2019-2020 Platforms Fund Recipients

Antenna and Ashe Cultural Arts Center are excited to announce the recipients of the 2019-2020 Platforms Fund supported by the Warhol Foundation. This year’s jury selected 17 projects to fund, considering the many facets that were carefully presented by the applicants. Additionally, all who applied received written feedback from the jury.

Be on the lookout for these projects taking place around New Orleans!

(Featured Image: From project, The Gatekeepers)


A collaboration between Jenny Wolff, Jenna deBoisblanc, and Joanna Farley,Plant Dat is a digital representation of our New Orleans yards. It offers an interactive experience that demonstrates the importance and utility of indigenous plants for our city. Viewers plant native plants to reduce the flooding caused by rainstorms. These native flora support the longevity of our ecosystem, both by mitigating flooding and supporting native fauna.

Research & Development $1500


Photographer L. Kasimu Harris is exploring the disappearing black bars and lounges in New Orleans- places which were historically the people’s respite from the rest of the world and the unfair treatment they faced. These watering holes became a safe space, where patrons could buy affordable drinks, eat, listen to music and socialize. Exploring the people, places, and their ephemera, Harris’s multimedia documentation examines a shift in demographics as gentrification expands and the potential effects on the black cultural traditions of New Orleans, as a number of these spaces continue to shutter.

Project Implementation $6000


Piso Mojado is a project that centers around the connection between Puerto Rico and New Orleans through a combination of different mediums. In conjunction with community talks, surrounding the issue of the exploitation of people during major disasters to adopt economic policies that the population would be less likely to accept under normal circumstances.

Research & Development $1500


Bloom is an experimental documentary that follows three prominent women of the New Orleans Baby Doll masking tradition. The New Orleans Baby Doll maskers are a pivotal yet overshadowed tradition of Black Mardi Gras that stemmed from Storyville, the former vice district in New Orleans, in the early 19th century. Cinnamon Black, Merline Kimble and Shannon Paxton of the Mardi Gras tradition paint a full picture of masking culture and how it operates as a vehicle for women to redefine notions of gender, sexual identity and freedom.

Project Implementation $5000


The purpose of NLE is to create immersive installations and performances that advance the dialogue between the visual cultures of New Orleans and Latin America. For its initial iteration, the project will feature visiting artists Assume Vivid Astro Focus (Brazil) and Poncili Creacion (Puerto Rico), who will collaborate with local artists to build site-specific work featuring performance and community programming.

This project will create connections surrounding the regions’ shared approach to community, improvisation, and resilience. Additionally, this Latinx focus will engage viewers with a perspective underrepresented in the local art community.

Research & Development $1500


“Taking You to Church: A Communion with Creatives” will be a monthly conversation series with the public between local and visiting professional artists about their respective practices. The intention is to foster an accessible, free, community-based dialogue around the arts as a living, relevant practice with broad implications in the world. The series will explore the realities of living a contemporary artistic life, and the ability of art to serve a social purpose. This is an opportunity for the public to sit with makers in a round-table format and have open and expansive conversations about contemporary art.

Research & Development $1500


The Gatekeepers is a mixed media project that consists of a collection of portraits and stories of Black and Brown queer, gender non-conforming, and trans practitioners of the Lucumi, Palero, and Candomble tradition. The project will explore belonging, queer visibility, spiritual reclamation and journey, and intersections of queer preservation and African religious culture of practitioners in New Orleans and in the global South (Southeast U.S., Cuba, Brazil). The culminating project will also consist of a digital zine and exhibition launch at the Neighborhood Story Project.

Research & Development $1500


The Red Flame Hunters Youth Mardi Gras Indian Tribe originated in 2009 as the individual effort of Executive Director Ed Buckner, with a simple aim – to give neighborhood kids something to do after school and get them off the streets. Since 2009, their tribe has masked every year with new and returning youth tribe members. What started as just an after-school activity has evolved into an organization of cultural preservation. Their mission is the education, promotion, and preservation of the traditions found in historically black neighborhoods of New Orleans. Their tribe teaches traditions of the Mardi Gras Indian and Secondline Club Culture to local youth who promote the culture through performances and parades with the larger New Orleans community.

