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Candor Arts 2019 Reading Residency Winners by Candor Arts

We are very excited to announce the winners of our third annual Reading Residency: 

Jen Delos Reyes

Reading Residency — Chicago, IL

Jen Delos Reyes ,  2019 Chicago Reading Residency Winner,  Photo credit: Marta Sasinowska

Jen Delos Reyes, 2019 Chicago Reading Residency Winner, Photo credit: Marta Sasinowska

Jen Delos Reyes is a creative laborer, educator, writer, and radical community arts organizer. Her practice is as much about working with institutions as it is about creating and supporting sustainable artist-led culture. Delos Reyes worked within Portland State University from 2008-2014 to create the first flexible residency Art and Social Practice MFA program in the United States and devised the curriculum that focused on place, engagement, and dialogue.  During that time she also worked with the Portland Art Museum from on a series of programs and integrated systems that allowed artists to rethink what can happen in a museum, and reinvigorate the idea of the museum as a public space.

She is the director and founder of Open Engagement, an artist-led initiative, publishing arm, and conference committed to expanding the dialogue around and serving as a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. 

Delos Reyes is the author of I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song: How Artists Make and Live Lives of Meaning, a book exploring the artist impetus toward art and everyday life. Her next book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Public Engagement* *But Were Afraid to Ask, will be released in fall 2019.

Delos Reyes currently lives and works in Chicago, IL where she is the Associate Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois Chicago.

on working toward social progress, Jen writes:

Since 2006 I have been the unpaid Director of Open Engagement (OE). OE is an artist-led initiative committed to expanding the dialogue around and serving as a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. We highlight the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working within the complex social issues and struggles of our time. OE has presented ten conferences in two countries and six cities, hosting over 1,800 presenters and over 7,000 attendees. In addition, OE managed a publishing arm, and assembled a national consortium of institutions, colleges, and funders all dedicated to supporting artists engaged in this necessary and critical work.

OE was the basis of my education, and has been a major foundation of my work as an educator, and artist for the past thirteen years.

Since 2012 I have been tracking how many emails I send related to OE. On average I send 4000 emails a year on this subject alone. In 2014 I sent and archived 4553 emails connected to OE. If I spent an average of 4 minutes per email that would equal 302 hours, which is eight weeks of full-time labor just on emails. And this doesn’t even factor in the emails I write for my full-time job as an administrator.

In all the years I’ve worked on OE there was only one time someone insisted that I be paid for my labor. It was 2014 and I was in a meeting with Tom Finkelpearl representing the Queens Museum and a few others from organizations we were working with that year. Tom said, right now your are the only person at this table not being paid for your work and that is not OK. The budget was amended and I was paid an honorarium through the museum. Imagine how different things would look if there were more people in positions of power at institutions insisting that all the people they work with are paid and valued for their labor?

In 2019 OE is embarking on a research year to re-assess and evaluate the needs of the field. We also just need a fucking break. I used to be proud of the labor of love I poured into OE, and now I’m not. I don't want to uphold and romanticize a lot of the kind of work myself and many others did in order to make a necessary site of care for the field of socially engaged art possible. 

I commend our resourcefulness, and our work ethic, but we modeled an unsustainable system of artist led culture. I don't want artist run to be synonymous with low pay or no pay, and I don't want the cost of finding our community to be at a personal loss. I know that there are better pathways forward forward for artist led culture, and supporting artists and cultural producers working at the intersection of art and activism. It is now a matter of finding those ways forward.

jendelosreyes.com

openengagement.info

 

Jose Luis Benavides

Reading Residency — Valencia, Spain (The Liminal)

Jose Luis Benavides ,  2019 Valencia Reading Residency Winner,   Photo credit: Maria Efting

Jose Luis Benavides, 2019 Valencia Reading Residency Winner,

Photo credit: Maria Efting

Jose Luis Benavides (b. 1986 Chicago, US) is a queer Latinx artist, filmmaker and educator. He recently held his first solo show at Terremoto - La Postal, Mexico City, MX (2018) featuring portions of the experimental documentary project Lulú en el Jardín. His video art has screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Alfredo Zalce, Morelia, MX; the Bernardo Quintana Art Center, MX; and the Museum of Art of Tlaxcala, MX as part of the international festival of video and performance, Homography | Homography (2018). He has also exhibited video work at Dual Gallery, Budapest, HU (2019), Michigan State University’s Union Gallery, Lansing, US (2019); Screen Share Video Gallery - Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago, US (2019); and Qalandiya International, Ramallah, PS (2018), The Nightingale (2017); Links Hall (2016). His work has also screened at festivals including CinHomo - Muestra Internacional de Cine y Diversidad Sexual, Valladolid, ES (2019), Cadence Video Poetry Festival, Seattle, US (2019), Collected Voices, Chicago, US (2018); 2nd Floor Rear Festival, Chicago, US (2017); and S2F2: Scored Silent Film Festival, Chicago, US (2013). His videos have also featured on various digital media such as Queer Moving Image Review, US (2018), Video Video Zine, US (2015), and Gothic Angle, UK (2016). Benavides also programs a video-art series called Sin Cinta Previa: Latinx & Queer Archive Video Series which he was awarded a POWER Project grant from the Art Leaders of Color Network (2018). He received an MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017.

on working toward social progress, Jose writes:

I'm currently the organizer of Sin Cinta Previa, a Latin(a)x and Queer Archive Video Series which ran for 7 days at Comfort Station, Chicago (June 2019) and 2 days at filmfront, Chicago (October 2018). I'm preparing for my next series of screenings across the city, bridging artists from Mexico City and Chicago. This work of place holding and providing platforms for other queer and Latinx artists to dialogue and share their work with wider audience is crucial to my vision of a more just and understanding world. I make art, write and teach in a similar fashion. I offer up my passion for art as a conduit for change and make art which I hope may serve as a catalyst for community building.

My documentary Lulu en el Jardín (about the institutionalization of my lesbian, immigrant, Latina mother in the mid-1970's) is making its European debut at CinHomo festival in Valladolid. I'm thrilled to spend the week in Spain, but this trip cuts right into my time as an adjunct professor at Wilbur Wright College. I'm currently teaching an intro to photography course as well as working at the Back of the Yards public library as a teen services librarian. Both of these jobs are demanding and require that I prepare lessons, program and interact with diverse youth across the city every day. Needless to say, working two jobs doesn't provide a lot of time for my personal reading and research. This residency would be a breath of fresh air and a moment to prepare myself for future syllabus I'm developing, a seminar on Latinx video art history which will tie in a recent research trip I took to Mexico City and my thesis work from my MFA at UIC (2017).


