Announcing Recipients and Jurors for Collective Power Fund’s Spring 2023 Cycle
June 21, 2023 — Northwest Film Forum (NWFF)’s Collective Power Fund is thrilled to announce the fourteen (14) grant recipients for the Collective Power Fund, now in its fourth installment of funding and support to individual, visual-based artists in King County. The grant is presented as a part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program and in partnership with the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.
Our Spring 2023 grants distributed $60,000 in increments of $2,000 – $5,000 – $10,000. Individual artists, who live in King County, were eligible to self-select into either the $2,000 or $5,000 tiers and the $10,000 tier was exclusive to artist teams or artist-run collectives within the county.
After reviewing 85 applications, Collective Power Fund jurors Robert Blackson, Julie-C, Mariam Kere, and Lauren Du Pree selected 14 artists to be the recipients of:
(1) $10,000 (Artist Team or Arts Collective)
(8) $5,000 (New Work/Projects)
(5) $2,000 (Research + Development)
Full details about all grant recipients and jurors below, which include award statements from the artists.
In the "Artist Team or Arts Collective" category:
The Black Drag Show | Koach Crosby and Tana Yasu
Koach Crosby better known as Koach Giggz is one of the most fearless choreographers in the industry. His west coast swagg mixed with his Southern energy continues to captivate every audience that he performs for. He started his own dance company Kutt’N’uP Ent in 2004. Koach Giggz choreography has been showcased on TV, in 106 & Park, America’s Got Talent, and Showtime at the Apollo. He has choreographed opening performances for artists T.I. , Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Destiny’s Child, T-Pain, and more. Some of his company dancers have gone on to become professional dancers, in LA, New Mexico, ATL, China, Florida, Arizona and NY. Koach is now the proud owner of “N The Kutt Dance Studio” located in Des Moines, WA. He is not just a choreographer he is a mentor to many. In his company he does grade checks, community service hours, and pushes healthy parent/child interactions. Koach Giggz is also a community favorite amongst the LGBTQ. Koach Giggz strives to continue to build unity between communities with movement and entertainment.
I’m a creative entrepreneur – having a salon and hair care business since the mid-nineties. About 2010 I expanded my ventures into fashion design, which led to fashion shows, then morphed into community events which have included pop-up markets, photography, film, and live music. In 2017 I began volunteering with the Seattle Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Organizing Coalition, the organization that plans the yearly march and rally in Seattle for Dr. King’s birthday, as I celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and achievements I learned of Bayard Rustin, a Gay Black Man who was instrumental for organizing the historic March on Washington, but who never got credit for his World-changing influence because of his lifestyle. I want to see Historic Black LGBTQ influencers highlighted, appreciated.
Award Statement: Receiving this award, the first word that comes to mind is believe. The feeling that someone believes in my vision, my work ethic, my community, and my will to produce safe spaces for artists in my community. It feels like a breath of fresh air. It feels like an opportunity to expand and expound on my vision. It feels like on a path full of yellow lights, someone finally gave me the greenlight to be a visionary. Thank you! – Koach Giggz & Tana Yasu
In the "New Work/Projects" category:
Roldy Aguero Ablao
Roldy Aguero Ablao. I am the queer child of an indigenous Chamoru father and diasporic Korean mother, born and raised on Guahan (Guam), a highly militarized and colonized island archipelago. I moved to Seattle in 2000 (first time off island) and got a degree at UW – the first in my family – where I began work at local museums in the area, like the Wing Luke and the Burke Museum, working with local communities to decolonize the space, bringing a Pacific, indigenous, mixed race, queer and working class perspective to these institutions. It was then that I began a journey into art and cultural production, exploring sculpture, photography, fashion, installation and performance as ways to heal and celebrate the body from generational trauma, moving towards a foundation of generational love and radical joy for myself and all those who come after me.
