A solo exhibition of photography and videos by MacArthur Fellow LaToya Ruby Frazier is one of six new programs that will be presented this year at the August Wilson Center in Downtown’s Cultural District.
On Thursday, The Pittsburgh Foundation announced grants totaling $300,000 to six local and regional arts groups. Ranging from $25,000 to $75,000, the grants come from the foundation’s programming fund for the August Wilson Center. The center, which opened in 2009, was rescued from bankruptcy in 2014 by The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
Silver Eye Center for Photography will receive a $65,000 grant to produce an exhibition of Ms. Frazier’s images and videos. Last September, Ms. Frazier received a MacArthur Foundation grant of $625,000, which is paid out over five years. Influenced by the work of photographers Gordon Parks and Lewis Hine, she has documented Braddock residents’ struggle against social and economic decline. Other recipients are:
Balafon West African Dance Ensemble will use a $75,000 grant to present workshops and a full dance theater production based on August Wilson’s play, “Gem of the Ocean.” The Bill Nunn Theatre Outreach Project will host a regional August Wilson monologue competition with a $25,000 grant. Hiawatha Project will use a $50,000 grant to present an original theatrical production of “John Henry: Mechanics of a Legend.” Reed Dance will use $60,000 to hold a two-week summer residency for young people. The ToonSeum will use $25,000 to mount the exhibition “Thin Black Line: Civil Rights in Comics and Cartoons.”
Sixty program proposals were submitted to The Pittsburgh Foundation. Five artists who reviewed those proposals were Lou Bellamy, founder of The Penumbra Theatre cq in Minnesota; Anne Collins Smith, a curator and collection manager at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art; James Gourlay, general director of River City Brass; Maori Karmael Holmes, artistic director of BlackStar Film Festival and Shay Wafer, executive director of 651 Arts in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“The wide range of great ideas submitted as a part of this process emphatically demonstrates the depth of knowledge and interest in African-American art and culture that exists in the region,” said Germaine Williams, senior program officer for arts and culture at The Pittsburgh Foundation.
Marylynne Pitz: 412-263-1648 or email@example.com.