Representation in culture matters. Marie-Anne Leuty (she/her) announces a new content series that gives a platform to emerging artists across the world in partnership with one of the Netherlands’ leading cultural institutions.
“If art can be at the service of anything, it’s about letting us see a state of grace for those people who rarely get to be able to be seen that way.”
The words of African American painter and sculptor Kehinde Wiley have crossed my mind many times over the past few months.
As a BIPOC-founded platform, we’re passionate about centring representation and celebrating heritage so we can tell our stories our way. Whether we’re talking about culture, inclusivity, sustainability or self-care, TQTB is growing to become a space where historically excluded voices are heard.
We set our intention to share stories about creativity and heritage from across the world – but how on earth were we going to meet these artists in the first place?
Make it speedy
In December 2020, soon after the release of Journal 001, we had the opportunity to attend a digital Cultural Speed Date hosted by the Prince Claus Fund.
Established in 1996 as a tribute to HRH Prince Claus, the Prince Claus Fund is dedicated to supporting, honouring and connecting cultural practitioners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. This includes countries where artistic expression is under pressure or censored.
We scheduled a speed date with Dilara Jaring-Kanik, Manager of Exchanges, to talk to her about the Journal.
Hearing more about the Fund’s mission, we wanted to find a way to work together to highlight the stories of artists around the world.
The seeds of new stories
Dilara told us about a new award that was about to launch. The Prince Claus Seed Awards are designed to address the specific needs of emerging creatives in the early stages of their careers by giving one hundred recipients a €5,000 grant to invest in their artistic practice.
Cultural practitioners who apply are dedicated to addressing societal themes and empowering their communities. They’ve received little (or no) funding and don’t yet have an international audience for their work.
This was very special for us to hear as storytellers.
What would be cooler and more organic than to tell the story of this community from the very beginning?
Introducing Inspired Flight
I’m excited to announce that we’re partnering with the Prince Claus Fund to develop Inspired Flight, a content series about the first recipients of the Prince Claus Seed Awards.
We’ll document in real time how Seed Awardees are investing in their creative practice in this period of global change and learn about the community impact of their work. We’ve already started talking to visual, performance and installation artists, dancers, musicians, designers, curators and archive researchers worldwide with inspiring personal and creative journeys.
Through the series, we celebrate people whose drive to create uplifts and innovates their local cultural landscape. They shine light on social and political issues and use this gift to connect with different groups in their societies.
Inspired Flight comes at a time of global cultural and social change.
In the coming weeks and months we’ll share stories from artists processing and communicating this shift in their work across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
I’m honoured to share their stories with you and know you’ll be inspired too.
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Follow Marie-Anne: @marieanneleuty