Reid Farrington, Gin & "IT", PS 122 2010, image by Paula Court.
May 2012 Travel and Study Grant Program Press Release
The General Mills Foundation, the Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation announce the 2012 Travel and Study Grant Program recipients. Thirty-three grants totaling $134,271, ranging in size from $2,000 to $5,000, were authorized. The Travel and Study Grant Program awards grants to emerging artists in Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City, and arts administrators in Minnesota. Funds support travel for professional and creative development. Grant categories for this round were dance, film and video, and literature. Panels in each arts discipline reviewed 274 applications, 98 from Minnesota and 176 from New York. The Jerome Foundation Directors reviewed and authorized the following panel recommendations:
D A N C E
The Dance Panel reviewed 83 applications, 26 from Minnesota, and 57 from New York City. Panelists were Debra Leigh, Lead Organizer for the Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative and former Director of Dance at St. Cloud State University; Ben Pryor, independent arts manager, producer, and curator operating under the moniker tbspMGMT; and Julie Voigt, Senior Program Officer for Performing Arts at Walker Art Center.
Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, choreographer, New York City, will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to study the influences of the Brazilian dance styles, Frevo and Funk, on break dancing. Bounce integrates multiple dance styles in her work as a B-Girl, from the smooth footwork of house dance to more traditional forms, such as ballet and modern. She is interested in the evolution of break dancing over the last forty years and in studying how these cultural dances of Brazil have influenced the b-boys and b-girls of the country.
Kenna-Camara Cottman, choreographer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Pikine, Senegal, West Africa, to investigate Sabar dance culture and the Griot tradition that maintains the artistic culture and creativity of West Africa. Through cultural immersion with the Niange Family of Griots, Cottman will learn the dance and drum rhythms of the Wolof people in Senegal. West African dance forms are at the heart of Cottman’s choreographic work. This research trip will expand her movement vocabulary and provide deeper historical context and connection to inform her future work.
Michel Kouakou, choreographer, Jackson Heights, New York, will travel to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to study the traditional arts of the Boule Tribe. Kouakou returns to his birthplace to study Ivorian traditional mask dances and take classes from a variety of dance masters and participate in hands-on workshops at an artist co-operative center, Village Ki-Yi M'Bock. This experience will fuel his creative investigation of the ways traditional dance and mask work and identity are expressed in contemporary African culture.
HANNAH KRAMER, choreographer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Stolzenhagen, Germany, to attend the P.O.R.C.H. (Ponderosa Ongoing Research and Collaborative Happenings) program at Ponderosa Movement and Discovery, an international improvisation and performance venue. P.O.R.C.H. provides an immersive environment for artists to experience a diversity of movement and performance practices. Kramer’s goal is to gain insight, perspective, and resources for the continued development of her creative process and broaden her exposure to contemporary dancemakers.
Paloma McGregor, choreographer, New York City, will travel to St. Croix to conduct ethnographic, archival and physical research that will lead to the development of a new choreographic work. McGregor plans to research the cultural traditions, landscapes and identities of her home island, as well as the ecological and cultural impact of the Hovensa Oil Refinery. This research is critical to the development of her new work Building A Better Fishtrap, which explores themes of water, memory, and home through her father’s fishing stories.
Kaleena Miller, choreographer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Chicago, Illinois, to attend Rhythm World to hone her tap technique, learn new ideas about improvisation, and make connections with tap dancers from around the world. Miller will study with tap masters Sam Weber, Jason Janas, and Michelle Dorrance to work on the complexity of her technique and the fusion of traditional tap with modern form. The inspiration and knowledge from this opportunity will be woven into her tap-based choreographic work that fuses modern dance, tap, and movement.
Darian Parker, choreographer and performer, New York City, will travel to Bamako, Mali, to conduct intensive study of Malian dance--the technical aspects, its accompanying music and the folklore--with master artists to enhance his abilities as a performer and choreographer. Parker’s study will center on dance training with members of Bamako’s artistic community, music training, and conversations and interviews with artists, community elders, and other gatekeepers of the cultural, folkloric, and historical significance of Malian dances and the accompanying music. One particular area of study will involve the form known in the United States as Lamba. This Malian dance was traditionally performed by the Djeli, a poet, praise singer, and wandering musician considered a repository of oral tradition. Parker wants to understand how different ethnic groups in Mali interpret the form.
