Announcing 2017 Boomerang Grantees

Nov 06, 2017

We love experiments.

We love them when they are both measured and dreamy. We love them when they are lofty and seemingly too big. We love ‘em small and secret. Without experimentation how can we stumble into something great? And, sometimes experiments just go really well…

In 2016 we launched another experimental program called Boomerang. We made two huge discoveries. Well, they were more like affirmations of what we always knew to be true. But now we had evidence. First, artists make tremendous decision-makers. Second, there’s so much under-the-radar work waiting to be discovered. Bonus discovery – when you pair these two things together, magic happens. Boomerang!

A little reminder of what Boomerang is:
It’s where we flip philanthropic power to artists who are eager to jump into the Kindle pay-it-forward practice. We invite our Makers Muse Artists Awardees to become Flow Funders and recommend organizations for Kindle Project support.

Building on the success of Boomerang’s inauguration, this year we decided to add a twist. We asked our Boomerang Flow Funders to recommend projects in the field they know best: the arts. Tapping into community wisdom. Making a powerful collection of small grants to one focused area. Discovering new audacious creative projects. Boomerang 2.0 did not disappoint.

For a full picture of these new grantees and the beautiful reasons why the Makers Muse artists chose them, read on.


Jules Buck Jones + Casa MarianellaWhy Jules Buck Jones is inspired by Casa Marianella: “Casa Marianella has been supporting refugees and immigrants for the past 29 years in East Austin. In this political climate, with so many things that need support, I think Casa Marianella can use this grant. I live in the same neighborhood, around the block, and I want my neighbors to be successful.”

About Casa Marianella: Casa Marianella is the only immigrant specific homeless shelter in Austin. We provide housing and full supportive services for over 325 adults and children a year in shelters and supportive housing programs. Our residents come from over 30 countries; many come to use from immigration detention. The majority, including children are seeking asylum; most are escaping violence and oppression. Over 80% leave Casa for self-sufficiency.

Mahwish Chishty + Explore Their Stories
Why Mahwish is inspired by Explore Their Stories: Explore Their Stories is a unique initiative that is all about preserving the hidden heritage of the world through video documentation. Sadia’s vision and urgency to proceed with these findings and particularly display the positive image of Pakistan has moved me. Their recent project, Bapsi, an internationally acclaimed author Bapsi Sidhwa is the subject of a new documentary who have lived in my hometown, Lahore and not every Pakistani knows of her contributions. Projects like these can change that.

About Explore Their Stories: Explore Their Stories is dedicated to filming inspirational stories of achievement and perseverance. We intend to discover, document, preserve and share on film, the extraordinary lives and to develop robust educational curricula for the most vulnerable in our societies. The films will celebrate world cultures and will be the embodiment of our finest characteristics to shape and link our futures and be the refuge of our collective memory.

Candy Chang + Music Box Village
Why Candy is inspired by Music Box Village: In New Orleans it’s easy to keep dreaming when you’re awake, and now the houses play bass lines thanks to the sonorous architecture of the Music Box Village. When I visited the first Music Box installation in my neighborhood in 2011, I fell in love with this little makeshift lot of ramshackle buildings that rumbled, chimed, whistled, and blared. Crowds of all ages groped these structures to make them come alive, and then we watched musicians play the buildings together like an orchestra.

About Music Box Village: The Music Box Village: where play, imagination, collaboration, and community come together as artist-made, interactive “musical houses.” Begun in 2011, the Music Box has grown mightily through the idiosyncratic vision of hundreds of collaborators, in national and international locations. It has attracted tens of thousands of visitors, and featured Wilco, Solange Knowles, Gogol Bordello, Norah Jones, Preservation Hall, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Tank & the Bangas among others, to create new experimental performance together across the worlds of dance, storytelling, theater and more. We offer Education field trips and classes, and hands-on Public Hours.

Zahra Marwan + National Institute of Flamenco

Why Zahra is inspired by the National Institute of Flamenco: Flamenco history tells us that it developed from an oppressed people who constantly had to flee persecution in the countries they settled in. To hear something which has elements of Middle Eastern music be so highly appreciated in my home is validating, as most things portrayed on the media as being associated with my identity are negative. They gave me a welcoming place to focus, and in times of adversity, have pushed me to grow.