Award Statement: I am excited to continue to create and imagine what it means to be living in this world, to remember and venerate, to celebrate and grief. So thank you Collective Power Fund for offering a moment for us artists to breathe a little more deeply. It means the world. (Also looking forward to buying my mom some flowers and really nice dinner to celebrate. :-))
Coco Allred is a visual artist, designer, and educator based in Seattle, Washington. She makes sculptures, prints, films, and collaborative public projects that encourage community connection, play, and examination of our built environments. Drawing inspiration from design and architecture, she creates sculpturally rooted experiences and utilizes co-design methodology.
Coco has a BFA program at Carnegie Mellon University with a concentration in Sculpture and a minor in Human-Computer Interaction. Focused on creating alternative spaces for learning and convening, she created Drawing Herd, a mobile installation and site-specific workshop series in Washington State, and collaborated on a pop-up art gallery for a K-8 school in Jersey City. In 2023, she was a resident at Fabrica, in Treviso, Italy. She has spent time as an apprentice at the Fabric Workshop Museum in Philadelphia, PA, and was a Work Trade Residency at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, CA.
Award Statement: To address urgent environmental concerns, I believe we need experiences for community engagement that help us rethink our relationship to earth, centering reciprocity, gift giving, and love. Aimed at providing this to communities through workshops in schools and parks, this grant from Collective Power Fund empowers me to build a new body of interactive sculptural work with social programming. Woven Landscapes, applies weaving to gardening as both place and educational framework for multigenerational learning.
Headshot photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis
Alice Gosti is a transnational immigrant choreographer, curator, and hybrid performance artist who creates site-responsive performance rituals and live art installations that examine how history and politics enter the body to condition how we move and relate. Gosti is a main collaborator of MALACARNE, an experimental dance and performance ensemble committed to co-authoring transformative performance rituals that fight reductive ideas regarding class, sexuality, gender, ability and ethnicity. Born in Perugia, Italy and raised by artists SANDFORD&GOSTI, she’s worked between Italy and occupied Duwamish and Coast Salish land since 2008. In 2021, Gosti received the Princess Grace Choreography Honoraria award for her lifelong commitment to dance and centering immigrant realities.
Tiffany Howard is an artist, advocate, & visual storyteller who works at the intersections of music, visual art, & community upliftment. Since recording her 1st song behind bars at King County Juvenile Detention Center, art has been a consistent force in her life. As a survivor of the foster system with no stable home until the age of 16, music was the anchor & tool of transformation when all else failed- a place to process grief & emotions & connect with other like minded people. In addition to surviving social structures of systematized oppression, white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, & more, she also lives with psuedo tumor cerebri which almost took her sight & life. It is surviving this experience of almost losing her vision which sparked expansion into visual storytelling.
Judy Lee is a Portrait Artist and Storyteller working in digital photography to explore the experience of BEING in female and BIPOC bodies. Through photography, video interviews and writing, her projects aim to give voice and visibility to those who have experienced marginalization or displacement from themselves and society. Sparked by her own name journey, she is currently working on “My Name Story” which examines the AAPI experience through the lens of names at the intersections of race and gender. Through the practice of *difficult beauty,* she has worked as a Transformative Photographer for 5+ years facilitating personal growth and healing in female clients and believes that portraits are a powerful tool for self-reflection, growth and healing. Judy has also led workshops, community events and a speaking class for women. She recently shifted from client work and closed her studio to dedicate herself to social justice and community centered art projects through her new endeavor Social Healing Space.
Award Statement: I am grateful for funding to make “Home in My Body” possible. This is an important opportunity and time to tell the stories of women, especially QTBIPOC, who struggle most to feel safe and at home in their bodies, not just through personal experiences but to examine the real and harmful impact systems of racism and patriarchy have on us. Through this project, my hope is that we can, as a community, look beneath those systems to get outside of them so that we can begin to define for ourselves what “home” can look like.
