Seven Artists Receive Grants from the Office of Cultural Affairs

Fred Villanueva received a grant to produce murals for Ash Studios.
Fred Villanueva received a grant to produce murals for Ash Studios.
courtesy of Fred Villanueva

The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs announced the recipients of the third round of its Special Support Grants. Seven artists were awarded up to $5,000. There were only 23 applicants this time around, but the next call for applicants already began this week. The grants aim to foster new artists, ideas and organizations. Proposals included sculpture, murals, mixed media and original film production.

As the current artist-in-residence of Trans.lation: Vickery Meadow, Carol Zou will initiate a media program called Trans.mission within the Vickery Meadow community. The northeast Dallas neighborhood consists of recent immigrants, refugees, Latinos and African Americans. With a low average median income, the community members don't have access to the arts because they are without a cultural center and also lack transportation.

The neighborhood also suffers from and was the site of the “Ebola scare.” “Vickery Meadow suffers from a public image that rarely depicts the cultural richness and humanity that exists in the neighborhood,” Zou says. “Trans.mission provides a free-to-the public opportunity for residents to tell their own stories and express their cultural richness through mediums of radio, video and printmaking.”

Zou has been working with a neighborhood journalist who has been a human rights advocate and worked for Al Jazeera in her home country of Yemen. Together, they proposed DiaspoRadio, an Internet radio station consisting of sound pieces and playlists produced by local members of the community with an emphasis on local musicians and journalists that will be produced in multiple languages. They will also be putting together a blog and YouTube channel for written and video profiles of community members as well as a neighborhood print shop that local groups can use as a workspace to create T-shirts and flyers.

Upcoming Events

Fred Villanueva was awarded a grant to produce collaborative murals involving community artists for Ash Studios. “The murals workshops will be held during studio open time through a ‘paint party’ format in a series of sessions,” says Villanueva. “Once complete, the mural scale works will serve as backdrops at Ash Studios, with the possibility of exposure in other galleries, cultural spaces, museums and/or to be used as a scenic art piece for future plays, musical performances, performance art and dancers.”

Jen Rose and Marian Lefeld will be creating a large-scale art installation. “In You We Trust” will focus on child homelessness and the cultural, social and educational barriers faced by youths. It will be conveyed via the creation of 2000 gold clay coins that accurately reflect the demographic makeup of the Dallas youth disproportionately impacted.

Media Projects, Inc. will produce the independent film The Battle for Henderson Avenue. The film will take viewers into neighborhood meetings, city meetings, local businesses, street life, local resident homes and into the offices of developers and architects who are making development decisions impacting this Dallas neighborhood.

Frances Bagley will create a video portrait of the people of Dallas using the eyes of a large cross section of the community. The close-up footage of individual sets of eyes will yield a composite image of our diverse community.

The Artist Outreach will provide in-school and afterschool programming in conjunction with DISD from its STREAMliners series. The cross-curricular supplemental learning activities will include subject areas like The Song Creation Subject (Math); The Geo-Dance Subject (Geometric Shapes); and the Story Book Subject (History and Creative Writing).

Kristin Colaneri will produce and perform an original multi-media production, "Apollo’s Flight," at the Latino Cultural Center. It will include original music composition, costuming, media design and choreography.


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