In 2023, The Union for Contemporary Art’s Populus Fund awarded a total of six $10,000 grants for projects with a visual arts component proposed by artists or artist groups that provide experiences, content, materials, activities, platforms, etc. that engage and connect with the community through art.
Populus Fund grant recipients receive funding for projects that promote collaboration with the public and are radically accessible. Funds can be used for the research, development, and creation of public-facing new work, a project, or performance. The 2023 grantees include artists of a wide diversity of backgrounds and disciplines, each with a unique approach to engaging their communities.
The 2023 Populus Fund awardees are as follows:
Nick Beaulieu, Telling Your Story: A Personal Documentary Workshop
An intuitive, day-long documentary workshop offered twice – once in Omaha and once in Lincoln. It will be free to attend, designed for students, activists, artists and anyone interested in grassroots, independent, personal documentary filmmaking. The focus will be on “how to tell your story” and to craft the workshop, I will draw on my experience making my own autobiographical film and my connections in the documentary industry. It will feature guest speakers, case studies, and an exercise in creating a proposal for attendees to envision a plan to make their own film.
Pamela Conyers-Hinson, PROPERTY OF
This project is in response to the reversal of Roe vs Wade. Women and Transmen are denied full ownership of our body, again. Since the government wants to control the uterus, they should pay all the bills that are associated with maintaining the uterus. Participant’s name will be written on a ceramic uterus and their uterus maintenance tally will be recorded on a ceramic price tag. The ceramic price tag will be attached to the ceramic uterus. The uterus and price tags will be part of an installation exhibition.
Carol Flora, Turtle Island Celebration: A Youth Parade for Environmental Advocacy
Feminists For Change: A Community Youth Collaborative is hosting the first Turtle Island Celebration: Youth Parade for Environmental Advocacy. The parade will take place along the sidewalk surrounding the state capitol building in support of the environment. The parade is in support of any group/organization, non-profit, business, doctor’s office or school, community learning centers who supports the environment. Everyone is invited to make costumes, floats, puppetry to promote their organization and the environment. Feminists For Change: A Community Youth Collaborative will offer several art sessions throughout the school year with material to make creative art to display at the parade.
Reformed, Studio and Assembly Space, Performance Art Happenings at Reformed in connection with Friday2 Art Walk on Vinton
Reformed will offer free performances to the community in conjunction with Friday2 Art Walk on Vinton while supporting local and touring artists with an honorarium. Each performer will be given a minimum of approximately $75/hour, with a total budget of $600 going to artists each month. Additional funds will be paid to local curators and artists who will book, promote, and staff each show.
Jewel Rodgers, Wax Over Water
Wax Over Water is a collection of poetry exploring the intersectional and sometimes conflicting identities of its creator. Each poem contains a cinematic project. Partnering with Omaha-based musicians, photographers, and cinematographers, the poet creates a multi-sensory experience centering wisdom gleaned through community conversations and one-on-one interviews. As a tactile, physical object, Wax Over Water is a 6”x6” book. Each spread contains a full-page photograph on one side and an affirmation on the other. A small block print beneath each affirmation disguises an NFC decal: scanning it with a phone leads viewers to the virtual cinematic composition.
Lee Emma Running, Verge
Verge, is a public meal served on the land that borders every American highway. This project re-imagines this neglected wild space as a refuge.