2019 Reading residents: 

The Reading Residents received the highest number of votes from the respective city juries. They will each receive an accommodating residency on a weekend of their choosing, a $150 stipend for reading material + food, and a STILL LEARNING tote including Candor Arts publications.  

Honorable Mentions:

These applicants tied for second place and will receive a gifted book of their choosing.

Bea Cordelia

BEA CORDELIA is an award-winning, Chicago-bred, LA-based, internationally slandered writer, filmmaker, performer, actor, director, producer, educator, and activist whose work uplifts and reimagines the narratives of transgender people. Last year she released her web series the T with co-creator Daniel Kyri, which won a Streamy Award for Best Indie Series, and for which they were named Chicago’s 2018 Filmmakers-in-Residence. Her “life-changing” solo show Chasing Blue has been featured in the iconic Steppenwolf Theatre, as well as seen regional productions in Brooklyn and Minneapolis. In previous years she developed her multimedia installation The Cosmic Body in a residency at the University of Chicago, was made a Luminarts Creative Writing Fellow in poetry, and sued the City of Chicago over an outdated ordinance forbidding the exposure of "the female breast at or below the areola thereof" in establishments with liquor licenses. She is currently penning her first full-length book, a memoir about her life as a trans woman during the Trump years, and just reissued her acclaimed chapbook of poetry, 28.06 // Dear Sylvia, which recounts the history and impact of the Stonewall riots, 50 years ago this June. She is represented by Circle of Confusion and Paonessa Talent Agency. 

See more of her work at www.beacordelia.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @beacordelia.

Danielle McCoy

Danielle McCoy is an artist, mother, educator, writer, and one half of WORK/PLAY. McCoy is a self-taught conceptual artist that intertwines printmaking techniques with sewing, and hand-dyed textiles into her interdisciplinary art practice. Through small run publications and arts programming, she serves to build safe spaces of belonging by incorporating spirituality and intentionality.  As a storyteller, her art books explore gender and identity by addressing issues rooted in race and inequality in America. Each book is designed and created in-house with WORK/PLAY and sold exclusively at Art Book Fairs around the country. 

https://www.w-o-r-k-p-l-a-y.com/

Leila Weefur

Leila Weefur is an artist, writer, and curator who lives and works in Oakland, CA. She received her MFA from Mills College. She tackles the complexities of phenomenological Blackness through video, installation, printmaking, and lecture-performances. Using materials and visual gestures to access the tactile memory, she explores the abject, the sensual and the nuances found in the social interactions and language with which our bodies have to negotiate space.

She is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, The Wattis, and Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York. She is the Audio/Video, Editor In Chief at Art Practical.

Janna Añonuevo Langholz

Janna Añonuevo Langholz is an interdisciplinary artist born and based in St. Louis, MO. She is the founder of Filipino American Artist Directory, an independent initiative to connect and make visible the broad community of visual artists of Filipino American artists living and working in the United States. It aims to increase the recognition of Filipino American artists through an online resource and series of publications, as well as group events and exhibitions, commissioned works, and collaborations with other artists and organizations.

jannalangholz.com / @jannanonymous

filamartistdirectory.com / @filamartistdirectory


We would like to offer our sincerest thanks

to our dear collaborators at The Liminal in Valencia,

and to this year's thoughtful and generous Panel of Jurors:

 

CHICAGO

ANNIE ZEAN DUNBAR

(Chicago, IL) — Researcher and Writer

VIVIAN SMING

(San Francisco, CA) — Artist, Writer, Editor in Chief of Art Practical, Founding Editor of Nonsensical, Founder & Publisher of Sming Sming Books

LA KEISHA LEEK

(Chicago, IL) — Exhibition Organizer; Co-Founder, The Petty Biennial; Arts worker at Project&;  creator of How to Make A Hood (Candor Arts, August 2015)

E.J. HILL

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist

S.Y LIM 

(Chicago, IL) — Artist, Singer, Executive Director at 062 Gallery

DEVYN LORELEI MAÑIBO

(Chicago, IL) — Artist, Educator, Organizer

FELICIA HOLMAN

(Chicago, IL) — interdisciplinary artist/curator & arts administrator

ELANA SCHLENKER

(Pittsburgh, PA / Brooklyn, NY) — Designer, art director, principal of Studio Elana Schlenker and Out of Office, and publisher of Gratuitous Type

DAVID BELL

(Los Angeles, CA) — Space Operator of Visitor Welcome Center, author of Bye Bye Broadway (Candor Arts, August 2016)

SARA J. WINSTON

(Peekskill, NY) — Artist, author of A Lick and a Promise (Candor Arts, September 2017)

ARIEL GENTALEN

(Chicago, IL) — "Curator," organizer, and skater, Residency & Public Programs Manager @ Hyde Park Art Center

CHRISTOPHER KARDAMBIKIS

(Fairfax, VA) — Artist and Assistant Professor at George Mason University

TARA PIXLEY

(Los Angeles, CA) — Professor, Visual Journalist

PAULA WILSON

(Carrizozo, NM) — Artist and Co-Founder of Carrizozo Artist in Residence and MoMAZoZo

KATIE CHUNG

(Chicago, IL) — Artist

H.M. BATSEL

(Chicago, IL) — Artist

SPAIN

CARMEN ROYUELA

(Valencia, Spain) — Translator

ALEJANDRO GRANERO FERRER

(Valencia, Spain) — Artist and PhD Candidate

CARME MARISCAL

(Valencia, Spain) — Art Historian and Communication Manager

SEBASTIÁN BARRANTE

(Santiago de Chile) —Artist and Editor at Naranja Publicaciones

SEBASTIÁN ARANCIBIA

(Santiago de Chile) — Artist, Architect and Editor at Naranja Publicaciones

PABLO VINDEL

(Valencia, Spain) — Artist, Writer and Co-founder at The Liminal

MARÍA ESPÍ

(Valencia, Spain) — Illustrator, Visual Communicator and Co-founder at The Liminal