Sheri Gosho Ng
Sheri Gosho is a local artist born and raised in Palmer, Alaska, a small homesteading town, population 500. She moved as a teenager to Bellevue, Washington. After studying art and design at UW and in Los Angeles, she spent 25+ years in advertising, design and art direction in LA and New York. Her career highlights include VP, Group Head Art Director at Saatchi & Saatchi in NYC to Holland America Line in Seattle. After raising two daughters, and volunteering teaching art, Sheri is pursuing her own love of fine art in drawing, painting, and mixed-media. Inspirations are her Japanese American family history and visual storytelling. Her family are rich sources of historical inspiration having been business owners, musicians, dancers, artists and successful matchmakers in Seattle’s Japan Town.
Award Statement: Receiving Northwest Film Forum/Warhol Foundation/Collective Power Fund’s Grant for New Work/Projects is the utmost honor and I’m so grateful. Thank you for supporting my Japanese American History Project. Stories from the difficult past will be able to come to life with this help, not just monetary support but to know that it truly matters is immeasurable.
Hanako O’Leary is a craft based sculptor and installation artist. She was born and raised by her Japanese mother and American father in Illinois. She grew up speaking Japanese at home, but English in school and everywhere else. Until Hanako turned 18, every year, for 2 months during the summer, her mother Sumiko brought her and her siblings back to their maternal home in the Seto Inlet Sea of Japan. This deeply influenced her spiritual beliefs, artistic voice, and feminine ideals.
Building off this personal history, Hanako looks to Japanese folk traditions of the Setonaikai Islands as a basis for her artwork. Through hand made objects, installations, and storytelling, Hanako explores this relationship with her matriarchal lineage, and the complexities of feminine love, sexuality, and power.
Award Statement: This award will help me create my next body of work, “Bokoku,” which means “Mother’s country,” in Japanese. After a recent trip back to these islands, I began this piece imagining my mother’s homeland as a giant sleeping goddess. In a constant state of growth and decay, she is a body of land, resting in the ocean. This exhibition both celebrates the transforming female body through the feminization of landscape and explores the intercultural and intergenerational relationship within my mixed Japanese-American heritage.
Headshot photo by Jess T. Dugan
Rafael Soldi is a Peruvian visual artist based in Seattle. His practice centers on how queerness and masculinity intersect with larger topics of our time such as immigration, memory, and loss. He has exhibited internationally and has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell, Bogliasco Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and PICTURE BERLIN. His forthcoming solo exhibition, ‘Soft Boy,’ will open at the Frye Art Museum in Fall 2023.
Soldi’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, King County Public Art Collection, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He is the co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective, a project dedicated to highlighting work made by women, BIPOC, and queer and trans artists; and co-curator of the High Wall, an outdoor video projection program that invites immigrant artists and artists working on themes of diaspora and borderlands to intervene the facade of a former immigration center building in the heart of Seattle.
Award Statement: I am grateful to the Northwest Film Forum and the Warhol Foundation for their support bringing this project to life, which will mark a major shift in my career. I am thrilled to have them as partners in the creation of new work for my upcoming exhibition at the Frye Art Museum.
In the "Research + Development" category:
Adetola Abatan is a collage artist, drummer, curator, engineer, and public art project manager based in Seattle, WA. Her artwork has featured in the Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair at Wa Na Wari, the Northwest Black exhibit at Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery, the After the Quiet: On Black Figures and Folds exhibit at Mini Mart City Park as well as in PublicDisplay.Art magazine. She also curated the Blue is Our Color exhibit in the Hedreen Gallery. She is currently a public art project manager with the Washington State Arts Commission. Through her creative practices, she examines how art can be used to frame collective identity and memory. Her interests include creating and curating artwork that reframes history, as well as developing programs that feature such work.
