Project Grant

Me in front of Project Grant. Photo taken by Aaron Lowinger.

Project Grant was a socially engaged artist residency that was operated out of the home of artist, Tina Dillman, in Buffalo, New York, from 2014-2016.  To learn more about the program visit their Facebook page.

Summer Program – 2016

West Side Pop Ups

In the 2016, Project Grant offered a series of free art workshops for the neighborhood youth out of the unused lot on the corner of Auburn and Grant.  Over the course of the month of July, local youth stopped by to produce works of art on paper that included collage, painting, drawing, and print making.  The workshops were taught by local artists, Amy Greenan and Tina Dillman.  To view images from the workshops click here.

Old First Ward

In July 2016, Tina Dillman taught a two-week series of art workshops that included a history lesson on indigenous masks and mask making techniques.  Each youth participant went home with their own mask that was composed of objects found from walks around the neighborhood, and crafts items from the center.  To view images from this project click here.

Locust Street Art Center

Project Grant co-organized the first year of The Fruit Belt Community Arts Festival that took place on Saturday, August 6, at Locust Street Art Center.  Local organizations, The Foundry, Locust Street, and Western New York Book Arts Center participated with interactive art projects, games, live music and a potluck.  For the two weeks leading up to the festival, Project Grant hired Brooklyn based artist Vanessa Albury, to teach a series of cyanotype workshops with the local teens.  Their final works put on display at the festival.  To view images from the festival and workshops click here.

Winter Program – 2016

48 Hours,  an initiative of Project Grant that aimed to bring together a diverse group of creative thinkers and makers over the course of a weekend to engage in discourse and a “final” collaborative project that will take place in a public space.  Project Grant sought creative professionals from all backgrounds including but not limited to: architecture, dance, design, literature, performance, sound, theater, visual arts, and urban planning.  Participants would have an interest in social justice issues relating to accessibility, economic inequalities, and/or sustainability.

This residency was free and open to all, but room was limited to 8 participants per weekend. Current students are eligible to apply.  Participants were responsible for their own expenses, such as food, drink and travel.  The residency did have a limited amount of room to host participants, so priority was given to those living locally or with their own accommodations.  Participants were able to attend more than one weekend session.

48 Hours took place: January 15-18, & March 18-21, 2016. On Friday, there was a meet & greet, and the main sessions ran Saturday-Sunday, with a “final” collaborative project unveiled  on Sunday.  The content of the sessions were designed around the interests of the participants and included field trips, meals, and dialogue.

It was the goal of 48 Hours to gather a group of diverse professionals and provide a place where current issues around development and displacement could be discussed and actions could be implemented into the daily lives of the participants and beyond.

To see images from the projects click here.

To read an article about this project click here.

Summer Program – 2015

In the Summer 2015, Project Grant, launched it’s social practice residency program and hosted several artists over the course of the summer, June-September.  Each artist chosen was provided with an artist stipend, room/board, a studio, wash/dryer and access to a bicycle.  Before each project began, I focused on establishing relationships with the local community, to develop a site-specific public project that included workshops, installations/interventions, and performance.  In 2015, Project Grant partnered with: Buffalo Arts Studio, CEPA Gallery, Old First Ward Community Center, Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Arts Center, and Western New York Book Arts Center (WNYBAC).  Through these partnerships, artists had access to off-site locations for classes and events, equipment, studio visits, and collaborations.


I had the privilege of working with Berlin based performance artist, Kyla Kegler, whom developed a sanctuary within a deteriorating sacral structure over the course of two weeks, with a final performance that invited the public to participate in stations that the participants had been working with previously.  Visitors were encouraged to interact and were also welcomed to sit in the pews and observe.  Special thanks to the Rosanna Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts & Richmond Ferry Church for the donation of their space, staff time and equipment, Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Arts Center for the equipment rentals, Western New York Book Arts Center for their studio access and materials, and Hyatt’s for their continued sponsorship.

