Three arts organizations have combined resources to support Dallas communities by funding projects from six art enterprises through $5,000 “co-learning” grants. The granting organizations include SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Ignite/Arts Dallas initiative, in partnership with San Francisco-based YBCA (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) and its CultureBank initiative, and Dallas’ The Arts Community Alliance (TACA).
According to ClydeValentín, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas: “The goal of Ignite/Arts Dallas is to integrate artistic practices with community engagement and to work with students and residents of Dallas to envision more just and vibrant communities.” Valentín also said that the initial grants are “demonstration investments,” the first part of a larger initiative. “Our hope is to move into the second phase of this pilot program in 2020 by choosing several projects — which could be from this group, or others — for more substantial, longer-term funding and development.”
According to SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, the funded organizations and projects are as follows:
Fred Villanueva, Ash Studios: Ash Studios, located a few blocks from Fair Park, was founded by artists Fred Villanueva and Darryl Ratcliff in 2012 and functions as a do-it-yourself arts center, welcoming artists to the site to collaborate, create, or rent space. Villanueva will create an Outdoor Painting Program to activate a 10,000-square-foot “Art Lot” as a gathering place for artists of color and artists whose work focuses on the urban landscape as a vital and valid place of expression. For more information, visit https://www.culturebank.
Jin-Ya Huang, Break Bread, Break Borders: As a catering company with a cause, Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB) currently provides training, certification and professional mentorship to women who are refugees from such countries as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Congo. Jin-Ya Huang will explore BBBB’s ability to enhance infrastructure so that it can cater to more people and reach a wider audience for storytelling. For more information, visit www.culturebank.org/
Tisha Crear, Recipe Oak Cliff: Opened in South Oak Cliff in 2017, Recipe Oak Cliff sells plant-based healthy food in a low-income neighborhood considered a food desert, and also offers shared commercial kitchen space, cooking classes and catering services. Tisha Crear with Recipe Oak Cliff will host “Conversations,” dinners with friends and neighbors to discuss collective ways to activate neighborhood vacant space. For more information, visit https://www.culturebank.
Ofelia Faz-Garza, Semillitas Literary Initiative: Oak Cliff-based writer and cultural worker Ofelia Faz-Garza focuses on planting the seeds of lifelong reading. Semillitas Literary Initiative (SLI) will develop a toolkit that contains printed materials (including a guide for implementing a neighborhood children’s book club using the SLI model, coloring pages, short stories, etc.) and audio content (via a new podcast). The toolkit will be disseminated in the community at community reading nooks, neighborhood book exchanges, and other SLI events and online through social media channels. For more information, visit https://www.culturebank.
Sara Cardona, Teatro Dallas’ Co-Lab/Theater for Healing in West Dallas: Founded in 1985, Teatro Dallas focuses on using the power of theater to foster increased understanding of both cultural similarities and differences to build a sense of community that celebrates diverse traditions. Led by Sara Cardona, Teatro Dallas’ new Co-Lab/Theater for Healing will explore new collaborative performance methodologies together with members of the West Dallas and Oak Cliff community to uncover unheard voices and narratives of these rapidly gentrified spaces. For more information, visithttps://www.culturebank.
VET, Artcycle TX: Artcycle TX is a project run by VET, a Dallas-based artist who makes art out of discarded objects. Artcycle’s mission is to promote creative art expression while encouraging environmental responsibility through recycling. VET plans, over the next six months, to develop a centralized platform for Artcycle TX, which will allow participants to engage in recycling of art-related found objects and discarded items through barter, exchange or purchases on-line, as well as one community “FREE 4 ALL” (give-away) event. For more information, visit https://www.culturebank.
For more information about Ignite Arts, please go here.