The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture is preparing for the launch of three Recovery and Art Healing grant initiatives made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
According to CCAC director Parker Yobei, the art healing grants seek to bring the community together.
“The arts are an important part of our identity and this is one way to promote healing at a time where our entire community is still recovering from Super Typhoon Yutu. Although we have a few signature events our artists enjoy annually, these grants are direct assistance that our community can explore. We certainly hope that this will help artists who’ve lost so much as well as help revitalize our community and promote growth in our arts and culture,” Yobei said.
Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter noted that the art healing initiatives covered under the recovery grant will also ensure equal access to the arts.
“I have always strongly believed that our Commonwealth is home to great artists and artisans, which is why we encourage those registered under CCAC to look into available options and we invite new artists to take part in it. Through consistent collaboration with the NEA, we are all excited to begin the process of creating new art while improving the physical and mental wellbeing of our community,” Hunter said.
Recalling the impact of the DCCA Canoe Project as well as similar non-profit initiatives, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the recovery grants offer unique financial and cultural support to indigenous and emerging artists.
“I have seen the positive impact of traditional arts in our community and I commend DCCA and CCAC for providing this opportunity for our local artists,” Torres said. “The NEA’s funding support ensures that we can strengthen the creative capacity of our community and integrate more cultural activity into our lives. I believe we should continue to foster and support creative thought and artistic achievements as well as artists in need. Lt. Gov. [Arnold I.] Palacios and I encourage our community to take advantage of these opportunities and look forward to rebuilding our artistic and cultural traditions.”
The CCAC Recovery Grants will cover fiscal year 2019-2020 with emphasis on:
• Public arts (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota), which aims to unite artists and engage the community through public visual art displays. Public arts will also serve to enhance the beauty of the indigenous and diverse cultures in the CNMI through murals and structures. Public arts will provide an opportunity for reflection, the building of new communities, and reconnecting old ones.
• Artists recovery (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota), which allows artists to apply for sub-grants for losses of art materials from Super Typhoon Yutu. Applicants are required to submit proof of residency and must be a registered artist with CCAC.
• Healing arts (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) which is focused on expressive arts such as music, drama, writing, movement/dance. Healing arts seeks to help reduce feelings of isolation, strengthen inter-island connection and create a sense of hope and optimism.
Arts-led initiatives can be a powerful tool as part of the recovery process, especially when basic essentials such as food and shelter have been secured and communities are looking to reconnect, reflect, and express trauma in ways that words cannot do alone.
For more information about the Recovery Grant and Art Healing programs, contact CCAC at (670) 322-9982/3. (PR)