The Platforms Fund announces selected projects for 2017-2018.

The Platforms Fund, developed by Antenna, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Pelican Bomb, with generous support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, is excited to announce the third round of grant awards!

This year we received 106 applications and we were extremely impressed by the strength, breadth, and creativity of the projects that applied. This year’s five-person jury narrowed the field to 22 finalists and, of those, selected 18 projects to fund, considering the many facets that were carefully presented by the applicants.

In addition to $60,000 in total grants awarded, we’ve teamed up again with Kickstarter in a Lagniappe Partnership program to assist all 22 finalists with developing Kickstarter campaigns to build additional support for their projects.

And here they are! (For full project descriptions visit )

Willie Birch: Old Prieur Project ($2,500)
Nisa East, Elsa Kern, and Joshua Overman: Backyard Film Festival ($3,500)
Shana M. Griffin: DISPLACED ($5,000)
Indee Mitchell: blaQballet ($4,000)
Momma Tried: Momma Tried Issue 3 ($3,500)
New Orleans Community Printshop and Darkroom: Youth Day ($5,000)
Lydia Y. Nichols: “The Color of Progress: Black and Green on the Industrial Gulf Coast,” ($2,000, Research & Development Year 2)
Noirlinians: New Orleans-Nairobi Artivist Exchange ($5,000)
John Richie: Katie and The Black Robin Hood ($5,000)
Kristina Kay Robinson: Republica: Writing and Art from the Free Territory ($4,000)
Ayo Scott, Gian Smith, Alphonse Smith, Brittney Lindsey, and Malik Bartholomew: Pass It On ($2,500)
Christopher Staudinger: Paper Boat ($3,500)
Red Flame Hunters Mardi Gras Indian Tribe ($5,000)
Take ‘Em Down NOLA: Strange Fruit ($3,500)

Research & Development Year 1 (can apply for additional support next year)

Langston Allston: Cailloux & Maistre Monument ($1,500)
Gallery of the Streets: [b]REACH: Adventures in Heterotopia ($1,500)
Joseph Makkos: Changing Landscapes : A Digital Map Archive of the Gulf Coast ($1,500)
Antonia Zennaro, Joseph Moran, & Cecelia Tapplette-Pedescleaux : Rising Waters, Sewing Spirits: Recovery Through Quiltmaking ($1,500)

[Image from Noirlinians]

In Dialog: Roya Amirsoleymani, Tanya D Garcia, & Imani J Brown

The Platforms Fund is excited to host an evening with three incredible organizers, Roya Amirsoleymani, Tanya D Garcia, and Imani Jacqueline Brown. Roya and Tanya will give brief presentations about their community focused practices in Portland, OR and Baltimore, MD and then will have a discussion around community engagement and it’s role within their practices, moderated by Antenna’s Director of Programs, Imani Jacqueline Brown.

Hosted by Pelican Bomb
1612 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Thursday March 9, 7pm.

Roya Amirsoleymani ( is Director of Community Engagement at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (, where she designs and oversees educational and public programs, audience engagement and diversification initiatives, and community partnerships and outreach, both year-round and for the annual Time-Based Art Festival ( She serves in a co-producing capacity on artistic projects and residencies that demand deep, expansive, or long-term participation with diverse publics and communities, including projects by choreographer/performance artist Keith Hennessy (San Francisco); musician and composer Holcombe Waller (Portland, OR); Darren O’Donnell of Mammalian Diving Reflex (Toronto, Canada); and choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen (Morocco). Roya also manages PICA’s Precipice Fund, which similar to the New Orleans own Platforms Fund, awards grants to experimental visual art collaboratives and alternative spaces as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Re-granting Program. Roya is a founding member of Arts Workers for Equity, a grassroots group seeking to advance racial equity in Portland’s arts and culture sector.