2019 Reading Residency Jury Announced by Candor Arts

2019 reading residency

Panel of Jurors

DSCF0494001.jpg

CHICAGO

Annie Zean Dunbar

(Chicago, IL) — Researcher and Writer

VIVIAN SMING

(San Francisco, CA) — Artist, Writer, Editor in Chief of Art Practical, Founding Editor of Nonsensical, Founder & Publisher of Sming Sming Books

La Keisha Leek

(Chicago, IL) — Exhibition Organizer; Co-Founder, The Petty Biennial; Arts worker at Project&;  creator of How to Make A Hood (Candor Arts, August 2015)

E.J. Hill

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist

S.Y Lim 

(Chicago, IL) — Artist, Singer, Executive Director at 062 Gallery

Devyn Lorelei Mañibo

(Chicago, IL) — Artist, Educator, Organizer

Felicia Holman

(Chicago, IL) — interdisciplinary artist/curator & arts administrator

Elana Schlenker

(Pittsburgh, PA / Brooklyn, NY) — Designer, art director, principal of Studio Elana Schlenker and Out of Office, and publisher of Gratuitous Type

David Bell

(Los Angeles, CA) — Space Operator of Visitor Welcome Center, author of Bye Bye Broadway (Candor Arts, August 2016)

SARA J. WINSTON

(Peekskill, NY) — Artist, author of A Lick and a Promise (Candor Arts, September 2017)

Ariel Gentalen

(Chicago, IL) — "Curator," organizer, and skater, Residency & Public Programs Manager @ Hyde Park Art Center

Christopher Kardambikis

(Fairfax, VA) — Artist and Assistant Professor at George Mason University

Tara Pixley

(Los Angeles, CA) — Professor, Visual Journalist

Paula Wilson

(Carrizozo, NM) — Artist and Co-Founder of Carrizozo Artist in Residence and MoMAZoZo

Katie Chung

(Chicago, IL) — Artist

H.M. Batsel

(Chicago, IL) — Artist

0141f05f-eb78-4482-b509-9e199c768572.JPG

SPAIN

CARMEN ROYUELA

(Valencia, Spain) — Translator

ALEJANDRO GRANERO FERRER

(Valencia, Spain) — Artist and PhD Candidate

CARME MARISCAL

(Valencia, Spain) — Art Historian and Communication Manager

SEBASTIÁN BARRANTE

(Santiago de Chile) —Artist and Editor at Naranja Publicaciones

SEBASTIÁN ARANCIBIA

(Santiago de Chile) — Artist, Architect and Editor at Naranja Publicaciones

PABLO VINDEL

(Valencia, Spain) — Artist, Writer and Co-founder at The Liminal

MARÍA ESPÍ

(Valencia, Spain) — Illustrator, Visual Communicator and Co-founder at The Liminal

Announcing: 'Tentativa de la Razón', in partnership with Naranja Librería y Editorial by Candor Arts

We are thrilled to be venturing on a new long-term co-publishing collaboration with Naranja Librería y Editorial, a Chilean publisher and bookstore dedicated to the creation, marketing and distribution of artist books, object books and experimental publications.

“We understand the book as a cultural medium where content and object are in communion with what the author wants to convey. Our catalog is composed of Chilean and foreign artists who explore the formal possibilities of the book. Naranja is composed by Sebastián Arancibia, architect, and Sebastián Barrante, photographer artist.”

naranja.jpg

The first edition produced under this partnership will be Tentativa de la Razón by Sebastián Barrante, debuting this weekend at Codex VII in Richmond, California. 

Tentativa de la Razón is an edition of 14 unique works on paper created by Sebastián Barrante, each encased in a tri-fold windowed portfolio and protective slipcase. Each piece comes with an inventory pamphlet contextualizing the individual work and the complete edition.

Words from the artist about Tentativa de la Razón:

I wrote phrases related to the narration my father told me once about the period he lived at jail, after being imprisoned and tortured by agents of the DINA (Direction of National Intelligence) during the Chilean dictatorial regime (1973-1989). Until the moment of his narration, I had scarce information of his experience, I never wanted to inquire into this period of his life, since I knew it was something painful to remember. Until, due to an investigation about a character which portrayed a political prisoner and that I had to personify while studying theatre, I decided to shyly ask him about how that experience had been. This narration stayed in my mind in phrases, and those phrases are the ones which I started to write, fifteen years later, as a mechanism of mental detachment from this painful experience.

The unknown image that randomly emerges, is what encouraged me to photograph periodically the sediments left by the coffees I drink while I work or think in ideas to carry out. When those residues accumulate in the bottom of the cup, random images are produced, having the virtue—as any other image—of being interpreted. I do not know how to read them, but the fact that they might eventually “tell me something” make them an interesting topic of investigation. This is how, from the digital registration of the sediments left in every cup I drink, I moved to an analogue registration by spreading this sediments in paper pages.

Image or representation of the perceived object that remains in the subconscious. Events that will never be erased from my mind.

Intuitively, I decided to spill the coffee sediment on the paper I was working on and realized that these two creative processes made much sense by being together. I believe that the sensation given by the images formed by the coffee sediment in the paper is related with the intrigue of knowing its meaning and also with my father’s narration which I would like to wipe out.

Thinking the word as the manifest of a subsystem.

Manifesting the phrase as means of thought interlocution.

Thinking the book as an objectual articulation of a mental state.

The book as a support of ideas.

The object as an idea of a book.

The page as body prosthesis.

Thinking the material as textual translation of the word.

Occupying the space as the page of a book.

The object as resignification of the residue.

The residue as reconsideration of support for art.

The residue as image of a reflection of the page.

The reflection(s) as residual text.

The image as residue of my reflection.

The object reconsiders the artistic support to convert it in thinking body.

The word as residue.

About the Artist:

Sebastián Barrante is an artist photographer graduated from the School of Arts of The University of Chile, with later specialization in editorial areas, artistic book binding and exhibition curatorship. These specialties have allowed his professional development in artistic creation with an emphasis on the image and the book; the management of cultural projects related to photography, documental archive and the creative editorial industry.

