Luminaria, a San Antonio non-profit that promotes arts in the region, has announced its 2021 Luminaria Artist Foundation Grants Program awardees. Funds totaling $54,000 were awarded to seven Bexar County (San Antonio’s county seat) artists.
Grants were awarded for artists to create new, original works in the categories of Literary Arts, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts, with funding of $6,000 and $10,000 — the most awarded since the organization began. Luminaria will fund projects that will be completed by next March, and some of the works will appear in the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival on Nov. 13 of this year.
“COVID-19 was a devastating blow to all industries, especially to the arts, which directly impacts the tourism economy of San Antonio,” says Luminaria Executive Director Yadhira Lozano. “Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to increase funding dollars in record time to help these artists survive financially as our city begins to recover.”
The Luminaria 2021 grant panel judges included Kim Bishop (visual arts, San Antonio), Leenda Bonilla (visual arts, Bronx, NY), Roberto ‘El Robotico’ Livar (performance art, San Antonio), Dallin Maybee (multidisciplinary arts, Boulder, CO), Asdrubal Sierra (performance arts, Los Angeles, CA) and TaRessa Stovall (literary arts, Atlanta, GA).
“I was blown away by the breadth, depth, diversity, and vision of the artistic talent in San Antonio,” says TaRessa Stovall. “The applicants represented very high levels of expertise and a deep passion for challenging creative norms to create art that resonates with and nurtures a sense of community.”
The organization will also award Professional Development grants of up to $500 each to 15 artists for related art and travel expenses, funded by the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture.
The grant recipients for 2021 are as follows:
$10,000 Grant Awards
-Musician Jeremy Kingg. “Kingg seeks to amplify the energy transfer that happens between all living beings using his words to mingle his experiences with his listeners’ own inner battles with change and the desire for balance between head and heart.”
– Going by Eddie V, poet Eddie Vega is a South Texas spoken word artist, storyteller, and educator. “Vega’s poetry is known for its direct style, clever word-play, social justice themes, and incorporation of Tejano culture and language. He’s published several chapbooks and one full-length collection of poetry, Chicharra Chorus (Flower Song Press, 2019). Vega garnered the bid for San Antonio to host the 2018 Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and at the 2017 National Poetry Slam,” among other accomplishments.
-The Rick Liberto Visual Arts Award went to Guillermina Zabala, a native Argentinian. “Zabala s a multidisciplinary artist and educator whose art examines the intersection between the individual and their social-political-cultural environment. Her works have been exhibited in museums and art galleries in Los Angeles, New York, Texas, Miami, and San Francisco; and internationally in Germany, Latin America, and Spain. Because of her recurrent use of text in her artwork, Zabala was a guest speaker at the McNay’s ‘Language Is a Virus’ while her solo video exhibit I, Me, Light was on display.”
$6,000 Grant Awards in the Open Category
-San Antonio visual artist, muralist, and illustrator Adriana Garcia. “Her debut picture book All Around Us (text by Xelena Gonzalez, Cinco Puntos Press) was awarded the prestigious 2018 Pura Belpré Honor for illustration, and her second book Where Wonder Grows (by the same author and press) is set to come out May 2021.”
-Filmmaker and San Antonio resident Justin Rogriguez. “In 2017, Rodriguez created his own production company, Brave Pictures, and wrote, edited, directed, and produced his first film, LUSH, which gained multiple film festival selections across the country. In 2019, Rodriguez won the San Antonio Filmmaker grant for his second film Glossolalia, which also won the Best Texas Short Award at the El Paso Media Fest and is now on Amazon Prime.”
$6,000 Kathy Armstrong Contemporary Art Award
–Marisela Barrera. “Barrera is a Tejana writer, performer, director, and educator with a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University and MA/MFA degrees in Creative Writing, Literature, and Social Justice from Our Lady of the Lake University. Her work provides intersections of Tejana, Chicana, Méxicana, and Gothic identities through the short stories, profiles, and nonfiction essays she writes and turns into performances.”
–DeAnna Brown. “A founder of the San Antonio Black International Film Festival, Brown was a producer for and actress in the 2018 film Breaking Brokenness, for which she won over 18 awards, including two Best Actress awards and a Best of Fest Acting Award. Brown, an artist, is also the founder/CEO of Forward Progress Arts & Entertainment Center, Inc.”
For more on Luminaria San Antonio, please visit its website here.