Tanya D Garcia ( is an artist, curator, educator, and organizer based in Baltimore whose media include photography, video, installation. Garcia works artistically with communities to create spaces for dialogue around identity and social difference. In 2012, Garcia received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and subsequently pursued and received her MFA in Community Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014. From there she became the first Creative Alliance Community Art Fellow supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. As part of her fellowship in 2015, Garcia curated eight artists and made documentary work for the traveling exhibit Despues de la Frontera | After the Border. The exhibit honors the stories of unaccompanied immigrant youth and families who fled their homes in Central America. Currently, Garcia is the co-founder and editor of HYRSTERIA Zine, a publication with artistic and literary contributions from Baltimore with a focus on social difference. She is an instructor for Wide Angle Youth Media and adjunct at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Imani Jacqueline Brown is a New Orleans native, activist, cultural organizer, Co-Founding Cultural Activist of Blights Out, and Director of Programs at Antenna, New Orleans ( She is a member of Occupy Museums, an international artist/activist collective formed in 2011 during Occupy Wall Street to challenge and deconstruct the commodification of art and culture (, which will be featured in the forthcoming 2017 Whitney Biennial. In 2014, Imani worked as Curatorial Associate and Manager of Publications for Prospect.3, New Orleans under the Artistic Direction of Franklin Sirmans. That same year, her paper “Performing Bare Life: Occupying the Liminality between Civilizations” was named best in stream at the 5th Annual Latin American and European Meeting on Organization Studies in Havana, Cuba. She received her BA in Visual Arts and Anthropology from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2010.


This Friday is the deadline for the Platforms Fund! The time has past to schedule your one-on-one session with Jo Ann Minor, however we have setup some last minute drop-in hours for those of you still needing assistance!

This Wednesday January 25 and Thursday January 26, 12-4pm, you can drop-in at Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Avenue to discuss your application with Antenna staff. Note that this is first come first serve, and we suggest calling ahead: 504-298-3161.

Good Luck with your application!

(photo from Southerly Gold, a 2016-17 Platforms Funded Project)


Platforms Fund to distribute $60,000 in 2017

The Platforms Fund, a collaborative effort of Antenna, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Pelican Bomb in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, is excited to announce an expansion of awards for the 2017-18 cycle. The Fund will distribute a total of $60,000 in grants to a diverse array of artist-driven projects that are ambitious, accessible, and experimental in nature.To be able to foster more experimentation, the Fund will continue to grant project awards of up to $5,000, while also providing new $1,500 research and development grants for projects in their earliest stages. Research and development grantees will be eligible to apply for up to $3,500 additional funds in the next grant cycle to help actualize their projects.In light of recent flooding events within Louisiana, the Fund has added special considerations for the 2017-18 cycle, with preference given to projects that achieve one or more of the following:
-Exemplify core values of creativity, collaboration, or resiliency
-Develop an innovative or unconventional approach to an idea
-Benefit others outside of the applicant(s)
-Engage with issues of environmental crisis within the state
-Encourage collaborative efforts between artists within the Greater New Orleans area and those living or working in regions of Louisiana affected by recent floods

Applications are due January 27, 2017.We encourage anyone interested to attend at least one of the public info sessions. Note that most successful applicants have attended at least one public info session or asked questions directly to fund organizers (contact info at the bottom of the site).

Public Info Sessions:
Thursday, November 17, 7 pm
Public Information Session: “Ethical and Effective Grantwriting for Platforms and Beyond”
3718 St. Claude Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117

Wednesday, December 14, 7 pm
Public Information Session: “Presenting Your Project through a Narrative and Work Samples”
Pelican Bomb Gallery X
1612 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70113

Monday, January 9, 7 pm
Public Information Session: “The Anatomy of a Budget”
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70113

Image from Last Call’s Alleged Lesbian Activities.


2016 Platforms Fund Grantees

(photo by Elena Ricci of Southerly Gold- Plaquemines Parish, 2013, archival digital print, medium format)


The Platforms Fund, developed by Antenna / Press Street, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Pelican Bomb with generous support by both the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, is excited to announce the 2016 second round of grant awards! This year we received 83 applications and we were extremely impressed by the strength, breadth, and creativity of the projects that applied. This year’s 5 person jury narrowed the field to 16 finalists and, of those, selected 11 projects to fund, considering the many facets that were carefully presented by the applicants. In addition to $45,000 in total grants awarded, we’ve teamed up again with Kickstarter in a Lagniappe Partnership program to assist all 16 finalists with developing Kickstarter campaigns to build additional support for their projects.

