Five Artists and Curators Receive Inaugural California Black Voices Project Grants

Indira Allegra, Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins, Rashaad Newsome, Toni Scott and Leila Weefur are the inaugural recipients of the California Black Voices Project grant. (Courtesy Minnesota Project Foundation)

The Minnesota Street Project Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the Dogpatch arts complex, announced today the first recipients of its California Black Voices Project grant. Indira Allegra, Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins, Rashaad Newsome, Toni Scott and Leila Weefur will each receive $10,000 and space at the Minnesota Street Project galleries to showcase new works in 2021. A jury of local artists and arts professionals—Dewey Crumpler, Karen Jenkins-Johnson, Andrew McClintock and Lava Thomas—selected the recipients.

Launched in direct response to systemic racism in the art world, the grant is currently funded by Deborah and Andy Rappaport, who seeded the California Black Voices Project and Grants for Arts Equity (funds for Bay Area institutions, inaugural recipients yet to be announced) with an initial $150,000.

Each awardee proposed a specific project in their application. Allegra, a multidisciplinary artist and writer, will explore memorial as a genre. Curator LeFalle-Collins will continue her practice considering Black artists’ work within broader art historical contexts, outside what she terms the “Black Box.” Newsome draws from advertising, the internet, Black and queer culture through a multimedia process of collage. Scott often centers her own complex heritage within the United States’ history of genocide and slavery—and their effect on contemporary systemic racism. And Weefur constructs video installations to convey a bodily understanding of Black narratives through those viewing conditions.

The exhibition portion of the grants will begin with a show of Allegra’s work next year; the show will also be featured on Adjacent, Minnesota Street Project’s new online platform for exhibitions, events and artist residencies (Allegra is their inaugural artist in residence).

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