Faculty and Alums Awarded Grants for Neighborhood-Based Art Projects that Examine Racial Justice

From left: Youree Kim (BFA 2017), Safiya Eshe Gyasi (BFA 2018), and Salvador Jimenéz-Flores, assistant professor

Assistant Professor Salvador Jimenéz-Flores, Safiya Eshe Gyasi (BFA 2018), and Youree Kim (BFA 2017) are among the nine African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) artists who were recently awarded a total of $256,000 to imagine artistic pathways toward racial equity. Announced in June by Threewalls, a Black-led nonprofit committed to fostering contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, these nine artists are the organization’s 2020 RaD Lab and Outside the Walls fellows.

Over the course of two years, the cohort will use individual grants of $32,000 to develop eight neighborhood-based arts projects that address a wide range of racial justice issues, including  environmental and educational racism, segregation, ableism, and more. After spending the first year of the fellowship in a Research and Development (RaD) lab, the artists will bring their projects to Chicago, establishing year-long exhibitions and installations that engage the community members of Bronzeville, Bucktown, Little Village, North Kenwood, Pilsen, South Shore, Uptown, and Washington Park.

The fellowship was created to address the inadequate support for ALAANA-identified artists in the art world, and aims to “help expand the funding landscape and distribute funds to the most vulnerable community—ALAANA individuals.”