Faculty and Alums Awarded MAP Fund Grants

Performances from the four projects awarded grants by the MAP Fund

The MAP Fund announced its 2020 grant recipients, distributing $1.3 million to 171 performing artists and arts organizations. The MAP Fund awards “original live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry, particularly works created by artists who question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the United States.” The recipients included several School of the Art Institute of Chicago faculty and alums.

Lecturer Anna Martine Whitehead's FORCE! is a punk opera about queer and trans women of color waiting to get into prison. The piece considers Black and Brown femme and queer sociality framed by the prison industrial complex. FORCE! is in development through summer 2020 with Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts.

Anthony Romero (MFA 2011), Adjunct Faculty Josh Rios (MA 2013), and Matt Joynt's Not Peaceable and Quiet (Mariachis on Mars) is a research-based performance that takes its name from the 1855 California Vagrancy Act, which racially profiled Mexican Americans as loiters and idlers. Not Peaceable and Quiet investigates the politics of sound and how noise or silencing can mobilize to assert authority.

Adjunct Associate Professor Aram Han Sifuentes's (MFA 2013) The Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for All Who Legally Can't addresses voting barriers for the 29 percent of people in the US and its territories who cannot legally vote. Sifuentes called on various communities in the US and Mexico to set up "Official Unofficial Voting Stations" in neighborhoods, prisons, and museums.

Ni'Ja Whitson's (MFA 2007) The Unarrival Experiments—Illumination Catalogue explores how cosmic darkness, dark matter, and dark energy form in relationship to Blackness and trans-embodiedness. The Unarrival Experiments is a collaborative project with scientists, cultural theorists, artists, and musicians—named "Dark Matter Cyphers" by Whitson—who draw and expand upon Black experimental and creative traditions.