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Ford Foundation Invests in Cohort of Artists Working to Protect Civic Space Around the World

NEW YORK , April 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Ford Foundation announced today its latest grantmaking initiative, “Creativity and Civic Space,” which addresses the importance of protecting and expanding civic space across the globe. With a total commitment of $1.25M, the initiative awards grants, communications, and convening support to 9 artists and organizations from diverse backgrounds, all of whom are working tirelessly in their regions to create open spaces and dialogues about the issues that affect their communities most.

Artists and organizations were selected for their unwavering dedication to holding public and private actors accountable and their ability to amplify powerful stories about the importance of an inclusive civil society. Each grantee partner is focused on a particular issue that threatens civic space in their part of the world, ranging from impunity for human rights violations to corruption and misinformation, discrimination against people with disabilities, and escalating polarization.

“Cultural narratives profoundly influence our reality, shaping perceptions, values, and belief systems,” said Lane Harwell, Ford Foundation senior program officer for Creativity and Free Expression. “Through their creative endeavors, these artists are torchbearers of justice; they are forging connections, challenging norms, and inspiring collective action toward a more equitable civil society.”

“At a time when billions of people are excluded from the systems that shape their lives, uplifting narratives about the importance of protecting civic space is more vital than ever,” said Otto Saki, Ford Foundation program officer for Civic Engagement and Government International. “The ‘Creativity and Civic Space’ initiative harnesses the transformative power of art to build a more inclusive world where all voices are heard and valued.”

The selection process for this initiative prioritized traditionally underrepresented voices and artists working across disciplines. The intergenerational cohort is divided between emerging, mid-career, and established artists. They represent six regions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.

The grantees include:

Guz Guevara (he/him)
Activist, presenter, speaker
Lives and works in Mexico

Brenda Camina (ella)
Lives and works in El Salvador

Tamikuã Txihi (ela)
Indigenous artist
Lives and works in Brazil

Joel Zito Araújo (he/him)
Filmmaker, writer
Lives and works in Brazil

Inès Bouallou (she/her)
Lives and works in Morocco

Soukaina Joual (she/her)
Multi-disciplinary artist
Lives and works in Morocco

Comfrey Films 
Film Training and Production Studio
Based in the United States

STORY ZETU & Too Early for Birds
Production Company and Theatre Collective
Based in Kenya

Komunitas KAHE
Interdisciplinary artist collective
Based in Indonesia

Building on the Ford Foundation’s long-standing commitment to the belief that art shapes society’s understanding of the world, Creativity and Civic Space seeks to elevate the voices of artists who are working on the frontlines of social justice movements.

SOURCE Ford Foundation

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ford-foundation-invests-in-cohort-of-artists-working-to-protect-civic-space-around-the-world-302111652.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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