2/13/24: 2024 Grantees Just announced!


2024 Grantees


Mēlani N. Douglass

The People’s Parlor

The People’s Parlor is an immersive salon experience presented in an amphitheater style to create an intimate and inclusive atmosphere. The incorporation of salons and circles creates spaces that are intergenerational and non-hierarchical, while emphasizing the importance of gathering and connection in the healing process. The parlor focuses on community medicine and invites participants to bring their healing practices to help create a collective remedy for community ailments. The parlor opens with artist Mēlani N. Douglass  and an intergenerational team serving the signature blue tea—a specially crafted nervine blend designed to ease social anxiety and foster meaningful connections. The People’s Parlor aims to expand and elevate the concept of the traditional apothecary by infusing it with modern-day practices that celebrate diversity and inclusivity. The tea salons, guided by an innovative model, provide vibrant hubs where diverse voices can be heard, and community members actively participate in shaping their narratives. 

Mēlani N. Douglass (she/her) is a healer, conceptual artist, and curator and is the founder of the award-winning Family Arts Museum—a migratory institution focused on the celebration of family as fine art, home as curated space, and community as gallery. Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Mēlani started her own museum, reimagining family as her fine art and motherhood as her studio practice. This shift in her work expanded the visual narrative she captured on film and refined her innovative approach to community engagement, audience development, and exhibition design. Mēlani’s art and life practice is rooted in rituals of healing informed by ancestral technology and communal connections. Mēlani was recently named East of the River Artist-in-Residence and a Roots to Sky Fellow as a part of the Humanities in Place initiative of the Mellon Foundation. Her work has been highlighted by The New York Times, Atlas Obscura, Shondaland, BmoreArt, American Museum Alliance Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, Artnet, and National Geographic. Mēlani is a member of Valley Place Arts Collaborative in Anacostia, DC where she currently resides.


Adrienne Gaither

Exploring the Sculptural Language for Embodied Black Aesthetics

Gaither is using this opportunity to create her own residency and expand her practice through sculptural apprenticeships with seasoned artists and architects. She is experimenting with 3-dimensional forms to further embody Black aesthetics, facilitate world-building, and provide new perspectives on geometric abstraction.

Adrienne Gaither (she/they) is a DC-based visual artist. Through abstract geometric paintings, she explores topics like race, family, mental health, class, and abstraction politics. She has held exhibitions at Kreeger Museum in Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY; and Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY, among others. Her work is published in Margo Crawford’s 2017 monograph Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics, Common Practice: Basketball & Contemporary Art, and Nervous Systems; Art, Systems, and Politics since the 1960s. She is currently expanding her sculptural practice, experimenting with 3D forms to further world-building and provide new perspectives on geometric abstraction.


Taylor Johnson

The Alternative School for Poetry and Poetic Inquiry

This project seeks to speak back to the dominance and inevitability of the creative writing MFA, the current commodification of poetry, and its siloing into academic institutions. Interrogates the question “What does a poet do?”, prompted by Gwendolyn Brooks’ questioning of her role as Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, and other related lines of inquiry into the making and nurturing of the practice, creative life, and livelihood of an artist. This inquiry will be supported by research into the lives and works of three Black revolutionary thinkers and artists whose work shapes the social, cultural, and communal landscapes of the DC area: Benjamin Banneker, James Hampton, and Georgia Mills Jessup. This inquiry will also be supported by research into communal and institutional archival materials and documentation around community-based poetry and art programs.

Taylor Johnson (he/him) is from Washington, DC. He is the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His work appears in Poetry Magazine, TheParis Review, The Baffler, Scalawag, and elsewhere. Johnson is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a recipient of the 2017 Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers from Lambda Literary. Taylor was the inaugural 2022 Poet-in-Residence at the Guggenheim Museum. He is the Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, MD. With his wife, Elizabeth Bryant, Taylor curates the Green Way Reading Series at People’s Book in Takoma Park.


