Congrats to the 2020/2021 New Works grantees!
By: Lauren Bays
Press Release / July 2, 2020

Congrats to the 2020/2021 New Works grantees!

Local artists receive $20,000 to create innovative projects, addressing themes like identity, community, and healing.

Five artists have been awarded $4,000 each to start innovative new art projects thanks to the New Works Artist Project Grant. Funded by the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (AFTSA), the New Works Grant seeks to support diverse, innovative artwork created and produced by artists in the City of Tucson and Pima County. This year’s recipients explore new mediums and inventive presentation techniques — addressing themes like race, community, trauma, and healing in creative ways.

“These projects explore emotions that many have had to go through during the past few months — healing from uncertainty and trauma, questions of identity, and learning how to support each other,” says Natalia Gabrielsen, Grants and Services Manager of AFTSA. “Ideas are relayed by employing new artistic methods and presentation techniques which demonstrate that art is not static and aim to expand the ways that people consume art. This results in familiar themes presented by unique voices in unfamiliar ways.”

This grant round features projects in the categories of visual arts, literary arts, and video/film/moving image. The 2020/2021 New Works Artist Project Grantees are:


  • Nika Kaiser – “Hidden Passage”
    • A multi-channel video installation simulating the experience of walking through a canyon. It will convey an imagined future in which the past human, animal, and botanical elements will re-emerge from climate change-impacted Lake Powell.


  • Wesley Creigh – “Like an Old Country Song”
    • A multidisciplinary and intergenerational video that explores the life and death (by suicide) of Creigh’s grandfather — musing on mental health, family legacies, intergenerational trauma, and preserving memories before they are lost.


  • Lynne Yamaguchi – “Repair, Remake, Redeem”
    • A visual art project making, deconstructing, and reconstructing wood vessels or constructing new forms from their pieces while posing the question, “How do we make whole the brokenness of the world?”



  • Anh-Thuy Nguyen – “Thuy & T.”
    • A video art project depicting a boxing match between a semi-biographical character named Thuy and a piñata of herself filled with broken rice. It explores conflicting emotions between two cultures: Vietnamese and American.



  • Gabriel Barreda – “Local Rapper”
    • A documentary video following three Tucson artists and one event coordinator as they prepare to head a show with the biggest underground rapper in the world, Conway the Machine, at the 4th annual Tucson Hip Hop Festival.


“We are extremely excited by the diversity of topics being explored by this year’s grantees and the innovative techniques and ideas that will come from these incredible artists,” says Gabrielsen. “We can’t wait to see the finished results.”

Support for these projects is provided by the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, funded by the City of Tucson and Pima County.

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