Funded Projects:

Alleged Lesbian Activities by Last Call: New Orleans Dyke Bar History Project $5000

A cabaret show run amok, an immersive performance art event staged in a smoky bar, a one night stand with a girl you might never see again. Merging the queer traditions of burlesque and drag kinging with live drawing, contemporary dance, and oral history interviews, Alleged Lesbian Activities looks closely at the vanishing legacy, and invites audiences into new ways of engaging with and complicating LGBTQ history. A project of Last Call: New Orleans Dyke Bar History Project, Alleged Lesbian Activities offers up a denim-clad, glitter-crusted, power-ballad performance of these oral histories.

Dance for Social Change Youth Summit: Raising Student Voices $5000

An annual leadership summit that brings New Orleans youth artists together to advocate for change and catalyze action through artistic performance. The festival draws on the communicative powers of dance, music, visual arts and spoken word bringing artists, activists, and citizens together to inspire dialogue and action about key issues confronting New Orleans.

Freedom Chamber by Rebecca Mwase $5000

Vessels is a ritual performance exploring the transcendental possibilities of song during the Middle Passage and within spaces of confinement. The Freedom Chamber, a project created beneath the umbrella of Vessels, will collaborate with organizations in New Orleans organizing against mass incarceration to develop community-created sound sculptures that reflect the experiences of currently and formerly incarcerated people, their families, and communities. The process and the resulting artistic creations will deepen partner organizations’ current organizing efforts, expand civic participation within the wider community, and ultimately help achieve positive policies that disestablish the structures of mass incarceration in New Orleans.

[in]VISIBLE: A Requiem for Cultural Landmarks of Black New Orleans by Black Glitter (Adrien Ysaye McElroy & Monica McIntyre) $5000

An exploration of ritual, culture, and remembrance using a nexus of New Orleans art activism, history, relationship building and visual arts. [in]VISIBLE will memorialize razed Black landmarks throughout New Orleans, creating site specific mixed-media memorials. These curated memorials will be open to unlimited community contributions, comprised of: archival photographs, pieces from New Orleans writers and visual artists, a personalized site specific eulogy and an original song, as well as iconic cultural symbols of remembrance within the Black New Orleans community.

Keepers of the Culture by Journey Allen $4000

This interdisciplinary workshop of visual arts, music, history and writing will guide students in acting as historians to the indigenous culture of New Orleans. Students will engage in knowledge building activities that will highlight varying aspects of New Orleans history and local culture. Each activity will close with the creation of a “culture capsule,” which is an art activity that reinforces the content of the workshop. The culminating activity is a mural instillation which will be designed and created by participants along with lead artist, Journey Allen.

Open Screen: Editions $4300

Open Screen is a monthly event inviting anyone to share and receive feedback on video work, 10 minutes or less. Two years of events have attracted 200+ original works from all types of local creators. Open Screen: Editions will continue the efforts of the program by providing free equipment and support for locals to host their own Open Screen. Includes an easy application, equipment, marketing materials, and a guide on hosting a productive event.

Revival: A Year Of Black Feminist Self-Possession by Wildseeds $5000

A year-long multidisciplinary art series that will explore how communities of color centralize self-possession and envision collective futures. Developed by Wildseeds: The New Orleans Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Collective, Revival will host a variety of artistic events and workshops that explore the past, present, and future of Black and Brown bodies and communities through storytelling, collaborative artmaking, and skill-sharing.

Taco Truck Theater/Teatro Sin Fronteras by José Torres-Tama & ArteFuturo $5000

A project to re-purpose a food vehicle into a mobile stage, exploring the Immigration Crisis in New Orleans. Latino immigrants have contributed tremendously to the recovery post-Katrina while experiencing a myriad of human rights violations, police brutality and deportations by Immigration Agents as recent as January 2016. The mobile theater will cross economic, geographic, and racial borders to reach non-traditional theater audiences across the city.

