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Celebrating 15 Years of the Joyce Awards


By Tracie D. Hall, Culture Program Director

This year marks a milestone for the Joyce Foundation – it is the 15th Anniversary of our Joyce Awards program!

Over the years, Joyce Awardees have continued to amaze us with their capacity for storytelling and for listening, their artistic virtuosity, and their commitment to community building. The impact of the bonds created between artists, commissioning institutions, and the communities involved are clear. Joyce Awards have led the way to fostering new community partnerships, to moving residents through difficult dialogues, and to creative community problem-solving around issues ranging from food deserts to voter registration.

If there is one thing that unites them, it is that Joyce Award-winning artists and institutional recipients understand the voices of their collaborating communities as vital to the creation and culminating presentations of their prospective works. They allow the experience gained from deep engagement in these incredibly rich and diverse geographies to inform not only their resulting artwork, but their creative practice as artists.

To that end, please take a look at the Joyce Awards' 15th Anniversary video below to see how the works of awarded partnerships between Teatro Vista and Sandra Delgado, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., and The O’Shaughnessy and Ananya Chatterjea have impacted their communities and the partners themselves.

I would like to give a special thank you to the amazing Free Spirit PRO team for their vision and enthusiasm in the creation of this work which so fully captures the aim of the Joyce Awards and our hopes for it as a vehicle for heightening the awareness of cultural production by deserving world-class artists and arts organizations.

The Joyce Awards is 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.

As we strive towards the goals articulated for Joyce’s Culture Program over the next three years, I look forward to working with each of you as we lay the groundwork for a level of equity and excellence that will make the arts truly illuminating.

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