Previous Special Grant Awards

In some years, KFW is able to offer a “Special Grant” outside of our regular grant programs for special initiatives.  We established the Special Grant in 2015 for KFW’s 30th Anniversary Grant, celebrating the history of feminist art for social change in Kentucky.  In 2016, we were able to offer a Special Grant on “Radical, Timely and Urgent,” and in 2018, “Girls of Color: Voice and Vision.”

Girls of Color Voice and Vision: One Time Grant for 2018

The purpose of this grant was to elevate the voices and lived experiences of girls of color through shared stories and art making.  The stories of girls of color can be examples of dynamic creativity and resilience. What are girls of color saying about their strengths, vulnerabilities, dreams, goals and visions? These inspiring artists and organizations in Kentucky are creating space where the diverse voices and perspectives of girls of color can be valued and heard.

  • La’Shelle Allen/ Sistah LaLa Productions (Lexington): $7,250 to engage girls in a songwriting, arranging, and audio/video production workshop addressing the impact of sexual violence on a personal and societal level. Participants will explore voice and activism through music and video creation. They will develop communication, presentation, and leadership skills both in the context of small peer group work (artistic collaboration) and in promoting their art in the community.
  • Hannah L. Drake (Louisville): $3,500 to work with middle school girls of color to use art and poetry to transform school bathrooms with words of encouragement and positivity. The girls will be able to read words from their fellow students that are uplifting and encouraging, transforming a negative space into a space of affirmation. Participating in the project will empower girls of color to reclaim this space and take control of the stories, images and messages they encounter in their everyday lives.
  • Regina “Pega Pega” Harris (Lexington): $3,300 to engage girls in an eight-week Capoeira program, in partnership with Grupo Balanca Capoeira Of Lexington, during which girls will tell their stories through movement, combining martial arts with dance. The program will allow participants to connect with one another and express their individuality through movement. Those who complete the program will go into their communities with increased confidence and tools with which to create change.
  • DaMaris B. Hill (Lexington): $7,500 to provide a writers workshop for young women of color, led by Black feminist writers. Participants will create non-fiction works using artistic practices associated with remix and pastiche. The workshop will encourage Black girls and young women of color to use their voices in a 21st century context. The work they create will be a catalyst for social change in Kentucky and beyond.
  • La Casita Center/ Latina Teens Program (Louisville): $7,500 to provide opportunities for Latina teens to explore their identity, recognize societal demands and expectations, and nurture their creativity through dialogue and craft-making. The program, ASI SOY YO (This is who I am), will be led by Latina artist Ada Asenjo. Program participants will work with peers and mentors who look like them. The work they create will inspire other Latina teens to share their voices so they can be heard by adults in their communities.
  • Upper Town Heritage Foundation/ The Hotel Metropolitan (Paducah): $2,629 to conduct a series of art workshops to highlight the stories, voices and artistic expression of girls of color in Paducah. Participants will learn about women leaders of color in their own communities, and develop and perform skits based on the topics that affect them. Through this process they will gain the confidence and skills they need to become future leaders.
  • The Louisville Urban League (Louisville): $7,500 to engage middle school age Black girls in weekly workshops focusing on cultural heritage, identity, and creative expression, culminating in a book which will highlight the uniqueness, complexity, and validity of Black girlhood. The workshops will provide an outlet for Black girls to shift the narrative and tell their own stories. The book will provide a tool through which their voices can be heard and honored in the community.
  • Portia White (Louisville): $7,500 to engage middle and high school age girls in the collective creation of a dance piece that incorporates contemporary, hip-hop and African styles, in response to the question, “Why is my voice necessary?” The dance will be performed at multiple locations in Louisville’s Shawnee neighborhood. The project will provide a space for girls of color to explore their own voices through dance. The performance will provide a platform for their voices to be heard and inspire others in the community to speak as well.
  • Arcea Zapata de Aston/ Young Latina Leaders: Voces en Acción (Owensboro): $7,500 to engage young women and girls of color in art activities including music, painting, dance, photography, and creative writing, in partnership with EDUCA (Educational and Cultural Advancement for Latinos) and the Owensboro Museum of Science and History. The program will provide opportunities particularly for young Latina women and girls to connect with one another, explore their voices through creative expression, and develop the skills needed to mentor and support other girls and young women of color in their community.

For full grant guidelines see: Girls of Colors Voice and Vision Grant Guidelines

2016 One Time Special Grant: Radical Art for Social Change

The purpose of the 2016 Special Grant was to respond to what’s happening in the world/your community by addressing a radical, timely and urgent feminist topic through artmaking.  KFW was able to award seven  Special Grants, two at $10,000 and five at $8000 to feminist artists and organizations across Kentucky working on themes that are “Radical, Timely and Urgent” in their communities.