Taken during a workshop held at the church on Richmond & W Ferry.


ERIK PARRA arrived on Monday, July 6, from San Francisco, to be an artist in resident for two weeks.  Over the course of this time, we hosted Free Drawing and Painting Workshops at the Old First Ward Community Center.  The works created became a part of an interactive public sculpture that the community members assisted on with the fabrication and design of.  The grand opening of the piece happened for the City of Night Festival, Saturday, July 18, from 6pm-12am.  This project was funded by the Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, and materials were provided by Hyatt’s and The Golden Foundation.

Project Grant also participated in the First Friday Art Walk in Buffalo in Allentown, in partnership with Indigo Gallery, and held a one night only drawing workshop on Friday, July 10, 6-9pm.

At the last “Gathering” on Wednesday, July 15 at 7pm, Erik as the guest speaker for this session, shared his views on growing up near the border as a Mexican-American in Texas, and his strong maternal ties.

View of the installation from the street.
Youth and parents looking at the work during the festival.
Youth and parents looking at the work during the festival.


Free Painting Workshops were held on Saturdays, 1-4pm, June 6-20, 2015, at the Massachusetts Avenue Park on the West Side in Buffalo.  Hope Mora, a recent transplant to Buffalo, via Texas taught on June 6-How to Tackle a Still Life; Christine Heller on June 13 worked with youth in creating a portable mural based on how the figure responds to movement and their surroundings; Jenna North on June 20 worked with the youth in creating paintings with water, mood and music.  Each workshop was designed for both youth and adult participation, and work created during the workshops was exhibited at the Buffalo Arts Studio, with an opening reception on Friday June 26, 5-8pm.  To see images from this project, please visit the Project Grant Facebook page here. Thanks to Hyatt’s and The Golden Foundation for providing the materials for this project.

“The Gathering” met on Wednesdays during the month of June in Project Grant’s backyard.  As a social gesture, Project Grant was utilized as the safe and open site for those that identify or were born as a female, to come together and share life stories of how one operates in a male dominated society, and discuss strategies of how to navigate and persevere through challenging situations.  We learned, we laughed, some of us got our nails done, and we all made new friends over the course of the month long sessions.


Project Grant would like to thank our community partners and donors for their generous support in 2015 & 2016. Without your investment, Project Grant would not have been able to operate for the 2 years of programming.  THANK YOU!!!!

Savarino Companies – riverrun – ASI/NYSCA – CEPA Gallery/NEA – Hyatt’s Art Store -The Golden Foundation – City of Buffalo, Niagara District, David Rivera – Friends of the Buffalo Story – Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Arts Center – Old First Ward Community Center – Western New York Book Arts Center – Buffalo Arts Studio – Richmond Ferry Church – Emerging Leaders of the Arts Buffalo – Rosanna Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts – Queen City Accupuncture – Kathy Kinan – Anonymous – Terry Mickelson – John Dilg – Peter Rouff – Gwynn Jones – Charles Hobson – John Massier – Todd Hodes – Alicia Maraván – Diane Frankel – Bonnie Levinson – Stephen Goldstine – David Lawrence – Sarah & Toto HaBa – Mary & Rocky Rockwell – Bruce Adams – Benjaman Gallery/Emily Tucker – Anna Scime – Dorothea Braemer & Carl Lee – Dennis Maher – Katya Min – Paul Kos – Ian Colon – Dean Rockwell – Liz Bayan – Joseph Wesolowski – Molly Hutton – Jonas Schnyder – Joel Brenden – Johanna Arnold – Marshall Elliott – Dan Gigante – Aaron Lowinger – Carolyn Martin – Shasti O’Leary-Soudant – Gioia Fonda – Mario Fanone – Derik Kane – Derek King – Jeff Ray – Jana Rumberger – Jeannine Swallow – Carrie Katz


One Reply to “Project Grant”

  1. Pingback: Tina Dillman

Comments are closed.