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Inaugural Diversity + Leadership Fellows Announced

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Alliance of Artists Communities is pleased to announce the six inaugural recipients of the Diversity and Leadership Fellowship. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the fellowship aims to promote equity in the residency field  through direct support of  emerging arts administrators of color and administrators with disabilities regardless of their current role. It supports the cost of participation in the Alliance’s annual conference (taking place this year in Denver, Colorado, October 2-5, 2017); a site visit to a leading artist residency center in spring 2018; facilitated peer exchanges; and the cost of participation in the 2018 Emerging Program Institute (October 13-15, 2018). The fellowship expands upon a successful pilot program undertaken last year.

The 2017-2018 Fellows are: Nora Alami, Associate Producer at Gibney Dance (New York, NY); Arielle Julia Brown, a social practice artist and creative producer (Providence, RI); Nicole J. Caruth, Artistic Director at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC); Amanda Flores, Youth Programming Coordinator at PlatteForum (Denver, CO); Mayumi Hamanaka, Gallery and Communications Director at Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, CA) and Teresa Silva, Director of Exhibitions & Residencies at Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) (Chicago, IL).

Fellows were selected from a competitive pool of applicants, representing residencies across the United States. The committee sought to ensure that the cohort was geographically diverse and representative of the wide range of artist residency programs active today.

Alliance of Artists Communities Executive Director Lisa Hoffman says: “The new Diversity and Leadership Fellowship represents the coming together of two of the Alliance’s core priorities: equity in the arts and professional development. Creating a platform to amplify the voices of  administrators of color and administrators with disabilities early on in their career is the start of closing a critical gap in the field. This program will not only contribute to the creation of a pipeline for diverse leaders to serve in decision-making positions, it will also provide necessary critical support to retain those administrators in the field. When people see their experiences reflected at the highest level, their expertise valued, they feel encouraged to stay and continue to contribute to the vitality of their organizations.”

The Diversity and Leadership Fellowship is designed to increase the visibility of people of color and people with disabilities in programmatic ways. The Fellows are expected to contribute to the Alliance’s blog and organize sessions for the 2018 Alliance Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Fellows will be paired with a mentor, and in turn, will share their experiences with the 2018-2019 cohort. Hoffman added: “Building opportunities for our Fellows to engage with their peers and with the arts community into the requirements of the fellowship itself was a way for us to maximize its impact. Our six accomplished Fellows have a lot to teach us.”

2017 Diversity + Leadership Fellows

Nora Alami | Associate Producer, Gibney Dance

Nora Alami is a Moroccan-American performance artist currently working as the Associate Producer at Gibney Dance. She dedicates her artistic and administrative work to exploring historical, socio-political frameworks as a way to establish better access to equity. With a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Colorado College, she was a recipient of the W. Arthur Blakely Award in Psychology and El Pomar Scholarship for leadership in the non-profit sector. She has presented research on dehumanization, race, and gender at the Western Psychological Conference and Midstates Consortium Biomedical Sciences and Psychology; and was the representative for the Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy. Her commitment to arts as advocacy was deeply informed by her work with survivors of sexual violence. She has shared her artistic work at Gibney, Chez Bushwick, and MR at Judson Church. Nora currently serves as a steering member for Gibney’s Equity Action Committee and is on the Dance/NYC Junior Committee.

Arielle Julia Brown | Creative Producer, Social Practice Artist and Performance Curator

Arielle Julia Brown is a creative producer, social practice artist and performance curator.  Emerging from her work and research around U.S. slavery, racial terror and justice, Arielle is committed to supporting and creating Black performance work that commands imaginative and material space for social transformation. She is the founder of The Love Balm Project (2010-2014), a workshop series and performance based on the testimonies of women of color who have lost children to systemic violence. Arielle developed The DoubleBack, a site specific performance about three enslaved Black women in Providence RI while in residence at the Center for Reconciliation. Arielle is a co-creative producer on Remember2019, a residency project based in Phillips County, Arkansas. Arielle’s work and writing on Black political performance has been published in the anthology Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines. Arielle has taught and guest lectured at; Destiny Arts Center, Streetside Stories,and Liberation Songs (at Morehouse College) UC Berkeley, Mills College, Boston College, College Unbound, Pomona College and many more. Arielle has worked with Theatre Without Borders, SF Emerging Arts Professionals, The Latino Theatre Company - The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Teatro Luna,  AlternateROOTS, Andrew W Mellon Foundation among others. She received her B.A. from Pomona College and was the 2015-2017 graduate fellow with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University where she received an M.A. in Public Humanities.

