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2018 Joyce Awards Winners


It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of the 2018 Joyce Awards! Four collaborations between talented, committed, and hardworking artists and equally dedicated cultural organizations have been chosen – in Chicago, Detroit, and the Twin Cities.

Each partnership will receive $50,000 to produce and present a commissioned new work and program of intensive community engagement activities. This year’s artists and host organizations are tackling themes of cultural identity, xenophobia, gentrification, and how movement connects a peoples’ history across generations of migration – extraordinarily timely in this moment of social, economic, and political change.

The 2018 cohort marks the 15-year anniversary for the Joyce Awards program. It remains the only regional program dedicated to supporting artists of color in major Great Lakes cities with the goal of elevating their visibility and recognition in their craft. Since the competition started in 2003, Joyce has awarded nearly $3.25 million to commission 59 new works. 

Joyce Award-winning artists have gone on to world-wide acclaim, to leading their disciplines in artistic achievement and innovation, and to heading artistic initiatives and organizations that strive to make the arts accessible to everyone. Commissioning organizations have reported record numbers of attendees for award-related programs, new alliances with organizational peers, and recognition from and greater coordination with municipal agencies.

It is because we recognize the generative impact of these awards historically that we are so excited to announce the 2018 Joyce Awards winners below:
  • Links Hall & Onye Ozuzu (Chicago
    Links Hall in Chicago will commission dancer and choreographer Onye Ozuzu for a production that explores the inter-relationship between the body and the act of building and working with tool, especially noted in the human, cultural and labor migration histories of Haiti, Chicago, and Louisiana. Entitled “Project Tool,” the intended outcome of the commission is to create dance that makes visible the long and important connection between these geographies.
  • The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History & jessica Care moore (Detroit)
    The Wright Museum will commission a new theatrical work entitled Salt City by poet and playwright jessica Care moore, reflecting on themes of gentrification and cultural erasure, a much-debated effect of the Motor City’s economic revitalization. A mix of theater, dance, poetry and techno music, Salt City is the story of a city's survival and change through time.
  • The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts & Rosy Simas (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
    The Ordway in St. Paul, Minnesota, will commission Rosy Simas (Seneca, Heron Clan) to create “Weave,” an intersectional Native dance project that examines the interwoven and interdependent nature of our world. In “Weave,” individual histories will come together in immersive performances that combine story, dance, procession, sound, and moving images. It will be presented in early 2019 as part of the Ordway’s Music & Movement Series.
  • The Cedar Cultural Center & Aar Maanta (Minneapolis-St. Paul)
    The Cedar in Minneapolis, Minnesota will partner with internationally-acclaimed Somali musician, Aar Maanta, to produce what may be the first bilingual album of children’s songs titled, “Children’s Songs from the Somali Diaspora.” Working with his band as well as with local Minnesotan musicians, Maanta will collaborate with Somali youth in Minneapolis’ Cedar Riverside neighborhood to write and record the children's album, which will be released and performed live at the Cedar.
Congratulations to this year’s cohort of Joyce Awardees!

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