Queer|Art, New York City’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, 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 | Drownlooks 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), andMarýa 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.
“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,” Yaa Asantewaa writes. “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.”
Read more here
View an in-process video of Fly I Drown on Vimeo here