Congratulations to Keyierra Collins on a successful grant application! 

The following are excerpts from Collins' application:

Keyierra Collins is a dancer, teaching artist, and choreographer based in Chicago, IL. Collins earned a BA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago where she studied various dance forms including West African, modern, jazz, ballet, some hip hop forms, and improvisation. As a dance artist, Collins has collaborated with a number of choreographers including Onye Ozuzu, Paige Cunningham, Margi Cole, Emily Stein, Anna Martine Whitehead and Sonita Surratt. Having traveled and worked with artists in Haiti and Nigeria, Collins wants to continue to travel and collaborate with artists around the world.

"I have been a practicing dancer for fifteen years now and working professionally as an artist for four. I am interested in how dance and movement contribute to the healing of trauma, particularly the collective and individual trauma experienced by people of the African Diaspora. My dance training is rooted in African dance techniques, which keeps me connected to spirit and the ancestors. The connections between both worlds make me a contemporary artist. My work creates a platform for people of color; historically traumatized and oppressed, to voice our expectation for change, liberation, as well as healing. As a black woman who grew up around many different black women, I have always been inspired by our fortitude and continuous courage to be present in our bodies despite our hardships. I am a vessel of release for those women. I want to continue the process of healing through my work. As an artist, I do not foresee a final performance, as I am on a revolutionary path of working to align my body with spirit. I see my work as a form of ministry that links together those who participate in it and see it. Human connectivity drives my curiosity. My work endeavors to answer: What social codes do we follow? What are our common ambitions, coping mechanisms, and desires? How do we care for one another and ourselves? How does the relationship between the past and present influence who we are and how we walk through the world? Overall, I am interested in the process. I offer myself as a vessel for the process to flow through me.

The grant will cover a portion of my travel expenses to a multidisciplinary artist convening festival in Kaduna, Nigeria. This festival serves as a platform for young emerging artist to gather, sharing their innovation and creativity. I have been invited to participate in a series of panel discussions and workshops, as well as showcasing a work in progress piece. 

Participating in this festival will allow me to share, workshop, plus imagine new ideas with artists from different parts of the world. In these opportunities I can expand my artistic vocabulary through the process of work. Consequently, what is important to me is the process I endure getting to the finished product...practice and development. Being in these spaces are essential to my growth as an artist."  

Integrity: Arts and Culture Association is pleased to assist in funding Collins' proposal! We wish her all the best in her future artistic endeavors. 

You may be the next grant winner! Click here to apply. 

There is no specific type of artist that we focus on or primarily support. Creative expression comes in a wide variety of artistic disciplines and genres. We are looking for passion and excellence in your craft. Tell us why your work is important to you and how you hope it will impact others. 
Photo Copyright © Keyierra Collins
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