intimate struggles of belonging inform larger conversations about national identity, notions of home, cultural memory, and gender?

Photograph by Naoko Wowsugi

CONTROL-ALT-DELETE

A Series of Interventions in the Gendered Digital Space

This newly formed collective will build a visual language analyzing cyberpsychology, machine learning technology, and popular internet culture. During the grant period, they will train artificial intelligence (using machine learning) to explore gender inequality, performative reconciliation, and define nuances of tone inherent in built-in structures, both online and off. The collective will collaborate with machine learning experts, data specialists, artists who use AI, designers, and the public to realize a series of digital interventions.

Dawne Langford is interested in artist movements that are firmly rooted in the power of the collective, working towards developing collaborative efforts that can creatively set the path to our liberation and better future. Alex Tyson is a researcher and designer with a tech background. She is interested in projects which look at meme politics, internet addiction, technological violence, moving beyond information to understanding, and the role of an individual or group's agency over technology. Dafna Steinberg is an interdisciplinary artist, whose current focus of her practice is photography and hand-cut collage that utilizes paper ephemera, found objects and text. Her work explores the variety of people’s relationships as well as the emotions connected to them. The projects she creates unpack how and why humans need one another. Her work also addresses the inequalities between different people, predominantly by gender, specifically regarding issues of grief, sexual trauma, harassment, domestic violence, and body acceptance.

Ayana Zaire Cotton

Crafting Care: The Poetics of Design, Computation, and Abolition

Ayana Zaire Cotton will research the relationships between abolitionist technologies and aesthetics to understand how they might help us imagine a liberated future. This will involve the study of Indigenous African objects and textiles, and how the fractals in their designs might be used to reorganize our physical world using computing and code. She will collaborate with artists, alternative schools, and an ethno-mathematician.

Ayana Zaire Cotton is a transdisciplinary artist, writer, and software engineer whose current practice is rooted in the research of craft, labor, and liberation. Her past projects include DISTRIKT, a collective print publication platform showcasing the art, politics, and style of the DC metro area artist community and Zaire Studio, a fashion line as a platform for researching labor studies and aesthetics through textiles, photography, and storytelling.

Photograph by Chukwudumebi Ezefili

janet e. dandridge

Inquiries on Release and Other Paths to Liberty

janet e. dandridge's research centers on Post/Present-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PPTSD) driven by the question: How can memory, dreams, asylum, and catharsis contribute to holistic healing for individuals who’ve experienced and continue to experience trauma throughout their lives? This research specifically pertains to societal trauma perpetuated by racism and misogyny, and in particular, the PPTSD of Black women and girls. janet's primary investigations will include conversations with Black women whom are mental health professionals, spiritual guides, artists, activists, and law professionals.

janet e. dandridge is an interdisciplinary artivist (fine artist + activist) based in Washington, DC.  janet intersplices theatrical performance, photography, empirical data, identity politics, and whimsy into a keen reflection on social constructs and governing policies. Her creations are often viewed as public service announcements that initiate dialogue and solutions to cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic struggles of the disenfranchised and dehumanized.

Jeremiah Edwards and Jeremiah Long

Place Based Justice (PBJ) 

With the goal of eventually developing curriculum, Jeremiah Long and Jeremiah Edwards will evaluate the impact of place-based education on local youth in DC’s Black community. They will work in collaboration with local community leaders, elders, artists, teachers, and youth in pursuit of answers to a central question: Can a holistic understanding of one’s relationship to a place instill political urgency, social awareness, and the will to uplift one’s community? 

Jeremiah Edwards and Jeremiah Long are longtime friends and artistic collaborators. Jeremiah Edwards is an illustrator/muralist based in Woodbridge, VA. Jeremiah Long is a ceramicist based in Alexandria, VA. They both are passionate about educating and creating art that uplifts the Black community. 

Curry Hackett

Drylongso: An Exploration of Black Life, Food, Plants, and Land

Curry Hackett will conduct interviews and write speculative case studies on "Black landscapes”—exploring the socio-ecological relationships that Black folks foster and maintain within urban environments. His research is based on the assumption that these relationships exist, or can be envisioned, in spite of pervasive neo-colonial attitudes. Curry will collaborate with such knowledge partners as Black landscape architects, ecologists, herbalists, ethnobotanists, and artists.

Curry Hackett combines architecture, graphic design, and urban design. He is founding principal of Wayside Studio in Washington, DC, collaborating with communities and organizations to engage culture, ecology, and place. Hackett teaches architecture at his alma mater, Howard University.