Karen Sherman, choreographer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Deer Isle, Maine, to participate in a mixed media craft workshop to research ideas and acquire skills in support of her current dance project, One with Others. Sherman is experimenting with wearable wood and hardware appendages as body enhancers or inhibitors in a work that draws upon ideas of biography, self-determination, communication, and desire. She will attend the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts to study with mixed media artist Mark Hartung, whose workshop will focus on imaginative representation of experience through the repurposing of simple objects, and with writer Elisabeth Tova Bailey.
Michéle Steinwald, arts administrator, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, to participate in the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance to deepen her understanding of contemporary performance (focus on dance), create a peer network of emerging leaders in the presenting field, and develop a strong curatorial voice in her role as Assistant Curator for the Performing Arts at the Walker Art Center. Her study goals are to further develop language for communicating artistic and curatorial intent, improve her leadership skills, create strategies for impactful connection between contemporary dance artists and new audeinces, and broaden her capacity to serve furture projects.
Larissa Velez-Jackson, choreographer, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Vienna, Austria, to participate in study, observation, artist mentorship, critical dialogue, and networking in the field of Contemporary Dance and Performance at the danceWEB Scholarship Programme at ImPulsTanz-Vienna International Dance Festival. Velez-Jackson will engage in a one-on-one mentorship with Benoît Lachambre, a choreographer, performer, and improviser concerned with the dynamics of communication and perception. The intense course of study and peer dialogue will provide inspiration for new work and deepen her creative process as well as her connection with choreographic peers.
F I L M A N D V I D E O
The Film and Video Panel examined 83 applications: 18 from Minnesota, and 65 from New York City. Panelists were Simon-Hòa Phan, Professor in the Art Department of The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota; television producer, media educator, and independent filmmaker Dan Bergin, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and independent filmmaker Jennifer Redfearn, Brooklyn, New York.
Nicholas J. Clausen, documentary filmmaker, St. Paul, Minnesota, will travel to Rockport, Maine, to attend the Maine Media Workshops and take a seven-day class entitled Documentary Camera, which examines the technical and creative roles that the video camera plays in documentary filmmaking. The course will involve the study of composition, shot design, blocking, and camera moves as well as film theory, history and criticism with an emphasis on the camera.
Roy R. Clovis, Jr., filmmaker, New York City, will travel to Panama City and Bocas del Toro, Panama, to study the experiences of current day Afro-Caribbean Panamanians, many of whom are descendants of Panama Canal builders who immigrated from the Islands of the West Indies. Clovis has a strong personal connection to this pursuit as his family history is deeply rooted in Rio Abajo, a well established enclave in Panama City. He will spend most of his time in Rio Abajo, Colon and Bocas del Toro conducting interviews designed to capture the voices, personal stories, mannerisms and energy of the people. Clovis plans to integrate this research into a screenplay he wishes to write and direct.
Arisleyda Dilone, filmmaker, New York City, will travel to Santo Domingo and Barahona, Dominican Republic to continue research and development for a personal documentary on gender and assimilation. Born with XXY chromosomes, this is a very personal journey for intersexed filmmaker Dilone, who wishes to juxtapose the experience of intersexed females in the Dominican Republic to her own as a Dominican who grew up in a primarily Caucasian suburb. Dilone will visit with anthropologists and sociologists in Santo Domingo and travel to the province of Barahona to meet a professor who has conducted researh on intersexuality and has agreed to introduce Dilone to many of his subjects. This research will culminate in a documentary film on intersexuality called La Hora de Volver/Time To Return.
Cully Gallagher, documentary filmmaker, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Nairobi and the western provinces of Kenya to prepare for production of his first feature-length documentary. Gallagher will learn from community development organizations and the people they serve. He hopes to deepen his language skills, reestablish existing personal relationships, and conduct preliminary interviews with people for a film that explores issues of urban migration as they relate to the coming of age stories of young Kenyans.
Devin Horan, filmmaker, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary to conduct preliminary research, location scouting, production planning, and writing for a feature film based on the life of Austrian poet Georg Trakl. Entitled Grodek, Horan’s film will take the premises of Georg Traki’s life, poetry, and suicide as an apocalyptic vision of a mind and a civilization in a state of disintegration.
