2023 Joyce Awards Announcement



We’re thrilled to announce the 2023 winners of our Joyce Awards, which support the creation of community-driven new works by artists of color in partnership with organizations in the Great Lakes region. This year’s awardees explore and strengthen connections between diverse communities, urban environments, and nature to imagine new forums for cultural exchange and assembly. The five awardee pairs of artists and organizations will each receive a grant of $75,000 to support their projects, with at least $25,000 of each award going directly to the artist as a stipend.

The 2023 Joyce Award winners are:

  • Regina Agu with Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago: Using oral history, photography, and archival research, multidisciplinary artist Regina Agu will create a large-scale panoramic installation and field guide exploring community memory in Black Midwestern lakeside communities. Tracing legacies of historical migration from the Gulf South region to the Great Lakes, the project will examine waterways and natural environments as defining sites of Black life and belonging.
  • Marisa Morán Jahn with National Public Housing Museum (Chicago): Social practice artist Marisa Morán Jahn will work with residents and neighbors to co-design a permanent outdoor basketball court shared by the National Public Housing Museum and a new mixed-income housing development on the site of Chicago’s first federal housing project. Blending the linework of a basketball court with other street games, the project aims to reframe the public understanding of subsidized housing and illuminate the rich history of basketball and recreation in public housing communities.
  • Sonny Mehta with Mandala South Asian Performing Arts (Chicago): Musician Sonny Mehta will collaborate with South Asian communities on Chicago’s North Side and Black Gospel groups on the South Side to create new music that combines Gospel music with Qawwali, a devotional musical tradition rooted in Sufi Islam. Building bridges between ethnic and faith-based communities, the project will explore Chicago’s cultural and neighborhood relationships to create opportunities for learning, reconciliation, and solidarity across immigrant and diasporic backgrounds.
  • Marlena Myles with Franconia Sculpture Park (Shafer, MN): Multimedia artist Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee) will use augmented reality (AR) to create public artworks that restore Dakota stories, language, and art to the land, combining oral histories with geolocation and 3D animation for immersive encounters with animals, plants, and spirits. Created in collaboration with urban and rural Native communities around the Twin Cities, the project explores AR as a medium for Native art that can build connections to the land without interrupting or damaging it.
  • Julie Tolentino with SPACES (Cleveland): Interdisciplinary artist Julie Tolentino will build connections with LGBTQ+ community members in Cleveland to develop an experimental performance installation exploring the possibilities of collectivity and intergenerational exchange. Using processes, including oral history interviews, archival research, artmaking, and community workshops, the project will build solidarity and radical forms of recognition between LGBTQ+ youth and elders, culminating in a series of artworks celebrating visionary queer life.

The 2023 Joyce Awardees were selected by an independent jury of leading arts professionals, including:

  • Edgar Arceneaux, artist; 2005 Joyce Award recipient with Gallery 400 at University of Illinois at Chicago
  • C. Ondine Chavoya, Professor, Art History, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Andrew Cone, Chief Strategy Officer, Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Sandra Delgado, writer, actor, singer, and producer; 2015 Joyce Award recipient with Teatro Vista
  • Daniel Gray-Kontar, Lecturer/Community Arts Partner, Stanford University Institute for Diversity in the Arts; 2020 Joyce Award recipient (Twelve Literary Arts) with Terrel Wallace
  • Shaunda McDill, Managing Director, Pittsburgh Public Theater
  • Liz Park, Richard Armstrong Curator of Contemporary Art, Carnegie Museum of Art
Joyce Awards 2023


Apply for the 2024 Joyce Awards

The application process for the 2024 Joyce Awards will open on July 5, 2023, with letters of inquiry due September 11, 2023, and full applications due October 30. New applicants must register for the online portal by September 6, 2023. Potential applicants can learn more, download the 2024 guidelines, FAQs, and application, and apply by visiting the Joyce Foundation website here, or by contacting [email protected].

To learn more about the Joyce Awards and see a list of past winners, click here.

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About the Joyce Awards

Spanning the visual, performing and multidisciplinary arts, the Joyce Awards is the only regional program dedicated to supporting new commissions by artists of color across the Great Lakes region, focusing its impact on communities in and around Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Since 2004, the competition has awarded $4.4 million to commission 82 new projects and commissions between pioneering artists of color and leading arts, cultural, and community-based organizations. Demonstrating the capacity of the arts to inspire and mobilize social change, the Joyce Awards act as a catalyst for artists’ creative practices as well as fostering culturally vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities through the arts. To learn more about the Joyce Awards and see a list of past winners, click here.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

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