Twelve Literary Arts with Terrel Wallace


Twelve Literary Arts, Inc. and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland are two of four 2020 Joyce Award winners that honor collaborations between artists of color and arts and cultural organizations throughout the Great Lakes region.

Twelve Literary Arts

The $50,000 grant will allow Twelve Literary Arts to commission Terrel Wallace (aka, “Tall Black Guy”), one of contemporary music’s most innovative producers, to create, “The Land Claps Back,” a series of programs and performances featuring inter-generational poets, vocalists and musicians that will culminate in a sound-recording composed and produced by Wallace.

“The Land Claps Back” aims to tell the story of the contrast between Cleveland’s racially and economically segregated East and West sides from the perspective of youth and adult poets, musicians, vocalist and residents. Themes around low civic engagement, voter apathy and a general sense of voiceless-ness felt by many Cleveland residents in the face of gentrifying neighborhoods, under-performing schools and increasing violence.

“This work intends to forward the organization’s mission of nurturing and broadening the audience of literary performance,” said Daniel Gray-Kontar, executive artistic director at Twelve Literary Arts. “The essence of the Joyce Award allows us to engage in candid community conversations to inform the new work, which provides greater context and urgency to what we’ll ultimately see on stage.”

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