St. Paul, Minn. (July 5, 2010) – The General Mills Foundation, the Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation and the Jerome Foundation announce the 2010 Travel and Study Grant Program recipients. Thirty-three grants totaling $137,601, ranging in size from $1,500 to $5,000, were authorized. The Travel and Study Grant Program awards grants to emerging artists in Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City, and arts administrators in Minnesota. Funds support travel for professional development.
Panels in each arts discipline reviewed 290 applications, 100 from Minnesota and 190 from New York.
The Jerome Foundation Directors reviewed and authorized panel recommendations in grant categories of dance, film and video, and literature.
Literature Arts Travel and Study Program Panel reviewed 98 applications, 51 from Minnesota, and 47 from New York City. Panelists were poet and literary arts administrator Patricia Spears Jones, New York, New York; Christopher Fischbach, Managing Editor, Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and creative nonfiction author Diane Wilson, Shafer, Minnesota.
• Ka Vang, St. Paul, Minn., will travel to France and Germany to research the lives and folklore of Hmong communities in order to inform new work and improve as a fiction writer. Vang is a fiction writer, playwright, and creative nonfiction writer. She’s previously researched the lives and folklore of the Hmong in Australia, Laos, and China.
She often writes about identity and heritage themes while interweaving magic realism throughout her work. Direct experience of Hmong identities in other countries will help her develop complex and real characters in order to write more authentically about the Hmong diaspora. No level of research removed from place can substitute for actually talking with Hmong people in France and Germany, listening to them, and writing about their issues and voices.
• Pallavi Sharma Dixit, Minneapolis, will travel to Edison, New Jersey, to gather information and details about the Indian Day Parade. Edison, a small suburban town, is home to thousands of people of Southeast Indian descent.
The Indian Day Parade, now in its seventh year, marks India’s independence from Great Britain on August 15, 1947. The procession traditionally features a Bollywood star as the guest of honor and draws thousands of Indians from across the region. This detailed field research will help her craft several chapters in her novel that takes place at the parade.
• Alison Roh Park, Jackson Heights, New York, will travel to Iksan, South Korea, and the surrounding area, to visit her father’s family and study the role of agriculture in her family and the impact of the economic shift to agricultural exports. This information will be used to create new poetry and prose and create community dialogue.
The notion of displacement, gender, and race deeply affect her work. While the primary focus will be on the farming lifestyle within a broader political context, the trip will additionally be an invaluable study of gender roles and family structure, within the context of the shift from rural to urban life.
• Purvi Shah, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Chennai, India, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and San Francisco, California, to study Sanskrit poetics and Vedic charts in order to deepen her own poetics and poetry in English. She will explore profound modes of structuring sound and language; see how complex philosophical ideas can be transmitted and embodied in words; and learn more about the relationships of grammar, meaning, and mathematical repetition.
While not a poet who often employs formal meter and poetic forms, she has long been drawn to the rhythms in language, its sounds, and the power of auditory elements of poetry. This study will enable her quest to produce a simultaneous philosophical, auditory, and meditative poetry.
• Latasha Diggs, New York
• Sarah Dohrmann, Brooklyn, New York
• Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Brooklyn, New York
• Chrissy Kolaya, Morris, Minnesota
• Gayla Marty, Minneapolis
• Christina A. Olivares, New York
• Jeffrey Skemp, Minneapolis
The Dance Panel reviewed 79 applications, 26 from Minnesota, and 53 from New York. Panelists were Ishmael Houston-Jones, choreographer, curator, and teacher, New York, New York; Aparna Ramaswamy, choreographer and Artistic Director of Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Laurie Van Wieren, choreographer and Dance Program Director at The Southern Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
• Jennie Mary Tai Liu, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Hong Kong to visit the Hong Kong Film Archive and meet with writer/scholar Xu Xi for research related to the creation of an interdisciplinary dance/film project, Soul Leaves Her Body.
Liu was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States as a child. This study will help her ground her new project, based on a thirteenth century Chinese tale, in the culture and imagery of her birthplace. Liu is interested in Xu Xi’s personal essays about mediatized life in Hong Kong from a family perspective, a theme she plans to weave into her new work.