In the artistic field, his work has moved from his photographic specialization in the digital sphere to the investigation on image in artists’ books. Under this same area, he creates Naranja Bookstore & Editorial (www.naranjalibreria.com), a space of creation, commerce and dissemination of artists’ books, object books and experimental publications. His artists’ book are part of the Fundação Serralves (Porto, Portugal); Archive Artist Publications (Munich, Germany); Cerrillos Contemporary Art Centre (Santiago, Chile); and Bavarian State Library (Munich, Germany).

Winner of the 2018 Reading Residency by Candor Arts

We are very excited to announce the winner of our second annual Reading Residency: 

Noel Quiñones

Noel Quiñones ,  2018 Reading Residency Winner

Noel Quiñones, 2018 Reading Residency Winner

Noel Quiñones is a New York based AfroBoricua writer, educator, and community organizer from the Bronx. He has received fellowships from Poets House, CantoMundo, and the Watering Hole, and his work is forthcoming or published in the Latin American Review, LIT HUB, Pilgrimage Press & in the Best of Kweli Journal Anthology and ¡Manteca! An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets. Noel is the founder of Project X, a Bronx based arts organization, and was most recently named one of New York State's 40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars. He is currently the Associate Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement at the Brooklyn Friends School.

on working toward social progress, Noel writes:

As a middle class Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, I was often told social progress was something you needed to wait for. My parents progressed as individuals but social progress on a grander scale was something left to those with significant social, political, and financial power. Yet this was always where we disagreed. As an educator, writer, performer, and community organizer I have taken it upon myself to effectuate the social progress I wish to see in the world, not just for myself but for my people. For the past nine years I have dedicated myself to the belief that art, community, and education are inseparable. Through various roles as an English Literature teacher, Youth Development Coordinator, Restorative Justice practitioner, and now an Associate Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement at the Brooklyn Friends School, I have continued to employ artistic exploration and community engagement inside and outside of the classroom.  

As a high school administrator I coordinate various opportunities for my students to engage in community initiatives they are passionate about from organizing workshops on Colorism to marching for Black Lives Matter to attending conferences on Women's Empowerment. In an effort to practice what I teach in my Social Justice class I have been visiting various New York City schools to teach my workshop "Beyond the Black/White Binary: The Inner Ethnic Conflict of Latinidad", seeking to explore the challenges that face Latinx people as well as the false narratives they carry in 21st century America. Most recently I began organizing a Puerto Rico Solidarity Immersion Experience to bring 15 of my students to the island to connect with local community organizers in learning about the history of the island and how we can help as people from the mainland. 

As a writer and performer I believe in creating mirrors for my people, sharing poems and stories about growing up as a Latino. I have been blessed to go on tour the past two years, featuring at numerous colleges, universities, and K-12 schools across the country in addition to various cultural art spaces, non-profit organizations, and conferences, having been the Keynote Speaker at the first NYC Latinx Youth Conference, 2017.

Finally, I became a community organizer once I grew tired of the lack of space dedicated to showcasing and empowering Latinx voices. After I was told a New York City slam team could never have more than one Latino I brought together a group of Bronx, Latinx artists and organizers to prove the city wrong. In October, 2017 I founded Project X, a Bronx based arts organization providing the borough with bi-monthly community programming including the Bronx's own Slam Series to produce its first all Latinx Slam Team. I am happy to say that Project X has grown even larger in its second year offering healing workshops, food justice seminars, and Hurricane Relief fundraisers to support our people.

Noel will be organizing a Benefit Reading for Puerto Rico with Willie Perdomo this Saturday, January 20th at the Bronx Museum of the Arts / South Wing Lower Gallery. 

PoetsForPuertoRicoBxMAFinal 01.jpg

All proceeds will be sent to Para La Naturaleza by #PoetsForPuertoRico, an organization that protects lands of high ecological value.

RSVP this to event through Eventbrite.

 

THE 2018 READING RESIDENCY

Winner: 

Noel Quiñones 

Noel will receive an accommodating residency on a weekend of his choosing, a $300 stipend for reading material + food, and a STILL LEARNING tote including a Candor Arts publication and handmade product of his choice.

 

Honorable Mentions:

These applicants tied for second place and will receive a gifted book of their choosing.

Johnnie Jae Morris

Johnnie Jae Morris, known as the Brown Ball of Fury, is a profoundly driven and unstoppable Indigenerd from the Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma. She is a writer, speaker, technologist, advocate, community builder and entrepreneur that loves empowering others to follow their passions and create for healing and positive change in the world. She is the founder of A Tribe Called Geek, co-founding board member of Not Your Mascots and LiveIndigenousOK; co-chair for the March for Racial Justice and member of the Women Warriors Work Collective.

Johnnie Jae will soon be reading:

Love Medicine

by Louise Erdrich

 

Anaïs duplan

Anaïs Duplan is a poet who has written a full-length collection Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016) and a chapbook Mount Carmel & the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). They are also a joint Public Programs Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Anaïs will soon be reading:

Afrofuturism and Black Sound Studies: Culture, Technology, and Things to Come

by Erik Steinskog

 

jean cho

Jean Cho is a Chicago based queer artist whose work critically examines the limitations and alternative possibilities of the romantic vocabulary & language. Their work is currently developing in the forms of video, rhino renderings, and non-romantic letters of correspondence.

Jean will soon be reading:

The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986-2003

by Gregg Bordowitz


we would like to offer our Sincerest thanks

this year's thoughtful and generous Panel of Jurors:

 

KENDRA CURRY-KHANNA (Chicago, IL) — Executive Director at 826CHI

SAM BAILEY (Chicago, IL / Los Angeles, CA) — Director, Writer, and Digital Art Director of VAM Studio

LAUB (Los Angeles, CA) — Artist

TOBY CAUSBY (Chicago, IL) — Learning & Development Consultant

KATIE CHUNG (Chicago, IL) — Artist

TERESA CARLESIMO (Kingston, Ontario) — artist, writer, scholar

JEFFREY MICHAEL AUSTIN (Chicago, IL) — Artist and musician

ORIANA KOREN (Los Angeles, CA) — Photographer-Writer

IRIS YIREI HU (Los Angeles, CA) — Artist

LA KEISHA LEEK (Brooklyn, NY) — independent exhibition organizer and writer; Manager, Kenan Project at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, creator of How to Make A Hood (Candor Arts, August 2015)

CECIL MCDONALD, JR. (Chicago, IL) — Artist and educator, author of In the Company of Black (Candor Arts, April 2017)

