Northwest Film Forum (NWFF)’s Collective Power Fund is excited to announce the fifteen (15) grant recipients for the Collective Power Fund, which is its third installment of funding and support to individual, visual-based artists in King County. The grant is presented as a part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program.
Our Spring 2022 grants distributed $68,000 in increments of $2,000 – $5,000 – $10,000. Individual artists, who live in King County, were eligible to self-select into either the $2,000 or $5,000 tiers and the $10,000 tier was exclusive to artist teams or artist-run collectives within the county. Unlike the Artist Development Grant in Spring 2021, this round of funding was open to artists of all levels, rather than those who are just emerging.
After reviewing 78 applications, Collective Power Fund jurors Nabilah Ahmed, Nikita Ares, Kamari Bright, Yewon Kwon, and Kevin Holden selected 15 artists to be the recipients of:
(1) $10,000 (Artist Team or Arts Collective)
(10) $5,000 (New Work/Projects)
(4) $2,000 (Research + Development)
Full details about all grant recipients and jurors below, which include award statements from the artists.
In the “Artist Team or Arts Collective” category:
(De)Constructing: Access Tests | Cecelia Black, Anna Zivarts, and Peter Christenson
Cecelia Black, project team leader
Seattle-based artist and disabled activist, photographer with a Masters degree in Public Policy. Cecelia uses shared human experiences in her art and organizing to build understanding for disabled perspectives. This led her to creating and documenting the first wheelchair basketball tournament on the Tibetan plateau in 2018. Her last photography series, “Who’s the Caretaker?” explores the perceived roles and expectations society places on disabled partners.
Anna Zivarts, project team collaborator
As Disability Mobility Initiative (DMI)’s inaugural director, Anna is shifting the driver-centric narrative around transportation policy. Since 2020, Anna has been collecting the transit stories from nondrivers across the state. In 2021, DMI launched the #MobilizeWA story map to connect over 100 individual stories to a growing movement of disabled activists demanding fair transit access for non driving communities.
Peter Christenson, project team collaborator
Seattle-based artist, filmmaker, and social worker. Peter’s intermedia practice is informed by his experiences working as a licensed psychotherapist. For the past decade, he has made art under the moniker PSYCHOLOGARTIST, that explores identity, culture and the human condition. He has lectured and exhibited his work across the globe, receiving funding from Humanities WA, the Common Field Network Los Angeles, the Washington State Arts Commission, and The Jack Straw Cultural Center. Peter is currently the Director of the Guest House Cultural Capital Residency and an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University.
Award Statement: (De)Constructing: Access Tests uses art and storytelling to highlight disabled perspectives and reframe the narrative around access. For so long, the needs of the disabled community have been made to seem inherently other. In reality, the barriers we face around transportation are similar to those facing other communities. This Collective Power grant means we not only get to tell these stories but have a platform to share them with a community of artists, activists and transit riders.
In the “New Work/Projects” category:
Award Statement: Huge thanks to everyone at the Northwest Film Forum— your support has made the creation and exhibition of my educational piece possible. Here’s to spreading knowledge and celebrating rich cultural histories!
Saira Barbaric (they. he. she. ze.) is a multidisciplinary, gender-blending hedonist creature in a thicc Black disabled human suit. Saira grew up in the suburban mid-Atlantic and went to The Theatre School at DePaul University for BFA in costume design. Since 2015, he/she has been based in Seattle creating performance, porn, events and visual art that explore mythology, sex magic, AfroPsychedelic dreams, ritual objects and the degradation and manipulation of imagery.
Award Statement: I am mixed media creative focused on sexuality, queer narratives, fantasy and high camp. With this award, I’m reconnecting with and expanding my love of fiber arts, plant life and slow fashion.
Romson Regarde Bustillo’s layered works and immersive collaborations are tied to his Philippine lineage, South Seattle-PNW upbringing, and research travels. Carving his own path, Bustillo integrates a printmaking foundation with a transdisciplinary practice. The tools we use to process information and those moments tied to our understanding help shape his visual vocabulary. He populates spaces with images and concepts that explore and question how place, context, and visual cues modify, enhance, and divert meanings.
Bustillo was awarded the Seattle Print Arts Larry Sommers Art Fellowship in 2016. In 2017 he was co-recipient of the Garboil Grant established by the late artist Sue Jobs. An award that considers artists “…engaging audiences outside the aesthetic industrial complex.” He received Arts-Individual Projects Grants from 4Culture in 2018 and 2020 in support of his immersive installations and collaborative interventions. He is the recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship(2019) and the Artist Trust Innovator Award(2020).
I completed a BFA at the School of Fine Arts, PR and my work’s been exhibited in places such as Museo las Américas, Photographic Center Northwest, and Galerie Rivoli 59. I was also invited to give talks at Allied Media Conference and MIT Game Lab to name a few. This year I was accepted into the Artist Residency at MASS MoCA to finish my ongoing project Chronicles of a Catastrophic Future.
Award Statement: After Hurricane María’s landfall in Puerto Rico, I was displaced to Seattle in 2018. Making art has been an uphill battle for me since the move. Getting used to speaking a second language, the culture shock, and struggling to find a steady job while financially supporting my mom back on the Island has been rough. I have not had the economic or mental space to create art as I used to. Being granted the Collective Power Fund gives me the opportunity to continue working on a project I’ve been dreaming up for the past year. I’m excited to begin this project and continue representing my Puerto Rican community back Home.
*transgender is a term based on European gender models and not applicable to many indigenous peoples. It is used here for brevity.