• Deborah Black and Karl Cronin of Ridgewood (Queens), New York
• Marciano Silva Dos Santos, Shoreview, Minnesota
• Megan Mayer, Minneapolis
• Darnetha Lincoln M’Baye, New York
• Andrea Miller, New York
• Sally Rousse, Minneapolis
• Glenda So Koeraus, New York
• Rebecca L. Thomas, New York
• Vanessa Voskuil, Minneapolis
FILM & VIDEO
The Film and Video Panel examined 113 applications: 90 from New York, and 23 from Minnesota. Panelists were Jane Minton, Executive Director of Independent Film Project/Minnesota (IFP), St. Paul, Minnesota; filmmaker Jake Yuzna, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and filmmaker Cristina Ibarra, Brooklyn, New York.
• Lisette Marie Flanary, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Tokyo, Japan, to follow several Japanese Hula groups as they prepare to compete in the King Kamehameha Hula Competition. Flanary is interested in making a film that explores the complicated issues surrounding cultural exchange between Hawaii and Japan.
Hula is a native dance form of Hawaii, once outlawed by Christian missionaries, which came to symbolize cultural survival. The form has become a cultural commodity in Japan with over 2,000 recognized hula schools. Flanary, a hula dancer and filmmaker with family connections to Hawaii, will compare and contrast the Japanese hula events with the original Hawaiian competitions as the basis for a new film work.
• Kaz Phillips, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Jakarta, Indonesia, and Penang/George Town, Malaysia, to conduct research and acquire cultural experiences in order to create a feature-length film set in early 20th century Jakarta. His work will be based on the supposedly true story of Banda Gertrude, a Eurasian woman living in Jakarta, who acted as a spy for the Japanese, the British, and the Americans.
Gertrude died before a firing squad in Korea in 1952, meeting the same fate as her alleged mother, Mata Hari. Phillips’ research will provide him with an understanding of the complex political and cultural currents of Indonesia as the foundation for his film.
• Marlo Poras, Brooklyn, New York, will travel to Thailand to research the idea of making a documentary film about Christina Arnold, who escaped the Children of God Cult when she was 21 years old and now leads a nonprofit organization that is focused on preventing human trafficking.
To gain a more personal understanding of the anti-trafficking movement, Poras will attend the summer study program in Thailand sponsored by Arnold through the Prevent Human Trafficking Institute (PHT). This will provide him with the time to experience Arnold in action and understand the focus of her work as the basis for his intimate film portrait of her.
• Frank Sander, Duluth, Minn., will travel to Yunnan Province, China, to document the daily life of the Bai minority in a remote mountain village in the Yunnan Province of China.
Sander will partner with He Lujiang, a professor at the University of Dali, China, to understand the devastating effect that the mass exodus, of the rural Bai and other minority farmers moving to the city for income, is having on the village cultures. He will be able to live with a Bai family for a direct and intimate experience of this culture to inform a new documentary work.
• Kao Choua Vue, St. Paul, Minn., will travel to Laos to study the traditions and history of his parents’ homeland and bridge the gap between Hmong American and Hmong Lao through film.
Being a displaced people, without a written language, oral tradition is a critical means for the Hmong people to sustain their language, stories and traditions for future generations. Vue’s father began using the video camera as a visual extension of oral tradition, without any knowledge of filmmaking.
Vue’s selfproclaimed goal is to use film to preserve the essential elements of Hmong identity. He has the technical skills his father lacks, but lacks the visual, physical experience of having been to Laos. This travel to his cultural homeland will give him an opportunity to understand how Hmong people living in Laos today are using media.
• Maria Buyondo, Brooklyn, New York
• Nathan Fisher, St. Louis Park, Minn.• Loira Limbal, Bronx, New York
• Joshua Zucker-Pluda, New York, will travel to Tokyo, Fujiyoshida, and Narusawa, Japan, to conduct research and interviews for an experimental documentary film on Aokigahara Jukai, a forest in Japan where people go to commit suicide.
Zucker-Pluda has arranged to work with Professor Shinichi Nakazawa, Director of the Institute for Art Anthropology at Tama Arts University, who specializes in religious studies and folklore and their impact on contemporary culture, and Dr. Takahashi Yoshimoto, a scholar and researcher on the phenomenon of Aokigahara Jukai and Deputy Chief at the Department of Psychology at the Tokyo Institute of Psychiatry. This research will be used for a new film, The Sea of Trees, about the relationship among memory, sleep, dream, and death.
• Gilad Ratman, New York
• Michael Reano, St. Paul, Minn.
• Michael Sutz, St. Paul, Minn.
For further information about these grants, please contact, Program Director Robert Byrd, Program Officer Eleanor Savage or President Cynthia Gehrig at 651-224-9431 or 1-800-995-3766. Visit the Jerome Foundation on the Web at www.jeromefdn.org.