Announcing the 2013 Propeller Fund Awardees

Propeller fund would like to thank this year’s distinguished jury: Huey Copeland, Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University; Mark Jeffery, Assistant Professor of Performance at School of the Art Institute Chicago and artist; Gina Reichert, artist and co-founder of Powerhouse Project and Design 99, Detroit, MI; and Laurie Jo Reynolds, video artist, activist, and researcher. And much appreciation to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, funder to Propeller Fund through its Regional Regranting Program.

The 2013 grant recipients are:

2nd Floor Rear ($2000)

Katherine Waddell: An annual 24-hour festival of experimental spaces, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant approaches to exhibitions, celebrating Chicago’s vibrant community of alternative and DIY art spaces.

3rd Language ($6000)

Nic Kay, Jerome Kendrick, Amina Ross, and Veronica Stein: A second installment of inter-generational visual arts workshops for Chicago-based LGBTQ persons of color. Led by Queer artist teachers, the workshops investigate Queer history and alternative methods of visual documentation.

Chicago Artist Writers ($6000)

Jason Lazarus and Sofia Leiby: An online platform that solicits artists and cultural producers to write criticism of alternative and experimental spaces in Chicago. CAW is a project that envisions artists/cultural producers as active critical responders to under-represented arts programming in Chicago. As opposed to a traditional model where an artist hopes to receive formal, public, critical feedback on their public exhibitions by an established traditional or online organization, CAW enables artists to undertake that role themselves–expanding and formalizing a discourse that often happens socially amongst small pairings or groups but never has a chance to mature, become public, and speak back to the artist and the community.

Chicago Dream House ($2000)

Lindsay Hopkins, Mike Mroch, Molly Mullen, and Karen Yates: Using digital sound and scenic design inside a foreclosed home, Chicago Dream House interprets the personal pain of the 2007-08 economic crisis. Community programming on the property’s exterior creates neighborhood relationships, fostering connection and breaking isolation.

Chicago Home Theater Festival ($2000)

Blake Russell, Irina Zadov and Laley Lippard: The Chicago Home Theater Festival brings Chicagoans out of their neighborhoods and into each others’ homes to experience hyperlocal performance and radical generosity.

Chicago Zine Fest ($2000)

Heather Colby, Jaclyn Miller, Leslie Perrine, and John Wawrzaszek: The Chicago Zine Fest is an independent event creating an outlet for small press and independent publishers to interact, build community, and swap skills through tabling, workshops, readings, panels, and zine related events.

The (Con)-Solidarity Project ($2000)

Rashayla Marie Brown, Alexandria Eregbu, Krista Franklin and Hannah Rodriguez: An ongoing, collaborative, artist-led initiative that focuses on rebuilding personal and historical narratives through excavating Chicago’s art collections and archives. The project engages Chicago Public School students placed in consolidated schools that cross unsanctioned territories.

Creative Economy, Irresistible Revolution ($2000)

Jami Becka and Lara Oppenheimer: In collaboration with the Chicago Time Exchange, a series of “social practice” oriented performances comment on community artist practices and create a resilient economy founded on community needs and gifts.

Cultural ReProducers Event Series ($2000)

Christa Donner and Selina Trepp: A series of artist-led events at established Chicago art institutions during family friendly hours, featuring free, on-site childcare activities.

Ekphest: A Festival of Art + Word ($2000)

Fo Wilson and Krista Franklin: This project is a program of poetry and spoken word events that invite selected Chicago poets to respond to works of art in the collections of Chicago’s museums and cultural institutions.

Fultonia ($6000)

Eboni Senai Hawkins, Richard Pack, Sam Scipio, and Michael “Tekhen” Strode: A temporary space that re-imagines nutritional pioneer Dr. Alvenia Fulton and the wide-ranging influence she had on Chicago’s Black community and beyond. A series of performative events, exhibitions, and publications brings forth this history as a springboard for conversation and action centered on the present state of Black physical, mental, and cultural life.


Ivan Lozano: A digital press dedicated to presenting artist books, zines, and other digital ephemera as free downloads. Its monthly publication, IMAGE FILES, asks an artist to select an image and create 7 “responses” to it.

Radius GRIDS ($2000)

Jeff Kolar and Meredith Kooi: Radius GRIDS commissions four artists to produce radio broadcasts at four electrical production or distribution centers in Chicago throughout 2014. The project examines energy propagation and what it means to be a node in the networked grid. 

The Plug-In Studio ($2000)

Kerry Richardson, Steven Ciampaglia, Lindsey French, and Stephen Germana: The Plug-In Studio hosts a series of public pop-up “ArtMakerSpaces” to engage young people with art and technology. Participants create artworks from electronics and found materials, which are then exhibited online.

Why Marriage? ($6000)

Mia Ruyter and Chuck Thurow: A journal of art, philosophy, social science, and law, Why Marriage? advocates alternative approaches toward family life. In February 2014, the journal’s launch will be celebrated with an art festival featuring both performances and exhibitions.