FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OAKLAND, December 10, 2021 – The East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) announced the selection of 16 local artists for grants totaling $170,000 from the East Bay Fund for Artists (EBFA). Committed to the diversity of artistic disciplines and organizations, the projects will provide opportunities for historically disenfranchised communities to experience art that represents their culture and history.
“Arts and culture play a critical and integral role in social justice movements, unleashing an amazing power to inspire and bring our communities together,” said EBCF Senior Program Officer Debrah Giles, who leads the foundation’s program strategy focused on arts and culture for social and racial justice, including EBFA. “EBCF is proud to collaborate with these sixteen artists who are dedicated to amplifying the voices that often go unheard.”
Each project speaks to social justice and the realities of communities hardest hit during the pandemic and racial justice movements. Selections offer an array of disciplines and perspectives including a full-length theatre production, revolutionary billboards, documentary films, a scripted digital series, and ancestral song and dance honoring the cultural legacies and histories of East Bay performance traditions.
“Themes from the 2021 round were rooted in the cultural ways, traditions, and day to day lived experiences of people and communities of the East Bay in a pre- and post-pandemic world,” said Anyka Howard, team member of EBFA and Director and Founder of Betti Ono.
The 2021 awardees include:
- ARTogether/Edward Gunawan “Home Free”
- Community Rejuvenation Project/Spencer Wilkinson “Boogaloo Originals Education Engagement Project”
- Crescent Moon Theater Productions/Polina Smith “Home? A Documentary Theater Refugee Project”
- Dancer’s Group/Nkeiruka Oruche “Obi gbawara m//My Heart Shattered”
- Eastside Arts Alliance/Charmaine Davis “Bismuth”
- Filmmakers Collaborative SF/A.K. Sandhu “For Love and Legacy”
- Intersection for the Arts/Antoine Hunter “Native Land, Native Hands”
- Kala Art Institute/Christy Chan “Dear America”
- Museum of Children’s Art/Breana Parks “Many Moons”
- Richmond Art Center/Art of the African Diaspora “Luminaries”
- Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice/Cheryl Fabio “We Need a Home”
- Social Good Fund/Bay Peace “Youth Arts Masterpiece Project”
- Social Good Fund/Offsides Productions “Normal Ain’t Normal”
- SomArts/Oakland Workers Fund “Oakland Workers Fund Revolutionary PSAs Billboard Project
- The Queer Cultural Center/India Davis “A Spiral Shell”
- Wild Projects/Kyung Lee “We Are Here”
Recently, EBFA recommitted to its core purpose of supporting a wide range of artistic disciplines and artists that represent the East Bay’s racial and cultural diversity. Critical components of the Fund are supporting East Bay artists who may not otherwise have the capital to explore new works, and now, accommodating the terms of an artist’s agreement in the wake of COVID-19.
“When the pandemic first hit, [some rules] went out the window,” said Giles. “We told awardees, ‘If your project doesn’t happen, that’s fine. If you want to use the money for general operating support, that’s fine, too.’ Maybe the [opening] event happens online rather than at a venue. We started thinking outside of the box.”
As the East Bay assesses a path forward through the next stages of the pandemic and the ongoing calls for true racial justice, EBFA reaffirms the essential role artists play in intellectualizing this historic era.
“We say we want to support artists of color, and we’re doing that,” added Giles. “When we rewrote our proposal [to The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2019], we were very specific about what we wanted to do going forward: support organizations and artists that are focused on social and racial justice issues.”
Since its creation in 2003, the EBFA has partnered with more than 9,500 community donors and more than 200 organizations to commission new works by over 300 local artists. The Fund has leveraged almost $3.1 million in new financial support for the arts in the East Bay.
The East Bay Fund for Artists is a partnership between the East Bay Community Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Since its creation in 2003, EBFA has partnered with more than 300 local artists, 9,500 community donors and 200 organizations, leveraging almost $3.1 million in new financial support for the arts in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
ABOUT EAST BAY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Founded in 1928, and supported by over 400 local donors, the East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) connects donors with community-led movements to eliminate structural barriers, advance racial equity, and create an inclusive, fair, and just East Bay. Recognized as 2019’s “Boldest Community Foundation” by Inside Philanthropy, EBCF is committed to ensuring that all members of our community are treated fairly, with equitable opportunity and outcomes. EBCF has charitable assets under management of over $800 million.