September 27, 2021

The Fourthny

Art is beauty

Minnesota African American museum awards $66K in new arts and history program

6 min read

Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery co-founder Tina Burnside wanted to create more opportunities for emerging Black artists. Now she’s making it happen, with a $60,000 grant from the Transformative Black Led Movement Fund and private funds from Twin Cities artists Seitu Jones and Ta-coumba Aiken.

Four artists-in-residence will each receive $14,000:

• Kehayr Brown-Ransaw, an interdisciplinary artist who recently graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Maiya Lea Hartman, a queer, Black, nonbinary acrylic painter and mixed-media artist.

Noah Lawrence-Holder, a Black, nonbinary artist whose illustration and animations focus on themes of racial justice, equity, intersectionality and gender identity.

Sean Garrison Phillips, a writer and abstract painter.

In addition, the museum named a history fellow who will receive $10,000.: Mica Lee Anders, who focuses on African-American genealogy and families from Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska.

All five winners will have exhibitions at the museum in 2022.

The Transformative Black Led Movement Fund, organized by Nexus Community Partners and Black Visions Collective, was created last year after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Burnside said she intends to make these fellowships an annual program. While the museum cannot offer studio space, it hopes to do so in coming years.

“It’s a unique program, and something that’s needed in the Twin Cities,” said Burnside. She pointed to the Walker’s recent offerings of $120,000 to 10 arts organizations led by people of color. Her museum’s programs are a response to efforts by more mainstream institutions.

“It’s an opportunity for emerging artists to get that chance to have funding to explore projects or ideas [that] they didn’t have the time or money to do,” she said. “They get to build what they are working on, [grow] their skills, get experience and then have a show.”

@AliciaEler • 612-673-4437

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