The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists supports new cutting-edge dance and movement-based performance work by self-identified women, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary artists.
Photo by Scott Shaw
“Folks who care about the art of dance—an art of the moving body in time and space—try to preserve its wonders against disappearance. In a society ambivalent about, and sometimes hostile to, both the body and its artistry, lovers of dance honor the body in all of its variations, its rich stories, its wisdom and creative expression. With this award, we seek to record and honor the creative innovation and labor of queer women dance artists. To acknowledge them as full humans and artists informed and nourished by love, by experience, and by culture. To support and revere our artists for exactly and completely who they are; so they know a fierce community of peers, elders, and ancestors has got their back; and to make our world a safer, more empowering place for queer artists and, in truth, for all artists and for all people.”
— Eva Yaa Asanteewaa
Eva Yaa Asantewaa is Senior Curatorial Director of Gibney, New York’s acclaimed center for dance and social activism. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance as a veteran writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed writing on dance to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York, and other publications.
Ms. Yaa Asantewaa joined the curatorial team for Danspace Project’s “Platform 2016: Lost and Found” and created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, an evening of group improvisation featuring 21 black women and gender-nonconforming performers. Her cast was awarded a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. As EYA Projects, she has begun partnerships with organizations such as Gibney, Abrons Arts Center, Dance/NYC, BAX, and Dancing While Black to curate and facilitate Long Table conversations on topics of concern in the dance/performance community.
She was a member of the inaugural faculty of Montclair State University’s MFA in Dance program and has also served on the faculty for New England Foundation for the Arts' Regional Dance Development Initiative Dance Lab 2016 for emerging Chicago-area dance artists. In May 2017, she served on the faculty for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography's inaugural Forward Dialogues Dance Lab for Emerging Choreographers.
A native New Yorker of Black Caribbean heritage, Eva makes her home in the East Village with her wife, Deborah, and cat, Crystal.
The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists is a new $10,000 grant awarded to US-based artists for making cutting-edge dance and movement-based performance work. Women(+): The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant employs an expansive definition of the word “woman." Queer|Art strongly encourages self-identified women, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary artists to apply. The 2018 grant is administered through Queer|Art by women(+) for women(+), including an intergenerational panel of judges from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Named in honor of visionary dance curator, critic, and educator Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the grant seeks to highlight the important contributions queer women have made to dance throughout history.
Applications for the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists are open September 6th – October 21th, 2018. Funds can be requested to support work at any stage of development, from concept to presentation. Qualifying work may be dance and/or movement-based performance work of any format. The awardee will be announced in December 2018. Information on how to apply here.
For questions please contact the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant Manger, mayfield brooks, at email@example.com.
QUEER|ART AWARDS INAUGURAL EVA YAA ASANTEWAA GRANT FOR
QUEER WOMEN(+) DANCE ARTISTS
Queer|Art is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant For Queer Women(+) Dance Artists, Jennifer Harge. Harge will receive a $10,000 cash grant to support the development period of Fly | Drown, a new performance installation set to premiere in Detroit in Fall 2019.
Harge was one of 87 applicants who applied for the Yaa Asantewaa grant in its inaugural year. Fly | Drown looks to mundanity, domesticity, and intimacy to think through how the creation of Black space and Black queer liberation practices offer refusal strategies inside of anti-black climates. The development period will include a year of gatherings in Detroit among black women(+) and queer identified folks to imagine and determine places where their bodies can breathe and move as they wish, as an act of futuritive investment.
Four other dance artists were acknowledged as finalists for this year—Indira Allegra, Una Osato (of brASS: Brown RadicalAss Burlesque), Noemí Segarra Ramírez, and Anna Martine Whitehead.
The judges, who were selected by Queer|Art to review applications for the grant, include dance and movement-based performers and curators from around the country: Nora Sharp (Chicago), Julie Tolentino (LA), and Marýa Wethers (NYC). Named in honor of visionary dance curator, critic, and educator Eva Yaa Asantewaa, the grant seeks to highlight the important contributions queer women and gender non-conforming dance artists have made to dance throughout history.
2018 YAA ASANTEWAA GRANT WINNER
Jennifer Harge is a Detroit based educator and movement artist. Her approach to form interrogates how the multiplicity of her black and queer identities interface with postmodern dance. Her performances are committed to black and queer vernacular gestures, codes, and rituals as a way of writing in and exploring histories that have been misnamed or gone unnoticed. Harge’s most recent creative research is anchored in racialized surveillance, hyper-masculinity/femininity, and Black churchicality.
Through her work as a movement artist, she has been the recipient of residency and fellowship awards, and choreographic invitations from Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Washington National Cathedral, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, University of Michigan, Duke University, and Wayne State University.