Michelle Lisa Herman

Up to Code? Where ableism meets patriarchy in art and technology 

As a woman artist with disabilities working in and with technology, Michelle Lisa Herman will research the intersection of feminism, technology, art, and disability. Specifically, she will look at the relationships between ableism and patriarchy and the ways in which assumed defaults, when mediated through technology, continue to perpetuate assumptions that disenfranchise all. Her collaboration will include other women-identifying artists and artists with disabilities, and researchers who study gender inequity in the tech industry.

Michelle Lisa Herman is a DC-based interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans theoretical and philosophical research, feminist and disability politics, comedy, and conceptualism. Herman's work broadly traverses the margins between ability and what is beyond our reach: particularly the limits of perception, attention, connection, and categorization in the digital age.

Photograph by E. Brady Robinson

MJ Neuberger and Susan Main

Meeting Ground 

In a time of ongoing environmental, social, racial, and economic inequity, as well as limited physical human connection, can touching the ground recenter attention, help us overcome trauma, and change the way we perceive the world around us? If so, how? MJ Neuberger and Susan Main will use their research to create a theoretical, practical, political, and aesthetic base for future projects that will grow a community of participants and researchers.

MJ Neuberger and Susan Main collaborate on research that considers the ground as a point of entry to shared space where interconnection between earth and self, individual, and other is made visible. Susan Main’s multidisciplinary work explores individual and social contracts between space, time, and attention, pairing the unmediated event with tools that attempt to measure, define, locate, and orient. MJ Neuberger’s installations, sculptural works, and social practice draw from indigenous and self-created ritual and natural processes to reoccupy bodies abandoned in intergenerational trauma and colonialism.

Mojdeh Rezaeipour 

Mapping Fragments 

Mojdeh Rezaeipour’s research focuses on a collection of ancient fragments of pottery that originate from over thirty sites located across the Middle East.  She will build and share a library of resources, as well as organize a series of independently-led interviews with an intergenerational group of experts, locals, and creators with lineage across the sites. This inquiry is the beginning of a much more expansive body of research, as well as a first step, perhaps, of a collectively imagined work.

Mojdeh Rezaeipour creates mixed media works, installations, and films that explore notions of home, time, and memory. Her practice is largely process-led and moves playfully between media, resulting in a dynamic and ephemeral storytelling language that incorporates existing bodies of her 2D, sculptural, and video work as a part of its immersive vocabulary.  She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she studied architecture, and of Alt*Div, an alternative divinity school centering the intersections of healing justice and art as spiritual practice.

Asha Santee 

ASCENTROIX

Asha Santee will research how galactic escapism—an outer space reverie and sonic frequency—in interaction with racial trauma, can offer healing for the Black community. Realized in collaboration with Black therapists and healers, musicians, and comic artists, Asha’s research will be driven by the question, “At what frequencies do Black people experience healing?” 

Asha Adia Santee is a multidisciplinary artist based in Hyattsville, MD. She uses acrylics, broken drumsticks and cymbals, mixed media, and sound to create visual and audible experiences. Her current project, “ASCENTROIX” (pronounced ascentro 9), is a movement-powered, audio, and digital art galaxy that aims to heal the psychological impacts of racial trauma in the Black community through frequency and galactic escapism.


Jessica Valoris 

Black Fugitive Folklore

Jessica Valoris will explore the histories of Black fugitivity, flight, and petit marronage (ways in which enslaved Africans subverted the plantation and captivity through truancy, gatherings, harboring fugitives, creating networks of complicity, and other practices), and how these histories can inform current movements for liberation. She will uncover how small acts of freedom actualize larger movements for liberation, and how Black people carry the lineage of petit marronage. In collaboration with Black authors, thinkers, and artists, and accessing archives including Freedom On the Move and the WPA Slave Narrative Archive, Jessica will explore the question: “What does flight make possible?”

Jessica Valoris is a multidisciplinary artist and facilitator whose creative process is rooted in spiritual practice, historical study, and community wellness. Jessica weaves together mixed media visual art and sound to activate spaces of connection, healing, and visioning. Inspired by Afrofuturism, metaphysics, and historical memory, Jessica's artwork celebrates the resilience and innovation of Black people, Black culture, and Black futures.

