Four Collaborations between Artists of Color and Great Lakes Cultural Organizations Win 2016 Joyce Awards

Dec 14, 2015, 11:44 ET from The Joyce Awards

CHICAGO, Dec. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Collaborations between artists and cultural organizations have won $50,000 each in the Joyce Foundation's annual awards competition supporting creation of new works by artists of color in the Great Lakes region, it was announced today.

Among winning projects is a planned outdoor sculpture by 91-year-old Charles McGee of Detroit to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and kick off a yearlong citywide commemoration of Detroit's 1967 racial unrest. Two collaborations in the Twin Cities and one in Chicago also won 2016 Joyce Awards.

Since starting the program in 2003, the Chicago-based foundation has awarded $2.6 million to commission 50 new works. A distinctive feature of the competition is that in addition to creating new work, artists also engage community members through forums, workshops and social media to inform and shape its final presentation.

"The Great Lakes region has so many talented artists working across genres, tackling complex social issues and bringing incredible new pieces to life," said Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding. "We are honored and proud to play a role in supporting this critical work."

The 2016 Joyce Awards winners:

Charles McGee and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Charles McGee, 91, is perhaps Detroit's most important and influential visual artist. The award will allow the Wright Museum to commission McGee for what he has described as his largest and perhaps final outdoor piece, a steel sculpture titled, "United We Stand." It will be unveiled in July 2016.

Juan Angel Chávez and Chicago Children's Museum
Visual artist, Juan Angel Chávez will create a large public art installation spanning the museum's second floor walls and ceiling. Schoolchildren and museum guests will inform the content of the Chávez piece, which will evolve over time with audience input following its installation in summer of 2017.

Penumbra Theatre with Imani Uzuri and Zakiyyah Alexander
Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minn. will commission musician and composer Imani Uzuri and playwright Zakiyyah Alexander to stage GIRL Shakes Loose Her Skin in spring 2017. The play revisits vitally important work from the Black Arts Movement and delivers it in a fresh and vibrant way.

Ragamala Dance Company with Aparna Ramaswamy and Kyle Abraham
Minneapolis-based Ragamala Dance Company will commission choreographers/performers Aparna Ramaswamy and Kyle Abraham to create a new work to be presented at the Walker Art Center.

Drawing from the artists' own experience, the work will be informed by concepts of identity and place. The process will incorporate various community discussions and workshops, and premiere in the fall of 2017.

Joyce Foundation Culture Program Director Angelique Power said this year's recipients reflect the people and ideas emanating from the Midwest's creative hubs.

 "For more than a decade, the Joyce Awards have made possible new artwork that is vital and frankly needed to enhance the art world's voices and perspectives," said Power.

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About the Joyce Foundation
The Joyce Foundation works with grantee partners to improve quality of life, promote community vitality, and achieve a fair society. We focus grant making primarily on the Great Lakes region, and also have national impact. Our Culture program focuses on strengthening and diversifying arts organizations, building capacity within the arts sector and investing in the creative capital of artists of color.

Jason Schumann

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SOURCE The Joyce Awards