2013-14 NPA reception postcard.

Last week, the winners for the Neighborhood Public Art Mini-Grants (NPA) were announced.  The projects are diverse in concept and approach just like Richmond.  From murals, literary experiences, exhibitions, performances, and a video installation, art is coming to a neighborhood near you!

2018 NPA workshop.

For the last twenty-one years, the NPA grants have engaged the community with numerous projects supporting local creative expression.  According to the NPA Call for Entries: “The grants are designed to stimulate arts and culture in the Richmond community, help emerging artists of all ages and ethnicities, and fund local visual, literary, and performing art projects.”

The tradition continues with ten new projects for the 2018-19 NPA granting cycle!

Richmond will have three new murals!  Anna Scaiano’s Bridging the Gap project consists of a mosaic artwork on a bridge and a mural at Verde Elementary School in North Richmond.  While artist Alfonso Leon’s One Richmond: Unifying Community Mural at Richmond High School connects students and community through workshops.  Similarly, Shantina Jackson’s Cops and Kids Unity Mural will unite youth and police officers by promoting creative peacemaking at the Richmond Police Activities League.

Art example from Anna Scaiano’s Bridging the Gap application.
Art example from Alfonso Leon’s One Richmond: Unifying Community Mural application.
Activity photo from Shantina Jackson’s Cops and Kids Unity Mural application.

Two literary experiences include Tamara Shiloh’s Just Imagine Kidz Book Basket For Boys and Tania Pulido’s Richmond Purple Tree Collard.  Shiloh’s grant connects youth, books, and barbershops.  The goal is to improve critical thinking skills highlighting underrepresented leaders during a haircut.  Likewise, Pulido will showcase a series of community storytelling circles focused on the history of migration and origin of food.  Findings from Pulido’s events will become a children’s book series.

From Tamara Shiloh’s Just Imagine Kidz Book Basket For Boys application.
Activity example from Tania Pulido’s Richmond Purple Tree Collard application.

Two exhibitions include Richmond Main Street’s Art Through Transition and Ciera-Jevae Gordon’s (RYSE Center) Lead with Love II.  From Executive Director Amanda Elliot: “Richmond Main Street will host at least 2 exhibits, installations and panel discussions with artists about Downtown Development and the effects of large scale development on neighborhoods, the changing demographics and art and culture.  Panelists will address downtown’s economic vitality, celebrations of history and traditions, and diverse social and cultural activities and discuss how they will be impacted by these changes.”  Meanwhile, RYSE Center’s grant will be used to encourage personal stories by providing a platform for writing and creating art.  According to their application: “This project will generate a safe and creative platform for Richmond youth to explore and pose questions about how love-self-love, interpersonal love, love for community- can transform selves and society.”

Example from Richmond Main Street’s Art Through Transition application.
Past NPA project mural at RYSE (image source: RACC).

Look out for two incredible performances: Tracey Mitchell’s Money Speaks and Anlu Antinao’s Son Jarocho for RichmondMoney Speaks is a performance by Richmond youth that employs conflict resolution in response to crime and violence.  Mitchell’s application states: “Our target audience is youth from North, Central and South Richmond, ranging in age from 13-14 that have family members, friends, or themselves been affected by the historical legacy of violence between rival territories.”  Additionally, Antinao’s Son Jarocho for Richmond project features workshops and events resulting in a “fandango” showcasing African, Indigenous, Arabic, and European music from Veracruz, Mexico.

Image from Anlu Antinao’s Son Jarocho for Richmond application.

Christy Chan’s Inside Out video art installation is the first in NPA history!  According to the project application: “Inside Out is a series of large-scale video projections to be projected on to an external wall of the Richmond Civic Center.  The projections would be of text written by local residents: thoughts people want to express, but are not usually able to vocalize aloud.  To collect the phrases, I would host a public workshop for Richmond residents as well as build a website.  I would then visually design and prepare the texts to be projected on to the walls of the Civic Center at night.”

Richmond City Hall.

Art is a win for the community!  Over the next year, follow the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission (RACC) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for NPA project updates.  The Neighborhood Public Art Mini-Grants (NPA) continue to make a difference!