GBCA Awards 2015 Rubys Grants in Literary and Visual Arts

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The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) is pleased to announce the nine artists selected for the 2015 Rubys Artist Project Grants in literary and visual arts. Grants from $3,000 to $10,000 will be made to support artists that reflect a diversity of talent and creativity for projects including poetry, photography, fiction writing, screenwriting, quilting, and collaborative installation.

The 2015 Rubys grantees in Literary and Visual Arts are:

James Arthur, Baltimore County: to support work on Entanglement, a poetry collection that is diverse in style and subject matter, but broadly speaking, a manuscript about love.

Dale Beran, Baltimore: to support a book on the Baltimore City school system and the lives of its students, which will incorporate historical research, interviews, and illustrations by the author.

Ericka Blount-Danois, Baltimore: to support the writing of a science fiction feature film screenplay, with cinematographer Arthur Jafa, that seeks to explore the theme of historical perspective and what martyrdom does to the personal lives of historical figures.

Jen Grow, Baltimore County: to support My Father’s House, a a series of photographs with a personal essay that explore ideas around loss of home, identity, and history.

Nate Larson, Baltimore: to support a project of photographic portraits of Sandtown-Winchester community members and make visible their lives, their struggles, and their triumphs to create a fuller portrait of life in Baltimore.

Courtney Sender, Baltimore: to support work on the novel The God of Longing, that follows three characters from each of the Abrahamic religions over the course of 40 years into their futures and 4,000 years into their families’ pasts.

Tony Shore, Baltimore: to support the creation of new paintings in response to the Baltimore Uprising.

Stephen Towns, Baltimore: to support Take Me Away to the Stars, a quilting project that will explore ways in which one processes violence through escapism, religion, and myth using the historic and mythological tales of Nat Turner’s rebellion.

Marian Glebes, Baltimore: to support a year-long, collaborative, interdisciplinary project that explores relationships with the materials of home and connects them to the larger notion of place.

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

“This year, we are excited by both the new applications and the projects of earlier grantees that have now come to fruition. The breadth of creativity, artistic excellence and community engagement represented in this work is extraordinary and a true sign of the Baltimore region’s position as a cultural powerhouse,” said Jeannie Howe, executive director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. “GBCA is grateful to its talented and thoughtful jurors and to the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation for their support of this program.”

The 2015 Rubys jury panels for Literary and Visual Arts were comprised of the following noted professionals:

Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, writer, poet, founding director, Asian American Literary Review
Alex Espinoza, author, visiting associate professor, Cal State Los Angeles
Kim Roberts, poet, literary historian, editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly
Nicole Sealey, poet, programs director, Cave Canem
Peter Chang, cofounder, No Kings Collective
Tameka J. Norris, interdisciplinary visual and performance artist
Sheldon Scott, artist, storyteller, performer
John Shipman, executive director, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
Raechell Smith, director and curator, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute


The Rubys Artist Project Grant program was established by GBCA in 2013 to support the region’s gems – the local creative community of performing, visual, media and literary artists. Created with the vision and initial funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the Rubys provide meaningful project support directly to artists. The Rubys usher in a new era of arts grantmaking in Baltimore by offering citizen-philanthropists, as well as foundations, the opportunity to support individual artists. The Rubys were inspired in part by Ruby Lerner, the visionary founder and leader of Creative Capital in New York City.

”Baltimore is home to a remarkably diverse and energetic creative community that has been severely under-resourced for far too long. The Deutsch Foundation is pleased to support the Rubys and delighted with the exceptional projects selected for funding in this round,” said Robert W. Deutsch Foundation president Jane Brown.

The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation invests in innovative people, programs and ideas that promote arts and culture, economic and community development, and social justice, with a primary focus on the City of Baltimore. The foundation has a history of supporting innovations in science and technology in Maryland’s public colleges and universities, and views innovations in these fields as important drivers of social change.

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) nurtures and promotes a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable arts and cultural community essential to the region’s quality of life. GBCA aims to promote the region’s creative sector and significantly increase artists’ and organizations’ capacity to do great work.

Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
1800 N. Charles Street, Suite 810
Baltimore, MD 21201

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