Growing older: a new decade, art for healing & music grants
Issue no. 6
An excerpt from the personal essay “The Last of the Bougainvillea Years” by Zeina Hashem Beck, Lebanese poet and author:
For my 40th birthday, I rent the garden lights I’ve always wanted. Rana organizes a “surprise” party because I asked her to; I called her one day and said, “I swear to God if you let my husband do this … .” There are balloons, a sparkly backdrop for photographs, roses, candles and a white cake that says, “Forty & Fabulous.” We dance endlessly, sweat, laugh, drink, smoke. I sing “My Way” into a white flower. Each of my friends speaks about me to Hind’s camera (the footage would be my birthday gift from her): Farah says I’m one of the craziest; Rana says I’m her backbone. When it’s my turn to speak, I cry and say I’m leaving. At 3 a.m., I spit out the temporary crown on one of my molars as I eat chocolate cake. Farah films this amid hysterical laughter. When I finish eating cake, I wash the crown and place it back into my mouth. Farah sleeps on the blue sofa.
I’ve been telling Farah I’m considering a tattoo: “Ibqi ala al-khat” (stay the course), inspired by “The Blue Light,” Hussein Barghouti’s book (her favorite), which she gifted me for my birthday. In one scene, he looks at himself in the mirror and repeats the phrase so he doesn’t lose his mind. Marwan makes fun of me, saying this sounds like one of those trucker slogans from Lebanon: mahrooseh or “ridaaki ya immi”. I get mad at him for ruining what I thought was a great idea, though maybe I am, in some way, a heavy truck on an endless highway, trying to stay the course. The truth is, I was never courageous enough to have anything permanent on my skin because I change my mind often.
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Moment of Inspiration
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Art can change the world, and as these Palestinian artists are proof, it can also unravel the path to healing, transformation and greater understanding.
Open Calls & Opportunities
🖼️ The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship is an $8,000 USD unrestricted cash grant available to artists living in New York State and/or one of the Tribal Nations located therein. This grant is awarded in fifteen different disciplines over a three-year period (five categories a year) and the application is free to complete. Application deadline: Wednesday, 13 December 2023.
🎵 The New Music Creator Fund offers grants to individual music creators working in any genre who need support to get to the next stage of their creative practice. The program will support costs which relate to collaboration with other artists and practitioners. Application deadline: Thursday, 14 December 2023.
🎨 The Orange County Public Art Review Board seeks one or more artists or artist team(s) to develop artwork for Orange County's Innovation Lab located in the well-established suburb of Pine Hills. Application deadline: Wednesday, 27 December 2023.
✨ MyMA Artist Grant is a monthly juried grant that provides an unrestricted $500 USD award to one artist each month. In addition to the winner, their independent jurors recognize 5 artists as honorable mentions for each edition. Application deadline: Monday, 1 January 2024.
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