Southerly Gold $2000

A landscape-based photographic survey of the promises and resources that the farthest reaches of Louisiana have held for settlers, this project focuses on the six parishes that form the iconic boot of Southeastern Louisiana: Caddo, East & West Carroll, Cameron, West Feliciana, Washington and Plaquemines Parish. The resulting investigation will culminate in exhibitions and a publication, “God’s Country”, featuring an individual theme for each region rooted in historical research and local oral histories.

Young Artists Identity Project by Jessica Baker Kee $3200

This project encourages children and teenagers to be ‘visual researchers,’ investigating their personal, cultural and community identities. Each student will receive an antique suitcase, which they will alter using 2D and 3D art techniques into a sculptural installation showcasing their identity to the world. The finished series will be shown in local venues, opening up community dialogue about student identity in New Orleans while allowing participating students to experience public exhibition first hand.

Lydia Nichols : R&D Grant $1500

For research towards the development of The Color of Progress: Black and Green on the American Gulf Coast, an exhibition that will examine the correlation between the modern economy of the Gulf Coast and Black geopolitics. Through the work of artists from and/or currently residing on the Gulf Coast, the exhibition will explore how African Americans relate to the petrochemical industry as neighbors, consumers, employees, and members of communities that have been displaced and dispossessed by industry expansion; how those relationships become normalized; and our daily eco-resistance to Industry that is invisibilized by the mainstream environmental movement.

2016 Jury Panelists

Stephanie Atkins – Local Program Director for NPN

Ashley Ford – Communications & Operations Manager at Cannonball, leading the Wavemakers grants in Miami

Erin Johnson – Working artist awarded a Kindling Fund Grant in Maine

Ylva Rouse – Prospect New Orleans Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs

Jerald White – Founder of the Loving Festival and Charitable Film Network

Deadline January 29th

Visit to apply now! If you have last-minute questions or need assistance polishing your application, sign up for a one-on-one meeting with Pelican Bomb’s Amanda Brinkman: sign up now!

2016-17 Applications are open!

Platforms fund is excited to announce its next cycle of funding! For 2016-17 we will give away $40,000 in funding with a minimum of 8 projects funded! You can apply now by visiting

January 29, 2016: Application Deadline
March 1, 2016: Selections Announced
Funded projects must commence between March 1, 2016 and March 1, 2017

Nearly all artists with successfully funded projects sought out assistance, asked questions, or attended a public info session. So if you are interested in applying, we highly encourage you to attend one of these free public info sessions:

Wednesday, November 11, 6pm
Public Info Session
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70113

Wednesday, December 9, 7pm
Public Info Session
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70113

Wednesday, January 13, 7pm
Application Workshop
Ashé Cultural Arts Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70113

2015 Platforms Fund Grantees


The Platforms Fund, developed by Press Street, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and Pelican Bomb with support by the Andy Warhol Foundation, is excited to announce the 2015 inaugural class of grant awards! We had an overwhelming response with 107 applicants and we were humbled and impressed by the creativity of the projects that applied. This year’s jury of five panelists narrowed the field to 23 finalists and of those, selected 9 projects to fund, considering the many facets that were carefully presented by the applicants. In addition to $30,000 in total grants awarded, we’ve teamed up with Kickstarter in a Lagniappe Partnership program to assist all 23 finalists with developing Kickstarter campaigns to build additional support for their projects. Read more about the Kickstarter Program here.



Blights Out $5000

Blights Out is a collaborative and creative approach to neighborhood development using visual art, architecture, and performance in order to see, experience, and act on issues of blight, divestment, and housing. Using an experiential method of “performing architecture” the group asks: “what are the sensibilities of place; where is the soul of a home?”; “what is community; what inspires people to unite in action?”; and “how do we meet the needs of a neighborhood outside of a profit-driven framework?” These themes will guide Blights Out in the transformation of a blighted structure into a cultural resource center qua public work of art.

Parisite: Skateable Sculpture & Mural Project $5000

Artists, architects, and skateboarders have developed a collaborative experimental venture with city government to design, build, and maintain New Orleans’ newest public park called Parisite (under Interstate 610 at Paris Avenue in Gentilly). The group will continue to expand the project by building skateable sculpture and developing a public mural project on the concrete pillars throughout the park.

