I am very happy to announce that I recently received an Individual Artists Program grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for my project, En la casa de Mamá (working title). This is an oral history-
based project that involves gathering stories from the elders in my family about those who have passed that will result in creative work, sonic, written, visual, and possibly installation. As my own work turns increasingly towards story and ritual, and the elders in my family age and pass away, I am eager to dive deeper into their stories and our family history as Afro-Caribbean immigrants with this project.
Part of the funding is going toward taking my first ever trip to the Dominican Republic next month with my kid and my sister, where I will visit the graves of my grandma and aunt (who both died in the last 2 years), see where my late father grew up, and interview my family.
Words can't really express how meaningful this trip and project are and will be for me—there's a whole book in it probably. For now I will say that I am incredibly grateful for and humbled by the profound opportunities that have been opened to me through my artistic practice.
There will be a public component to this project, similar to the Making Rituals study sessions, happening this fall. The events are aimed to help me and attendees dig deeper into oral history, intergenerational storytelling and wisdom-sharing, and how we can incorporate these essential aspects into our lives and society. I will share more about those soon, and I hope those of you in Chicago can join.
Special thank you the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the selection committees for seeing me and my work!