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MIA Receives Joyce Award to Support New Contemporary Art

January 26, 2010: CHICAGO—The Joyce Foundation is proud to announce the 2010 Joyce Awards winners in the Midwest cities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Since 2003, the Joyce Awards program has been the only granting opportunity exclusively supporting artists of color in major Midwestern cities. Joyce is awarding five outstanding arts organizations grants of $50,000 each to support new works in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

Winners in each artistic category include:

  • DANCE: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (Saint Paul) to commission African American choreographer Uri Sands to create a new dance work inspired by the paintings of African American artist Ernie Barnes;

  • MUSIC: Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago) to commission the African American stringband the Carolina Chocolate Drops to create “Kingdom Coming,” a new multimedia collaborative performance piece that celebrates black heritage from Vaudeville;

  • THEATER: Steppenwolf Theatre Co. (Chicago) to support a new play based on the biblical book of Job by African American playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney;

  • VISUAL ARTS: The Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee), in partnership with the Chipstone Foundation, to support news works by African American visual artist Theaster Gates for a multimedia exhibition/installation that includes pottery, sculpture, video, and music.

  • VISUAL ARTS: Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis) to commission Iranian American artist Ali Momeni to create two new media installations to launch the museum’s inaugural year of contemporary art programming.

“The Joyce Foundation is proud this year to grant five Joyce Awards to very talented artists and the vibrant cultural institutions that will present these works,” stated Ellen S. Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation. “Their artistry illustrates the diversity and creativity that lies within our area and is part of what makes the Great Lakes region so special.”

Since its inception in 2003, the Joyce Awards has supported cultural institutions in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Award winners have not only presented their works to the institutions’ traditional audiences; they have also worked with community groups, school children, and public art projects. The goal is for these commissions to produce vivid, new works of art that strengthen cultural venues and draw people of diverse backgrounds to experience the rewards of participating in the arts as well as elevate the visibility of creative works by minority artists.

Applications are reviewed by independent arts advisors from outside the Midwest and reviewed and approved by the Foundation’s board of directors. Joyce Awards of $50,000 are made directly to arts organizations and are awarded in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Each award supports the work of the individual artist as well as significant community engagement efforts. Organizations have up to three years to complete their proposed projects.

MIA to Collaborate With Ali Momeni

interview with Ali Momeni on YouTube(tm) »

Ali Momeni was born in Isfahan, Iran and emigrated to the United States at the age of twelve. He studied physics and music and completed his doctoral degree in music composition, improvisation, and performance with computers from the Center for New Music and Audio technologies at UC Berkeley. Momeni is interested in interactivity in the arts, technologically mediated social interaction, gesture to sound/image mappings, and data-driven search and synthesis techniques. He currently holds an assistant professorship in the Department of Art and the Interdisciplinary Program for Collaborative Arts (IPCA) at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The Joyce Award will support the MIA to commission Momeni to create collaborative, new media installations to engage younger audiences and the diverse residents of the museum’s community, the Whittier neighborhood; nearly one-third of Whittier residents were born outside of the United States. The commission would launch with emergent contemporary art programming at the MIA in 2011. The theme would be grounded in the exploration of art in times of global political and cultural crisis. Momeni would create multiple projection installations—in collaboration with visual artist Jenny Schmid and his group of itinerant artists, their bicycles, and projection technologies, Minneapolis Art on Wheels—inspired by battle scenes from the museum’s collection of Persian and Indian miniature paintings of the Mughal period (1542–1605).

For more information on applying for a 2011 Joyce Awards or to learn more about the Joyce Foundation, please visit www.joycefdn.org or call 312.782.2464.

full press release »