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2022 Black and Brown Artist Grants

ArtsWave’s Black and Brown Artist grants support Black and Brown artists in the Cincinnati region who interpret the themes of our times. It is one way that ArtsWave works to increase the sustainability of organizations and artists that focus on the preservation and advancement of Black arts and culture. ArtsWave's partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Duke Energy, Macy’s, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, and Hard Rock Casino make the program possible.

Here are the projects that will receive the grant in 2022:

Asha the Artist | Mood Altering

Through photography, abstract painting and audio recordings, “Mood Altering” will explore how the Black experience affects and alters mental health, conveying better cross-cultural understanding of the links between mental health and racism and beginning the process of healing by breaking the stigma of mental health in the Black community as we speak truth to our experiences.

Darnell Pierre Benjamin | REST (working title)

Drawing inspiration from the Jewish tradition of “sitting shiva,” this piece will invite those in the community to show up and collectively mourn their trauma, witness, and ultimately find joy and serenity through music, meditation, mindful movement and rest.

Brent Billingsley | I'm Listening.....

This visual art project will pair Cincinnati Police Department officers and local teens to create a collaborative mural to strengthen police-community relationships.

David Chimusoro | "Our Baby Knows" screenings at the Woodward Theater

As the film “Our Baby Knows” gets ready for its festival run in 2022, this grant will enable a series of screenings with local artists and civic leaders to engage in a conversation that brings hope to a seemingly hopeless conversation.

Means Cameron | The $18.65 Show

“The $18.65 Show” will deepen the understanding of Juneteenth across cultures through fashion design and art relative to the historic moments that led to the emancipation of African American slaves. The collection and show will also speak to the confidence of thriving communities and how BlaCk OWned Outerwear plays a role.

Michael Coppage | 12 Commandments

“12 Commandments” is series of life-size, figurative bronze sculptures meant to emphasize and magnify the impact police commands have on black people. “12 Commandments” is a play on words derived from the 10 commandments.

Asha Ama | NEW MOON

The “NEW MOON” collection is the next chapter to the “2021 NEGRO SOLSTICE” collection. “NEGRO SOLSTICE” explored Black Identity and the deeper meaning of the catastrophic events of 2020. “NEW MOON” ushers in the African Age of Aquarius and celebrates Black femininity — an energy that will heal and enlighten the world.

Asa Featherstone, IV | in case you forgot

Through photography, video, written archives and interviews, “in case you forgot” will display an honest portrait of the impact of Black people in Findlay Market from the past, present and future. The project is designed to help the Black community see the truth in their presence, deepening the understanding of their power across time, and to build a complete image of the city’s culture.

Ashley Aya Ferguson | Change the view, change the vision, change the reality

This production of a new piece of children’s literature, titled, “I Am Not Afraid of Spiders,” uses storytelling and poetic verse to urge readers to think differently about the things they are taught to fear. The grant will provide distribution of free books featuring Black main characters to children all over the Cincinnati region.

Erin Fung | Regeneration in the Shape of Water

This multimedia video confronts environmental destruction and the abuse and exploitation of Indigenous peoples through a soundscape and photograph collage. This project will feature a collaboration with award-winning Indigenous videographer/cinematographer Sean Stiller. Odawa First Nations composer Barbara Croall’s piece, “Agamiing (On the Shore)” provides the soundscape to the video.

Iman Jabrah | Amid

“Amid” will be an art exhibition that sheds light on Palestinian artists from the West Bank and elsewhere in the diaspora that will be on view May through June of 2022, as part of Wave Pool’s Curatorial Residency.

Jonesy | Same Garden: An Identity Series

“Same Garden” is a filmed documentary series exploring the experiences of intersectional identities of minority and queer artists that live in the Cincinnati region.

Gabriel Martinez Rubio | Monarca - Lost Butterfly (in Memoriam)

This project will include a live contemporary dance performance, as well as a projection of a pre-recorded video, using the imagery of monarch butterflies to pay homage to those loved ones who have gotten lost on their journey to a new life.

Lorena Molina | This place. Our place.

The grant will provide a gallery/community art space for BIPOC Cincinnati artists to create and put on exhibitions that highlight and celebrate their work and include different types of community engagement that relate to the themes of their practice.

Emily Hanako Momohara | Incredible Spirits Walk Among Us

The film, “Incredible Spirits Walk Among Us,” will tell the story of May Namba. Born in 1922 to an Issei (first-generation) couple from Japan, May was incarcerated in 1942 at the Minidoka, one of 10 dusty, military prison camps where guards with machine guns loomed in towers. More than 120,000 Japanese Americans were held from 1942-1945 in interment camps.

Angelique Montes | Refraction

This grant will fund the recording and release an album with five solo cello works written by Black composers titled “Refraction.” Composers include Nathalie Joachim, Tania León, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, Sophia Bass and Brian Raphael Nabors.

Annie Ruth | "On Her Shoulders" Art & Curriculum Connections

"On Her Shoulders" Art & Curriculum Connections is a multi-disciplinary project that uses the artwork in the “On Her Shoulders” exhibit to integrate visual art into other core subject areas such as math, science, social studies, music and cross-cultural learning. The art provides a lens where the community at large can gain an understanding of the Black Woman’s experience, using universal themes. 

Rebecca Nava Soto | El Gran Alcanzó (The Great Reach)

“El Gran Alcanzó (The Great Reach)” is a mixed-media art series that strives to reconnect the Latinx immigrant community with the contributions, living art history, art materials and processes of its indigenous heritage. The project will also include tangible viewer participation through an interactive illustrated booklet in which viewers learn to write in ancient language, which becomes part of the exhibition. In this way the exhibition will grow with visitor participation.

Michael Thompson | Sanctuaries

“Sanctuaries” will culminate in a book of oil paintings that focus on the lives of a variety of Cincinnati-based BIPOC creatives and the everyday spaces which are sacred to them.

Margaret Tung | Bridging the Past and Present Through the Color of Music

This project will commission chamber and solo pieces from underrepresented composers in the Black and Brown community to have these works recorded and performed on a national level.

Kailah Ware | Story Share

“Story Share” is a mixed media video booth that encourages people to tell their stories of social justice. Working with community organizations, Cincinnati historians and local residents, these untold stories of strength, resilience and resistance that are a part of Cincinnati’s history will be highlighted in various presentations.

Lamonte Young | Black Arts Revamped

“Black Arts Revamped” will highlight the Black Arts Movement by exploring today’s Black aesthetic among Cincinnati’s artists. This film will confront and mobilize artists to use their works to empower, share the Black experiences of racism and marginalization, and push for political and social equity.