Award Statement: I am thrilled to receive the CPF award! Thank you to the NW Film Forum and the Warhol Foundation. With this grant, I can build on my past creative work to show how Blackness and African-ness are much more than stagnant narratives and simplistic ideas of identity. Through conference presentations, an exhibit catalog and my ongoing ‘Portraits of Protest’ series, I will examine what it means to hold one’s peace and position in the midst of activism and dissent. The first of these works will be featured in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s Spotlight exhibit (Summer 2023).
Kasama is Marena’s second independently produced documentary. Her narratives work to expose socioeconomic issues and challenge the status quo imposed on disenfranchised and marginalized people. A lifelong creative, Marena has always harbored a passion for telling stories. She has her BA in Theatre & Performance, and graduated with an Excellence in Screenwriting for an award winning pilot episode. The transition to documentary filmmaking has shown her how to amplify the realities of communities fighting for equity. She views film as a way to be as loud as possible to cause more awareness to these social injustices. It is through this that Marena has joined the ranks of creatives whose art is in service of the people.
Award Statement: I’d like to extend my gratitude to the admissions panel for the Northwest Film Forum Collective Power Fund for awarding me their Research & Development grant. Receiving this grant as a small, independent documentary filmmaker instills confidence in myself as an artist and it is an honor to be recognized by the local community’s resident artists. As a Seattle transplant, my film, Kasama: Solidarity Through Space & Time has helped me to ground myself in the history of this city, while also informing my perspective in the present in order to look towards the future. To be recognized for these efforts strengthens my resolve to reach a successful completion of my documentary.
Thank you again to the review board for your trust in me as an artist, and my project as a whole.
– M. Domingo
Ari Glass ( b. September 7th, 1988 ) is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and educator from South Seattle, in one of the most diverse regions in the US. Thoroughly impacted and inspired by this unique cultural upbringing, Ari explores the “possibility of perfection,” combining gold, solar aesthetics, and human (r)evolution to echo the mythos of indigenous and black culture.
Ari has exhibited his work at locations such as the Wing Luke Museum, the Bellevue Arts Museum, The Paramount Theatre, and Pacific Tower. He is a recipient of the Meta Artist in Residency program (2020) and Seattle Arts and Culture Mural Commission (2022), and has led beloved community projects in partnership with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Parks & Recreation, and Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI). He is currently collaborating with various local organizations to uplift and empower artists, youth, and his entire community.
Award Statement: Give thanks for this award! The funding and recognition from the Collective Power Fund will help increase my visibility and credibility within the art world, leading to new exhibition opportunities and abundant growth for my career.
William Lau is an educator and founding editor of Viaduct Journal. He is a journalist who has been published on a variety of platforms such as South Seattle Emerald, Roar Magazine, and Wear Your Voice. He writes on the intersection of transphobia and racism, and the ongoing project of settler colonialism. He is also the artist behind Xiao Quilt, where he sells traditional Chinese knots and jade jewelry.
Award Statement: Viaduct Journal is excited to be a part of the Northwest Film Forum’s Collective Power fund. We are a trans-led project that hopes to illuminate and critique the physical structures of settler colonialism through poetry, prose and art. We are grateful to the Northwest Film Forum for giving our stories a platform.
Meilani Mandery 周秀明
Meilani Mandery 周秀明 is an artist and community organizer located in Chinatown International District. Interested in the radical histories of AANHPI and other communities of color, Mandery’s work aims to repoliticize Asian America. As an arts educator at Wing Luke Museum, Mandery works with youth to explore their cultural and political identities. Mandery graduated summa cum laude from Seattle University with a Bachelor’s in Art History and Arts Leadership in 2020 and received her Masters in Museology from the University of Washington in 2023. Though her artwork has been included in group shows, Mandery’s artistic energy has been focused on creating film photography prints and zines sold to raise funds for mutual aid.
