MICA awarded competitive grants from the National Endowment of the Arts


National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. 

Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $30,000 to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to support a printmaking residency, exhibition and public programming utilizing MICA's Globe Collection and Press.

Students participating in the summer 2019 letterpress residency will study and work with the historic Globe Collection, one of the largest collections of printing history in the world. It includes wood type, printing blocks and posters acquired from Baltimore’s Globe Poster Printing Corp.

For more than 80 years, Globe Poster’s vivid work promoted musical acts from Louis Armstrong to Aretha Franklin to Snoop Dogg, as well as civic and public life: elections, community fairs, boxing matches, film, auto sports and more. In keeping with Globe’s streetwise and community-facing work, the residency will combine intensive print studio practice and engagement with Baltimore — a city rich in printing heritage, African-American music history and a vibrant contemporary art and makers’ scene. Today, Globe's iconic poster designs can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

Additionally, the Johns Hopkins University was awarded a grant of $25,000 to support the HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Program The residency and internship program brings faculty and students from both institutions together to explore unique perspectives on extreme events. The program encourages collaboration among artists and researchers to examine data, interpret outcomes and translate results and research in new ways.

Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,605 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 972 grants in this category.

"The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal and to celebrate," said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Gwynne Keathley, MICA vice provost for research and graduate studies, added, "We are delighted to receive these NEA Art Works awards that help advance MICA’s collaborations with partners throughout the city. This funding amplifies the creative capacity of MICA faculty and staff to explore opportunities beyond our traditional educational programs and create unique research and learning opportunities in Baltimore."

In fiscal year 2018, the Arts Endowment awarded MICA a grant of $23,000 to support a MICA Maker in Residence program at Open Works, one of the largest independent nonprofit makerspaces in the nation, with a mission to make tools, technology and the knowledge to use them accessible to the public across Baltimore.

Stephen Hendee, assistant chair of the First Year Experience at MICA and a sculptor best known for producing large-scale, architecturally ambitious installations, led free workshops for high school participants in the Open Works Teen Maker program in fall 2018.

Over 12 weeks of training, a cohort of 12 students from Baltimore City high schools, self-named "The Cre8-ors," worked toward certifications in 3D printing (using programs like TinkerCad and Fusion360), laser cutting, and sewing and textiles. In January 2019, the students gave symposium presentations about their experiences at the Fred Lazarus IV Center Auditorium at MICA, while also exhibiting their works at Gallery CA in Baltimore.

Also in fiscal year 2018, the Arts Endowment awarded MICA a grant of $20,000 to support Making Cinema Matter in Baltimore, a series of free artist-led workshops and film screening hosted by the JHU-MICA Film Centre. Five nationally recognized visiting filmmakers will lead workshops and community seminars that connect their films and filmmaking to social, creative and cultural issues and themes relevant to Baltimore. Participants explore impacts of film and media, learn emerging practices in filmmaking and build local and national professional networks. Visiting filmmakers to date have included RaMell Ross, director of "Hale County This Morning, This Evening," and Anahí Berneri, director of "Alanis." The project is presented in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Film Festival/Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre and the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund.

The JHU-MICA Film Centre, a state-of-the-art film and media production facility in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, houses the MICA Filmmaking MFA program and Film and Video BFA program.

The next visiting filmmakers are:

Jenny Murray, ¡Las Sandinistas!
Film screening (free): 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, SNF Parkway Theatre
Workshop (free): 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 30, SNF Parkway Theatre
5 W. North Ave., Baltimore

Jenny Murray is a filmmaker from Chicago. ¡Las Sandinistas!, her first feature documentary film, premiered in competition at SXSW 2018 where it won a SXSW "Special Jury Recognition" Award. The film went on to win both the top "Jury Prize – Best Film – New Directors Competition" and the "Audience Award for Best Foreign Documentary" at Sao Paulo International Film Festival, and also won the CineLatino Film Festival Audience Award. ¡Las Sandinistas! premiered with theatrical runs in London at Bertha DocHouse and in New York City at the Film Forum, and will have its broadcast premiere on PBS DocWorld in March 2019. The film was co-produced by ITVS and was also an IFP 2017 Documentary Lab selection.

Sandi Tan, Shirkers
Film screening: 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, SNF Parkway Theatre
Workshop (free):10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 6, SNF Parkway Theatre
5 W. North Ave., Baltimore

Born in Singapore, Sandi published a cult zine called The Exploding Cat at 16 and at 22 became the film critic at The Straits Times, Singapore’s largest newspaper. Then she threw all that away to run off to film school at Columbia University. Her short films Moveable Feast and Gourmet Baby have played at over 100 film festivals including the New York Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand and at venues like MoMA, as well as broadcast internationally on RAI, SBS and ZDF/arte. She was a 2016 Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow and a 2017 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. Her film Shirkers made its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where she won a Directing award, and the film was acquired by Netflix Originals for an October 26, 2018 global premiere (195 countries, 25 languages). The film has earned enthusiastic reviews including from The New Yorker, Film Comment, The Guardian (5/5 star review), Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Newsweek and The Boston Globe. She was named one of Variety’s "10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch" of 2018 and one of Indiewire’s "20 Rising Female Directors of 2018."

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Photo information: 

Globe Poster Printing Corp., historically one of the nation’s largest showcard printers based in Baltimore, MD, has been telling the story of American music and entertainment through bright and iconic posters since 1929. Globe began by printing posters for vaudeville acts, movie theaters, drag races, burlesque houses, and carnivals and became known for its work with R&B, soul, and jazz performers—including James Brown, B.B. King, Otis Redding, Ike and Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, and Solomon Burke—as well as gospel, rock, hip hop, funk, and go-go acts.

MICA’s 2011 acquisition of Globe (wood type, letterpress cuts, posters, and other holdings) kept the collection intact as a public resource for education, research, and archive of design practice. In partnership with the Johns Hopkins University, thousands of Globe posters are now archived by the Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. Today, MICA’s Globe Collection and Press serves as a working press for students and visiting artists to create new works.