Foundation Awards 2024 Rainin Arts Fellowship To Four Bay Area Anchor Artists [VIDEO] - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Foundation Awards 2024 Rainin Arts Fellowship To Four Bay Area Anchor Artists [VIDEO]

Collage of four rainin arts fellows headshots The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows. Photos courtesy of the artists.

Basahin ang tungkol sa 2024 Rainin Fellows sa Tagalog. (Read about the 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows in Tagalog.)

Introducing the 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows in dance, film, public space and theater. Video credit: Fox Nakai

Oakland, CA – The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced today the 2024 recipients of The Rainin Arts Fellowship, an annual program honoring visionary artists and collaboratives for their significant contributions to the Bay Area’s cultural ecosystems. Each Rainin Arts Fellow will receive $100,000 in unrestricted funding in addition to tailored support, which may include financial planning, coaching and mentorship, and legal services, in alignment with their respective needs and goals.

Founded in 2021 and administered by United States Artists, The Rainin Arts Fellowship recognizes and funds artists across the four disciplines of dance, film, public space and theater. These artists push the boundaries of creative expression, anchor local communities and advance the arts field. The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows represent an intergenerational cohort with deep roots in the Bay Area, whose dedication to their communities has seeded impacts reverberating both in and beyond the region.

This year’s Fellows draw upon rich artistic and activist legacies in the Bay Area, bringing forth dynamic histories while also forging new networks of artistic production. While anchored in their respective disciplines, their work unfolds across multiple forms of artistry, encompassing various geographies and ranging cultural and generational perspectives. Beyond their individual artistic visions, each of their practices reflect a commitment to cultivating structures and spaces for collective artistic innovation, fostering collaborative storytelling, community-building and equitable change.

This year’s Fellows embody the diverse artistry that is a driving force in furthering the Bay Area’s social and cultural progress.

Ted Russell, Rainin Foundation, Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures

The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows

Adrian, a Black man with locs, a navy blue corduroy jacket, and white graphic T shirt, stands in front of a building.
Adrian L. Burrell. Photo credit: Dondre Stuetley

Adrian L. Burrell (Film) is a third-generation Oakland artist utilizing photography, installation, film and experimental media. Burrell’s work examines issues of race, class and intergenerational dynamics, inviting moments where collective storytelling can be a site for remembering. Burrell’s multimedia practice has been exhibited and published across the world and he has held residencies at SFFILM, Black Rock Senegal and the Black Freedom Fellowship in Salvador, Brazil. Burrell’s series “It’s After the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet?,” which examines normalized violence inflicted on Black lives, resides in SFMOMA’s permanent collection. His short documentary “The Game God(S)” premiered via The New Yorker in 2022. He is in development on his first feature film “Cousins,” which follows three kids from East Oakland who are sent on a wild adventure after their favorite cousin escapes house arrest. The film was the recipient of a 2022 SFFILM Rainin Grant.

Antoine, a Black and Indigenous person with almond-shaped eyes, long lashes, dark brown skin, a full beard, and long black locs tied in a low braid, wears a brown shawl and smiles.
Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow. Photo credit: Mark Kitoaka

Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow, (Dance) is an award-winning, internationally known Black, Indigenous, Deaf and Disabled choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer and Deaf advocate. Hunter creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events. Hunter founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013 to promote Deaf culture through dance. Hunter’s recent work “GentriDeafcation: Echoes of Houselessness in the Bay” explores true stories of Deaf and Disabled individuals experiencing homelessness within Hunter’s community. Hunter’s work has been performed globally and Hunter is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2023 Dance Magazine Award and the 2022 Disability Futures Fellowship.

Ayodele, a smiling African American woman with shoulder-length locs, wears a black blouse with wooden buttons on the front, a black and white patterned headscarf, and round, dangling earrings.
Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga. Photo credit: We Inhale Publishing & Production

Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga, MFA, PhD (Theater) is a multi-disciplined artist, community advocate, arts educator and cultural architect invested in creating structures that facilitate cultural production. Working at the intersections of community well-being, cultural sovereignty, transformation and change, Nzinga is a renaissance woman: an author, director, producer, thespian, dramaturge and the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oakland. Nzinga is the founding director of Lower Bottom Playaz, Oakland’s oldest North American African theater company, as well as the Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation of Oakland. She is a leader and contributor to many other cultural institutions and collectives, which uplift artistic practice in her community. She is also the author of four books of poetry and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies.

Two men and a woman wearing mechanic jumpsuits stand in front of a mural and pose around a traysikel, or Filipino motorcycle and sidecar. Behind them, several other motorcycles are parked in front of the mural.
TNT Traysikel from left to right: Paolo Asuncion, Michael Arcega and Rachel Lastimosa. Photo credit: Alvin Dizon

TNT Traysikel—Michael Arcega, Paolo Asuncion and Rachel Lastimosa—(Public Space) is a team that began working together in the SOMA Pilipinas Arts & Culture Committee to increase the visibility, empowerment and acknowledgment of the Filipinx American community through the arts. Their activities blur conventional and non-traditional art practices, taking sculptural, spatial, relational, performative and cinematic form. Projects include TNT SideCaraoke, karaoke activations of joyful sing-alongs; “Lost and Found: TNT in America,” a short film that centers an immigrant object searching for a home in America; and TNT SideNotes, listening sessions to give community members space to share their stories. TNT Traysikel’s free and inclusive events occur in museums, galleries, plazas, parks and on sidewalks.

“We are thrilled to honor this dynamic group of remarkable artists as the 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows. This year’s Fellows embody the diverse artistry that is a driving force in furthering the Bay Area’s social and cultural progress,” said Ted Russell, Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “Their work is created with profound dedication to their communities, often giving voice to and amplifying many others who have long been under-recognized in the Bay Area.”

Their work is created with profound dedication to their communities, often giving voice to and amplifying many others who have long been under-recognized in the Bay Area.

Ted Russell, Rainin Foundation, Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures

The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows were chosen by four Bay Area jurors: Valerie Imus, Debby Kajiyama, Ely Sonny Orquiza and Amanda Salazar. This year’s selection process placed greater emphasis on the Foundation’s artist-centered approach by recognizing a group of visionaries who received multiple nominations from Bay Area artists and cultural leaders in previous years. This process reduced the labor of applicants, allowing them to re-use previous years’ applications. While this new selection process determined the 2024 Fellows, it does not reflect an official change.

Now in its fourth year, The Rainin Arts Fellowship is a model for holistic artist support that ensures the Bay Area remains a home for visionary artists. The Fellowship’s trust-based philanthropic model honors cultural anchors and centers artist needs. Artists receive a substantial, unrestricted monetary award, as well as supplemental support tailored to each Fellow’s specific needs and goals. This meaningful support serves as a catalyst for a realm of generative possibilities for artists to thrive in their practices, in turn strengthening the Bay Area’s arts and culture ecosystems.

Video Showcase: The 2024 Rainin Arts Fellows

Video featuring Adrian L. Burrell, 2024 Rainin Arts Fellow in Film. Video credit: Fox Nakai
Video featuring Antoine Hunter, Purple Fire Crow, 2024 Rainin Arts Fellow in Dance. Video credit: Fox Nakai
Video featuring Ayodele “WordSlanger” Nzinga, 2024 Rainin Arts Fellow in Theater. Video Credit: Fox Nakai
Video featuring TNT Traysikel, 2024 Rainin Arts Fellow in Public Space. Video credit: Fox Nakai