Nothing happens in the real world unless it happens first in the images in our heads. – Gloria E. Anzaldúa.
In our 37 year history, Astraea has granted over 4 million dollars globally to more than 200 individuals and 300 organizations using art as tool for social change. In 2013, we launched our Global Arts Fund, committed to supporting, showcasing, and connecting art by LGBTQI people and organizations in the U.S. and internationally, especially those with the least access to resources. The Global Arts Fund now houses the Astraea Lesbian Writers Award and the Visual Artist Award, recognizing the talents of radical artists. Some notable past recipients like Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Cheryl Clark and Jewelle Gomez have left an indelible mark on cultural history.
This year we awarded grants to 15 artists and arts collectives responding to criminalization and militarization in their local contexts, exploring questions of survival, freedom and possibility. Their projects ignite resistance to war, displacement and surveillance, and respond to multiple issues including police violence, hate speech and laws criminalizing LGBTQI people. Embracing a wide range of artistic practices including video, film, documentary, graphic novels, theater, graphic design, visual arts, performance and music, and spanning the globe from Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, Zambia, Guatemala to the U.S., their work helps us imagine and create a better future.
Take a look at the inspirational work of this years fifteen grantees on our website, and join me in celebrating their work and legacy.
In solidarity and praise,
J. Bob Alotta
“Participating on Astraea’s panel reminded me of just how vital the work that they do is. Who else is supporting amazing, dynamic, thought-provoking LGBTQI artists from around the globe engaged directly with vital issues of the day.”–Kemi Ilesanmi, a member of the committee of artists who made this year’s funding decisions.
“Throughout the years we have come to know the power of art as a tangible tool for social justice. …how it sparks courageous dialogue and catalyzes action… We believe that Astraea shares this knowledge. We have seen, time and time again, how their work impacts the lives of people around the world by creating access, advocacy, and a network of resources, for the LGBTQ community nationally and abroadour own work included.”–Alixa of Climbing PoeTree, an Astraea 2014 Global Arts Fund grant recipient