SUZAN GELDHOFF, MA (Rotterdam, Netherlands) — visual arts professional specialized in photography

VIVIAN SMING (San Francisco, CA) — Artist, Writer, Editor in Chief of Art Practical, Founding Editor of Nonsensical, Founder & Publisher of Sming Sming Books

CONOR DOWDLE (Minneapolis, MN) — Artist, and Co-Director of Yeah Maybe 

KATE BOWEN (Chicago, IL) — Artist, Organizer, Director of ACRE Projects and Video Programming Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography

A-LAN HOLT (Bay Area, CA) — Playwright, Filmmaker, Associate Director at IDA Stanford, author of Moonwork (Candor Arts, June 2016)

CHINWE OKONA (Los Angeles, CA) — Artist, Writer, Creator of PALMSS Mag

MELANIE TERESA BOHRER (Munich, Germany / Chicago, IL) — Artist

ERIN HOYT (Chicago, IL) — Director of Operations at Filter Photo

CHRISTIAN ORTIZ (Chicago, IL) — Artist, educator, and Senior Manager of Studio Programs at Marwen

LAUREN M. PACHECO (Chicago, IL / Gary, IN) — Arts Administrator, Community Organizer, and Co-Founder of Chicago Lowrider Festival and Chicago Urban Art Society

MATTHEW ANDERSON (Los Angeles, CA) — Artist and Filmmaker, creator of Deviant Proposals: an anti-binary journal (Candor Arts, April 2018)

SARA J. WINSTON (Peekskill, NY) — Artist, author of A Lick and a Promise (Candor Arts, September 2017)

DAVID BELL (Los Angeles, CA) — Artist and Director of Visitor Welcome Center, author of Bye Bye Broadway (Candor Arts, August 2016)


2018 Reading Residency Book Recommendations by Candor Arts

Tomorrow we will be announcing our 2018 Reading Resident. We are beyond thrilled to say that the applications more than doubled this year! 

Take a look at the map above, the markers indicate where applications were submitted from! We are so impressed with the response this year and want to give a big thank you to everyone who took interest, contributed and spread the word. We enjoyed reading about everyone and the outstanding work you do for your communities. It is incredibly difficult to choose one resident this year due to such strong applications. We admire what you do and wish we could reward you all. The least we could do is share a few books that were mentioned by these amazing applicants.

If you don't know what to read next, check out these titles:

  1. Afrofuturism and Black Sound Studies: Culture, Technology, and Things to Come by Erik Steinskog
  2. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
  3. Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System edited by Nancy E. Dowd
  4. Economics and Youth Violence: Crime, Disadvantage, and Community edited by Richard Rosenfeld, Mark Edberg, Xiangming Fang, and Curtis S. Florence
  5. The Social Practice that is Race by Dan S. Wang & Anthony Romero
  6. Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics, an Anthology edited by Melissa A. Goldthwaite
  7. Light in the Dark/Luz en Lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality by Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  8. The Story of Black by John F. Harvey
  9. Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? : What It Means to Be Black Now by Touré
  10. Social Darwinism in American Thought by Richard Hofstadter
  11. Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 by Charles A. Murray
  12. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity by José Esteban Muñoz
  13. The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation edited by Gabrielle Hill and Sophie McCall
  14. Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, And What We Can Do About It by Dr. Mindy Fullilove
  15. Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the Twenty-first Century by Nato Thompson

Look out tomorrow for the announcement

of our 2018 Reading ResidenT!

Pre-Order: 'In the Company of Black' [Second Edition] by Candor Arts

The second edition of In the Company of Black by Cecil McDonald, Jr. is now available for Pre-Order!

This book will release in February 2018, which will be the same time all pre-orders will ship. 

In the Company of Black [Second Edition]
75.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart

This book is currently available at a reduced price of $65 until the coming release in early February 2018, at which point it will be $75.

In the Company of Black by Cecil McDonald, Jr. 

In the Company of Black was first released in April 2017 in an edition of 100 handmade signed copies. The book was supported by a release at Filter Photo and a conversation between Cecil McDonald, Jr. and Dawoud Bey—Photographing Black Lifeput on by the Chicago Humanities Festival at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The first edition of In the Company of Black has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago's Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, Yale University's Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, the Walker Art Center, Trinity Christian College, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Arts Library in London, the University of Chicago Special Collections Library, Brown University, the Columbia College Chicago Library, the Joan Flasch Artist Books Library, the University of Iowa, Illinois State University Milner Library,  George Washington University, Pier 24 Photography Museum, Ohio University, among other private collections.

The book has been recognized by the Aperture Foundation and ParisPhoto in being shortlisted in the top 35 of roughly 1000 entries for the 2017 PhotoBook Awards and will be traveling on exhibition around the world until the end of October 2018. 

There are still a few copies remaining in the handmade artist book first edition of 100 signed and numbered books:

Additional details about the forthcoming Second Edition:

Please note that these images are of a pre-order proof copy of the book — the final design will be slightly different in appearance (thinner, slightly smaller in size — spec details below)

ISBN 978-0-9968161-2-0

Pre-Order price of $65 — will ship in February 2018.

Book will be available for $75 retail after February release. 

9" x 11.75" x .5", 144 pages, photographs and text printed on a HP Indigo press. 100T and 80T papers.

Fabric covers, silkscreened by Delicious Design League, foil stamped spine. 

Printed and smythe sewn in Rockford, IL. 

Cased and foil stamped at Candor Arts.

About In the Company of Black:

In the Company of Black is a book of photographs by multi-disciplinary artist Cecil McDonald Jr. For the past seven years, McDonald has developed a body of work focused on what he describes as “extraordinarily ordinary” people: educators, artists, administrators, business owners, teachers, and students, “I’m bringing together images of Black people who represent everyday folks.” Complemented with an essay by Tempestt Hazel and poems by avery r. young, McDonald’s In the Company of Black addresses and responds to the vast inaccuracies of Black humanity depicted within American society.

“When it comes to Black people, America is fascinated with extreme poles: either showing victims of violence, pain, and poverty (Black misery) or famous athletes and entertainers, and icons of popular culture (Black exceptionalism). This false dichotomy denies Black people the individuality and full spectrum of humanity that is so readily offered to the white population in this country. The photographs that I’ve been making ask the question: where are the people who make up the space in between? Here they are, they are important, they must be seen!” — Cecil McDonald, Jr. on In the Company of Black. 

