Arts upate: 'Hope' awards, arts opportunities & residencies

  • by Jim Provenzano
  • Saturday February 13, 2021
Share this Post:
David Best's Temple premiered the Patricia's Green sculpture installations in 2005
David Best's Temple premiered the Patricia's Green sculpture installations in 2005

Artists and organizations are struggling, but some new local and national opportunities are helping out with awards, residencies and art submission opportunities.

Give 'Em Hope Awards

The National Queer Arts Center, home of San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, announced a call for entries for the inaugural Give 'Em Hope Awards. Inspired by Harvey Milk's pioneering "Hope" speech, the Give 'Em Hope Awards will provide five young artists with $1,500 each to support an artistic project that focuses on the themes of hope. Winners will also have their work featured on SFGMC TV, a free online platform showcasing performances, interviews, and singer spotlights.

The Give 'Em Hope Awards are designed to serve under-resourced and diverse communities and open to artists up to the age of 25. The artistic medium may be any expression of hope, including performing arts, visual arts, literature, and film. Artists interested in submitting their work for consideration should register by March 1 at [email protected] to receive more information. All entries must be submitted by April 1, 2021. Award recipients will be announced on April 15, 2021.

The National Queer Arts Center  

"The theme of 'hope' has been instrumental to the work of San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus for over 40 years and remains a major tenet of our mission," wrote SFGMC Executive Director Chris Verdugo in a press statement. "Had the pandemic not shuttered the National Queer Arts Center, we would be bringing young artists to the Center to provide them with an outlet for their art. It is with great excitement and gratitude for this gift that we are able to virtually hold the hands of fellow artists, lift them up, and provide a gift of hope."

Apply online at

Kawai Strong Washburn's 'Sharks in the Time of Saviors' is a PEN Award finalist  

PEN awards
In literary news, PEN America announced the finalists for its 2021 PEN America Literary Awards, a roster of 55 titles from 48 imprints and presses and including 20 literary debuts. The varied list—including fiction and nonfiction, essay and poetry, science writing and works of translation—encompasses literary works that reckon squarely with the crises facing the country and the world, including immigration, state-sanctioned violence, racial divisions, rootedness, and the complexities of identity.

Read the full list at

Artists on COVID
Four regional artists have reported for duty inside of San Francisco's COVID Command Center (CCC), the City's centralized emergency operations hub located at the Moscone Convention Center. Wearing blue vests emblazoned with "CCC Artist in Residence," two photographers, Mabel Jimenez and S. Renee Jones, and two comic artists, Bo Rittapa and Ajuan Mance, document and interpret the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ajuan Mance  

The CCC residency program, produced by the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) in partnership with the Public Library and the CCC, gives these four artists unprecedented access to the Command Center and the hundreds of City employees deployed as Disaster Service Workers. The artists embed one day a week for twelve weeks, both inside the CCC and in the community, and then create photo essays and illustrations reflecting on their experiences.

Intersecting arts
Intersection for the Arts has announced a new Arts Finance Training Program. The five-week online program will train four entry-level bookkeepers in the basics of nonprofit arts finance. Trainees receive $25 per hour. Send a resume and cover letter by February 28 to [email protected]

Intersection also has scheduled online grant-writing workshops scheduled for March 3, ($10-$40, 11am to 1:30pm) and March 11.

And, grantseeker labs include hands-on(line) assistance from the City for those seeking Grants for the Arts funding. Applications can be a confusing process, so get some help Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23.
Register at

Dana Albany's  

Art in the park
Also, in news from the San Francisco Arts Commission: statues have become a contentious topic these days. If you want to contribute your input, applications for the Monuments and Memorials Advisory Committee will be accepted through March 1. An online information session takes place Feb 19.

You may have seen the lovely array of outdoor sculptures at Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley since 2005. While most of the works were also installed at Burning Man, you don't have to be a Burner to apply with you existing sculpture (20 to 50 feet, please). Deadline is March 1.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.