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The Leeway Foundation Announces $48,950 in Support to 22 Individual Artists and Cultural Producers

Friday, October 16, 2020

At the Leeway Foundation the true heart of our programming and the work of our community relies on in person connections. The realities of COVID have forced us to shift our mindset as an institution on how we continue to support our artists and grantees. Leeway continues to adapt in ways that support the immediate needs of artists in Greater Philadelphia, while meeting them where they are in terms of adaptation of work.

In September, Leeway awarded $48,950 in 20 Art and Change Grants (ACG) to 22 artists leading the exploration of how we adapt art and community-based practices in the time of a global pandemic. This cohort is reimagining how we engage with performance, film and visual art while experiences such as exhibitions and workshops are moved online. Cultural preservation and feminism were highlighted as trending areas of focus for this round.   

Leeway’s Art and Change Grant provides grants of up to $2,500 to fund art for social change projects by women and trans* artists and cultural producers living in Greater Philadelphia.

The Fall 2020 Art and Change grantees are (in alphabetical order): 

  • Alexandra Espinoza (Strawberry Mansion), Performance/Media Arts, $2,500
  • Alina Pleskova & Laura Blagrave (West Philadelphia & Melrose) Literary Arts/Performance, $2,450
  • Annielille “Ani” Gavino (West Philadelphia) Media Arts/Literary Arts, $2,450
  • Dawn States (North Philadelphia) Performance/Visual Arts, $2,500
  • Dorothy Gordon Wilkie (East Oak Lane) Folk Art/Performance, $2,500
  • Frances Cordelia Beaver (West Philadelphia) Media Arts/Folk Art, $2,500
  • Jasmine Lynea (Lawncrest) Performance/Visual Arts, $2,500
  • Julie Lipson & Emily Bate (West Philadelphia & Drexel Hill), Music, $2,500
  • Karina Puente (East Falls), Multidisciplinary, $2,500
  • Kenwyn Samuel (Camden County), Media Arts/Performance, $2,500
  • Manny Figueroa (West Philadelphia), Visual Arts, $2,500
  • Nicole A. Ayers (North Philadelphia), Media Arts/Visual Arts, $2,500
  • Pat McLean-Smith (East Oak Lane), Crafts & Textiles/Literary Arts, $1,500
  • REGO THERESHEGO (West Center City), Media Arts/Music, $2,500
  • Sarah Kim (West Philadelphia), Crafts & Textiles/Visual Arts, $2,500
  • SelenaE (Olney/Logan), Performance, $2,500
  • Shameka Sawyer (West Oak Lane), Media Arts, $2,500
  • Tamara Della Anderson (Logan/Ogontz/Fern Rock), Performance/Media Arts, $2,500
  • Tezarah Wilkins (Highland Park, Delaware County), Media Arts, $2,500
  • Yolonda Johnson-Young (Carroll Park/West Philadelphia), Media Arts/Visual Arts, $2,500

Art and Change Grants are distributed twice a year and evaluated by an independent peer review panel. The 2020 review panel consisted of multidisciplinary artist, poet, and trauma-informed educator Candy Alexandra González, community educator, and burgeoning medicine woman Shivon Pearl Love (WOO '18, ACG ‘16), an Indigenous artist and activist Tailinh Agoyo. 

Applications are made available on the Leeway website and may also be obtained by calling 1(215) 728–9273 or emailing Potential applicants are encouraged to attend one of the many support sessions offered throughout the year or schedule an appointment with a staff member for one-on-one support.  


The Leeway Foundation supports women, trans* and gender nonconforming artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through our grantmaking and other programs, we promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice. For more information about Leeway, its grant programs, grantees, and events, visit 

*Leeway is a trans-affirming organization committed to gender self-determination, and we use the term “trans” in its most inclusive sense, as an umbrella term encompassing transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, Two-Spirit people, and anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is nonconforming and/or different from their gender assigned at birth.  

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