NEW ORLEANS: Junebug Productions , a 40-year-old local and national leader in performing arts, is pleased to announce the establishment of the John O’Neal Cultural Arts Fellowship as a part of the company’s 40th anniversary celebration. Honoring the great work and legacy of the late John O’Neal, Junebug’s founder, the fellowship will award more than $100,000 in funding and direct support to five local artists whose work is steeped in community and has made a major contribution to the New Orleans arts and cultural landscape and the national arts ecosystem. The awarded artists, who work in a wide range of art forms and traditions, including African drum and dance, spoken word, film, arts, and organizing, are Ausettua Amor Amenkum, Sunni Patterson, Frederick “Hollywood” Delahoussae, Kiyoko McCrae, and Shana Griffin.
Established through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the John O’Neal Cultural Arts Fellowship will serve as an extension of Junebug’s mission to address a decades-long issue in the field of the arts: the importance of direct support to individual artists that are hyper-local in their focus.
“We are grateful for the Andrew Mellon and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s partnership as we evolve in addressing the needs of our local arts field by raising the voices of local artists who are tackling relevant issues and, through their exemplary work, serve as ambassadors for our great city,” said Junebug Productions’ executive artistic director, Stephanie McKee-Anderson. “The John O’Neal Cultural Arts Fellows illustrate the ways in which art and culture flourishes in our city, playing an active and vital role in not only our local arts ecosystem but the national arts ethos.”
Junebug Productions is proud to make this contribution to the New Orleans Arts and Cultural landscape as they continue to affect the overall ecology of Southern arts by promoting artistic legacies; projecting the voices of the under-heard and people of color; bringing attention to and addressing issues of equity in the arts field and throughout the United States; and providing platforms and serving as a conduit for culturally and socially relevant art makers.
Founded in 1980 as the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theater, Junebug Productions is a producer and presenter of performing arts that strive to question and confront inequitable conditions that have historically impacted the African American community.