Kathy Huang, documentary filmmaker, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Guangzhou, China, to experience firsthand the thriving community of African traders and lay the groundwork for a documentary that takes a fresh look at China through the eyes of these new immigrants. Since 2003, the population of Africans in China has grown at a dizzying rate: 30 to 40% annually. Huang will spend her time in Guangzhou observing life in African churches, markets, salons and restaurants, and also talking to local Chinese who interact regularly with Africans. This trip will provide Huang a rich orientation to the landscape of African immigrants in China.
Aleshia Mueller, filmmaker, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Ecuador to improve her Spanish; deepen existing connections and make new connections with people regarding the protest art of dissedent visual artist Oswaldo Guayasamín; and learn more about the life and legacy of Guayasamín from various perspectives. She will conduct research at the Fundación Guayasamín Museum. Mueller will incorporate this research into the outline of a documentary film that will place Guayasamín and his work in a cultural, political, and historical context in Ecuador, Latin America, and the world.
Mara Pelecis, filmmaker, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Jaunlaicene, Mālupe, Alūksne region, and Rīga, Latvia, to learn “Maléniski”, a very rare language (or dialect of Latvian), so that she can understand published texts written by her storyteller grandfather. His texts will be the basis of a future film project. She will attend weekly group lessons in Jaunlaicene, a small town in Eastern Latvia, as well as supplement her learning with language tutoring sessions. She will also live with relatives who speak Maléniski, and travel around the counties where it is spoken, in order to use her newly acquired language skills with a broader group.
Nerina Penzhorn, filmmaker, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to South Africa to conduct research for a documentary film about South African tabloid newspapers in terms of how they function as a voice for marginalized South Africans and how their reporting on the supernatural challenges the rationalist ideals of South African journalism and post-apartheid democracy.
L I T E R A T U R E
The Literature Travel and Study Program Panel reviewed 108 applications, 55 from Minnesota and 53 from New York City.
Lesley Arimah, writer, St. Louis Park, Minnesota, will travel to Nigeria to conduct personal and academic research to aid in the completion of her novel. She will focus on the underpinnings of Nigerian culture and the persistence of certain practices over the centuries. Arimah’s family left Nigeria when she was a teenager, but she has family members there who will help arrange visits with priests and practitioners, and attend ceremonies and masquerades. This research will expand the knowledge base from which she writes, informing her characters’ cultural rationales.
Nicholas Boggs, writer, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Paris and Saint Paul-de-Vence, France, to conduct research for a book-in-progress, Loving James Baldwin. The book is a personal account of his search on the untold story of Baldwin’s collaboration and love affair with French outsider artist Yoran Cazac, before, during, and after the publication of their little-known children’s book for adults, Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood. By visiting the places where Baldwin and Cazac lived, Boggs’ hopes to collect details and rich experiences to provide more profound substance to his writing.
Rebecca Dosch Brown, writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Oakland, California; Belle Mead, New Jersey; New York City; Washington D.C.; and Baltimore, Maryland, to investigate through a poet’s eye the social construct of Normality (and its counterpart Abnormality) across time and space, focusing on sites critical to disability history and on meeting artists and children with disabilities who contest that fabrication. Brown’s travel will be inspiration for poems that unearth and unhinge the myth of Normal.
Nona Kennedy Carlson, writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Dickinson, Williston, and Watford City, North Dakota, to study the epicenter of the Bakken Oil Boom. Research of the social, socioeconomic, and geographical landscape of this area and the impact on citizens, farmers, ranchers, landowners, oil company representatives, “Man Camp” managers, and those working in the oil field, will inform the characters, setting, and tone of her novel, Boom. Carlson’s immersion in local culture and the landscape will authentically inform her writing about family, greed, loss, class warfare, the repercussions of war, and complicated environmental issues.
Catherine Chung, writer, New York City, will travel to Leipzig, Göttingen, and Berlin, Germany, and Paris, France, to conduct research for her next novel about students of a famous female mathematician (based on historical figures from Germany and France) during the first half of the 1900s, when women could not attend university. Chung’s research will center on the challenges her characters might have faced as revealed through personal papers, university policies, news articles, and photographic archives. Having firsthand experience with the geographic settings in her novel—streets, places, graveyards, churches—will help her piece together her characters’ daily lives.