Anthony Le


Vagabond is a zine project featuring contemporary Vietnamese American visual artists, musicians, poets, and writers. 50 years after the end of the war, the project aims to capture current perspectives of the diaspora beyond stories of trauma and displacement. Anthony is partnering with Philippa Pham Hughes as a co-creator, brought together through their shared interest in exploring the duality of what it means to be Vietnamese and American. The featured artists demonstrate how expansive “Vietnamese American” can be through a diversity of backgrounds, ideas, mediums, and personal and speculative storytelling. Most of the artists are based in the DMV and the project highlights this important local community at a time when gentrification threatens the Vietnamese cultural hub of Eden Center in Falls Church, VA. This summer, they will celebrate the zine with an outdoor exhibition in DC. Additionally, the zine will be presented at Vietnamese cultural events.

Anthony Le (he/they) is a multidisciplinary artist and identifies as Vietnamese American and nonbinary. They work in painting, printmaking, sculpture and fashion, exploring the joy of nonconformity. Le is a 2024 artist-in-residence at Playhaus. They are a 2023-24 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellow, and their work is in the DC Art Bank Collection. In 2023, Le presented their solo exhibition “Golden Looking Hour” at Transformer, DC.


Madyha J. Leghari


Leghari’s research employs the metaphor of the ‘mothertongue’ as a comprehensive term to expand on concepts of language and motherhood, both independently and where they intersect. Ultimately, she wishes to apply a posthumanist perspective to two interrelated inquiries: first, how might we reconceptualize motherhood if the conventional ties between reproduction, parenthood, and childcare are severed? This is a personal exploration of motherhood as an act of placing hope in a world that is on the brink of ecological ruin. Second, in what ways can the diverse symbolic and literal interpretations of the 'tongue' contribute to our understanding of language, speech, and inheritance? In this aspect, she proposes a multidisciplinary investigation of the tongue as organ, biomatter, machine, inheritance, and intelligence.

Madyha J. Leghari (she/her) is a visual artist, writer, and educator working between Lahore and Washington, DC. Her practice often revolves around the possibilities and limitations of language, and is often positioned in the indeterminate spaces of translation, cultural friction, and semantic lacunae. Madyha has been the recipient of the Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship, Mansion Artist Residency, Delta Research Placement at the Flat Time House, Vasl Fiction Writing Mentorship, Siena Art Institute Artist Residency, and the Murree Museum residency. Madyha has exhibited at venues including the Pera Museum, Karachi Biennale, University of Colorado Boulder, Bennington College, Sea Foundation, The Institute for Experimental Arts, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Images Festival, and others spanning the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Her work has found mention in The Washington Post, Artforum, and The News Pakistan, amongst others. Madyha has written on art for a number of publications including ArtNow Pakistan and the Dawn Newspaper.



Shahmaran's Underground Garden

Sanam launched the Shahmaran Azadi/Freedom project through a zine and talisman in 2022 at the height of the Jin, Jiyan, Azadi/Women, Life, Freedom revolution in Iran. She was inspired by the archetypal images, stories, and collective dreams that were bursting forth in both her Kurdish and Iranian communities. Specifically, those symbols relating to the Kurdish and Indo-Iranic Queen of Serpents, Shahamran. The similarities between the killing of Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini which sparked the revolution, and ancestral land steward Shahmaran were clear in the collective’s dreams years before the eruption. As the story of the revolution unfolds, so do the similarities between their deaths and those who rise from their blood. The project transformed into a community magical resistant practice of collective liberation that incorporated ancestral Kurdish remembrance of goddess ritual, Iranian talisman technology, Sufi mysticism, and Islamic/Persian medieval astrology. This year, Sanam will further explore the seeds that lay in Shahmaran’s underground garden. She will document and inquire how the prehistoric Kurdish Queen of Serpents is a living knowledge system that continues to instruct and animate the lives of those who answer her call today.

Sanam (she/her) is a multi-hyphenated Iranian-born artist and curator with a practice that connects her background as a theater-maker, performer, cognitive scientist, and educator. Her work revolves around the use of dreams, myth, ancestry, and ritual to access the futuristic liberatory gifts of the alchemical heart. She is the co-founder of the DC-based artist group, The Omi Collective, where she has worked with over 200 multidisciplinary artists, musicians, and healing artists in creating nontraditional public art spaces that elevate receptivity. Along with three other artists she is working on Rainbow Moon Medicine, an artistic system for accessing our uniquely individual meaning-making machinery through alignment with the seasons of the earth and moon.


