In 2004, 402 hopeful applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.
Name: Leonard R. Lyon IV
Grant Applied For: Young Emerging Artist Program; city offers “up to $2,500 of support for innovative art projects.”
Money Needed To: “Record and produce an inspirational youth-focused, independent collaborative music CD.”
Background: Lyon, whose nickname, “Learning Tree,” may help explain the visual art included with his application, claims to have “developed a growing interest to serve youth” from the age of 18. “Since then,” according to his application, “he has been consciously working to enhance the well-being of the human family” as a “youth and community empowerment facilitator, healing artist and founding member of One Common Unity (OCU); a non-profit ‘community arts’ organization committed to cultivating P.E.A.C.E. (Preserving Earth, Art, Culture Everywhere).” No previous experience as a record producer is mentioned.
Plan: Not satisfied with his organizations’ merely hosting such events as “The Womb Experience” and “OCU Star Children Self-Cultivation Initiative,” Lyon hoped that the city would help him pay $2,500 for various album-producing fees. He hoped that the project would “nurture and encourage youth to embrace their limitless potential” and also serve as a promotional tool for his organization.
Amount Asked For: $2,500
Upshot: Since being awarded the grant, Lyon has relocated to North Carolina. Though his description of the project has changed from “inspirational” and “youth focused” to “progressive soul,” he maintains that it is geared toward “children and everyone.” It has yet to be completed.