Cecil McDonald Jr. uses photography, video, and text to explore the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of Black culture. McDonald studied fashion, house music, and dance club culture before receiving an MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor and a teaching artist at the Center for Community Arts Partnerships. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and the Harris Bank Collection. He was awarded the: Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland, Residency and the 3Arts Teaching Artist Award. McDonald participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in July 2013. Most recently, McDonald completed the DCASE residency where he began work on his most recent body of work Cuts and Beats, a project that montages performance photography from the floors of dance festivals and nightclubs with late 19th-century imagery from stage and theater advertisements, sheet music covers, and celebrity portraiture.

2018 Reading Residency Jury Announced by Candor Arts

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2018 reading residency

Panel of Jurors

 

Kendra Curry-Khanna

(Chicago, IL) — Executive Director at 826CHI

Sam Bailey

(Chicago, IL / Los Angeles, CA) — Director, Writer, and Digital Art Director of VAM Studio

laub

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist

Toby Causby

(Chicago, IL) — Learning & Development Consultant 

Katie Chung

(Chicago, IL) — Artist

Teresa Carlesimo

(Kingston, Ontario) — artist, writer, scholar

Jeffrey Michael Austin

(Chicago, IL) — Artist and musician

Oriana Koren

(Los Angeles, CA) — Photographer-Writer

Iris Yirei hu

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist

La Keisha Leek

(Brooklyn, NY) — independent exhibition organizer and writer; Manager, Kenan Project at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, creator of How to Make A Hood (Candor Arts, August 2015)

Cecil McDonald, Jr.

(Chicago, IL) — Artist and educator, author of In the Company of Black (Candor Arts, April 2017)

Suzan Geldhoff, MA

(Rotterdam, Netherlands) — visual arts professional specialized in photography

Vivian Sming

(San Francisco, CA) — Artist, Writer, Editor in Chief of Art Practical, Founding Editor of Nonsensical, Founder & Publisher of Sming Sming Books

Conor Dowdle

(Minneapolis, MN) — Artist, and Co-Director of Yeah Maybe 

Kate Bowen 

(Chicago, IL) — Artist, Organizer, Director of ACRE Projects and Video Programming Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography 

A-lan Holt

(Bay Area, CA) — Playwright, Filmmaker, Associate Director at IDA Stanford, author of Moonwork (Candor Arts, June 2016)

Chinwe Okona

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist, Writer, Creator of PALMSS Mag

Melanie Teresa Bohrer

(Munich, Germany / Chicago, IL) — Artist 

Erin Hoyt

(Chicago, IL) — Director of Operations at Filter Photo

Christian Ortiz

(Chicago, IL) — Artist, educator, and Senior Manager of Studio Programs at Marwen

Lauren M. Pacheco 

(Chicago, IL / Gary, IN) — Arts Administrator, Community Organizer, and Co-Founder of Chicago Lowrider Festival and Chicago Urban Art Society

Matthew Anderson

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist and Filmmaker, creator of Deviant Proposals: an anti-binary journal (Candor Arts, April 2018)

Sara J. Winston

(Peekskill, NY) — Artist, author of A Lick and a Promise (Candor Arts, September 2017)

David Bell

(Los Angeles, CA) — Artist and Director of Visitor Welcome Center, author of Bye Bye Broadway (Candor Arts, August 2016)

2018 Reading Residency — Apply by Candor Arts

 

Applications for the 2018 Reading Residency are now being accepted!

 

The Reading Residency is an annual juried program

designed specifically for agents of social change

to dedicate a full weekend to themselves: 

to reading and self-care.

The winner will receive a $300 stipend and a weekend of accommodations.

Two honorable mentions will each receive a gift of the next book they'd like to read.

Learn more about the Reading Residency,

guidelines, and application process here

Applications will not be accepted after January 8, 2018 at 11:59 pm. 

(2018 Jury will be announced in the coming weeks.)

Announcing: New Partnership with Sming Sming Books by Candor Arts

We are thrilled to be venturing on a new long-term co-publishing collaboration with Sming Sming Books, an artist-run publishing studio based in the Bay Area.

Through Sming Sming Books, each book is developed out of close collaboration with artists and writers, using different approaches to design, materials, and printing methods based on the author’s work and ideas. At its core, Sming Sming Books is committed to promoting critical discourse and advancing cultural equity through the format of publishing. 

With shared aims of creating a sustainable and equitable model for supporting artists through publishing, Sming Sming Books and Candor Arts are establishing an ongoing partnership to produce artists books that drive both their missions. Candor Arts's high level of detail and craft in creating handmade books will be joined by Sming Sming Books's conceptual and experimental approach to design.

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The first book produced under this partnership will be White Gaze by Michelle Dizon and Việt Lê, to be released in February 2018. White Gaze is a series of works by artist and filmmaker Michelle Dizon that uses an archive of National Geographic magazines to unearth a genealogy of racist visuality within imperialist narratives. The book includes accompanied text by Việt Lê, who uses Dizon’s work as a starting point for a poetic exploration of the legacies of war.

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About White Gaze:

Artist and filmmaker Michelle Dizon works with an archive of National Geographic magazines to explore the mechanics of the "white gaze." Through a process of poetic subtraction, Dizon works with only the language on the original page to write a decolonial counterpoint to a way of imaging the world centered on the West. Her images lay the white gaze bare, unearth a genealogy of a racist visuality, and work in the gap between image and text to write against the grain of imperialist narratives. Artist and writer Việt Lê uses Dizon's images from White Gaze as a starting point for his poetic exploration of the legacies of war and imperialism. Lê's text performs a dual work, both contextualizing Dizon's images in the history of empire and unleashing a rhythmic play with language, both visually and aurally, to cut to the core of how meaning is produced. His text speaks to absence as much as presence with a story of war and empire told in fragments, phrases, words hanging on the page—an index of both the trauma and resistance experienced by those subjected to the violence of empire.

About the Authors:

Michelle Dizon is an artist, filmmaker, writer, theorist, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. Born in the United States as part of the Philippine diaspora, Dizon’s life experience has been shaped by the politics of migration across the Pacific Rim. The violence of imperialism and the intimate spaces of resistance within globalization form central pivots in her work which take the form of multi-channel video installations, expanded cinema performances, essay films, photographs, discursive events, pedagogical platforms, and writing.