Krista Schlyer

Soil + Memory

On February 15, 1968, Kelvin Tyrone Mock, a seven-year-old boy, burned to death in an open incineration dump on the banks of the Anacostia River in DC. There was little notice by the newspapers of the time, but the burning at the dump, which had plagued the region for decades, ended. Like so many environmental injustice stories, this tragedy played a role in the shifting of national policy and the cultural climate from the late 1960s to today.  In 1973, as part of an Urban Soils Survey, University of Maryland students collected a sample of soil from the Kenilworth Dump, preserving a physical record of the incinerated dump, that had by that time been buried beneath three feet of soil. This research project is about uncovering buried memories of environmental injustice, with the aim of furthering the struggle toward a more just world. The research will be used for several outcomes, including a collaborative creative work with a group of scientists, artists, and activists.

Krista Schlyer (she/her) is a photographer, writer, and artist who tells stories and creates artworks about the relationship of people to the lands they live upon. Her work has included a 15-year project on the US-Mexico border, looking at the ways border wall construction has impacted the land and people of that region. Her work has also included a decade-long project about the Anacostia River watershed which has yielded a book, River of Redemption: Almanac of Life on the Anacostia, which won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2019. She has curated several exhibits, one of which has been on display for three years with the Anacostia Riverfront BID, outside on the riverfront near Nationals Stadium. In 2019, she created a digital story map about the Anacostia, called River of Resilience, taking viewers on a journey from the headwaters in Sandy Spring, MD, to the river's confluence with the Potomac in Washington, DC.


Fid Thompson

REJECT: a celebration of failure and fracture

The central idea of this project revolves around an unorthodox celebration of failure as a joyful response to empire, capitalism, and militarism. It is also an applauding of our most authentic, fractured, and failing selves. The central question of the project draws from queer theorist Jack Halberstam’s question, “What kind of rewards can failure offer us?” What can failure (in art, as in life) mean when success in our current extractive, colonial-capitalist society is destructive and exploitative? Fid will explore the richness and beauty of what we call failure through a celebration of Rejection, in a curated show called REJECTION: exhibiting failure, and a public conversation on what failure looks like, how we think about it, the lies we’ve been told about it, and also what it offers us—as refusal, as resistance, as a way to inhabit our truest selves, and as a path to authentic being and artmaking.

Fid Thompson (she/they) works across and within genres and media: researcher, visual artist, gardener, wonderer, and queer white human who grew up in rural England. Her storytelling and art is informed by her bi-cultural family and the humans, cultures, creatures, plants, and landscapes of the places where she has lived. Her work inquires into inner worlds and weathers, nature, mental health cycles, and portraiture. Fid has twice been a recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Artist Fellowship, including for her Queer Enough portrait project.


Jessica Valoris

Open Studio: DC Black Study Sessions

DC has a robust history of enslaved resistance and fugitive practice; being home to large networks of Underground Railroad and abolitionist organizing. The Pearl Incident, the largest nonviolent escape attempt in U.S. history, occurred off of the 7th Street Pier in Southwest. The legacies of Black schools, churches, and Free Black Towns in the DC area, and the existence of Contraband Camps are significant parts of local history that are often neglected in public narratives and in historic archives. Open Studios: DC Black Study is a series of 12 open studio sessions where small groups of local artists and organizers will be invited to participate in Black study. By embracing multiple ways of knowing, they will make meaning of these histories, and imagine how these reflections might nourish current movements for abolition, reparations, equitable land stewardship, mutual aid, and other forms of transformative justice.

