Spring 2014 Rubys Grant Winners Announced!

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The Rubys are project-based funding for emerging and established Baltimore-regional artists for the creation of innovative and bold endeavors that will have significant impact for the artist and on the community at-large. The grants support the region’s gems – the local creative community of performing, visual, media, and literary artists.

The Rubys were established in 2013 by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, with the vision and start-up funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, to provide meaningful support to individual artists as well as enrich the arts and broader community of Baltimore and the five surrounding counties.

April 22, 2014: The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) is pleased to announce the 13 artists selected for the inaugural Rubys Artist Project Grants. Awards from $2,000 to $10,000 were made to support artists that reflect a diversity of talent and creativity for projects including immersive theater, interactive media experiences, documentary film and musical composition.

The 2014 Rubys grantees in Performing and Media Arts are:

Carla J Brown headshot_sq

Carla Brown, Catonsville: to support the documentary film about her grandparents, Everyone But Two: The Life, Love and Travel of Benjamin and Frances Graham, which traces the cross-country travel experiences of an African American couple in the 1960s and 1970s.


Lynn Cazabon, Baltimore: to realize Portrait Garden, a multi-part project based on work with long-term inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women and presented via interactive posters located throughout Baltimore-area commercial display spaces.


Graham Coreil-Allen, Baltimore: to create SiteLines, a series of sharable videos that explores the invisible sites and overlooked features of our everyday urban environment, and which will present a compelling portrait of Baltimore and its civic space potential.


Eric Dyer, Baltimore: to support the creation of The Zoetrope Tunnel, a 9-foot tall by 20-foot long working walk-through sculpture whose interior animation describes the evolution of the bicycle, both in mechanical development as well as in social impact.


Rich Espey, Towson: for research and development of a new play, Tea with Nelson and Betsie, which explores the moment in 1995 when Nelson Mandela had tea with the widow of Prime Minister Hendrick Verwoerd (the “architect of apartheid”) in the all-white enclave of Orania, South Africa.


Carl Grubbs, Baltimore: to write and arrange new compositions for The Inner Harbor Suite: Revisited, an audio tribute to Baltimore featuring saxophones, strings, group improvisation and ensemble performance.


Kel Millionie, Baltimore: to create an aerial theater production, Fight or Flight, that examines this human condition through the use of aerial movement, invented structures, intense choreography, soundscapes, sampled music and video projections.


Pat Montley, Lutherville: to expand a one-act script into a full length play – Pope Joan II – which tells the story of an American nun who becomes pope and tries to transform the church into a liberal democracy.


Kwame Opare, Baltimore: to choreograph, develop and produce the theatrical dance performance Triumph of Disruption, working in conjunction with, and featuring students from a local arts secondary school.


Matthew Porterfield, Baltimore: to support the development of Sollers Point, a feature film about one Baltimore man’s return to society after a period of incarceration.


Glenn Ricci, Baltimore: to produce The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe, an immersive, interactive theater experience that focuses on the women in Poe’s life and their influence on his fiction.


Olivia Robinson, Baltimore: to support the creation of Near and Far Enemies, a media installation of large-scale electronic textile circuits that describes the relationship between racism, wealth and science.


David Smooke, Baltimore: to compose A Baby Bigger Grows Than Up Was, an ensemble piece for a baritone singer, bass clarinet, trumpet and trombone that uses an alphabetical tale by the Baltimore writer Michael Kimball as inspiration.

All of the artist projects begin immediately or are already underway and they will be developed over the course of the next 12 months. Each project includes opportunities for public engagement such as a performance, exhibition, reading or screening. Information on attending a public component of these projects will be announced on this web page.

The 2014 Rubys jury panels for the Performing and Media Arts were comprised of the following noted professionals:

  • Jenny Bilfield, President and CEO, Washington Performing Arts Society
  • Krista Bradley, Executive Director, Black Rock Center for the Arts
  • Ramona S. Diaz, documentary filmmaker and founder, CineDiaz, Inc
  • Adriel Luis, Curator of Digital and Emerging Media, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
  • O.F. Makarah, founder, Heritage Film Festival and co-founder, Freewaves film and media festival
  • Gesel Mason, Artistic Director for Gesel Mason Performance Projects and Assistant Professor of Dance, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Sky Sitney, Festival Director, AFI Docs
  • Karen Strittmatter Galvin, Assistant Concertmaster, North Carolina Symphony and co-founder, New Music Raleigh
  • Elena Widder, arts consultant and Vice President of Public Awareness, VSA


To find more information about applying for the next round of Rubys Grants here.

To read Bmoreart’s interview covering “Everything You Wanted to Know About The Rubys” with Grant Director Sonja Cendak, click here.

To read Bmoreart’s interview with Ruby Lerner, President and Founding Director of Creative Capital and the namesake of the Baltimore Grants, click here.

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