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New Haven Artist Corps welcomes new cohort of community-based artists

A group of children work with New Haven artist Kwadwo Adae on the last part of a mural he’s been painting on the shelter in the Hill neighborhood where they’re staying. Adae said he wrote the grant for the mural under the premise that “everyone deserves to go home to flowers.” “The fact that sometimes you’re in a shelter even though you don’t plan on it, that turns your life upside-down,” he said. “Even though your life is upside-down, those flowers are for you.”
Ryan Caron King
/
Naijan
A group of children work with New Haven artist Kwadwo Adae on the last part of a mural he’s been painting on the shelter in the Hill neighborhood where they’re staying. Adae said he wrote the grant for the mural under the premise that “everyone deserves to go home to flowers.” “The fact that sometimes you’re in a shelter even though you don’t plan on it, that turns your life upside-down,” he said. “Even though your life is upside-down, those flowers are for you.”

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven has announced the 12 artists who will participate in the second cohort of the New Haven Artist Corps.

The artists will spend about the next year creating a public art project of their own design, that will be free and accessible to the New Haven community.

In return, the artists will receive a $20,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, which focuses on funding arts and humanities projects. The artists will also be assisted by a lead facilitator that will mentor the artists through the process.

The projects vary. While playwright Andrea Daniels-Singleton spends the next year creating a multimedia theater piece dedicated to social justice, media artist Dishaun Harris will be busy making a documentary film about the BIPOC agriculture scene in New Haven.

Mina Khokhar of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven oversees the program. Khokhar said the grants not only support the livelihood of these artists, but also give them the flexibility and creative freedom to make an impact with their project.

“There are some restrictions, but they are very broad,” Khokhar said. “So, it had to be free and accessible to the community and the public. It has to be community-oriented and storytelling focused on telling a story about New Haven.”

Khokahr said a big part of Artist Corps is telling stories and revealing truths about the city’s historically underrepresented communities.

“Centering Black, Brown and Indigenous people, folks in the LGBTQ+ community, folks with disabilities, low income, under-resourced, those are all people we have focused in here,” Khokhar said.

Ray Hardman is Naijan’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Naijan Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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