“I am honored to have been awarded the 2018 Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists. This project, Fly | Drown, speaks to the trajectory of my work more broadly, and the tools learned from this development period will provide substantial growth towards my work in Black dance coalition building in Detroit. In a city undergoing continued gentrification and displacement, this grant affords me the opportunity to simultaneous think critically about our needs as Black dance artists in Detroit and our relationship to Black collective care-taking in dance.”
- Jennifer Harge, 2018 Yaa Asantewaa Grant Winner
View an in-process video of Fly | Drown below:
2018 YAA ASANTEWAA GRANT FINALISTS
For No Space Without Tension, an exhibition of performance & woven sculpture exploring the artist’s role as political correspondent at the eve of the 2020 presidential campaign cycle.
Una Osato (of brASS: Brown RadicalAss Burlesque)
For Oops I Did It Again!, a Clown&Burlesque performance & free workshop series reflecting on topics of masculinity, materialism, nature, sensuality, addiction, patriotism and abusive relationships.
Noemí Segarra Ramírez
For PISO espejo, a nine month intervention on the campus of Puerto Rico’s largest public university—currently collapsing under severe budget cuts and hurricane damage—culminating in a final performance on the eve of Hurricane Maria’s second anniversary.
Anna Martine Whitehead
For an interdisciplinary performance lecture and reading room weaving together themes of "containment architectures" (prisons, cathedrals, and castles) and embodied freedom practices.
2018 YAA ASANTEWAA GRANT JUDGES
Nora Sharp (Chicago) is a Chicago-born and based writer and performer whose work uses dance, sound, cultural analysis, and comedy, among other tools to reflect lived experience as a queer white Midwestern millennial. Nora has recently been a Co-MISSIONS Artist-in-Residence at Links Hall as well as a participant in LANDING 2.0 with Miguel Gutierrez, and has performed with and for Udita Upadhyaya, the Fly Honey Show, Bill Young, and Ayako Kato, among others. Along with offering individual process support for artists, Nora has facilitated Research Project, a works-in-progress performance and response series, since 2014, and has organized workshops in queer ballet, anxiety management, creative visioning, and solo-making process via the Chicago Artists Coalition, the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and elsewhere. Nora has written for Full Stop and Performance Response Journal and holds a BA from Oberlin College.
Julie Tolentino (Los Angeles) is a performance installation maker whose work draws from visual, archival, and movement strategies. Her work has been presented by the New Museum, The Kitchen, Participant Inc., Danspace Project, Volume, LACE, Commonwealth & Council, The Lab, Joe Goode Annex, PSi Stanford, Performa '05 and '13, The Wexner Center and others as well as across Europe, the UK, Philippines, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Greece. A contributor to the Smithsonian's Art AIDS Oral History Project, she was a part of a recent Visual AIDS panel at the Whitney Museum. She co-authored the group essay, "The Sum of All Questions" published in GLQ Journal (Gay & Lesbian Quarterly) focused on the legendary queer space she originated in New York City’s Meatpacking District: Clit Club (1990-2002). She recently received the Pieter Women Over-40 Grant, a Boffo Fire Island Residency, and is a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow at the University of California at Riverside.
Marýa Wethers (New York City) is a “Bessie” award winning performer (Outstanding Performance with skeleton architecture, 2017) and works as an independent creative producer and curator. As a curator she conceived and created the three-week performance series “Gathering Place: Black Queer Land(ing)” at Gibney and curated for Queer NY International Arts Festival (2015 & 2016) and Out of Space @ BRIC Studio series for Danspace Project (2003-2007). Her writings have been published in the Configurations in Motion: Curating and Communities of Color Symposium publications, organized by Thomas DeFrantz at Duke University (2016 & 2015) and UnCHARTed Legacies: women of color in post-modern dance in the 25th Anniversary Movement Research Performance Journal #27/28 (2004). She has served on selection panels for several presenting and funding organizations in NY and nationally. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Dance, minor in African-American Studies.
* Applications for the 2018 Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant For Queer Women(+) Dance Artists are currently closed. *
APPLICATIONS OPEN - TBA 2019
COMPLETE APPLICATION - TBA 2019
AWARDEE ANNOUNCED - TBA 2019
***There is a $6 application fee***
Queer|Art uses the online application software SlideRoom to organize applications. SlideRoom charges applicants for the Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists a fee of $6 for each individual application. The fee does not profit Queer|Art.
What information does the application require?
Contact info, narrative bio, and headshot
Synopsis of project and strategy for presentation
Work samples (1-2 samples, no more than 7-10 minutes total)
2 professional references
What is required in the synopsis and budget?
1. Description of the project and the process by which it will be made. (Up to 800 words) *Required
2. What is your timeline for completing the work and strategy for its presentation? (Up to 400 words) * Required
3. Are there any additional aspects of this work you would like the judging panel to know? (Up to 400 words) *Not required
Budget (one page, uploaded as PDF):
Your budget should account for how the work will be made (you do not need to include presentation costs). If the cost of production exceeds the grant amount, please indicate within the budget any confirmed funding you have received or additional funding you anticipate that will enable you to complete this project.