The aim of the Spaceworks Bronx Community Artist Grant program is to enhance formal and informal connections between artists and communities in the Bronx.

Awarded grants ranging from $1,000-2,000 will support emerging Bronx-based artists in developing creative projects that are community-based with an emphasis on social engagement, community involvement, and collaboration.

We were thrilled to receive applications from artists all across the Bronx, including visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, poets, and more. After a competitive application process, we have awarded grants to the following three Bronx-based artists: Peggy Robles-Alvarado, Jana Lynne Umipig, and Dennis RedMoon Darkeem.

Read more about their projects below, and stay tuned for ways to get involved!

Robleswrites Productions Presents: Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement, and The Muse

Peggy Robles-Alvarado

Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement, and The Muse is a free four session workshop series is intended for female writers ages 13 and over at any stage in their careers.

Each session includes information and movement using traditional practices for clearing or shifting energy with the help of three guest facilitators from Taino, Lukumi and Palo traditions, and culminates with a writing exercise intended to allow participants to make connections to their muses, body and spirit to surge the creativity and joy Mrs. Robles-Alvarado calls magic.

To celebrate the completion of the workshop series, writers will share their work in a collective anthology and participate in a public reading that will be free and open to the community.

About the Artist: Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a tenured New York City educator, a CantoMundo, Home School, and Academy for Teachers Fellow as well as a two time International Latino Book Award winner and author of Conversations With My Skin and Homenaje A Las Guerreras/ Homage to the Warrior Women.  Peggy is a 2014 BRIO performance poet award winner and was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women of the Bronx in 2016. She is also a BCA Arts Fund grant recipient. Peggy has been published in 92Y’s #wordswelivein, NACLA, Letras by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, The Bronx Memoir Project, The BX Files Anthology, Luna Luna Magazine, Hyperallergic.com, Upliftt.com, Dealmas.net and Sofrito For Your Soul. She has been featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Poets and Writers Fifth Annual Connecting Cultures Reading, and The BADD!ASS Women Festival as well as other culturally notable venues.

Grow Roots – Urban Indigenous: Hip-Hop as Cultural Expression for the Colonized, Migrant, and Displaced

Jana Lynne Umipig

The event “Grow Roots – Urban Indigenous: Hip-Hop as Cultural Expression for the Colonized, Migrant, and Displaced” seeks to cultivate a space that speaks to the Roots of Hip Hop in connection to the Roots of our Indigenous Identities resonating with artistic expression at the center or cultural practice and ritual, from the cypher on the dance floor and on the streets – holding sacred the core values of Love, Peace, Unity and Having Fun.

This event will gather and create space for artists to cultivate community in creation process and in sharing and exchanging new works that looks to our understanding of our Indigenous roots from our neighborhoods to our motherlands. Hip-hop, before the practices and rituals were colonized, commodified and made to serve capitalistic purposes, was what taught us, it’s what lifted our spirits-connecting to a divine space, it’s how we convened in like energy and energy exchange, Hip-Hop healed us.

The rhythms of Hip-Hop, the dress of Hip-Hop, the energy of Hip-Hop is influenced by our ancestry beyond this land that our ancestors were brought to or traveled to for survival and by oppressive force. The 5 elements were our ritual, and the cultural bearers who practiced and cultivated energy through emceeing on the mic, breakin’, DJing, and graffiti were our warriors, teachers, visionaries, healers who’s artistry sought to uplift our narratives and move our spirits.

About the Artist: Jana Lynne (JL) Umipig is a creator and multidisciplinary artist who uses her talents and skills to create transformative artistic experiences. She has dedicated her life to using art as a medium for healing, education/understanding, empowerment and building community and connection. Her training is rooted in classical and physical theatre work as she received her formal training at New York University, The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at The University of California, Irvine and The Accademia Dell’ Arte in Arrezzo, Italy. She is the creator of the acclaimed Movement Theatre production “The Journey of a Brown Girl” that has traveled internationally empowering diverse audiences through what has been noted as a “transformative human experience through the lens of the Pinay Narrative.”

Bronx Fathers Project

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem

Bronx Fathers Project is a safe free space where fathers and their children can engage in the arts, create memorable moments and connect with community.

Fall Fathers & Children Art Making Fair
Saturday, October 29th, 2017
1:00pm-4:00pm
The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Kite-Making Workshop
Saturday, November 12th, 2017 
12:00pm-4:00pm
Raine Park

T-Shirt Design Workshop
Sunday, November 13th, 2017
1:00pm-4:00pm
Location TBD

Soup and Painting Workshop
Monday, November 14th, 2017
1:00pm-4:00pm
Location TBD

About the Artist: Dennis RedMoon Darkeem is a multimedia artist who creates work based on the familiar objects that he views through his daily travels, discovering elements in existing architecture and among everyday items found within the home. In 2000 and 2004, Dennis produced two mixed-media performance art projects in the Bronx at The Point’s CDC space “Live at the Edge.” The performances, titled “Clothesline” and “The Love and Fear Experience,” included visual art, dance, music, film, spoken word, and photography and focused on themes of coming of age in the Bronx, rituals and tradition, child abuse, race and sexual identity, religion, and self-pride. Dennis has also worked with the Bronx Museum of Art on its first community art award grant where he collaborated with many artists and performers.

BxArts Factory, an organization committed to making art accessible to everyone in the Bronx, will be working closely with Spaceworks Bronx Community Artist Grantees as a mentor organization during the development of their projects.

This grant program is made possible through support from The New York Community Trust.