Inside a Grant or Residency Panel Process
This mock panel-room conversation provides an inside look at the selection process for artist grants and provides tips for bolster your next application.
Get an inside look at what panelists look for and consider when reviewing grant applications. Taking the form of a mock panel-room conversation, the group will review project descriptions and work samples from real applications to provide honest feedback and advice, with time for questions from the audience. This panel will be led by Creative Capital Awardee James Scruggs, and will feature awardee and filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes, and Joan Mitchell Center Director, Toccarra Thomas, all of whom will offer their perspectives and panel experience.
James Scruggs is a writer for theater, TV and Film, a performer, producer and arts administrator. His theatrical work is usually large scale, topical, multi-media performance pieces. This work is often fully immersive and interactive; usually focused on race, racism, supremacy, and gender politics. He’s received several grants, and awards, including 2-NJSCA Grants, 2-MAP Grants, and a Creative Capital Grant to create performance works staged and reviewed in NYC. His 3/Fifths SupremacyLand premiered in NYC (May 2017). The fully immersive, actually interactive dystopian theme park explored the historic weaponization of black skin. Receiving four stars in NYC Timeout; He has a BFA in Film- School of Visual Arts. www.jamesscruggs.com
Toccarra A. H. Thomas is a media and performance artist, film programmer, and arts administrator. As the Director of the Joan Mitchell Center, she guides and refines the artist residency program, develops related public programs and special projects to connect artists and communities, and oversees the Center’s day-to-day operations. After obtaining her BA in Cultural Anthropology (Film Studies minor) at Smith College, she went on to earn her Masters in Media Studies at The New School, while also working as an interview facilitator for StoryCorps’ Griot Initiative to record personal narratives of Black Americans that were later archived at The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Following her time in the field, she served as the program manager at African Film Festival, Inc., where she produced public programs in over thirteen countries in partnership with city parks, community centers, schools, cinemas, and museums that challenged notions of culturally “accessible” content and brought members of the public together in conversation with creative practitioners and art educators from Africa and the African Diaspora. Later, she shifted focus to support the professional development of artists as the NYFA Source Program Associate at New York Foundation for the Arts, where she led workshops and created resources tailored to address the needs of artists at varying stages in their careers. Most recently, she held the positions of inaugural general manager of Pioneer Works Art Foundation and inaugural managing director of SPACE, a contemporary multidisciplinary art organization in Portland, ME.
Rodrigo Reyes is a Mexican-American filmmaker whose films include the documentary Purgatorio and the dramatic narrative Lupe Under the Sun. He has screened in nearly 50 film festivals around the world, including the LA Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, and Documentary Fortnight at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, garnering rave reviews in The New York Times, Variety and other media outlets, as well as multiple Jury Awards. Named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine, in 2016 he was chosen as a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow at MacDowell Colony, and in 2017 he was selected for the National Mediamaker Fellowship by the Bay Area Video Coalition. Rodrigo’s work has received the support of Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, California Humanities Council, Film Independent, IFP Narrative and Documentary Labs, the Mexican Film Institute, and more. In 2015, his documentary Purgatorio was selected as the Season Premiere for America ReFramed. In 2019, he collaborated with Netflix to produce a short film entitled, After the Raid about one of the largest immigration raids in over a decade. Rodrigo was selected for the Spotlight on Storytellers Award by Sundance Institute, and is a Guggenheim Fellow.