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Creative Capital Announces 2016 Awardees in Emerging Fields, Literature, and Performing Arts

Eva and Franco Mattes,, 2001. COURTESY CREATIVE CAPITAL

Eva and Franco Mattes,, 2001.


Creative Capital announced today that it will award funding to 46 projects by 63 individual artists in emerging fields (or, types of work that can’t be classified under traditional mediums), literature, and performing arts.

“Our goal is to fund really exciting artists and projects,” Ruby Lerner, the president and executive director of Creative Capital, said in a phone interview. “It’s not a lifetime achievement award. It’s for people who have really interesting ideas, whether you’ve heard of them or you haven’t heard of them.” She added that, in an effort to bring out more diversity among the 2,500 applicants, the organization deliberately made sure wild cards were involved in the selection process.

Lerner said that, among the projects chosen, she loves Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s, in which the artist collected DNA samples from the subway and reverse-engineered portraits based on them. She also described being partial to Desert ArtLAB’s, which involves making a cookbook based on the desert; Evan Roth’s, which applies ghost-hunting technology to the Internet; and Kenya (Robinson)’s, which offers online courses that make the boundaries between artist and audience blurry.

“One of the things I love about every roster that we announce is that it covers the waterfront, and it would be pretty hard for someone to say, ‘Oh, that Creative Capital, they’re only interested in’ fill in the blank,” Lerner said. “How would you even fill in that blank?”

The full list of 2016 awardees follows below. Descriptions of the winning projects are available on Creative Capital’s website.


  • Tanya Aguiniga
  • Zach Blas
  • Peter Burr and Porpentine
  • Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo and Sable Smith
  • Desert ArtLAB (April Bojorquez and Matthew Garcia)
  • Heather Dewey-Hagborg
  • Liz Glynn
  • Heather Hart and Jina Valentine
  • Marisa Morán Jahn
  • KCHUNG (Luke Fischbeck, Margie Schnibbe and Evan Walsh)
  • Yotam Mann
  • Eva Mattes and Franco Mattes
  • Irvin Morazan
  • Laura Parnes
  • Kenya (Robinson)
  • Evan Roth
  • Chris E. Vargas


  • Jesse Ball
  • desveladas (Macarena Hernandez, Sheila Maldonado, Nelly Rosario)
  • LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
  • Percival Everett
  • Eileen Myles
  • Dao Strom


  • Cornell Alston and Kaneza Schaal
  • Jeff Becker
  • Peter Born and Okwui Okpokwasili
  • Ligia Bouton, Matt Donovan and Lei Liang
  • Sharon Bridgforth
  • Ben Thorp Brown
  • Ann Carlson
  • Mallory Catlett
  • Ellen Sebastian Chang and Amara Tabor-Smith
  • Jim Findlay
  • Robin Frohardt
  • Sean Graney
  • Brian Harnetty
  • Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Carmelita Tropicana
  • Joseph Keckler
  • Heather Kravas
  • Ahamefule J. Oluo
  • Pegasus Warning (Guillermo Brown)
  • Graham Reynolds
  • Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (Tei Blow and Sean McElroy)
  • James Scruggs
  • Erika Chong Shuch
  • Yara Travieso

CORRECTION 01/12/2016, 10:39 a.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of individual artists receiving awards. The correct number is 63, not 23. The post has been updated to reflect this.

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