An Astoria-based arts nonprofit recently named 13 individuals who will be responsible for awarding $40,000 in art commissions by the end of the year.
These Artist Commissioners are part of the Queens Council on the Arts’ 2019-2020 advisory cohort, which includes a retired attorney, urban planner, anthropologist and community activist. Together, the diverse group will award four $10,000 commissions to choreographers, composers and playwrights through QCA’s Artist Commissioning Program (ACP).
According to QCA, the local community members represent Maspeth/Ridgewood and Flushing, which the nonprofit chose as the focus for the current commissioning cycle. The Artist Commissioners will be responsible for choosing works that resonate with the characteristics of each neighborhood.
“Art Commissioners comprise the next generation of art supporters in Queens, and are the flagship component of our Artist Commissioning Program,” said Program Manager Kelly Olshan.
Nov. 14 was the deadline for artists to apply for the Artist Commissioning Program. The chosen artists will work together with commissioners at “monthly convenings,” which include project updates, art salons and opportunities for professional development.
“The voices of the community should be in the center of the process when it comes to integrating the arts into…the larger American historical narrative and cultural landscape,” wrote Ya Yun Teng, Flushing Art Commissioner. “QCA’s program provides an opportunity to return art-making ownership to the stakeholders of the Queens community.”
The seven Flushing Art Commissioners for 2019-2020 are Branka Duknic, Claire Marie Lim, Emily Gross, Jamerry Kim, Jefferson Mao, John Choe and Ya Yun Teng. Flushing advisory panelists include Rob Urbinati, Sejin Park and Soh Young Lee-Segredo.
Brendan Leach, Christina Wilkinson, Laurie Bennett, Linda Monte, Richard Morales and Teru Kuwayama will be this cycle’s Maspeth/Ridgewood Art Commissioners. Barbara Podgurski and Mary Ellen Stebbins will serve as panel advisors.
The commissioners and advisors will do as their titles suggest and advise awardees through the creation and production processes. Their monthly convenings will take place at local art spaces like Supermoon Art Space, Maspeth Welding and Latimer House Museum.
To learn more about the 2019-2020 cohort, visit queenscouncilarts.org/2019-art-commissioners.