Dizon has exhibited and lectured internationally at venues such as the Center for Women’s Studies (Zagreb, Croatia), Caixaforum (Barcelona, Spain), Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark), Jeu de Paume (Paris, France), IASPIS (Stockholm, Sweden), Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manila, Philippines), Sumaryo Art Space (Jakarta, Indonesia), Vargas Museum (Manila, Philippines), Para/site Art Space (Hong Kong, China), Queens Museum (Queens, United States), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, United States) and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, United States).

Dizon is the founder of at land’s edge, an experimental platform for visual research and catalyst for decolonial thought and action.  She has taught courses on documentary, visuality, postcoloniality, globalization, war, feminism, and ecology at the California Institute of the Arts and served as co-chair and core faculty in the Visual Art program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She earned an MFA in Art with specialization in Interdisciplinary Studio at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric with designated emphases in Film and Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley. www.michelledizon.com

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator. Lê is an Assistant Professor in Visual Studies at California College of the Arts. He has been published in positions: asia critique; Crab Orchard Review; American Quarterly; Amerasia Journal; Art Journal; and the anthologies Writing from the Perfume River; Strange Cargo; The Spaces Between Us; Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art; among others. Recent solo exhibitions include lovebang! (Kellogg University Art Gallery, Los Angeles 2016), vestige (H Gallery Bangkok 2015), tan nÁRT cõi lòng | heARTbreak!  (Nhà Sàn Collective Hà Nội).  Lê has presented his work at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Japan Foundation, Việt Nam; 1a Space, Hong Kong; Bangkok Art & Cultural Center (BACC), Thailand; Civitella Ranieri, Italy; Shanghai Biennale, China; Rio Gay Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; among other venues.

Lê curated Miss Saigon with the Wind (Highways, Santa Monica, 2005) and Charlie Don’t Surf! (Centre A, Vancouver, BC, 2005); and co-curated humor us (with Leta Ming and Yong Soon Min; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, LA, CA, 2008), transPOP: Korea Việt Nam Remix (with Yong Soon Min; Seoul, Sài Gòn, Irvine, San Francisco, 2008-09), the 2012 Taipei Kuandu Biennale and Love in the Time of War (with Jen Vanderpool, at UC Santa Barbara and SF Camerawork). He coorganized the 2015 Artistic Interventions confererence (Ph.D. workshops and symposium) in Hong Kong.

Lê received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine, where he has also taught Studio Art and Visual Culture courses. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (Department of American Studies & Ethnicity). www.vietle.net

'In the Company of Black' shortlisted for the 2017 PhotoBook Awards! by Candor Arts

We are thrilled to announce that In the Company of Black has been shortlisted for the 2017 PhotoBook Awards! Congratulations to Cecil McDonald, Jr., Tempestt Hazel and Avery R. Young for this great honor!

Aperture and Paris Photo are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2017 PhotoBook Awards.

The shortlist selection was made by Gregory Halpern, whose ZZYZX won the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook of the Year Award in 2016; Lesley A. Martin, Creative Director, Aperture Foundation and Publisher, The PhotoBook Review; Kathy Ryan, longtime director of photography at the New York Times Magazine; Joel Smith, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York; and Christoph Wiesner, artistic director of Paris Photo.

Established in 2012, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards celebrate the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography, with three major categories: First PhotoBook, Photography Catalogue of the Year, and PhotoBook of the Year.

Read the official announcement here

Announcing: New Partnership with Patron Gallery by Candor Arts

We are thrilled to be venturing on a new long-term collaboration with Chicago's Patron Gallery. PATRON is a contemporary art gallery founded in collaboration by Julia Fischbach and Emanuel Aguilar. Recently featured in NewCity's Art 50 2017, PATRON is founded on the defining characteristics of a patron of the arts, that is, a person chosen, named or honored as a special guardian, protector or supporter. With this foundation set as a cornerstone, the gallery hopes to open new and traditional avenues of helping audiences of patrons from all walks of life engage and find access to contemporary art.

Please continue reading below for their official Press Release and the launch of our first book together: Bethany Collins' America: A Hymnal, which will be on view at EXPO Chicago from September 13-17 at Navy Pier.

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PATRON is proud to announce a new collaborative venture with Chicago-based publisher
Candor Arts. This new partnership will produce a series of limited edition artist books by the PATRON artist roster. Each unique edition will serve as an opportunity for the artists to expand and develop on their distinctive practices through the intimate and powerful platform of the hand held object. The kick off for this collaboration will be an edition by Chicago based artist Bethany Collins, which will be launched during EXPO Chicago. Collins' edition will be the center piece for her presentation as part of EXPO Chicago’s IN/SITU program titled Chronopolitics curated by Florence Derieux. A conversation with the curator on the edition in relation to the IN/SITU program will take place on Saturday 16, 12-1PM, at the EXPO Chicago Dialogues stage at Navy Pier.  

The PATRON CANDOR partnership is founded on a shared vision to create avenues of accessibility and collaborative approaches to contemporary art practice for patrons from all walks of life. Upcoming editions in 2018 will feature artists Samuel Levi Jones, Alex Chitty and Harold Mendez. 

BETHANY COLLINS
America: A Hymnal, 2017

book with 100 laser cut leaves
6" x 9" x 1"
special edition of 25
(signed and numbered)


America: A Hymnal is made up of 100 versions of My Country 'Tis of Thee from the 18th-20th c. While the differing lyrics remain legible, the hymnal's unifying tune has been burned and etched away. Bound and executed in the likeness of a shape note hymnal,  in its many lyrical variations, America: A Hymnal is a chronological retelling of American history, politics and culture through one song.

Written by the Rev. Samuel F. Smith in 1831, My Country ’Tis of Thee (also known as America) debuted on July 4, 1831 by a children’s choir at the Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts. Long before Smith’s lyrics were sung aloud, the tune for America served as the national anthem for at least six other countries, including the United Kingdom's God Save the Queen. And since Smith’s writing, the lyrics of My Country ’Tis of Thee have been re-titled and re-written at least one hundred hundred times. 

