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

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