  • ArtThrust (Louisville): to support a series of art workshops with LGBTQIA youth that will address trauma experienced by these youth and the potential for serious health conditions that can stem from this trauma. The workshops will conclude with a public art exhibition, which will speak to the wholeness of each young person and will contribute to public dialogue about LGBTQIA issues.
  • Athena’s Sisters (Louisville): for workshops for military women to tell their stories in their own words and to prepare the publication of a zine of writings and artwork created solely by active duty and veteran women. The workshops will create a safe space for participants to share their stories, and the zine will be distributed and will increase the visibility and awareness of military women’s diverse experiences.
  • Bridge Kids International and Tytianna Wells Smith (Louisville): for a group of intergenerational young and senior women to share stories through writing and visual art. They will select writings, create their own books through bookbinding and install the work at Ben Washer Park to help shift violence in the Limerick neighborhood of Louisville.
  • Color Your City, Inc.(Hillview): to develop their Female Artists Behind Bars (FABB) Program, weekly creative writing and art workshops for incarcerated women in the Bullitt County Detention Center, and create a print anthology of participants’ work. The program aims to reduce recidivism and increase successful recovery and long-term sobriety.
  • Arwen Donahue(Carlisle): to write a graphic memoir that explores a year of life on her rural Kentucky farm. The narrative explores themes of ecology, privilege, poverty, motherhood, and reproductive justice. The publication and dissemination of this work will expand civic dialogue on these issues and how they intersect in women’s lives, both in Kentucky and nationally.
  • Chamara Jewel Kwakye(Lexington): to use an arts based social justice framework to engage Black girls from north Lexington in visual art workshops, which will culminate in a photo exhibit and film of the program to be shown at the Lyric Theatre. The program aims to influence a change in the way Black girls see themselves and trust each other, and in the way the larger community supports Black girls.
  • Doris Thurber(Frankfort): to work with Jennifer Zingg and Joanna Hay to develop a pilot project for women in Franklin County’s drug courts that will incorporate a variety of art experiences including creative writing, theatre and visual art self-portraits, which will help the women heal from addiction. The program will culminate in a public event showcasing participants’ work and a video will be created to raise awareness about addiction and drug abuse in Kentucky.

Special Grant Grantees: 30 Years—Feminist Art for Social Change in Kentucky

In celebration of KFW’s 30th Anniversary, KFW created a one-time special grant, awarding over $20,000 to artists who have been at the forefront of creating feminist art for social change in Kentucky.

The artists who received these grants are focused on meaningful, interactive artmaking that addresses timely and urgent feminist topics. They are forging new connections within and between communities in Kentucky, and creating work that will reach diverse audiences while directly impacting women and girls in Kentucky.

  • Constance Alexander (Murray): $2000 to support creative writing workshops at Murray State University where participants will explore the theme of gender equality through poetry and prose, to be showcased in online forums, training and information sessions, and in a live performance on campus.
  • Berea Arts Council (Berea)$2925 to create new literary and visual works exploring women’s roles in Berea’s local food culture, culminating in a gallery exhibit and poetry reading titled “Fertile Ground.”
  • Nancy Dawson (Russellville): $3000 to perform “Stories from da Dirt,” a dramatic musical performance focusing on the historical struggles of African-American women born into slavery, for an audience of women and girls from Lexington as well as from Kentucky State University.
  • Kate Hadfield and Bianca Spriggs (Lexington): $3000 to record a spoken word album that includes musical production, poetry, and vocals by Kentucky women and girls, which will be paired with live contemporary dance performances in Lexington.
  • Gwendolyn Kelly, Chenoweth Stites Allen and Joyce Chaddic Wagner (Louisville): $3000 to collaborate with the West Louisville Women’s Coalition to install an outdoor photographic art installation at the Peace Labyrinth in Louisville, which will capture local residents’ visions of West Louisville.
  • Looking for Lilith Theatre Company (Louisville): $3000 to create a docu-drama style play based on oral histories of Louisville citizens, particularly women, who are connected in some way to the neighborhoods that make up the city’s “chemical corridor,” and to use the piece to inspire dialogue about the history and racial politics of the neighborhood in relation to the city as a whole.
  • Reel World String Band (Lexington): $3000 to collaborate with the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center to document and archive the band’s 38 year history, and to host a reception highlighting the social justice work and grassroots organizing that are a part of that history.
  • Bonita Skaggs-Parsons and Misty Skaggs (Morehead, Olive Hill): $1800 to conduct interviews with female artists throughout Eastern Kentucky, and to create new artwork inspired by those interviews addressing themes of family, community, storytelling, and mother-daughter relationships from a feminist perspective.
  • Squallis Puppeteers (Louisville): $3000 to create a biographical puppet show that will bring the story of the activism and influence of Anne Braden to young women and girls in Kentucky through the art of puppetry.