The Ford Foundation has announced twenty-five new Art of Change fellowships in support of visionary artists and cultural leaders working to advance freedom, justice, and inclusion and strengthen American democracy.
The yearlong fellowship includes unrestricted stipends of $50,000 for individuals and $75,000 for collaborations, with awards for this cohort of fellows totaling more than $1.5 million. This year's Art of Change fellows include Sandra Cisneros, a poet, author, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the American working class; dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov; composer Mohammed Fairouz; Samuel Hoi, president of the Maryland Institute College of Art; and theatrical sister duo Lydela and Michel Nonó, who perform as Las Nietas de Nonó and whose autobiographical work examines the exclusion and eviction of black communities in Puerto Rico.
"Art is essential in a free and flourishing society. Artists are the visionaries who can shine light on complexity and possibility, and inspire us to make those societies more just and more beautiful," said Elizabeth Alexander, director of the foundation's creativity and free expression program. "This fellowship recognizes an extraordinarily diverse group of brilliant artists and innovators whose works embody social justice, and enables them to come together and collaborate toward a more just and inclusive future."