Monsieur Zohore

Ghost Stories

Monsieur Zohore will use research as a means of resurrecting performances that have gone forgotten as a result of the circumstances they were made in. Their research will focus on the following questions: What works haunt the specter of performance art? How can they resurrect them into our present? How can they use the resurrection of historical works to help resurrect performance art in the post-pandemic world? Monsieur Zohore will connect with artists, institutions, curators, and academics dedicated to performance art. 

Monsieur Zohore is an Ivorian-American artist based between the DC area and New York City. Their practice investigates the “consumption” and “digestion” of culture through the conflation of domestic quotidian labor and art production through performance, installation, and sculpture.


Criteria & eligibility

Wherewithal Recovery Grants

Who Should Apply?

Wherewithal Recovery grants are awarded to DC-area artists whose income or opportunities have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As this crisis magnifies racial disparities, WPA is aware of the financial challenges facing Black artists in the DC community. Understanding the long-reaching effects of systemic racism and injustice, WPA will prioritize Black applicants during this round of funding. The $1,000 grants will be awarded on a bi-weekly basis until funds run out. The first deadline for applications is Friday, July 10, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

You're Eligible if...
  • Applicants must live within the greater Washington area either in DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Montgomery, or Prince George’s counties (this is a change from previous rounds)
  • Applicants must be visual artists, or artists with a history of presenting their work in visual arts contexts/venues (Performance, film, text, and/or sound artists are eligible if their work explicitly engages visual arts discourses)
  • Applicants must have experienced a loss of income or opportunity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Applicants who have already received a Wherewithal Recovery Grant are eligible to reapply this round
  • 501(c)(3) organizations and for-profit organizations (LLC, corporations, partnerships, etc.) are ineligible to apply
Evaluative Criteria

Successful applicants will have demonstrated how the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a loss of income or opportunity for them. Priority will be given to Black visual artists who live in the DC area.


Wherewithal Research Grants

Who Should Apply?

This program enables DC-area visual artists to further their practices through research and idea development. The $5,000 grants can be used to compensate applicants for their intellectual labor, for costs associated with gaining access to specific resources, and/or to pay other artists and thinkers for their time and contributions. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of artists and arts professionals. We anticipate awarding 12 grants. The grant period is from November 2020–June 2021. Deadline to apply is Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET.

You're Eligible if...
  • Applicants must live within the greater Washington area either in DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Montgomery, or Prince George’s counties
  • Applicants must be visual artists, or artists with a history of presenting their work in visual arts contexts/venues (Performance, film, text, and/or sound artists are eligible if their work explicitly engages visual arts discourses)
  • For collaborative projects, one person must serve as the applicant, be responsible for the receipt, management and distribution of the funds, handle all communications with WPA, and be responsible for grant reporting
  • Minimum of $3,500 of grant should be set aside as compensation for the time you will spend on research and development (reading, writing, communicating with other artists and/or scholars)
  • Remaining $1,500 can be used to access specific archives, pay collaborators, and purchase materials
  • WPA asks that grantees prepare a public-facing presentation of their research to be given in 2021

Ineligible:

  • Full-time undergraduate or graduate students
  • 501(c)(3) organizations and for-profit organizations (LLC, corporations, partnerships, etc.)
Evaluative Criteria

Successful applicants will excel in one or more of the following:

  • Artistic Impact: The inquiry is experimental, imaginative, innovative, or unconventional, and furthers the applicant's practice in meaningful ways
  • Context/Relevance: The research is considerate of its context; it engages with other artists/thinkers in relevant discourses
  • Feasibility: The applicant demonstrates the ability to carry out the proposed research within the grant period

Key dates and contact

Recovery Grants

Application Portal Re-Opens: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 (awarded on a bi-weekly basis)

First deadline for Applications: Friday, July 10, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST

Research Grants

Application Portal Opens: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Information Session: Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm EST (watch the recording here)

Application Portal Closes: Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST

Adjudication Panel Meets: September 2020

Award Notifications: October 1, 2020

Awardee Reception: October 2020

Grant Period: November 2020 – June 2021


QUESTIONS?

Contact Nathalie von Veh at nvonveh@wpadc.org or follow @wherewithalgrants on Instagram

Apply now

Recovery Grants

The application portal is currently closed. Since March 2020, 100 artists in the DC-area have been awarded unrestricted grants in the amount of $1,000 each.