Award Statement: Just very honored to get to do the work and share it with my community, thank you so much.
Abdiel Jacobsen is dedicated to the cultural preservation and creative expansion of Hustle. Currently, Abdiel is a selected artist in the EMERGE film creation program in Seattle. Recently, their short film “I Just Wanna Dance” was co-commissioned and presented at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and Dance on Camera. Abdiel is a main subject in a featured documentary “Follow Lead Love” about their history-making moment becoming the world’s first professional “male-female” couple to compete as Gender Neutral in DanceSport ballroom competition. They’ve taught gender neutral Hustle dance at The Juilliard School, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California Irvine and currently at the University of Washington as a Pre Doctoral Lecturer. Abdiel is also a Fulbright Specialist.
Award Statement: Receiving this award means my mission of cultural historical preservation and creative evolution of Hustle dance can continue expanding.
Audrey Rachelle is a Shoreline-based artist reconnecting to her roots in the Pacific Northwest, after over 12 years of touring and performing in prestigious dance and theater companies nationwide including Nashville Ballet and Punchdrunk International’s hit immersive theater production Sleep No More as Lady MacBeth. Her diverse experience extends to film, television, music videos, and magazines with appearances in Comedy Central’s Broad City, Vogue Taiwan, and featured roles in the award-winning films Asphalt, Muscle, & Bone. She graduated salutatorian on full scholarship from The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and in 2015, co-founded AnA Collaborations, a multidisciplinary arts organization. As co-director of AnA Collaborations, she has choreographed and produced a range of over 25 works including an award-winning short film. Her works have been commissioned and presented by foundations, festivals, galleries, and theaters nationwide. Presently, Audrey is continuing to explore how artistic disciplines can intersect and blur to create expansive multimedia experiences in and for her local community. Her recent projects have been supported by Shoreline Public Art, 4Culture, and Mini Mart City Park.
Award Statement: I am deeply honored to receive this award and support for a project that has felt equally daunting and thrilling to create. With this grant, I feel empowered to not only complete but more importantly share this work that aims to contribute to the dismantling of gaslighting culture in our society.
Hello! I am a queer white Jewish cis-male artist who believes in building things at the intersections of individuals, communities and institutions. I grew-up near Portland, Oregon, and have been a visual artist in Seattle for nearly twenty years. Before the pandemic, I had a residency at Oxbow in Georgetown where I collaborated with four dancers, a musician, and a bystander intervention trainer. At INCA Seattle, I made a giant walk-in fish belly sculpture that was also a percussion instrument and a temporary performance space that hosted nine other artists. In 2015, Jennifer Nemhauser and I made “Deed of Gift”, a critique of the Seattle Art Museum’s lack of queer, feminist and local artwork, which took the form of seven gifts for their permanent collection using funds I received from an art award.
Lynne Siefert is a moving image artist from Seattle, WA. Her 16mm films and digital works have been exhibited internationally in festivals such as the Berlinale, Edinburgh International Film Festival, EXiS Experimental Film and Video Festival, Antimatter Media Art, and Black Canvas Festival de Cine Contemporáneo, and in regional galleries such as the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Glass Box, among others. Siefert’s past work has received funding from Artist Trust, 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and The Puffin Foundation. In 2019, Siefert became the first moving image artist to receive the Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Award in the award’s 43-year history. She recently had her first solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.
In 2017 Lont curated and participated in a 6,000 sq ft warehouse project in Seattle WA, “Dozer’s Warehouse.”
Award Statement: Thank you to the panel. I appreciate the opportunity to bring art to the community and create a chance for artists to be seen. – Dozer
In the “Research + Development” category:
Anastasia Babenko is a Ukrainian film director based in Seattle, WA. Prior to writing and directing, she had worked as a news reporter in Ukraine, Germany, and the U.S. Her short films were screened at Palm Springs ShortFest, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, Vienna Shorts, Regard IFF, etc. Anastasia also curates cultural events benefiting Ukraine.
Award Statement: This opportunity arrives at a critical time in my life. As a Ukrainian, I keep asking myself whether making films is what really matters right now. At the same time, I believe that our voices and our culture cannot be silenced. My future project is a love letter to my home country, and I’m very grateful to Collective Power Fund for believing in me. Your support is incredibly heartwarming, and it keeps me going.
As a poet, musician, actor and preacher to the paint I come to impact the field Itself, waiting for the can’ts & ain’ts to recede. The no’s and impossibles to disintegrate into infinite lines in time space. The freed-dome found in mapping the mind may help Come-Unity reach samadhi, common sense at least.
Award Statement: I’ve just completed writing a 1 Woman Musical Comedy to hopefully relieve some of the pain our country has been suffering since the CORONA virus and in the past 400+ years (haha). This grant came right in time for getting the Musical on it’s feet in a real theater! I’m completely amazed and humbled to be an awardee in a city so full of astonishingly talented Artists. Thank you Collective Power for acknowledging the work of a Fe-Male identified, Queer, person of color. Collective Power is EVERYTHING. Thank you.
Erin is also a community activist and helps run an annual pilgrimage to Minidoka, the American concentration camp where her family was incarcerated. She is active with Tsuru for Solidarity, a nonviolent, direct action abolitionist project of Japanese American social justice advocates. She also serves on the board of Look Listen + Learn, a public access television show that inspires radical Black joy and advances early learning in young children of color. All of this work is fundamental to her artistic practice.
Award Statement: I am honored and thrilled to receive a Collective Power Fund grant! Thank you for acknowledging that my work to tear down false supremacist narratives between communities of color is vital to our thriving futures.