Hollerin Space, winner of the 2019 Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists. (YouTube still provided by Blake Zidell & Assoc.)
Queer|Art, NYC’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, has announced the judges for the third annual Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists: creative consultant/strategist, choreographer, and producer Torya Beard, dancer, teacher, and choreographer Leah Wilks, multidisciplinary artist, wound and word worker Ni’Ja Whitson.
The $7,000 grant will be awarded to U.S.-based artists for making cutting-edge dance and movement-based performance work. Queer|Art highly encourages self-identified women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary artists to apply for this grant. Named in honor of visionary dance curator, critic, and educator Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the grant is administered through Queer|Art by a panel of queer women and nonbinary judges. It seeks to highlight the significant contributions queer women and nonbinary artists have made to dance throughout history.
“Folks who care about the art of dance—an art of the moving body in time and space—try to preserve its wonders against disappearance,” Yaa Asentewaa writes. “In a society ambivalent about, and sometimes hostile to, both the body and its artistry, lovers of dance honor the body in all of its variations, its rich stories, its wisdom and creative expression. With this award, we seek to record and honor the creative innovation and labor of queer women dance artists. To acknowledge them as full humans and artists informed and nourished by love, by experience, and by culture. To support and revere our artists for exactly and completely who they are; so they know a fierce community of peers, elders, and ancestors has got their back; and to make our world a safer, more empowering place for queer artists and, in truth, for all artists and for all people.”
The grant is application-based and will be awarded to benefit specific projects. Funds can be requested to support work at any stage of development, from concept to presentation. Qualifying work may be dance and/or movement-based performance work of any format. Prospective applicants should review application requirements and apply directly through the Queer|Art website.
Applications for the third year of the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists will be open through October 4, 2020. The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists is part of the organization’s Queer|Art|Awards initiative, which includes grants, prizes, and awards that provide various kinds of direct support—monetary and otherwise—to LGBTQ+ artists. Other Awards include The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, The Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists, The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers, and the Queer|Art|Prize for Sustained Achievement and Recent Work.
Yaa Asantewaa is Gibney’s Senior Director of Artist Development and Curation as well as Editorial Director for Imagining: A Gibney Journal. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance as a veteran writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed writing on dance to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York and other publications and interviewed dance artists and advocates as host of two podcasts, Body and Soul and Serious Moonlight. She blogs on the arts, with dance as a specialty, for InfiniteBody.