John Colburn, writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Ghent, Belgium, to attend the Fairy Tale Vanguard Conference for research into his current writing projects. Colburn’s fiction and hybrid poetic forms borrow from the tropes, worldview, and images of folk and fairy tales. Attendance at the conference will provide intimate access to some of the top writers in the field of contemporary tales.
Sarah Fox, writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to London, England, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois, to research historical medical documents and artifacts at the Royal Society of Medicine and the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in London, conduct interviews with relevant doctors, family members, and DES daughters, and attempt to uncover related medical records. This study will inform a book-length documentary text combining poetry, memoir, primary documents, images, scientific/medical texts, media reports, and dramatic dialog collected from interviews with DES Daughters. DES refers to Diethylstilbestrol, a nonsteroidal estrogen.
Sangamithra Iyer, writer, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to London, United Kingdom and Yangon/Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar), to research historical documents of Burma in the 1930s and witness current conditions to inform a creative nonfiction book project, Divining Water, which blends memoir, family history, and reportage. Iyer’s project looks at the parallels between her work as a writer and engineer with her paternal grandfather, a civil engineer and water diviner who was active in the Freedom Movement in India.
Margaret Miles, writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Westchester, New York to research aspects of the lives of industrial tycoons John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. This research will inform an anti-polemical creative nonfiction work-in-progress that weaves together the stories and voices of present-day homeless individuals and people of enormous wealth in American history. Miles’ research will familiarize her with the worlds of Rockefeller and Carnegie, major players in the corporate structure and financial systems of the United States as well as founding fathers of American philanthropy.
R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., writer, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Belcourt, North Dakota to attend the Turtle Mountain Writing Workshop and Retreat and the Returning of the Gift Native American Writers Conference. Moniz’s goals are to hone his writing skills in poetry, poetic monologue, and spoken word performance. These workshops and conferences offer an opportunity to strengthen his skills and expand his knowledge.
Cole Perry, writer, Bovey, Minnesota, will travel to the border between Mexico and the United States, visiting four paired cities: Laredo, Texas/Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; El Paso, Texas/ Cuidad Juares, Mexico; Tucson, Arizona/Nogales, Mexico/ San Diego, California/Tijuana, Mexico, to investigate the collateral effects of drug-related violence and global apartheid on the migratory communities from Laredo, Texas to San Diego, California. Perry plans to create a detailed record of the voices, landscapes, and cities of this nebulous and violent frontier as the basis for a novel.
Bushra Rehman, writer, New York City, will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to conduct creative research at historic sties, write fairy tales inspired by Turkish history, and include these stories in her modern version of the Arabian Nights in which a Muslim woman saves her skin by telling fairy tales during her FBI interrogation. Rehman is exploring, in a fantastical way, the state of United States relations with the Muslim world and the experience of what it means to be Muslim in the year 2012, as an American citizen.
Rollo Romig, writer, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to study the history of progressive Muslim movements for a memoir about growing up Roman Catholic and converting to Islam, with a focus on the liberal traditions of both faiths. Drawing on library research and interviews, Romig is interested in telling the story of progressive currents in Islam and exploring the complementary connections between Islam and Western values.
Nicole Treska, writer, New York City, will drive across the country to San Francisco, Archer City, Taos, Denver, Graceland, Nashville, New York City, Baltimore, and Mississippi, visiting independent bookstores, artists, editors, and writers to investigate and explore ideas of literary landscape in America. Through interveiws, visits, observations, and experiences, Treska will begin a series of essays about the people and places that reside within and create the places defined by their representations in the great works of American Literature; for example, Poe’s Baltimore, Faulkner’s Mississippi, McMurtry’s Texas, Anderson’s Ohio, and Steinbeck’s California. While on this journey, she also plans to talk to staff at independent bookstores thriving in the face of corporate competition and e-publishing.
For further information about these grants, please contact, Program Director Robert Byrd, Program Officer Eleanor Savage or President Cynthia Gehrig at 651.224.9431 or 1.800.995.3766. Visit the Jerome Foundation on the Web at www.jeromefdn.org.
Published June 28, 2012
by Linda Gilbert