About the National Institute of Flamenco: Founded by the Encinias family in 1982, the National Institute of Flamenco is a New Mexican non-profit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of flamenco education, training, and presentation. With a proven methodology, qualified faculty, and best practices developed over generations, the Institute serves local, national, and international audiences with innovative curricula, programs, and collaborations rooted in flamenco culture.

Raul de Nieves + Otion Front Studio
Why Raul is inspired by Otion Front Studio: The Otion Front collective opened their space with pure passion to a community. I’ve had the chance to collaborate on several projects with these artists, and just seeing the pure joy they get when other artists realize their projects at Otion Front really brings a sense of community into the realization of a DIY art practice.

About Otion Front Studio: Otion Front Studio is a community and a physical platform for the exploration of movement through a poetic means of processing information. Organized by artists working together to provide space and time, Otion Front aims to invoke experimental ontologies in dance, performance and sound. We offer workshops and events as well as a monthly residency program dedicated to exploring performative arts.

Mateo Kingman + Sacha Warmi Muskuy 
Why Mateo is inspired by Sacha Warmi Muskuy: My life changed when I first took ayahuasca at the Sacha Warmi Center. Both Didier, an Amazonian healer, and my work with the plants, have been the greatest inspiration to make music, write lyrics and put all this on stage. At the Sacha Warmi Center, they are seriously engaged in the processes of human detoxification, and community health. Didier once told me: “Use fear in your favor, fear gives you wings.”

About Sacha Warmi Muskuy: The mission of Sacha Warmi Muskuy is to be an intermediary space in the Ecuadorian Amazon that helps build bridges between cultures, and supports intercultural dialogue between the Ecuadorian government’s biomedical health system and indigenous people and their traditional health-care delivery system. Sacha Warmi Muskuy is committed to supporting the indigenous people of the region in living independent, healthy lives in a multicultural world by maintaining connection to the plants, animals and landscape of the region.

2Fik + The Invisible Dog Art Center
Why 2Fik is inspired by The Invisible Dog Art Center: The Invisible Dog Art Center is a second home to me. A sense of community like this is something I’ve never seen or encountered before. One situation says it all. In 2012, I was starting a series of residencies to create my series “2Fik’sMuseum.” The first day of the first residency, Lucien Zayan greeted me with a “Ah! 2Fik, welcome to I.D.! Here are the keys of the building. It’s all yours to create whatever you want, have fun!” The Invisible Dog Art Center can be compared to the “Room of Requirement” in Harry Potter. It is a room that appears only when someone is in need of it and it will appear, outfitted with whatever is required. As childish as it may sounds, The Invisible Dog opens up the possibilities to each and every one of the artist connected directly or indirectly to them. In brief, this place manages to offer something we lack more and more: surprise, dreams and magic.

About The Invisible Dog Art Center: The Invisible Dog Art Center’s main goal is to provide meaningful support, first and foremost, for early-career artists to create and exhibit work. We are primarily focused on site- and installation-based work, and we strive to free artists from the financial burden of needing to sell their work, enabling them to experiment with technique, media, and our spaces.

Saul Williams + Voices: Poetry for the People Project
Why Saul Williams is inspired by Voices: Poetry for the People Project: The Dream Defenders have made impact on a new generation of thinkers and activists. The P4P project is dear to me as I feel young voices should be heard and nurtured. I had the opportunity to visit the smoke signal artspace in Miami and was very impressed with the poets and organizers. They are committed members of the little Haiti community and have been a safe-space for many artists.

About Voices: Poetry for the People: Voices: Poetry for the People via Community Justice Program Inc. uses poetry to give participants an outlet to tell the story of now, an opportunity to chronicle events central to their lives as they happen, and a space to take shelter in even as traumatic, unjust or disruptive events happen in their outside lives. Led by poet Aja Monet, workshops will bring together arts and organizing centered in local Miami neighborhoods, including Spanish- and Creole-speaking communities.