Announcing the 2019 Creative Capital Awards

New York, NY (January 15, 2019) — Creative Capital is pleased to announce the selection of 50 projects as 2019 Creative Capital Awardees. The awardees will receive up to $50,000 in project funding, supplemented by an additional $50,000 in career development services, for a total value of $100,000. The full list of recipients is below.

This year’s 50 projects by 58 individual artists were drawn from a pool of more than 5,200 applications. They were chosen by a nine-member, multidisciplinary panel composed of past awardees, expert curators, producers, and other arts professionals following a thorough multi-step review process. In a change from previous years, when only projects in a rotating selection of genres were eligible to apply, applications were accepted from artists across all disciplines, a practice that will continue going forward.

“There is no better way to mark our upcoming 20th anniversary than by recognizing these artists and projects,” said Suzy Delvalle, Creative Capital’s President & Executive Director. “The 2019 class of Creative Capital Awardees is a window into some of the most innovative, exciting, and powerful work being undertaken today. We cannot wait to see how these projects develop, and how this incredible community of artists grows together and evolves.”

The projects which earned 2019 Creative Capital Awards are based in 15 different states and territories, from New York to California, Puerto Rico to Washington. Over 60 percent of the artists identify as women, and 77 percent as people of color. They span a range of genres, including literature, performance, the visual arts, moving image, technology, and socially engaged art, but what they all share in common is a conviction in the power of art and the importance of pushing boundaries.

“The Creative Capital Award is an investment in the career and potential of the artist. This is not a one-time gift, but a continued relationship and expanded network of inspiration,” added panelist Sixto Wagan. “There’s no real way to quantify the value of being among so many brilliant thinkers and diverse processes.”

In a departure from traditional awards panels, Creative Capital’s review process was not delineated by genre. The nine panelists deliberated together to select the awardees regardless of field. “Many of the hallmarks of the most exceptional proposals were consistently applicable across the visual, performing, literary, and multimedia arts,” said panelist Alice Gray Stites.

Drawing from the principles of venture capital to develop innovative work in the cultural sphere, Creative Capital seeks out bold, groundbreaking projects and provides the artists behind them with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers. Since its founding in 1999, Creative Capital has supported 561 projects with over $45 million in funding; professional development opportunities; legal, financial, and other consulting; artist retreats and gatherings; and more, with the aim of fostering and developing artistic exchange and a thriving cultural commons across the United States.

Applications for the 2020 Creative Capital Awards will open February 1, 2019.

2019 Panelists
Heather Dewey-Hagborg, 2016 Creative Capital Awardee
Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater
Alice Gray Stites, Chief Curator, 21c Museum Hotel
Rasu Jilani, Director of Strategic Partnerships, NEW Inc
Scott Macaulay, President & Producer, Forensic Films
Jillian Mayer, 2015 Creative Capital Awardee
Ethan Nosowsky, Editorial Director, Graywolf Press
E. Carmen Ramos, Deputy Chief Curator of Latino Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Sixto Wagan, Director, Center for Art & Social Engagement at the University of Houston

Panel Advisor
Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, The Laundromat Project, New York

About Creative Capital
Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, gatherings, and career development services. Its pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build more sustainable careers. Since 1999, Creative Capital has committed over $45 million in project funding and advisory support to 561 projects representing 700 artists and has worked with more than 18,000 artists in over 800 creative communities across the country.

Creative Capital receives major support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Lambent Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, New York Community Trust, William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, Muriel Pollia Foundation, Paige West, Stephen Reily and Emily Bingham, The Theo Westenberger Estate, and more than 100 other institutional and
individual donors.

For more, visit

Press Contacts
Ed Winstead
Director, Cultural Counsel
(919) 770-6963
[email protected]

Michael Gibbons
Director of Marketing & Communications, Creative Capital
(212) 598-9900 ext. 238
[email protected]

2019 Creative Capital Awards

niv Acosta
Brooklyn, NY & Berlin, Germany
BLACK POWER NAPS is a space for self-care. The installation has multiple surfaces to facilitate reclining positions, a bass sound healing station, multiple levels in which to find and create a space of one’s own to rest. The artist will create a multi-purpose separatist organizing space with a focus on rest, restoration, rejuvenation, reparation, and black joy.

