Project for Empty Space is excited to share the recipients of the 2021 Newark Artist Accelerator grant. This second cycle of the NAA grant is hybridized, providing emergency support for artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as funding for creative projects by Newark-based, multidisciplinary visual artists.
This year’s fund is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program and The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund.
The 2021 Newark Artist Accelerator grantees include:
Akintola Hanif*, Amanda Thackray + Milcah Bassel*, Andrece Brady, Antoinette Montague, Ayana Kareem, Cesar Melgar, Christen Clifford, Christopher Reyes, Colleen Gutwein O’Neal, DARNstudio*, Gianluca Bianchino, Jo-El Lopez, Josué Simon, Kween Moore, Kwesi O. Kwarteng, Lillian H. Ribeiro, Marcia Ethel Heard, Ph.D., Matilda Forsberg, Matthew Williams, Monifa Kincaid*, Nadia Liz Estela, Nene Aïssatou Diallo, Ole Lie Vandal, Red*, Sally Helmi, Sunah Nash, Teolinda Azzizi, Toni Thomas, Vincent Ugokwe, xplorefreedom, and others.
* Indicates a recipient of a project-based grant
Project-based grants were awarded support in the amount of $3,000 – $5,000. Proposed projects are artist-led, and could include collaborative ventures, pop-up exhibitions, events, and interventions of an ephemeral nature that are radically accessible to public audiences.
RIVERBOUND | AMANDA THACKRAY + MILCAH BASSEL ($5,000)
Riverbound is a community project that approaches the making of paper as a site-specific and place-based intervention, sourcing materials such as plant fiber and water directly from the Newark landscape. This project aims to be of service to the Newark arts community, the general Newark community, and the river itself– their ultimate goal is to further amplify a lasting connection between Newark residents and the Passaic River through collaborative creative placemaking.
Milcah Bassel is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the phenomenological body as it navigates culturally generated systems and structures. Raised in Israel and currently based in Jersey City, she incorporates a wide range of material processes to create installations, performances, and objects that invite physical engagement and viewer participation.
Amanda Thackray is a multidisciplinary artist and educator, based in Newark, NJ, whose practice sits at the intersection of craft, sculpture, and environmentally-based social practice. She creates large-scale installations from colorful handmade paper elements to represent the intersection of nature and plastic in the ocean.
GOAT | DARNSTUDIO ($5,000)
GOAT is a board game that reimagines the contemporary art world by centering black artists, gallerists, curators & collectors. The game offers a potential to shift public perceptions about who gets to participate in the “game of art”; to help foster an ethos of authentic inclusivity; and to inspire love– and expand awareness– of contemporary art, particularly in younger generations of Black heritage.
DARNstudio is a collaboration of multidisciplinary artists, David Anthone and Ron Norsworthy. By re-contextualizing common objects, such as souvenir matchbooks, vintage toys and board games, their work explores, exposes and challenges American cultural myths and historical narratives.
BLACK & WHITE ISSUE | HYCIDE (AKINTOLA HANIF) ($5,000)
HYCIDE’s Black & White Issue presents new and revelatory ways of viewing the construct of race and how it shapes our individual and collective identities. Both themes are explored from many perspectives: personal, political, social, artistic and historical.
Akintola Hanif is a Photojournalist, Filmmaker, and Founder + Editor-in-Chief of HYCIDE magazine. Akintola’s work is heavily rooted in cross-cultural photojournalism; fine art photography; media coverage and documentation of quality of life, education and class issues.
NEWARK DANCES | MONIFA KINCAID ($5,000)
Newark Dances will support the creation of new and diverse dance works by local choreographers and dance artists. These performances will be hosted and accessible to the Newark community through a festival to take place in October 2022 at the Weequahic Park. Newark Dances is produced and directed by Monifa Kincaid. Monifa is a visual artist, currently living and working in Newark. For 18 years, Kincaid served as a professional choreographer, dance artist and dance educator.
FOR THE BROTHERS | RED ($5,000)
For the Brothers is a collaborative project designed to invest in our Youth and our communities. This project combines basketball, arts, entrepreneurship, community service, civic engagement, and education to empower our Youth and improve their quality of life.
Red is a philosopher and artist from Newark, New Jersey. This project was inspired by his own experience at our city parks and a dream of support for this community.