Together, the Acadiana Center for the Arts and Lafayette Economic Development Authority offer ArtSpark, an Individual Artist Funding Program.
The purpose of ArtSpark is to directly support artists in Acadiana, especially those with otherwise limited opportunities, to expand their bodies of work as a professional and offer outreach to the community.
These awards offer assistance to emerging, mid-career, and mature artists for specific, short-term projects.
Applications for the 2023-24 cycle are closed
Please direct any inquiries to: Anna@AcadianaCenterForTheArts.org
Funding Cycle: April 1, 2023 to December 1, 2023
Applications Open: Monday, January 9th, 2023
Award Information Session: Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 5:30pm. This session will be hybrid. Register here.
Application Work Sessions: January and February 2023 (see schedule below)
Draft Review Deadline: February 10, 2023 via email to Anna or Gwen
Application Deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023, submitted via the online form by 5:00pm. You may submit only one (1) application.
Notification Date: Week of March 27, 2023
It is strongly encouraged that prospective applicants contact the Community Development Department to discuss project ideas prior to submitting an application.
To receive assistance prior to the application deadline please call (337) 233-7060,
or contact Anna Kojevnikov at Anna@AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org
or Gwen Richard at Gwen@AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org
Draft Review Service:
Submitting a draft only:
At the bottom of the online form, you may select save and continue to save as a draft.
This will provide you with a link you may use to return to your form. You may also have this link emailed to your email address.
If you would like assistance with your draft application, email this link to either of the email addresses above.
2023 ArtSpark Grant Recipients:
Traitement is a three-part documentary series about healing the collective unconscious by having dialogues with an anthropologist, a folk medicine practitioner, and a French modern language specialist hosted by the infamous traiteur and Acadiana culture bearer, Becca Begnaud. This project serves as a proof of concept for bi-monthly content distribution, drawing upon Begnaud’s life experience, French language, international healing practices, and cultural anthropology. Mathé Allain, Debbie Clifton, and Ray Brassieur will be the first featured experts interviewed by Begnaud.
In Chasah’s directorial debut, she will produce a short film that starts in the present day and replays the day’s events. At each pivotal moment, the audience’s perception is changed about who the instigator is of a violent outburst during a class reunion. By presenting the story in reverse chronology, the visuals support the thematic question of “who is the victim and who is the aggressor?”
Dustin’s project is an eight song conceptual folk album highlighting the story of his ancestors’ exile from Nova Scotia using non-traditional bi-lingual songs written about the sights, struggles, and adventures they experienced offering a soundtrack to their journey. The record will correlate to a river touring release by boat, in honor of the 80 day voyage taken by them to arrive in Louisiana.
Singer, songwriter and harmonica player Grant Dermody will produce his sixth recorded album Trouble Down Teche. This album will be a departure from his previously more traditional acoustic or amplified Blues records. He will dive more deeply into the other kinds of acoustic music of this region incorporating Gospel,Creole, Jure, Louisiana Blues and other, older forms of local and regional music, both vocal and instrumental.
Kathleen will be part of a residency at Basin Arts entitled NATURE & ART between July to September, 2023. The goal of the project is to promote deeper and intimate awareness and interactions with nature in our daily encounters through art-making.
Lex R. Thomas
Lex will be using live models from the local LGBT+ community and pairing them with native Louisiana wildflowers and flora to showcase the importance of representing this subculture of the Acadian population in a time where it is actively being repressed. The goal of this project is to bring awareness to the beauty and perseverance of Acadiana queer individuals who aren’t traditionally perceived as fitting within Cajun Culture.
Louis Michot will be producing a music video for the single “Boscoyo Flo” from his new album, ‘Rêve du Troubadour’. ‘Boscoyo Flo’ is about his path as an artist, bringing sustainability and environmental awareness through his music. Adjoining his push for sustainability is his passion for Louisiana French, bringing obscure phrases and words forward into his art, symbolized in this song by a sample of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. He used this rare bird as a symbol for the current resurgence of Louisiana French; some think it’s gone, but if you look deep enough you can find it still alive in the day to day life of some Louisianians.