Project Implementation $6000


The Restory Justice Project will center around the history of women’s incarceration in New Orleans. One arm of the project will be a guided walking tour, led by formerly incarcerated women, that addresses historical sites and issues that are still present today. Another platform will be a digital site that expands outside the limits of a walkable tour, and include oral histories and current and historical photographs. In addition, gardens will be planted as centers of engagement that focus on the conditions of women who give birth in prison and grow medicine to distribute to incarcerated women.

Research & Development $1500

blood peach

blood peach is an experimental documentary directed by Zuri Obi that delves into the legacy of the unrecognized terror exacted upon newly freed black people seeking to claim their newfound citizenship in Reconstruction-era Natchez, Mississippi. The documentary will investigate these topics by engaging the contention between oral and academic histories, surfacing how stories serve as political tools that activate the grassroots and reinforce oppressive structures.

Project Implementation $6000


The Black Film Festival of New Orleans is a five day festival dedicated to the exhibition of films created for, by and or with Black Americans. This annual festival includes film screenings from content creators from around the country with a significant focus on New Orleans filmmakers.

Project Implementation $6000


The New Orleans Ferry Oral History Project is an artist’s book and oral history initiative. Employing ethnographic and archival practices, this visual arts project will investigate the role that the New Orleans Ferry has played in the public memory and social imagination of the city. The project will engage community members from both the East Bank and the West Bank, first through a series of story-gathering events at the ferry terminals, and later through the distribution of the artist’s book.

Project Implementation $4000


A FINE GIRL is a documentary short by Darcy McKinnon & Biliana Grozdanova following Brandi Jarrow, a transgender woman of color in New Orleans. At 27 years old, Brandi is a successful hairstylist, a woman of faith, and a valued member of her community. While many documentaries focusing on queer people revolve around the trials and tribulations of being an LGBTQ POC, A FINE GIRL is an optimistic portrait of a thriving woman in a Deep South community that embraces her. We meet Brandi as someone who is essential to the community in which she lives, and the film then poses the question, what could we be as a community if we extended the same grace to everyone regardless of their identity? The film will track Brandi’s journey to open a luxury salon in New Orleans, while showcasing her communities of family, faith and friendship that help her continue to drive to success.

Project Implementation $5000


Indefinitely Detained is a project that focuses on the voices of migrants imprisoned in the United States vast and ever growing network of immigrant prisons. As of June 2019 there are 10,000 migrants imprisoned in the state of Louisiana.This project aims to record and publicize the stories and experiences of the thousands of refugees and asylums seekers that have been completely stripped of the most basic human rights, locked up in for-profit facilities, and made to wait indefinitely for their asylum plea to be heard. In addition to people imprisoned, Indefinitely Detained will interview family members, advocates, and public officials.

Project Implementation $4000


The “Cultural Family of New Orleans’ Economy Hall” project will center around the community of the world-famous Economy Hall (1857-1965) and create a citywide event that will take “family photos” of the descendants of Germans, Cubans, Radicals, benevolent associations, jazz musicians, undertakers and thousands of others who met in the building and socialized together.

Research & Development $1500


In Shadow is an ongoing multimedia exhibition and exploration investigating the borderlands of Mexico and the United States. It is a collaborative installation that elaborates upon several intersecting motifs, including the criminalization and dehumanization of migrants, the historical relationship between the United States and Latin America, and the militarization of the U.S. / Mexico border. Through shadow, sculpture, photography and audio installations, the project materializes a wealth of information that we began to gather in the fall of 2018 and continue to do so here in New Orleans, in Louisiana detention centers, and in the lands at our southern border.

Project Implementation $4000


The exhibition Looters: West African Architecture in the Global Imaginary, will display hidden archives of West African architecture, whose legacy is visible in the Gulf U.S. and beyond. Held autumn 2019 at Tulane’s Small Center, the exhibition consists of 1) projected architectural details from drawings, prints, and photographs of 18th-19th century Ouidah (departure site of the first slave ship to Louisiana), Dahomey (today Bénin) and Benin City (today Nigeria), projected onto layered fabric forms; 2) infographics; and 3) a sculptural response to Benin City’s destroyed city walls. A children’s art session will introduce young New Orleanians to this architectural history.

Project Implementation $3500

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