Los Angeles, The Rema Hort Mann Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the newest season of our Artist Community Engagement (ACE) Grant in Los Angeles: Beatriz Cortez, Caleb Lyons, Julia Kouneski, Kate Johnston, Kelman Duran, Sarah Dougherty, Shagha Ariannia and Sonja Gerdes.

Please help us congratulate the eight 2017 ACE Grantees by reading more about their projects and sharing the information:

 “The Gardens of the Future” by Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza

It is an installation, which will house a garden with diverse indigenous, ancient plants of wholesome nutritional qualities and profound spiritual meaning, surrounded by a series of adobe dogs, or xolotl, the sacred guardians of the underworld in Aztec theology. Our objective is to engage with issues of immigration, agricultural production, food justice, and ancient knowledge. We want to invite community leaders, activists, and guides to offer community lectures about ancient gardening practices, ancient sacred grains, contemporary indigenous agricultural practices, migrant farmworkers, among others.

“Adult Contemporary” by Caleb Lyons

Adult Contemporary is a roaming art display featuring artist-designed large scale magnets attached to my medium sized white utility van. It is an exterior white cube for public contemplation. After the work is created the project will engage with the artist’s friends, and community at a reception held at a public parking lot, featuring the newly designed work displayed on the van and light refreshments. The work will then engage with travelers and commuters in greater Los Angeles while I drive around the city nearly 50 miles a day for work, creating an unusual new opportunity to view and make art, potentially baffling and connecting with people in a meaningful way.

“Collective Breath” by Julia Kouneski and Michelle Williams Gamaker

The project, Collective Breath is a public performance utilizing modified plastic bags as breathing apparatuses.  When these bags are breathed into, the inflating bags start to slowly press upon he bodies of the performers, who respond in slow movements both to the bags and to each other. Performed in public spaces in Los Angeles, this project will bring a performative experience to non-typical arts audiences, speaking to collective bodies, collective space, and physical empathy.

“To the North II” by Kelman Duran 

TO THE NORTH is ongoing video archive at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It is created collaboratively with Lakota artists on the reservation. It is created collaboratively with Leroy Janis, a Lakota artist on the reservation, as well as other people on the rez. I started making work there in 2012 and have made three (3) different sets of archives. To The North pt. II is the latest iteration. The main part of the film deals with the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, a Canadian activist that was part of the American Indian Movement (AIM) at Pine Ridge. It uses this case as a point of departure to talk about uranium fracking, the weather, ghosts, and stray dogs.

 “The New Ones We Weave with the Old Ones”, by Sarah Dougherty

The New Ones We Weave with the Old Ones is a mobile unit. LA-based artists of Mestiza, South-American and Pilipino descent will collaborate on this transformative, pedagogical, and mobile installation to share contemporary ways of living with ancestral connection and earth-based spiritual and daily life practices. We desire to broaden the gallery’s audiences and invite undeserved communities into an exhibit that speaks to earth-based cosmologies in people of diverse backgrounds. The mobile branch of the show will travel to nearby MacArthur Park and invite park-goers to experience an all-encompassing environment where workshops in earth-based medicine and storytelling will take place.

“The World Comes to U.S.A” by Shagha Ariannia 

“The World Comes to U.S.A.” is a performance from the muslim communities in which the participants recite deconstructed national anthems from 8 different countries to emphasize the fragile construction of collective identities through the nationalistic language of the anthem. countries include Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Libya Iraq and United States. The goal is to stage performances from the point of view of the marginalized, diverse and often invisible communities that shape our nation-state – those of whom offer up examples of non-nationalist modes of belonging.

“Sonja Gerdes”

The project will take the form of a hand-built temporary sculpture that will be installed for two months at a LA public park as an Oxygen energizer collaboration hub.  There will be workshops, presentations, and dialogues with local high schools and colleges to share knowledge about the intersections between the arts and current models and belief systems about global warming, environmental activism, and future ecologies. The students will engage with leading edge thinking about these issues through creative workshops in which they can understand the impact of climate change.

For inquiries, Director, at

Rema Hort Mann Foundation I 153 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 I 212-966-8444 I


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