Polly Apfelbaum
New York, NY
This is not a rug/A Sun Bonnet Women
This is not a rug/A Sun Bonnet Women is an installation containing hand-woven carpets, ceramics, drawings, wallpaper, and/or immersive color. The key visual motif comes from a painting of a faceless woman in a symbolic Pennsylvania Dutch style, relating it to contemporary ideas surrounding the portrayal of women.

Brandon Ballengée
Arnaudville, LA
Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf
This interdisciplinary art and environmental project seeks to activate and empower Gulf of Mexico residents through eco-actions and pop-up exhibitions in coastal Louisiana. A project focus will be to collectively search for and poetically portray “missing” Gulf species that have not been reported since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Lisa Bates & Sharita Towne
Portland, OR
The Black Life Experiential Research Group is a think tank. Instead of dry analytical reports, it produces transmedia experiences. It anchors itself to a Black geography of Portland, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s porous and collaborative with diverse artists, thinkers, audiences, and cityscapes. It can fly through neighborhoods that were razed by slum clearance, exhume voices and documents that unsettle our understanding of what happened then, now, and can happen in future. It gives language, shape, and form to Black imagination through public art and intervention,
augmented reality, print, and video, to breath possibilities back into sites of Black Life in Portland and beyond.

Bahar Behbahani
Brooklyn, NY
Ispahan Flowers Only Once
Ispahan Flowers Only Once is a project comprised of a long-format video and building a community garden in the city of New York. The video explores the artist’s personal relationship with American scholar, Donald Wilber, and his duality as a historic expert in Persian gardens and a spy who secretly orchestrated the 1953 CIA coup in Iran. The community garden, inspired by Persian garden design, philosophy, plants, and flora will bring people together to take part and re-activate the history by gathering and gardening through conversations, screenings, readings, and performances around politics and poetics of the garden.

Garrett Bradley
New Orleans, LA
Love is a practical, object-based product provided free of charge to those suffering the negative effects of missing loved ones as a result of incarceration.

Charlotte Brathwaite
New York, NY
Forgotten Paradise: Gazette’s Sun
Forgotten Paradise: Gazette’s Sun is an experiment in creative nonfiction filmmaking, installation and live performance. It traces the lineage of Director Charlotte Brathwaite’s family history against the backdrop of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Athens, GA
Resurrect Extinct Vibration
Resurrect Extinct Vibration is a (Soma)tic poetry ritual in nine maneuvers, including lying on the ground across the US to saturate their body with recordings of recently extinct animals and strategically placing index cards in public with email correspondences for each animal, to result in a total of 108 poems.

Todd Chandler
Brooklyn, NY
Untitled Safe Schools Project
Untitled Safe Schools Project explores the landscape of 21st Century school safety in the United States, illuminating the complex ways in which we as a nation struggle to understand and prevent violence, and endeavor to create safer schools.

S. Leo Chiang
San Francisco, CA & Taipei, Taiwan
Parachute Kids
At 15, Chiang was sent with his two younger siblings to live in the US while his parents stayed behind in Taiwan, and all of them have been coping with the repercussions of this separation ever since. Parachute Kids is a first person essay film exploring the family’s bittersweet American dream.

Nathaniel Corum & Joseph Kunkel
Mill Valley, CA & Santa Fe, NM
Place of Gathering and Reconciliation at the Fort Robinson Breakout Site
Elders and culture bearers of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana have asked Kunkel and Corum to collaborate in developing a culturally responsive design for the historic site of the Fort Robinson Breakout and Massacre. The artists will listen, interact, and deliver a plan to activate the site for gathering, ceremony, and remembrance.

Ramona Diaz
Baltimore, MD
Untitled Ramona S. Diaz Film
The Untitled Ramona S. Diaz Film explores the relationship between fear and the institutions empowered to protect us. The story itself is a meditation on power: who amasses it and who relinquishes it, what is gained and what is lost in the transaction?