Jessica Valoris (she/her) is a DC-based artist and community facilitator. Weaving together mixed-media painting, sound collage, and ritual performance, Jessica creates sacred spaces that activate ancestral wisdom, personal reflection, and community care. Inspired by the earth-based traditions of her Black American and Jewish ancestry, Jessica explores ideas through the lens of metaphysics, spirituality, and Afrofuturism. Using art as a catalyst for collective healing, Jessica affirms the joy and vitality of Black people, complicating flattened histories of oppression, and creating space for affirmative celebration and re-definition. Jessica has completed fellowships with Humanities DC, The Opportunity Agenda, VisArts Studio Fellowship, Public Interest Design Lab, Intercultural Leadership Institute, and Halcyon Arts Lab. Iterations of her current body of work, Black Fugitive Folklore, have been shown at the Phillips Collection, The Kreeger Museum, Africana Film Festival, The REACH at the Kennedy Center, VisArts, and Brentwood Arts Exchange.



Come Dance With Me

Come Dance With Me is a visual archive, in the form of a short film, documenting and exploring the stories of dance in the Black Diaspora across history, centering gender and sexuality marginalized folks. The film will be an experimental video collage, encompassing archived audio and video footage of Black, gender, and sexuality marginalized (BGSM) people dancing, sourced from public archives such as the DC Africana Archives Project (DCAAP) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the internet, and public events such as the DC One Carnival Parade. As part of this project, nwaọ will also host two community dance events with DC-based queer community organizations.

nwaọ (they/them) is a Nigerian-American, queer, and agender multidisciplinary artist and archivist. Their work is a critical analysis and reimagining of Black physical and spiritual being within African historical and cultural contexts. nwaọ drives conversations about queerness and gender identity within the collective, cultural, and contemporary memory of the African Diaspora.

2023 Grantees


Niki Afsar

Shab-e-Shehr: A Night of Gathering

“Shab-e-shehr” translates from Farsi to “night of poetry,” and references informal gatherings to share and discuss poetry, stories, conversations, and music. The four gatherings, which took place once a month during the last four months of 2023, ending on the holiday Shab-e-Yalda, invited Iranian and diasporic artists to share their work, and included an open portion for anyone attending to share poetry, music, and thoughts on how to continue solidarity with the current revolution in Iran.


Ama BE

Ngo {Palm Oil}

This trans-disciplinary archival project interrogated unseen, voluntary, land-based African labor that helped feed migrated families and preserve cultural practices on foreign soil. Centered around African migrations to the DC Metro area between 1960–1990, Ngo {Palm Oil} collected nuanced narratives around performances of Black labor, sacred land stewardship, and redressed absences of African migrants from the landscape of contemporary Africainity and futurist discourses.


Alina Collins Maldonado

Mother, May I?

Alina’s research focused on the traditions and expectations passed down from mothers to their daughters and how those same traditions and expectations define who they are. Through conducting interviews and community workshops with women in the DC area, Alina pursued answers to questions about the traditions we choose to pass on and which ones we choose to leave behind. 


Andy Johnson

Who Cares for Artists? A Field Guide of Artistic Survival

Andy’s research was propelled by the question of how artists and creatives sustain challenging practices, ones that require mental, emotional, psychological, and physical agility. His research explored the role of care and repair as it pertains to the integrity of the artist themself, rather than the representation of care in objects or exhibitions. Artists carry the weight of complex and difficult subject matter that demands and depletes. They are challenged to remain whole as they alchemize and distill their relationship to gender identity and expression, class, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and immigration status. Thus, Andy asked: “if artists are tasked with caring for the world, who takes care of artists?”


Cecilia Kim

Humanizing Invisible Labor

This project aimed to humanize the production of invisible transnational labor. To trace the labor of “productive” industries such as mass-manufacturing plants for consumer goods, Cecilia connected with individual workers and their communities in the larger social fabric. Using documentary film to expand social impact and accessibility, the film served as a record of invisible labor and channel for unrepresented voices.


Stephanie Mercedes

Never in Our Image

This research project focused on how pitches and tones can be pulled from the sound of weapons being destroyed and transformed. 


Neha Misra and Fid Thompson

Nature of Us 

This is a collaborative eco-art project germinated by transatlantic artists Neha Misra and Fid Thompson who have made the Washington metro region their adopted home. The project asks: What plant-tree-human love stories insist on persisting amongst the trials and triumphs of our urban lives? How can reconnecting with nature heal us? What role can art play in this? The project gathered and celebrated multi-sensory love stories spanning indigenous, migratory plants, weeds, trees, and people with diverse roots in urban landscapes.


