Entertainment & Arts

13 L.A. artists awarded Creative Capital artist grants

A still from ‘May in the Summer’ by Cherien Dabis
L.A. filmmaker Cherien Dabis -- who produced the 2014 feature film “May in the Summer” (pictured) -- has earned a prestigious Creative Capital grant for her next project, about a young woman who participates in the Egyptian revolution.
(Thierry Van Biesen / Creative Capital)

More than a dozen Los Angeles-area artists were among the 46 recipients of the Creative Capital Awards announced this week. The New York-based not-for-profit provides emerging artists with the necessary funds to complete important ongoing and new projects. Past recipients have included award-winning writer Rebecca Solnit, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier and assemblage and social practice artist Theaster Gates. This year’s crop of winners includes noted performance artist Lorraine O’Grady and experimental filmmaker Narcissister.

The Los Angeles-area winners, in the area of visual arts and moving images, include:

  • Heather Cassils, for a series of bronze monuments that explore acts of violence toward gender non-conforming people.
  • Carolina Caycedo, who is at work on a project about the environmental and social effects of large dams.
  • Cherien Dabis, for an immersive cinematic piece about a young woman participating in the Egyptian revolution.
  • Danielle Dean, who is producing a video installation called “Trainers 2" that looks at the ways in which the languages of politics and advertising can shape a subject.
  • Maryam Keshavarz, at work on a feature film titled “The Last Harem,” which is set in 19th-century Persia.
  • Jeff Malberg and Chris Shellen, who are producing “Teatro,” a documentary about the residents of a small agricultural town who confront community issues by turning their lives into a play.
  • Lotfy Nathan, for the feature film “Fire,” about the Tunisian fruit vendor who immolated himself, sparking a country-wide revolt and the Arab Spring.
  • Gala Porras-Kim, for “The Mute Object and Ancient Stories of Today,” which looks at the link between undeciphered Mesoamerican scripts and a Zapotec language dictionary.
  • Pat O’Neill, for the video installation “Drift, Wait, Obey.”
  • Lee Anne Schmitt, who is creating an experimental documentary about an 11-year-old girl convicted of killing two young boys in England.
  • Anna Sew Hoy, for “Psychic Body Grotto,” a sculptural installation of bronze pieces.
  • Wu Tsang, a film project on the legacy of Chinese poet Qui Jin as seen through a queer lens.
  • Travis Wilkerson, for a documentary about a murder mystery relating to his own family’s history.

Congratulations to all the winners! I look forward to seeing the completed projects as they begin to emerge!
Find the full list at


Find me on Twitter @cmonstah.


Updated: This story was updated on January 15 to reflect an additional grant recipient from Los Angeles.



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