Stephanie Dinkins
Brooklyn, NY
Not the Only One
Not the Only One (NTOO) is a multigenerational memoir of a black American family told from the mind of an artificial intelligence of evolving intellect. It is designed by, trained inclusively, and aligned with the interests and culture(s) of people of color.

Laura Doggett
New Orleans, LA & Mafraq, Jordan
Another Kind of Girl Collective
A global arts initiative created by a group of young, female Syrian artists for girls and young women living in displaced, transitory communities around the world, to connect, collaborate, and co-create multimedia artworks and stories that reflect and express their experiences, inner lives, and artistic visions.

Caleb Duarte
Fresno, CA
Walking the Beast
Walking the Beast is an investigative art project in collaboration with immigrant refugee communities from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala currently traveling through Mexico. Duarte will create nomadic art studios following the route of these communities, producing site-specific installations and performances juxtaposed with oral histories and interviews.

Alejandro Durán
Brooklyn, NY & Sian Ka’an, Mexico
Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape
Washed Up is an environmental installation and photography project that transforms the international debris washing up on Mexico’s Caribbean coast into aesthetic yet disquieting works. The artist proposes the creation of a “Museum of Garbage” in the Mexican jungle to exhibit new large-scale works.

Larissa FastHorse
Santa Monica, CA
Native Nation
Native Nation is a community-generated and -performed immersive theatrical experience created through radical engagement with the Lakota communities of South Dakota. Native Nation combines long-term community service with the Cornerstone methodology of creating theater through a Native lens to make work that is truly Indigenous and artistically excellent.

Johanna Fateman
New York, NY
Amerikan Woman
Amerikan Woman is a book-length work of experimental nonfiction that merges the artist’s biographical research about radical feminist writer and antipornography activist Andrea Dworkin with her own memoir, drawing upon diverse literary genres, including historical and dystopian fiction. Dworkin’s life and apocalyptic vision becomes a lens through which to see the artist’s personal history, contemporary feminism, and the dawn of Trumpism.

Paul Flores, Rosalba Rolón & Yosvany Terry
We Have Iré
We Have Iré is a multidisciplinary theater work that explores the lives of Afro-Cuban and Cuban-American transnational artists living in the United States, and their influence on and experience with American culture.

Ja’Tovia Gary
Brooklyn, NY
The Evidence of Things Not Seen
Intimate family interviews, animation, and archival footage of the African-American experience blend in this reimagining of the documentary form. A quest into artist Ja’Tovia Gary’s family lineage, The Evidence of Things Not Seen delves deep into ancestral inheritance, transgenerational trauma, and mental illness.

Allison Janae Hamilton
New York, NY
Front Yard
Front Yard is a land-based project with a twofold focus as a large outdoor sculpture installation with an accompanying cultural and research hub in the artist’s home region of North Florida.

Michelle Handelman
Brooklyn, NY
DELIRIUM is a multichannel video installation with live performance that breaks apart hierarchical systems of control through ruptures in language and form. With a cast of queer performers passing through smoke, light, digital glitches, and 360° video, DELIRIUM uses Patricia MacCormack’s theoretical text, Cinesexuality (2008), as a jumping off point to imagine altered states of consciousness through queer desire.

Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman
San Francisco, CA
Run With It
Run With It, an animated feature documentary film, explores the crisis in the criminal justice system and US racial divide through the eyes of DeJaun Correia, a young black man on the Dean’s List at Morehouse College who grew up spinning quarters on death row with his uncle, Troy Davis.

Wes Hurley
Seattle, WA
Potato Dreams of America
Potato Dreams of America is an autobiographical narrative feature film chronicling the artist’s childhood as a closeted gay kid in the disintegrating U.S.S.R., and his adventurous journey to the United States with his mother, a prison doctor turned mail-order bride.

Ekene Ijeoma
Brooklyn, NY & Boston, MA
The Green Book Project
The Green Book Project is a series of publications and interactive installations developed through storytelling and mapping workshops that reimagine the Negro Motorist Green Book for “traveling while Black” in today’s “New Jim Crows.” The series aspires to create visibility, accountability, and solidarity for the state of Black mobility and safety today as WEB Du Bois did for the state of Black life in America in 1900.