Athena Naylor


Athena investigated the life of her late yiayia (grandmother). Orphaned at a young age in Bursa, Turkey at the turn of the 20th century, her yiayia did not know her own birthday, nor was she very open about her early years. By researching her life, Athena interrogated how family histories are passed down generationally and how personal identities form from these fragmented, inherited stories.


Anisa Olufemi and Jada-Amina

The Gospel Truth: Sonic Architectures of Chicago House and Go-Go Music 

Using The Black Church as a theoretical reference point, The Gospel Truth (TGT) seeks to render Chicago House and Go-Go Music as sonic architectures built in the tradition of transatlantic spirit work. This research uncovered the ways in which these sounds engender spiritual restoration, spacemaking, and futurity for Black communities in DC and Chicago.


Mojdeh Rezaeipour

On Matters of Resilience

Mojdeh created the first iteration of On Matters of Resilience in 2017, referencing an archive of images taken of her in the first days of elementary school in Tehran under the Islamic Republic. Since the start of the Jin, Jîyan, Azadî (Women, Life, Freedom) movement in Iran in September 2022, she has been piecing together an image archive of resistance based in these same classrooms across Iran with social media as her source. Over the course of the grant period, Mojdeh worked on a series of mixed media panels that connected this collective archive together in the same visual language. Alongside this series, she is inviting a group of Iranian artists and thinkers, who themselves have sat in these classrooms across four consecutive generations, to contribute towards a collaborative publication.


The Shmutzik Shmates

The Memories of Letters

This project explored the memories of Jewish letters through the creative imaginings of this collective—a queer, Yiddish burlesque troupe—and a group of artist collaborators throughout the Jewish diaspora. The evolution of Jewish letters and the many languages they came to embody tells a story of diaspora and cultural exchange that destabilizes Zionist narratives of ethno-nationalism and Jewish separatism.


Hope Willis & Safiyah Cheatam

Kufis and Pepperoni Pizza

A multimedia oral history project that seeks to answer the question, “What influences drove a significant portion of DC’s Black youth to practice Islam and identify as Muslims from 2008–2012?” Through this seemingly simple question, they aim to explore Islam’s relationship to Blackness within an American context. Through their multifaceted and intergenerational cultural preservation work, this project serves as both a testament and an homage to the evolution of Black folks’ expression of Islam.

2022 Grantees


Rasha Abdulhadi

Queering tatreez

Rasha's research focused on the question, “How can tatreez, traditional Palestinian embroidery, be queered, and how can that queering re-engage this indigenous art form as a practice of communal creativity and pre-literate communication?”


Monica Jahan Bose

Mukhe Mukhe/Mouth-to-Mouth

Monica researched the intangible heritage of songs, poetry, and food in DC and Bangladesh, to reframe the story of climate injustice in these two communities.


Fabiola Ching and Mayah Lovell

dyke’s day, a holigay

dyke’s day, a holigay is a multimedia and multisensory publication about a surrealist holiday for lesbians. Writers and artists worked together to write and visualize a continuation of an existing manuscript by Mayah, resulting in a 25-30 page body of work exploring what a holiday for lesbians can look, sound, feel, taste, and smell like. dyke’s day incorporates poetry, lyricism, fiction, research, sculpture, photography, and sound to iterate an ecology of enjoyment for lesbians.


Larry Cook

Expanding the Archive

Larry researched the aesthetics of prison and club photography, and their relationship to the photographic archive. This grant supported him in the development of an archive of club vernacular photography that serves as source material for his practice, and research materials for other scholars and artists interested in exploring this aesthetic.


Ayana Zaire Cotton

Seeda School

Seeda School speculates: what is a pedagogical Black aesthetic? Grounded in an obsession with the immaterial generativity of Black study, Seeda School is a conceptual education platform rooted in worldbuilding. This experimental pedagogical project explores the Black feminist legacy of teaching and leverages online course frameworks, video, and the aesthetic of speculative fiction to help participants imagine new worlds.


