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Queens artists can apply for $1,000 grant through Creative Sanctum’s Catalyst Commissions

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Artwork by: Amanda Sanchez, Monyee Chau, Brooke Fischer and Zoey Marooquin.

The deadline is quickly approaching to apply for an artist commission supporting creators who promote democracy in New York City.

The Catalyst Commissions, a project from the Creative Sanctum digital magazine, will give $1,000 grants to five artists from Queens, Chinatown and other parts of the city whose work “can catalyze community civic participation.” The deadline to apply for a grant is Friday, March 12.

According to Creative Sanctum founder and Queens Community Board 11 board member Sharon Chin, the grant is made possible by a collaboration with the Queens Council on the Arts and Think!Chinatown with funding from the Alfred Landecker Fellowship.

“We believe in the power of artists to increase awareness, stir empathy, prompt action and visualize an improved future with their creative work. With the large upcoming number of 2021 NYC elections (where less than 54 percent of the population votes), we are specifically seeking artists who catalyze communities in NYC’s Queens, Chinatown, and where you think your work is needed most,” said The Creative Sanctum in a statement.

Visual art, music, dance, performing arts and social practice are among the genres eligible to receive a grant. Art that includes partisan opinions or political endorsements will not considered.

The following are suggested prompts for artists to use:

  • Lessons from the Past: From labor strikes to revolutions, which lessons from historical liberation movements can aid us today?
  • It Could Happen Here: How do testimonials from “authoritarian” and “anti-democratic” states (e.g., aggrandized power, quashed dissent) inspire vigilance? Consider using oral testimonials from the Renew Democracy Initiative or the events of January 6th, 2021.
  • Instrument of Change: How can your art inspire viewers to be instruments of change for democracy? Consider voting (primaries/general elections), community boards, op-eds, and other forms of civic engagement.
  • Action Needed Here: Your community has specific barriers to active democracy and equity. How does your art propel action or transformation on these issues?

To learn more, visit www.thecreativesanctum.com/catalyst-commissions.

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