Each re-writing was in support of a passionately held cause—from temperance and suffrage to abolition and even the Confederacy— articulates a version of what it means to be American. In 1839, the familiar lines of "My country 'tis of thee / Sweet land of liberty," morphed into the mournful verse:

 

My country! ’tis of thee,

Stronghold of Slavery,

    Of thee I sing:

Land where my fathers died,

Where men man’s rights deride,

From every mountainside,

    Thy deeds shall ring.

Interview with La Keisha Leek on Strange Fire Collective by Candor Arts

"The best way for me to consider the real complexity of the Black experience required me to open up this word as far as a possibly could. I couldn’t consider Trayvon without considering all Black boys. I couldn’t consider a Black boy without considering his environment or his mother. I couldn’t consider pain without also considering a Black woman’s supernatural ability to overcome, to connect, and to thrill. I couldn’t consider a reimagined reality without consideration of where we are today, and where we were almost 4 years ago when I mounted this exhibition."

— La Keisha Leek

 

This week La Keisha Leek was interviewed by Zora Murff on Strange Fire Collective about her exhibition and publication How to Make A Hood

Check out this thoughtful conversation that gives a thorough background of the development and ongoing life of La Keisha's project, #HtMAH. 

Q&A: La Keisha Leek

Winner of the 2017 Winter/Spring Reading Residency by Candor Arts

We are so very excited to announce the winner of our first ever Reading Residency: the compassionate,  driven, and incredibly impressive Tasasha Henderson!

Tasasha Henderson, 2017 Winter/Spring Reading Residency Winner

Tasasha Henderson, 2017 Winter/Spring Reading Residency Winner

Tasasha is the Assistant Development Director at Connections for Abused Women and their Children, a domestic violence shelter/outreach services organization. She serves on the Board of Directors of Project Fierce Chicago, is an organizer with Love & Protect, whose mission is to support women of color who have been criminalized for defending themselves against domestic violence, and is also a freelance writer. When she is not working, volunteering or writing, she loves to read, listen to music, and just explore the beautiful city of Chicago.

on working toward social progress, Tasasha writes:

Since 2010, I have been dedicated to providing tangible resources to Black women and girls who have been criminalized for surviving various forms of violence, and organizing events to educate the public about the issues facing Black women and girls who are incarcerated. The first project I volunteered with, Girl Talk, from 2010-2012, was a program of films and art projects provided to girls incarcerated in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. There was very little programming available to girls in the detention center at that time, and while we believed that the girls should not be in jail at all, the fact of the matter is that they were, and needed and deserved a space to be teen girls, talk amongst each other, watch movies, and express themselves through art. The structure of Girl Talk included an eight-member leadership team and 20-30 volunteers, who would provide programming twice per month. As a member of the leadership team, I participated in creating the curriculum of films and accompanying art projects, recruiting, and training the volunteers, and implementing the program. Girl Talk was my first experience with any type of social justice work, and it came at a time when I was just beginning to learn about the criminal legal system and its impact on poor Black and Latino communities. Being a part of this project changed the trajectory of my life; before I was interested in traditional non-profit work, but now a whole new world of possibilities opened for me, and I began to seriously think of how to use my strengths to contribute to social change.

In late 2013, I furthered my commitment to addressing the needs of criminalized Black women and girls by joining the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander (CAFMA), a defense committee made up of a small group of people whose mission was to help ensure that Marissa Alexander, a woman who had been incarcerated for defending herself against an abusive partner, would not spend 60 years in prison, which was her original sentence. Over the course of a year and a half, we raised funds for her legal defense and home monitoring, organized over a dozen events to raise awareness of her case, and wrote op-eds and articles that situated Marissa Alexander in the context of a history of Black women who had been criminalized and even killed for defending themselves against violence. After Marissa accepted a plea deal which resulted in her being sentenced to two years of home monitoring, instead of a retrial where she was facing 60 years in prison, CAFMA changed our name to Love & Protect, and transitioned to helping women of color in Illinois who have been criminalized for defending themselves against domestic violence. Working with the women of CAFMA/Love & Protect has been the most rewarding experience, and has deepened my passion for ending gender-based violence without relying on the criminal legal system.

This residency is appropriate and timely for me right now because I am currently thinking through what my commitment to social change looks like for going forward. Right now it including fundraising for a domestic violence shelter, grassroots mutual aid with Love & Protect, and serving on the working board of Project Fierce Chicago, an organization that is creating housing for LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness. No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality is a book that has been on my list to read for awhile, and it feels very important for me to read in this moment. As Project Fierce moves into its next phase of growth, reading a book that centers the voices and experiences of the most marginalized, while warning of the potential harm that people with good intentions can cause, is crucial. It will be an important reminder for myself, as I move deeper into this work, that I am not here to "save" anyone; I am in solidarity with young LGBTQ folks, and should use my resources in a responsible way to help them meet their basic needs. I would share what I learned from my reading with the other members of Project Fierce, and plan to implement and integrate the knowledge and skills learned into the organization's practices. A weekend to read, reflect, and rest my mind and body will be an important way to re-energize me in the new year, as I continue to build community, organize and resist.

THE 2017 Winter/Spring READING RESIDENCY

Winner: 

Tasasha Henderson will receive an accommodating residency on a weekend of her choosing, a $100 stipend for reading material + food, and a STILL LEARNING tote including a Candor Arts publication and handmade product of her choice.

Honorable Mentions:

Nina Yeboah is a writer and creator of Chicago Reading Africa, a local initiative for readers in search of global perspectives.

Michael Fischer is a freelance writer and storyteller, as well as a recent StorySlam winner at The Moth for his stories focused on his experience of being incarcerated in state prison. 

Nina and Michael will each receive a copy of the book they intended on reading at the residency.

Panel of Jurors:

Tempestt HazelWriter, Curator, and Executive Director of Sixty Inches from Center

EJ Hill — Artist and Educator

Lynnette Miranda — Artist, Curator, and Writer, Founder of Present Futures and Make-Space

David Bell — Artist, Curator, and Writer, Director of Visitor Welcome Center and Notes on Looking

Etta SandryArtist, Educator, and Writer, Co-director of Make-Space

Jesús MejiaArtist

Amir GeorgeArtist, Filmmaker, and Curator, Founder of The Cinema Culture and Co-Curator of Black Radical Imagination

Justin Nalley — Artist and Educator, Author of TAKE CARE