Nicole J. Caruth | Artistic Director, McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Nicole J. Caruth is a writer and curator of contemporary art. She is currently the artistic director at McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Prior to joining the Center, Caruth held positions at Art21, The Union for Contemporary Art, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Brooklyn Museum. Nicole's recent curatorial projects include The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora; Crossroad: A Social Sculpture by the artist Derrick Adams; and Power of People, Power of Place by Fallen Fruit. Her writing has appeared in ARTnews, C Magazine, Gastronomica, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Public Art Review, Walker Art Center Magazine, the Phaidon Press volumes Vitamin Green and Vitamin D2, and exhibition catalogues published by Joan Mitchell Foundation and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She is founding editor of Art21 Magazine (est. 2013), an online space for insightful writing on contemporary art and artists. In 2012, Nicole founded With Food in Mind, a nomadic nonprofit developing art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Her extensive writing about food in contemporary has earned her recognition as a leading voice on the subject. She is currently collaborating with the artist Elia Alba on her book, The Supper Club. A native of the California Bay Area, Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in art history at San Francisco State University, and her master's degree at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies.

Amanda Flores | Youth Programming Coordinator, PlatteForum

Amanda is a youth activist dedicated to creating space for students to explore the arts. After graduating from Colorado College with a degree in Creative Writing, she realized her passion for community building and social change. Amanda found that one of the most valuable aspects of art-making was sharing the process and experience with others. She spent three years developing a one-on-one mentorship program for youth experiencing homelessness to develop a personal art practice and address social justice issues affecting their lives. Currently, Amanda is the Youth Programming Coordinator at PlatteForum and oversees ArtLab, a year-round, out-of-school program for under-resourced high school youth that integrates the creative process with personal, academic, and professional skill development. Through her work Amanda has fostered a deep appreciation for the different ways youth learn and how art holds space for everyone’s experience. She is a lover of poetry, experimental art-making and walks in the forest. 

 

 

Mayumi Hamanaka |  Gallery and Communications Director at Kala Art Institute

Mayumi Hamanaka, Gallery and Communications Director at Kala Art Institute, has diverse responsibilities including development of the annual marketing plan in collaboration with other staff members, web design and maintenance, curating exhibitions and related events at Kala gallery and outside venues, and managing Kala’s print archive. Originally from Japan, Mayumi is a visual artist, curator and educator. She received her M.F.A from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and her B.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of the Murphy Fellowship Award, de Young Museum Artist Fellowship, Taipei Artist Village Fellowship, and others. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally including Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Asian American Art Center in NYC.

Teresa Silva | Director of Exhibitions & Residencies, Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC)

Teresa Silva is a writer, curator, and the Director of Exhibitions & Residencies at the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC). She oversees programs for emerging artists, namely: BOLT Residency, HATCH Projects, and the MAKER Grant. Teresa is also a member of the artist-run collective Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Chicago), and serves on the board of the Chicago-based artist spaces, VGA Gallery and Heaven Gallery.

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE OF ARTISTS COMMUNITIES

The Alliance of Artists Communities (AAC) is the international service organization for artist residency programs and artist-centered organizations in the US and abroad. Its mission is to advocate for and support artists' residency programs as a means of advancing the endeavors of artists. It schedules development workshops and networking events, as well as an annual conference that brings together residency administrators, funders, artists, policy makers, and civic leaders for critical discussions on the needs of today’s artists; makes tools and resources that promote best practices available online; nurtures the next generation of residencies and residency leadership; and communicates the importance of residencies in the creative process to funders at all levels.

The AAC was founded in 1991 and is based in Providence, Rhode Island. It has more than 400 members in 50 U.S. states and 20 countries, and speaks collectively on behalf of the more than 1,500 residency programs worldwide. Since 2004, the Alliance has provided more than $2 million in direct grant funding to artists and residency centers. It is a registered 501(c)(3).