RESEARCH GRANTS

The application portal is now open. This program enables DC-area visual artists to further their practices through research and idea development. The $5,000 grants can be used to compensate applicants for their intellectual labor, for costs associated with gaining access to specific resources, and/or to pay other artists and thinkers for their time and contributions. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of artists and arts professionals. We anticipate awarding 12 grants. The grant period is from November 2020–June 2021. Deadline to apply was Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET. The application portal is now closed. Grantees will be announced in October.

Watch the recorded Virtual Information Session from July 16, 2020 here.

Application questions (each 250 words max):

1. Statement of Inquiry (What question will drive your research and what do you hope to accomplish during the grant period from November 2020–June 2021?)

2. Tell us about your artistic practice (If you are applying as a collective or group, tell us a little about each of your practices and how you are connected)

3. Why is it important for you to do this research now, and how will it expand your artistic practice?

4. Who do you need to connect with to do this research? (For example: knowledge partners, institutions, other artists, etc.)

5. How will you allocate the funds? (each Research Grant is $5,000)

Attachments:

Upload your CV or Resume

Provide a link to your professional website (Optional)

Provide links for three art events (exhibitions, performances, other) that you participated in as an artist in the past three years (Optional)

Contact Nathalie at nvonveh@wpadc.org with any questions.






Wherewithal Grants

Wherewithal Grants are a new funding source for visual artists in the DC-area. Generously funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of its regional regranting program and managed by Washington Project for the Arts, these grants are intended to both sustain and stimulate artist-organized culture.

Note: In March 2020, The Warhol Foundation authorized its re-granting partners to re-allocate their $100,000 grants to create and administer COVID-19 emergency relief funds in their communities. WPA has responded to this by providing two separate opportunities: Recovery Grants and Research Grants.  


RECOVERY GRANTS

Wherewithal Recovery Grants are intended to help offset lost income from cancelled exhibitions, performances, or lectures, and from canceled or furloughed employment, that are the direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since announcing the Wherewithal Recovery Grant program on April 7, WPA has awarded $100,000 in unrestricted grants to 100 DC-area artists whose income or opportunities have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The $1,000 grants are for immediate needs such as rent, food, childcare, and healthcare. WPA launched this program with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional contributions brought the fund to over $100,000 allowing WPA to announce a third round of Recovery Grants on June 23, 2020. The application portal is currently closed.


Research grants

This program enables DC-area visual artists to further their practices through research and idea development. The $5,000 grants can be used to compensate applicants for their intellectual labor, for costs associated with gaining access to specific resources, and/or to pay other artists and thinkers for their time and contributions. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of artists and arts professionals. We anticipate awarding 12 grants. The grant period is from November 2020–June 2021. Deadline to apply is Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET.

Watch the recorded Virtual Information Session from Thursday, July 16 here.


For updates, follow @wherewithalgrants on Instagram and sign up for WPA's newsletter here


Washington Project for the Arts (WPA)

WPA supports artist-driven projects, advocacy, and dialogue so that artists can live, work, and flourish. Since 1975, we have supported experimental art and artists in the nation’s capital. In 2016, we became the first arts organization between New York and Miami to receive W.A.G.E. certification, meaning that WPA has a history and a commitment to voluntarily paying artist fees that meet W.A.G.E.’s minimum payment standards.

Wherewithal Grants furthers WPA’s commitment to supporting artist-organized projects. WPA holds intentional space for artists to convene, collaborate, and create projects that elevate their visions and voices as critical thinkers, idea generators, and organizers, providing artists with funding and administrative support along the way. WPA’s program model addresses the complex challenges faced by artists and cultural producers in the DC region today—rising rents, widespread displacement, and wholesale demographic change—and is focused on helping artists remain in the DC area as WPA believes that a thriving arts community is essential to the enduring health of our society.


The Andy Warhol Foundation

Established in 1987 in accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ mission is the advancement of the visual arts. The primary focus of its grant making activity is to support the creation, presentation, and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized, or challenging in nature.

The foundation’s Regional Regranting Program, launched in 2007, aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The program allows the Warhol Foundation to reach the sizable population of informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events and other projects.

The regranting programs are facilitated by 516 Arts in Albuquerque; Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation in Baltimore; Gallery 400 and Three Walls in Chicago; DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses in Houston; Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum in Kansas City; Locust Projects in Miami; Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis; Antenna and Ashe’ Cultural Fund in New Orleans; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland (OR); Spaces Gallery in Portland (ME), Southern Exposure in San Francisco, and Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC.

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