• Art for Racial Justice

$45,000 In Art For Racial Justice Grants Announced By Cambridge Arts

$45,000 In Art For Racial Justice Grants Announced By Cambridge Arts

Projects range from poems celebrating local scientists of color to a curriculum to decenter whiteness in contemporary dance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone in our city, and artists and arts organizations have been especially hard hit. So it is exciting to be able to share a number of arts grants recently awarded.

The City of Cambridge had been planning a major increase to its funding for the arts, and we’re especially pleased at this time to be able to share this increase with the community as artists and creative organizations are facing crises from shut downs to prevent the spread of coronavirus,

Cambridge Arts Executive Director Jason Weeks said.

Nine projects have been awarded Art for Racial Justice Grants by Cambridge Arts and the City of Cambridge. The new funding program—grants are $5,000 each, totaling $45,000 overall--support artists to create work with a lens of resilience and racial equity to benefit people who live or work in Cambridge.

Project Spotlight: The Space Between: Building Pathways to Freedom Through Dance/Victoria Lynn Awkward
This dance performance seeks to amplify a dream of freedom for Victoria - a black and queer woman.

According to the artist, Victoria Lynn Awkward,

In The Space Between is a semi-autobiographical journey highlighting my pathway through in between spaces of growth. As a black and queer woman who spent a good portion of my life in predominately white spaces, I've felt the very real need to hyper define my identities. As I age, I find that my identities are powerful entry points into deeper inscriptions of who I am. I'm finding ways to integrate all of my experiences to live as a freer version of myself. The show will showcase a diverse cast of 9 dancers including myself. I hope that sharing my journey creates space for the other artists and audience members to look at their own unique and diverse identities and seek a route from their current reality through the space between and into their dreams.

Adds Awkward,

The beginning structure of In The Space Between will be presented at Boston Center for the Arts with Boston Dance Alliance this June. Thanks to this grant we will continue to grow and showcase this piece in Cambridge in the fall. This grant support not only allows me to work deeper with this show but also supports the artists, performers and other creatives involved with more consistent performing opportunities.

Project Spotlight: Black Canvas: Creating an Arts Center for Racial Justice in Cambridgeport/Black History in Action for Cambridgeport
Arts and humanities youth programming to remedy and repair educational inequities faced by BIPOC students in the Cambridge public school system.

According to Kris Manjapra, Chairperson,

As we get to the other side of this pandemic, Black History in Action for Cambridgeport is organizing a podcast series highlighting the excellence of Cambridge’s Black community. We are also working on a long-term project with Cambridge Public Schools to enrich the arts curriculum and bring students into contact with African diasporic artists in the area. We are a place-based non-profit, located at the historic St. Augustine’s African Orthodox Church in Cambridgeport at 137 Allston Street. We are preserving the community service legacy of this local Black institution for the next generation.

More information
View the full list of projects at the Cambridge Arts website.