UNTITLED NATURE PROJECT is an audio storytelling series where each episode focuses on one person’s experience to tell a bigger story. The first season will explore the relationship between humans and the natural world in and around Acadiana. Some stories include:
How one man has restored a planned development site into its natural form; The Wax Lake Delta which is one of the only places where land is being created not lost; A local farm using native plants in their regenerative agriculture methods; Native Tribes working to restore to restore the old cane breaks that once existed on river banks; And how one town is looking to stop local development to combat flooding.
A Filipino Louisiana Story is a 26-minute documentary film about the loss of history in marginalized communities. Filipinos have lived in Louisiana for over 200 hundred years, but their story is excluded from the dominant narratives that describe the state. This film will be an adaptation of Settling St. Malo (UL Press 2023), a collection of poems by UL professor and community historian Randy Gonzales.
Ten choreographers. Ten dances. All on a tiny 4×4’ stage. An experiment in confined space, Ten Tiny Dances® is a performance series dedicated to fostering inventive dance/performance art and providing an accessible performance experience for a diverse audience–all on a 4 by 4-foot stage.
2022 ArtSpark Grant Recipients:
A new e-zine series, The Coop, is a monthly short-format digital magazine comprised of highly-curated content for Louisiana music fans, locals, and tourists alike. Featuring videos, interviews, musical content, recipes, historical profiles, French featurettes, and other unique content culled from local musicians, chefs, storytellers, artists, and other purveyors of culture from Acadiana.
HOME OF EVANGELINE blends animation and documentary to craft an original retelling of one of Louisiana’s most revered folktales. As the story goes, a young woman named Evangeline wandered from Canada to Louisiana after being separated from her new husband Gabriel during the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755. Since then, the story has been told and retold so often that it has contributed much to the ethos and identity of South Louisiana. However, in its continual retelling, several versions of the Evangeline story emerged, each full of contrasting details about which there is wide debate.
Meander Mindset: Teche will explore & investigate the landscape of the Bayou Teche starting at the Teche in St Landry parish and meandering through to the end in St Mary Parish traveling in a small skiff, the Lady Lucinda, with photographer Kristie Cornell who will document the artists eco-installations & the landscape through photography.
A photography series of aerial views taken with a drone and from charter aircraft which offer a heightened sense of place for Lafayette, Acadiana, and Louisiana. This will showcase Louisiana’s evocative landscapes and landmarks and portray the difficult challenges we face with coastal erosion and ongoing sea level rise.
Suzanne E. Wiltz
A poetry performance at the Teche Theater in Franklin centered around real-life ancestor Zebulon (who according to family legend was sold away from the family during slavery times and never heard from again). The proposed poetry cycle will explore and imagine Zebulon’s reactions to the 19 extant historical markers and war memorials in Franklin – none of which honor African-Americans.
Kelli Foret Richard
Drawn to Grow, a project rooted in Food Sovereignty, Decentralization and Regenerative Agriculture Practices and aims to engage the community with a call to action. Some scientists believe, if we do not change our conventional agricultural ways, our planet has about 57 harvest years left until we reach full desertification, which is the process by which land becomes desert as a result of deforestation or inappropriate agriculture. 57 drawings of foods, plants, etc. that can be easily grown at home in our region will be created. Each drawing will offer a small nugget of awareness about these important topics.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco-A Woman of FIRSTS, is a narrative-bio children’s book that follows her journey from the cane fields of Coteau in Iberia parish to the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.
Music video for “Llorando En La Disco”, the lead single of a new five-song original EP titled ‘Camellia’. The music video is set in a cowboy-themed bar, and shows an outsider looking for a place to belong and someone to be.
The art installation would feature a 25 foot diameter metal-frame dome, covered to represent a giant drop of water. Inside the dome will be large scale sculptures of the microscopic animals and plants that could “live” inside. Visitors to the dome could experience an imaginative shrinking journey to microscopic size and then explore life within a water-drop!