Kameelah Janan Rasheed and FRONT win Joyce Award

May. 18, 2021

We are excited to share with you that Kameelah Janan Rasheed and FRONT were announced today as recipients of the Joyce Foundation's 2021 Joyce Awards. Since 2003, the Joyce Awards have supported the creation of new work by emerging and mid-career artists of color to foster more culturally vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities in major Great Lake cities.

With the support of this grant—one of four awarded this year—FRONT International is commissioning artist and educator Kameelah Janan Rasheed to create an ambitious civic mural project designed to create space for diverse narratives about lived Black experiences. Titled What would happen if this sentence never ended?—and anchored by this open-ended generative prompt—Rasheed will collaborate with high school students in a teen-led community program at Cleveland Public Library to design the mural. “This work explores the possibilities of an unanswered question, and its potential for prompting radical collaboration and cross-cultural conversations,” said Rasheed. “While the end result is yet to be seen, my focus lies in the facilitation process and in fostering an environment that gives space for young people to share problems and incubate solutions.”

Kameelah Janan Rasheed, image courtesy of the artist.

Rasheed will translate the collected responses from the students into unique correlating letterforms, creating a mural that is a visual showcase of communal voice and authorship. The completed mural will center FRONT's 2022 triennial squarely within the diverse histories and narratives of Cleveland.

Please join us for a virtual panel hosted by the Joyce Foundation with all four artist awardees—Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Sydney Chatman, Daniel Minter, and SANTIAGO X—on Thursday, June 10 at 5 pm ET. The artists will come together for the first time to discuss their projects and the awards’ impact. To register for the conversation and learn more, please click here.