The Cedars Union (CU), a non-profit arts incubator in Dallas, launched its ongoing Art and Equity initiative which grants annual awards to BIPOC (Black, Indigenious, People of Color) & ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) artists. In this, the first year of the grant, two one-year funded Community Memberships will be awarded, giving 24/7 access to CU facilities, while one artist will also receive an 8 x 8 square-foot private studio space.
The organization’s push to address diversity, which it discussed in 2019, was re-emphasized for 2020. “It came down to intentionality,” says CU Managing Director Rachel Stanfield. “We started out in August 2018 knowing we had a diverse artist community, but realized it had happened somewhat by accident. We had talked about creating funded memberships for BIPOC artists, but the political unrest of 2020 formed a sense of clarity and urgency in us. Due to the pandemic, we also had an empty studio and unused funds from cancelled events. Our board and staff feel confident in committing space and budget this way to help heal the inequitable disparities and biases held within the supremacist systems the art world exists in. We know it’s the right next step for the organization as we work to thoughtfully foster a welcoming space for artists for years to come.”
The selection committee, which will also jury the Arts and Equity Award, currently includes Jeremy Biggers, artist, former CU studio artist and current community member; Dr. Diane Durant, a CU board member, artist, and Professor of Art at University of Texas at Dallas; and Morgana Wilborn, the Director of Education at Dallas Theater Center and Professor of Theater and Humanities and Eastfield and El Centro College.
To apply to The Cedars Union Art and Equity Awards, artists should submit five photographs of their work, a bio, and statement of intent through Slideroom. For application and eligibility requirements, please go here.
The Cedars Union is a nonprofit art incubator that supports local artists through communal and private studio space, shared tools, and educational programming. In 2015 the organization was formed to create community work space and training opportunities for artists, featuring private and shared studio spaces with state-of-the-art facilities and tools. The Boedeker, a historic 50,000 square foot building, was purchased for the project, but due to its large scale, a proof-of-concept model was built in the space next door. This 7,000 sf test space, the Annex, opened in August 2018 and began fulfilling the CU mission of providing tools and studio space for 15 studios artists, along with public programming. In 2019, The CU expanded its offerings by creating a Community Membership to serve artists unable to obtain a private workspace in the Annex. We welcomed a second cohort of studio artists into the Annex in Spring 2020, and our list of Community Members is ever-growing.