Deirdre Darden

Colored exits: the act of liberating oneself from harm

Darden’s research explored the idea and the history of the act of liberating oneself from harm; a concept she refers to as a “colored exit.” The colored exit has deep roots driven by Nina Simone's answer to the question: “What does freedom mean to you?" "(No fear!)”


Rex Delafkaran

TRANSLATIONS: A research into identity, language, and embodiment

Archival forms and transdisciplinary languages are central to Rex's research, which centered questions that included: what can a physical archive of experience look like? In what ways do we translate our personal and historical archives into our bodies, and how do these haptic translations deepen and hybridize existing knowledge?



Labor of Love: And Other Lies We're Sold

Dirt commissions original research and content from established writers and organizers who are working to explore, expand, and expose topics of labor, equity, and socio-political justice within the arts. Seeking to present a broad range of perspectives, the content and collaborations are not be limited by geography, but rather embrace the overlaps, exchanges, and edges of like-minded thinkers that align with our core belief — that arts writing should be easily accessible; and that artists and arts workers are integral to the evolution of culture and society. 


Extraordinary Artists International (Naoko Wowsugi)

A Roadmap to the O-1 Visa 

This project is a guidebook for first time O-1 applicants. It takes the position that these immigration processes are unjust obstructions to living and working in the US that have significant structural and individual consequences, and aims to cultivate a solidarity network among visa seekers, aspiring allies, and supportive cultural institutions in the US.


Imogen-Blue Hinojosa

Cathedral of Cloth

Imogen-Blue's practice engages the public in the discourses surrounding trans rights, including sex workers, trauma, and the need for social reform to protect trans women of color. This new series of work utilized film and textiles as a means to draw parallels between epic poetry and non-fictional epics, and collecting the histories and stories which exist in her community.


Armando Lopez-Bircann

Cy-Fae: Queer EcoFeminist Futures in Extended Reality

Armando’s research focuses on how artists can nurture queer ecofeminist thought through emerging Extended Reality (XR) artwork and social technologies. During the grant period, they explored how the artist/activist, or “artivist,” can use affect and glamor to communicate a compelling, optimistic vision of the future.


Hope Willis and Safiyah Cheatam

Kufis and Pepperoni Pizza

A multimedia oral history project seeking to answer the question, “What influences drove a significant portion of DC’s Black youth to practice Islam and identify as Muslims from 2008–2012?”

2021 Grantees


Monsieur Zohore

Ghost Stories

Monsieur Zohore used research as a means of resurrecting performances that have gone forgotten as a result of the circumstances they were made in. Their research focuses 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?


Jessica Valoris 

Black Fugitive Folklore

Jessica explored 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 inform current movements for liberation. She uncovered how small acts of freedom actualize larger movements for liberation, and how Black people carry the lineage of petit marronage.


Asha Santee 


Asha researched 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 was driven by the question, “At what frequencies do Black people experience healing?”


Mojdeh Rezaeipour 

Mapping Fragments 

Mojdeh's research focused on a collection of ancient fragments of pottery that originate from over thirty sites located across the Middle East. 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.


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 and Susan used their research to create a theoretical, practical, political, and aesthetic base for future projects to grow a community of participants and researchers.


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 researched the intersection of feminism, technology, art, and disability. Specifically, she looked 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.


Curry Hackett


Curry researched "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.


Jeremiah Edwards and Jeremiah Long


With the goal of developing curriculum, this artist-duo studied the impact of place-based education on local youth in DC’s Black community. They pursued 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? 


Sobia Ahmad

Memory is a Homeland

Sobia explored how textiles and traditional crafts preserve cultural memory and ancestral knowledge, specifically that of immigrant and indigenous communities.


janet e. dandridge

Inquiries on Release and Other Paths to Liberty

janet'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.


Ayana Zaire Cotton

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

Ayana researches the relationships between abolitionist technologies and aesthetics to understand how they might help us imagine a liberated future. This involves 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.


CONTROL-ALT-DELETE  (Dawne Langford, Dafna Steinberg, and Alex Tyson)

A Series of Interventions in the Gendered Digital Space

This newly formed collective builds visual language analyzing cyberpsychology, machine learning technology, and popular internet culture. During the grant period, they trained 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.