ThisPlaceMeant/Home $3500

ThisPlaceMeant/Home will bring together diverse communities in New Orleans around the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to share and create innovative stories and art work that engages with the themes of displacement and home. Through the lens of Land of Opportunity – an interactive experiment in documenting post-disaster community (re) building in America – the group along with interdisciplinary artists and community groups will facilitate a series of multimedia storytelling and journalism workshops, and site-specific art-work that will unite starkly different perspectives: public housing residents, urban planners, community organizers, and those in the Katrina diaspora-around powerful shared themes.

Chess Communité $3500

Chess Communité brings local New Orleans artists and volunteers together to create safe and educationally-stimulating environments for at-risk children, youth and the greater community in strategically selected communities in New Orleans by creating and installing permanent, artistic installations which function practically as chess tables. Each table is uniquely designed to honor the creativity and individuality of public art in New Orleans. We believe by building a chess infrastructure throughout New Orleans that serves as public art, we will make public spaces more attractive and accessible, as well as encouraging the entire community to engage in a non-violent form of competition.

The Land Memory Bank and Seed Exchange $3000

The Land Memory Bank and Seed Exchange intends to create a community-built record of the unique coastal cultures and native ecology, present in the climate-challenged wetlands of southeast Louisiana. The exchange will encompass a multi-platform experiential project, dedicated to inspiring and actualizing Mississippi River Delta preservation, restoration and adaptations. This experience will be produced in three forms: cultural happenings, strategic installations and as a digital archive.

NOYOM Anthology $3000

The New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) provides a stage and space for young people to explore themselves as writers/performers, to share their work and experiences with peers, and to support one another in their artistic endeavors while receiving support from local artists. This year NOYOM will broaden their program by having participants collaborate with young visual artists to develop a two part publication of written works, art, visual poems, and photography.

Soul Ties $2500

Soul Ties is a community based art- and story-making endeavor that will take form as a series of “making days” with pop-up stations at several host locations throughout New Orleans over four months. Facilitated by designers, tailors, photographers, artist educators, and story-gathering community collaborators, the project will engage a diverse cross-section of New Orleanians to create Soul Ties – bow ties fashioned from, celebrating, and carrying on the personal (hi)stories of our city. With the creation of each Soul Tie a community story will be told, given form, and documented in a collection of photographs and text to showcase online.

66<100 $2500

In Louisiana, the earnings of female workers is just 66% of the earnings of male workers—the worst wage disparity in the US. 66<100 is a month-long pop-up shop created to raise awareness of this issue while promoting the work of women artists and business owners. the shop’s pricing will mirror Louisiana’s current wage gap: male shoppers will be charged 100% of the retail price of any item, while women will be charged 66% of this price. throughout the month, 66<100 will also host lectures, workshops, and performances designed to connect and empower local women and girls.

NOCAZ $2000

The New Orleans Comics and Zine Festival (NOCAZ) is a celebration of self-published comics and literature. NOCAZ showcases zines, comic books, poetry, journalism, hand-made items, photography, and more. NOCAZ exists to encourage long-time creators and those who have never felt like artists to share their work and experience. The organizers of NOCAZ are independent artists and writers, who are excited about DIY publishing and fostering communities of support and education around it.


Help support Platforms Fund Grantee Parisite in their big push!

Parisite Skatepark has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise an additional $36,000 in 30 days.  Every dollar that they raise goes directly to skateable ramps, to make the front of the park an amazing DIY flow-zone with master-crafted concrete ramps DESIGNED BY THE SKATERS OF PARISITE! Check it out and make a pledge to get some awesome rewards!


Also make sure to go checkout their grand opening, Saturday February 28. Mayor Mitch Landrieu + City representatives will speak at noon, followed by an official “Reuben-Cutting.”  Yes, that’s right: 16 linear feet of hot corned beef + kraut on rye.  Free Red Bull in case you’re still worn out from Carnival.


Make sure to submit your application today for the fast approaching deadline! The application deadline for the 2015 funding cycle is Tuesday, January 20th, midnight central.

Visit the link below for the online application portal.

email for any questions and issues!



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3718 St. Claude Ave
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