Raja Feather Kelly
Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday reimagines the film Dog Day Afternoon as a black-queer fantasia. Wednesday, a utopia for the untold stories of queer people, is a cabaret club where film noir meets psychological thriller meets pop soap opera.

Daresha Kyi
Atlanta, GA
Mama Bears
Mama Bears explores how the lives of conservative, Christian mothers are utterly transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ children — no matter the cost. As members of private Facebook groups, they offer one another support in the struggle to overcome their anti-LGBTQ beliefs.

Kia LaBeija & Taina Larot
Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY
Wom(y)n with a Y
To investigate the relationships between the Womyn we call family; by blood or by choice. Wom(y)n with a Y is a play on the word Woman, suggesting that the Y serves as a question of one’s purpose. It is an intimate view of the interconnectedness of our tribe of Womyn.

Jen Liu
Staten Island, NY
Pink Slime Caesar Shift
Pink Slime Caesar Shift is a project that proposes to alter the genetic material of cow cells in order to carry secret messages of labor activism for female factory workers in South China, taking the form of genetic engineering of cow cells, 3D-printer prototyped smallcast sculpture, and video/3D animation.

San Juan, PR
Canoas, cayucos y balsas
Canoas, cayucos y balsas proposes the construction of a fleet of Caribbean vessels, utilizing materials from native trees constructed with techniques from pre-Columbian times to the present. The artist will investigate the aesthetic and symbolic qualities of the object-vessel, the act of navigation, and the ocean as binding body between islands.

Lauren McCarthy
Los Angeles, CA
The artist will explore dynamics of a future where we have increasing control over life through genetic modification, reproductive technologies, and changing notions of childcare through durational performance and video.

Maaza Mengiste
Flushing, NY
A Brief Portrait of Small Deaths
A Brief Portrait of Small Deaths, the author’s third novel, is a story set in Berlin during the interwar years. The book will focus on the life of a German painter and his model, an Afro-German woman, as Nazism rises in the country.

Elissa Blount Moorhead
Baltimore, MD
As of a Now
As of a Now (AOAN) is an x-ray film projection installation which is 3D-mapped onto a vacant row house, using audiovisual narratives, oral histories, augmented reality, and artifacts which reference its former Black denizens and the building’s cultural memo.

Meshelle Ndegeocello
Brooklyn, NY
No More Water/The Fire Next Time: The Gospel According to James Baldwin
An ever-evolving work by Meshell Ndegeocello, No More Water pays homage to James Baldwin by creating a shared space for reflection, conversation, and social change. Ndegeocello’s transformative music and collaborative spirit ignites this genre-bending performance: a church service, a concert, a celebration, a testimonial, and a call to action.

Alison O’Daniel
Los Angeles, CA
The Tuba Thieves
The Tuba Thieves, composed of film installations, sculptures, and performances, began after tuba robberies from Los Angeles schools. The story of a Deaf drummer runs parallel to marching band students reconciling with missing sound. The project prioritizes Deaf and Hard of Hearing experiences and reimagines the aural world.

Linda Parris-Bailey
Knoxville, TN
Yankee Bajan
Yankee Bajan is the story of migration, expatriation, and immigration stimulated by the current state of the state in the United States. In many communities across America after the 2016 election, families of color are reviewing their options, particularly those who are first and second-generation Americans.

Victor Payan & Pocha Peña
Santa Ana, CA & San Antonio, TX
Dreamocracy in America
Dreamocracy in America (Nuevo DIA) is a take-noprisoners time-travelling transdisciplinary tour of America that picks up Alexis de Tocqueville’s journey into the American character where he left off, and completes his epic project by examining immigrant and refugee detention centers, Native reservations, and communities west of the 1831 US border.

Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes
New York, NY
I’m Still Here: Reflections on Trauma and Healing
Beginning with site-specific processes in eight US cities, I’m Still Here will examine sites of structural and institutional violence and racial trauma. I’m Still Here is a musical installation project asking: what are the circumstances creating daily trauma in communities of color; and, what are the processes that people use to heal from their trauma?

Michael Premo
Brooklyn, NY
Untitled Documentary Project
Untitled Documentary Project explores issues in contemporary America, expanding on Michael Premo’s practice of documenting timely national matters through participatory documentary.

Kathryn Ramey
Boston, MA
El Signo Vacío
Using educational, touristic, and military media/artifacts from the United States alongside contemporary voices, images, and sounds from Puerto Rico, El Signo Vacío (the empty sign) is a feature-length cinematic essay interrogating the 120-year US occupation of Puerto Rico to reveal how US democratic narratives effectively obscure its capitalist/military domination.

Martha Redbone & Aaron Whitby
Brooklyn, NY
Daughter of the Hills
Daughter Of The Hills is a devised, interdisciplinary theater work about a woman who returns to her homeland in Black Mountain and the coal mines of Kentucky where her family has dwelled for centuries. In her homecoming, Daughter Of The Hills moves between present day and dreams, the past, and now.

Alan Ruiz
Brooklyn, NY
Spatial Alchemy
Spatial Alchemy is part of an ongoing body of work that explores the way seemingly benign architectural and environmental elements reflect or reproduce social hierarchies. One facet of this research is dedicated to the legal form of property called “air rights” and the privatization of sunlight.

Alice Sheppard
New York, NY & San Francisco, CA
Descent is both a dance experience and a radical experiment in aesthetic accessibility and audience design. Through a mobile application—built in partnership with designer Laurel Lawson—and 360 film experience, Descent enables audiences to encounter wheeled embodiment.

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky
New York, NY
How to build a wall and other ruins
How to build a wall and other ruins is a video installation and a series of photography-based sculptures that absorb the debates around the engineering feats of Inca architecture to reimagine labor and its documentation, depict the gulf between theory and practice, and insert the body into an archeological site.

Michèle Stephenson
Brooklyn, NY
Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project
Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project is an immersive virtual reality, room-scale installation which brings users on a journey through time, traveling with those whose lived experiences included slavery, lynching, and mass incarceration, and ending in an afrofuturist tomorrow to confront and heal our generational wounds.

Leslie Tai
Bodega Bay, CA
How to Have an American Baby
There is a city in Southern California that is teeming with pregnant women from China. Told through multiple perspectives, this film travels deep into the booming shadow economy catering to Chinese birth tourists who travel to the U.S. on birthing vacations, in order to obtain US citizenship for their babies.

Cristal Chanelle Truscott
Houston, TX & Washington, DC
Plantation Remix
Plantation Remix, a site-responsive acapella musical, will be performed at historic plantations and related sites to revisit, raze, and reimagine the separatist genre of plantation tourism by rehabilitating the singular story of antebellum glory through shared histories and multiperspective narratives of both enslaved and slaveholding families and their descendants. The project’s
central tenet is that no American identity—across a multicultural range of experiences—should be left uninformed by the systemic and sociocultural descendants of US Slavery.

Shontina Vernon
Seattle, WA & New York, NY
Forging Ahead
Forging Ahead is a mash up of autobiographical storytelling, dynamic Rhythm and Blues music, and multimedia exploring the complexities of identity, sexuality, and adulthood as impacted by youth incarceration.

Elissa Washuta
Columbus, OH
White Magic
White Magic is a personal essay collection about heartbreak, sexual violation, and the artist’s process of becoming a powerful witch. Surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, Elissa Washuta learns to embrace the spirit powers and desperation witchery of her dispossessed and discarded Cowlitz, Cascade, and Appalachian ancestors.

Ni’Ja Whitson
Riverside, CA
The Unarrival Experiments
Dark matter and dark energy serve as portals to interrogating spaces of the unknown, yet they have an unequivocal impact on the composition of the universe. The Unarrival Experiments is an interdisciplinary performance project exploring relationships between astrophysics, cosmology, Blackness, Trans embodiedness, and premature death via a notion of the vaporous body.