Robert Blackson is the co-artistic director and curator of citywide initiatives at Philadelphia Contemporary. From 2011 – 2021 he was the founding director of Temple Contemporary at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Prior to moving to Philadelphia from the UK in 2011, Blackson was curator of public programs at Nottingham Contemporary and curator of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle/Gateshead. Blackson’s curatorial initiatives include Funeral for a Home (2013-2014), reForm with Pepón Osorio and the Fairhill community (2014-2016), Symphony for a Broken Orchestra (2016-2019), and 100 People Listening: A Shared Decade, 2021 – 2031. An Andy Warhol Curatorial Fellow, Blackson’s curatorial purpose focusses on the ways in which programming of, by, and for a community leads to targeted impact. Over the past ten years, his work has illustrated a curatorial shift in the way artistic programs can be crafted to build a healthy mutuality of poetic and practical social purpose.
Lauren Du Pree
Born and raised in Seattle, WA, after studying musical theatre at Howard University, Lauren Du Pree performed at theaters like The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, The 5th, Village Theatre, and Seattle Rep. She’s an original cast member of a nationally syndicated PBS show, produced a one-woman show with support from CD Forum, premiered a musical film shot in quarantine during We Out Here Festival and her alter-ego, Carmen with a K, has been featured in two film festivals. Moving home to Seattle due to chronic health issues, she believed her health was an obstacle to her purpose, but refocusing revealed her greatest strength was in her biggest perceived weakness. The lessons we learn during life’s challenges equip us to help others; that’s the purpose of her work. Art should make us feel more seen and less alone. Most importantly, it’s a tool for positive change.
Mariam Kere (Mars) is a film programmer and curator. Her first curatorial program “FEMMES” premiered at the New York City Cultural Institutions Group, Weeksville Heritage Center. She has collaborated with the Schomburg Center for Black Research, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, assisted the Brooklyn Academy of Art, and has been a program assistant for the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, Washington. A child of Ivorian and Burkinabe peoples, her film administration practice is a conviction about the liberatory relevance of African cinema and the amassed legacies of Afro-diasporic film cultures. She is the creator of Ways of Seeing, a 4-year film hub that canonizes, archives, and curates the work of Black women and women of color filmmakers by screening(s). It has been programmed under institutions such as the Los Angeles Film Forum, Maysles Documentary Center, and slated, Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is a screener for the Camden International Film Festival.
im an autonomous anomalie surfing intersections across creative and cultural organizing, self and community empowerment, collective imagination, collaborative manifestation, and holistic healing of all things relational.
emcee, curator, consultant, emergent strategist, thought partner, coach, mentor, network weaver, rabble rouser, storyteller, energy worker, community builder, resource generator, advocate, and facilitator are all hats I proudly don as time space calls
i hail from and am rooted in the unceded Coast Salish territories of the beautiful pacífic northwest
COLLECTIVE POWER FUND
Collective Power Fund focuses primarily on supporting work that incites public dialogue, pushes boundaries, explores genre fluidity, speaks its truth through an authentic perspective, and is often non-traditional, anti-institutional, socially responsible, or disruptive of existing structures and conventions. It encourages a community-forward environment of resource-sharing, mutual support, and fellowship in the Pacific Northwest arts ecosystem. collectivepowernw.org
NORTHWEST FILM FORUM
Northwest Film Forum incites public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. A nonprofit film and arts center located in Seattle, Northwest Film Forum presents hundreds of films, festivals, community events, multidisciplinary performances, and public discussions each year. A comprehensive visual media organization, the Forum offers educational workshops and artist services for film and media makers at all stages of their development. Artist services include access to space, gear, fiscal sponsorship, grants, and an edit lab. Northwest Film Forum is a member-based organization. nwfilmforum.org
THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS' REGIONAL REGRANTING PROGRAM
The Regional Regranting Program was established in 2007 to recognize and support the movement of independently organized, public-facing, artist-centered activity that animates local and regional art scenes but that lies beyond the reach of traditional funding sources. The program is administered by non-profit visual art centers across the United States that work in partnership with the Foundation to fund artists’ experimental projects and collaborative undertakings. warholfoundation.org