There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In 2003, 588 applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.
NAME: Ayeola Alexander
GRANT APPLIED FOR: Young Artists Community Service Program; city offers up to $2,500 to artists between the ages of 18 and 30.
MONEY NEEDED FOR: photography workshop for nonprofit Facilitating Leadership in Youth (FLY)
BACKGROUND: Alexander, who turns 32 on March 6, had led a photography workshop for FLY the summer before she applied for the grant. “I…noted many issues (primarily related to a lack of self confidence) plaguing my students,” she wrote in her project description. For her artistic statement, Alexander wrote a poem inspired by the “ghandi” quote “Be the chance you want to see in the world.”
PLAN: Alexander’s “peace through art workshop” would involve 10 youths from the Barry Farm and Parkchester public-housing communities, according to the project description. The students would each create a “what peace looks like to me photo series” and make the images into cards. The five-week workshop would end with an exhibition, where the cards would be for sale.
AMOUNT ASKED FOR: $2,311
UPSHOT: After Alexander finished her FLY summer workshop in 2003, she put on a similar program for Serbian and Albanian youths in Kosovo. Though many of her students abroad struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, the D.C. program was still more difficult, she says. “In Kosovo, there’s an obvious divide,” she says. “Here, there’s still a bridge [dividing the people], but nobody’s saying they can’t go over the bridge. But all the same barriers are there for them in their minds.” —Rachel Beckman