AURORA Dallas and PNC Foundation’s Artist Relief Grantees Announced

by Christopher Blay June 18, 2021


Aurora Dallas, PLC Group Artist Grant Winners. From top left-Ruben Carrazana, Christian Cruz, Austin Jordan Johnson, Gerald L. Leavell II, and Jer’Lisa Joyce Devezin.

Aurora Dallas, PLC Group Artist Grant Winners. From top left, clockwise: Ruben Carrazana, Christian Cruz, Austin Jordan Johnson, Jer’Lisa Joyce Devezin and Gerald L. Leavell II.

Dallas-based AURORA, the public arts, technology and community organization, has announced the winners of its second round of artist relief grants offered to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists in North Texas. Ruben Carrazana, Christian Cruz, Jer’Lisa Joyce Devezin, Austin Jordan Johnson, and Gerald L. Leavell II will each receive $4,000 of the $20,000 award. Supported by the PNC Foundation, a financial support organization that has aided non-profits since 2004, the funds are designed to alleviate the economic impacts of Covid-19 on North Texas artists.

Joshua King, co-founder of AURORA, states about the award when it was announced last February: “We are proud to be able to offer a second round of grants after a successful first round. AURORA is humbled to help offer these grants to artists in North Texas and we’re grateful to see our community stepping up to support the financial fall out that artists continue to experience at this time.”

Beyond the grant to awardees, AURORA will also establish a business wellness program to support North Texas BIPOC artists, post-Covid. As part of its mission, the organization also hosts the AURORA Biennial exhibition, and an expanded AURORA program throughout the year. “Being able to help artists during these trying times has been such an honor for the AURORA team,”  stated Erica Felicella, Executive Producer for AURORA. “It is in thanks to the PNC Foundation and an amazing panel of jurors that AURORA has had the pleasure to pay it forward to those who need it and while doing so we get the privilege of getting to know our artistic community a little deeper.”

The independent panel of jurors for the relief fund is made up partly of artists and art professionals representing the BIPOC  artist community in North Texas, and includes Liliana Bloch, director and founder of Dallas’ Liliana Bloch Gallery; Sara Cardona, artist and Executive Artistic Director of Teatro Dallas; Viola Delgado, artist; Riley Holloway, artist; and Christian Vasquez, filmmaker.

For more on the artists, please visit AURORA’s Website here.


AURORA is a Dallas-based public arts organization at the intersection of art, technology and community that presents works by the most visionary artists of our time. A cornerstone of arts and culture in North Texas, AURORA aims to expand the future of art through a dialogue that engages the creative possibilities within ourselves and each other.

Since its founding in 2010 by artists Shane Pennington and Joshua King, along with veteran arts supporter Veletta Forsythe Lill, AURORA has commissioned and presented public art works by over 300 local and international artists. Through its signature biennial and support of the Dallas arts community, AURORA has grown over the years from a local arts event to a multifaceted public arts organization with the ability to give back to artists and creatives in the region.

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