The Diatribe receives grant for antiracism project

Scene Study by Wanda Moreno, one of the artists highlighted by the Diatribe's 49507 Project. Courtesy Wanda Moreno

A local performing arts organization received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help facilitate its summer mural project.

The Diatribe secured a $75,000 Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The grant will be used to fund the organization’s 49507 Project, which will bring eight new murals to Grand Rapids this summer.

The 49507 Project is in its second year and aims to bring change to neighborhoods in the 49507 area through education, community listening sessions, research and art. The 49507 Project is an antiracism initiative focused on Black and brown communities and featuring artists of color.

“The only way we’ll see change in our communities is when we start investing in them,” said Marcel Price, executive director of The Diatribe. “Through The 49507 Project, we’re hoping to pour hope into young people, poets, creatives and neighbors to make them feel like this community is theirs.”

The Our Town Grant has been distributed to 51 organizations nationwide to support projects like The 49507 Project. Through project-based funding, the Our Town creative placemaking program supports activities that integrate arts, culture and design into local efforts that strengthen communities. Our Town projects advance local economic, physical or social outcomes in communities.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including The Diatribe, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

The 49507 Project gives a platform to artists such as Wanda Moreno, as Grand Rapids Magazine previously reported.

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