Racial Equity and Creative Healing grants awarded to Greater New Haven artists, projects and programs

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven awards $600,000 in partnership with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven

New Haven, CT (Sept. 13, 2021) - Seventeen local artists and art projects including a Black film festival, neighborhood jazz workshops, youth podcasting and a platform for local hip-hop artists are receiving funding awards from a new pilot grant program aimed at promoting community healing and racial justice.

The Racial Equity and Creative Healing (REACH) through the Arts grants are supporting artists and organizations with projects that are underway or will take place over the next one to two years in multiple towns in Greater New Haven, including the Valley and Shoreline.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is funding the program through its Stepping Forward initiative, a $26 million commitment to addressing the impact of COVID-19 and advancing racial equity. The Arts Council of Greater New Haven, in partnership with The Foundation, is overseeing the grant application, selection and award process.

The REACH program’s purpose is to support community and neighborhood art projects that create cultural experiences centered on racial justice, collective healing and youth development.

A volunteer advisory panel comprising artists, art administrators and arts patrons was enlisted by the Arts Council to create and oversee the selection process; panelists included: Diane Brown, Steve Driffin, Kolton Harris, Adriane Jefferson, Lucy Q. McClure, Ruby Melton, Tameika Miller, Caroline Smith, Jolyn Walker, Karen DuBois Walton and Amie Ziner.

“This was a participatory grant process that worked to identify artists in the community who can lead the way in healing from the ravages of COVID and of racism,” said Jackie Downing, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Support at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

For many of the artists and organizations that were selected, their award represented their first ever grant from The Foundation, Downing added.

Arts Council Executive Director Daniel Fitzmaurice said that the advisory panel made a priority of creating a process that was accessible to individual artists and community groups that do not have grant writers or nonprofit status designations.

“The group that came together was really passionate about cutting all the red tape out of the process for applicants, and the results are real,” said Fitzmaurice. “The artists are receiving full funding to allow their projects to happen. No match is required, which is really uncommon.”

The REACH grants are supporting a variety of projects in different artistic mediums, all of which are led by non-white artists, Fitzmaurice added.

“By centering on Black and Brown creatives and on whatever it is that will bring the community joy through the arts, that is healing,” said Fitzmaurice.

Lucy Q. McClure, who helped facilitate the selection process, said the panel prioritized projects that had no other sources of funding and would not happen without a REACH grant.

“From the very beginning of this process to the last day, we would go back to the mission and intention of this program, which is to do equitable work,” McClure said.

2021 Racial Equity and Creative Healing (REACH) Arts Grant Awards

Amplify the Arts Festival - $44,000

Applicant/Artist: Karimah Mickens
Two-day Hamden festival with schedule of performances + artists booths showcasing local artists.

Bars On I-95 - $22,000

Applicant/Artist: Bars on I-95
A platform to introduce local artists to the Hip Hop Industry and help local artists showcase their talent plus grow and maintain their fan base.

Black Haven - $44,000

Applicant: Black Haven
Organize the second Black Haven Film Festival in September 2021 with goal of sustaining as an ongoing annual event.

Black Obsidian Men's Group - $44,000

Applicant: Eric Rey
Retreat series for folks who identify as men and as Black.

Camp Folklorico - $44,000

Applicant: Junta for Progressive Action
A free, culturally explorative dance class hosted by Junta for Progressive Action.

The Community Connection Project - $22,000

Applicant: The Perfect Blend
A weekly series of Saturday workshops festival focusing on the history of jazz and a holiday lights contest engaging the youth of Newhallville to decorate the neighborhood with festive decor.

Global Youth Media Initiative -$44,000

Applicant: Global Youth Media Initiative
Music and news broadcasting training, mentorship and technical instruction for
High school students and young adults.

3 Little Kids (3LK) - $44,000

Applicant: Ice the Beef
Professional filmmakers will mentor youth actors in the production of a film.

Little Free "Hope & Healing" Lending Libraries - $22,000

Applicant: Lauren Anderson
Three new free lending libraries in public spaces across the City of New Haven stocked with BIPOC authors. Sites will host a series of readings, activities and book clubs.

New Haven Chinatown - $11,000

Applicant: Yale-China Association
Regular arts & cultural programming for Chinese families and the production of a mural.

New Haven Pride Center - $44,000

Applicant: New Haven Pride Center
Expanded racial justice and advocacy programming.

One Village Healing - $44,000

Applicant: One Village Healing
Wellness and resilience for BIPOC residents in the region.

Orchid Blossom Mural Women's Shelter - $22,000

Applicant: Kwadwo Adae
A three-story mural of lavender orchid blossoms on the side of the Hillside Family Shelter. Children in the community will be engaged to work collaboratively to paint the bottom.

Places to Go - $37,000
Applicant: Jisu Sheen
A QPOC artist collective creating an open-source, an alternative interactive web platform working with art and mental health. Providing a platform for youth to express their own ideas about mental health and create building blocks for further iterations of Places to Go.

Playmaking New Haven - $44,000
Applicant: Emalie Mayo
Playmaking workshops, performance opportunities and mentorship for young artists.

Pod in New Haven - $44,000

Applicant: #ThaTeam Podcast
New Haven high school students will receive training and guidance on the art of podcasting with the goal of hosting bi-weekly podcasts.

Ubuntu Storytellers - $44,000

Applicant: Denise Page
Support and pay story artists who identify as black or brown to tell their personal narrative stories for the storytelling concerts.

About The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in Connecticut is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S. and was established in 1928 as the permanent charitable endowment for New Haven and its surrounding communities of: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven, and Woodbridge. In 2020, The Foundation began implementing a 5-year strategic plan and enacted new mission and vision statements toward expanding opportunity and equity in Greater New Haven. In 2021, it launched Stepping Forward, a $26 million commitment to addressing the impact of COVID-19 and advancing racial equity. The Foundation’s mission is to inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community.

For more than three generations, generous local donors have built The Community Foundation’s endowment by establishing permanent funds or making gifts to existing funds that distribute grants to a broad variety of issues and organizations. These donors, past and present, make their gifts to ensure that programs and causes that matter most to them will be supported today and forever. As of December 31, 2020, The Foundation’s assets were valued at more than $720 million. For more information about The Foundation visit www.cfgnh.org or follow @cfgnh on facebook and twitter.

Arts Council logo

About the Arts Council of Greater New Haven

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven has been supporting the region’s creative ecosystem since 1964. We strive to advance Greater New Haven by providing leadership and support to our diverse arts community. We envision a thriving arts community at the heart of Greater New Haven. We believe that art, culture, and creativity are fundamental human rights.

Updated 12.01.21 to reflect grant amount change to Places to Go entry.