JOYCE AWARDS CELEBRATING 10th ANNIVERSARY
by Hedy Weiss
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Joyce Awards, the prestigious honor given by the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation that is designed to underwrite commissions of new works from artists of color. Each artist and nonprofit organization involved receives a $50,000 award to support the project and the process of engaging people in its creation.
Among the four 2013 Joyce Award winners is Eduardo Zuñiga, the exceptional dancer and choreographer of Luna Negra Dance Theater, Chicago's Latino-based company. Zuniga will collaborate with Luna Negra to present "Agora" ("Marketplace"), a free-to-the-public multimedia dance, video and public art piece in Grant Park. His work will be built around Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz's piece of the same namethat is a permanent installation in the park. The artist will present sixteen onsite performances over three days in June, 2013, documenting the experience on video for later use in Luna Negra's season.
This year's other Joyce Award winners include: Reginald Baylor, who is collaborating with ART Milwaukee to present TypeFace, a series of outdoor paintings affixed to boarded-up abandoned homes, storefronts and buildings in some of Milwaukee's most blighted neighborhoods; Emily Johnson, who is collaborating with the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium to present "Shore," the third work in a trilogy that integrates dance, storytelling, volunteerism and a shared feast blending native traditions and contemporary dance; and Seitu Jones, who is collaborating with Public Art Saint Paul to present "The Community Meal," a dinner stretching a half-mile-long across the city of St. Paul where 2,000 participants will dine and explore ideas about food deserts, consumption, marketing and the production of food.
Meanwhile, three previous Joyce-funded artists and their projects will reach fruition on Chicago stages this season. They include: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's collaboration with San Francisco-based choreographer Alonzo King and his LINES Ballet (March 14-17 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance); the Steppenwolf Theatre production of "Head of Passes" (April 4-June 9), the work of playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney; and the Goodman Theatre production of "The Happiest Song Plays Last" (April 13-May 12), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes's drama about an Iraq War veteran in Jordan who finds rebirth with acting, and his community activist cousin who starts a program for the needy in North Philadelphia.