Houston’s Idea Fund Round 12 (2020) Winners Announced

by Christopher Blay December 20, 2019


Houston’s re-granting program, The Idea Fund, has announced its Round 12 (2020) grantees. Houston’s DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses administered the funds, whose resources come from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The awards go to the following applicants and the projects they proposed: Latifa AlBokhari, Britni Andrews, Black TM, Anne Buckwalter, Civic TV, Mitchell Collins, Familia Artist Collective, Junior Fernandez & S Rodriguez, Brandon Harris, Sin Huellas, Cecilia Norman, Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Michael Stevenson, and TAME, The Aspiring Me (Andrew Davis).

Brian Ellison, who was a  2019 Idea Fund recipient, juried the award along with Amanda Hunt, Director of Education and Senior Curator of Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Bob Snead, Executive Director of Antenna in New Orleans. Of the 126 applications they received from Houston-area artists, $59,000 was granted to 14 artists’ projects at the Stimulus ($7,000), Catalyst ($4,000), and Spark ($1,000) levels. 

States Hunt: “It was a pleasure to get to understand the Houston creative community better through The Idea Fund granting process. Houston has it all — artists, world-class non-profits and institutions, a diversity of communities — so it was an honor to support projects connecting all of those pieces.” In the same release from The Idea Fund, Ellison writes: “Being a juror for The Idea Fund was a hard yet beautiful process. Hard because there was a cap on the things you can fund, but beautiful because I was able to see the vast amount of creative genius this city has to offer.”

Black TM’s (Slant Rhyme and Raven Crane) Black and Brown Mail Art Biennale was awarded in the $7,000 Stimulus category for the exhibition which will survey original artworks from QTBIPOC contemporary artists from the southern gulf region. Others funded in Stimulus category were Mitchell Collins for his documentary film Seabrook, TX, and Familia Artist Collective, with José Eduardo Sánchez and collaborators Denisse Alanis, Jennicet Gutiérrez, Kenneth Reveiz, and Umí Vera, who were awarded for Notes Jotas, a collection of art and writing by LGBTQ+ Latinx voices presented in a bilingual format.

Rounding off the Stimulus category of awards were two awardees: Sin Huellas, represented by Delilah Montoya, Brenda Cruz-Wolf, Deyadira Trevino, and Orlando Lara, for the reassembly of the site-specific installation Detention Nation, conceived as a platform to bring awareness to the need for change to US immigration policies; and TAME, The Aspiring Me’s Seedless, an Andrew Davis site-specific installation and performance in the neighborhood of Lake Olympia, formerly known as the Palmer Plantation, in Southwest Houston.

In the $4,000 Catalyst category, Civic TV, the artist-run collaborative, was awarded funds for 9, an exhibition for the FotoFest 2020 Biennial. Junior Fernandez and S. Rodriguez’ installation Without Architecture There Would Be No Stonewall, Without Architecture There Would Be No Brick, also received and Idea Fund award. Others awards in this category went to Brandon Harris’ Mẹ Việt Nam ơi, Chúng Con Vẫn Còn đây, which examines the history of the Vietnamese diaspora in relation to the Houston and Gulf Coast region; Cecilia Noman’s Survival Movements, which unpacks issues related to sexual trauma;
and Michael Stevenson’s A Lot of Land, rooted in the radical reimagining of a reality wherein reparations were distributed amongst people of color and indigenous persons in America.

In the $1000 Sparks category, Latifa Albokhari’s Naas (People), a photography exhibition about observed communities through the lens of a Muslim Arab woman in Texas, was awarded. Other recipients in the Sparks category were Britni Andrews’ short film The Session: LGBTQ+ Mental Health feat. Queer People of Color; Anne Buckwalter’s book Comforter; and Stephanie Saint Sanchez’ theatrical-cinematic hybrid, Loca Love.

For more on the Idea Fund, please go here.

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