2018 Travel and Study Program Grantees Announced

May 04, 2018

The Jerome Foundation is delighted to announce the following awards made by the Board of Directors on March 4, 2018 through the Foundation’s Travel and Study program.  This year’s grants total $124,328, and support travel for artists and Minnesota administrators working in Dance, Film/Video/Digital Production and Literature. The funding includes generous additional support from the Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation for the Minnesota portion of the program.

This marks the final year of the Travel and Study program, which began in 1986 and awarded 1,109 grants to emerging artists and Minnesota-based arts administrators. Future support for travel and study opportunities have been included within the new Artist Fellowship program, which will award grants in 2019.


Leila Awadallah, Minnesota, was awarded $4,341 to travel to Bethlehem, Palestine for 31 days. Awadallah plans to research Arabic folk dances, the momentum and shape of Arabic calligraphy, and the movement of bodies living under occupation in Bethlehem, Palestine as research for her contemporary Arab dance and aesthetic grounding as a Palestinian American choreographer, while also making lasting connections with Arab dance and theatre organizations and family members in her ancestral village. 

Isabel del Día, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Seville, Spain for 62 days to study interpretations of “cante jondo” or “deep song” through flamenco dance.

Herbert Johnson III, Minnesota, was awarded $4,200 to travel to Dusseldorf, Germany for 8 days to attend European Buck Session's 11th year anniversary gathering (E.B.S.), an annual Krump dance event in Germany.

Amanda Krische, New York City, was awarded $3,500 to the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK for 10 days to study the physiological ramifications of memory and its imposed effect on agency, in order to develop experimental movement methods of performance generation. She will be studying with Professor Nicola Clayton FRS in order to analyze the experience of subjective thinking.

Maxine Montilus, New York City, was awarded $2,900 to travel to Haiti for 11 days. Montilus will participate in the Vinn Pran Baget Summer Program in Cap-Haitien, Haiti in order to learn more about Vodou, Afro-Haitian dance and Haiti's revolutionary history. This will serve as research for a full-evening length work she plans to produce on Vodou’s significance to Haitian culture.

Ashwini Ramaswamy, Minnesota, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Chennai, Chidambaram, Kanchipuram, Tanjavur, Rameshwaram Island, Tiruvannamalai and Tirumala, India for 25 days. Ramaswamy’s travel will deepen her exploration of the traditions, philosophies, and foundations that make Bharatanatyam such a rich and fully-realized art form. She is interested in how this dynamic art form incorporates mythology, spirituality, and human emotion into a multi-layered, multi-dimensional dance form to expand her growth as a meaningful practitioner and heighten the field of Indian dance in the diaspora.

Ryan Rockmore, New York City, was awarded $3,100 to travel to Berlin, Germany and Seville, Spain for 17 days. Rockmore will study contemporary flamenco technique, improvisation, and composition with Juan Carlos Lérida, choreography and technique with Leonor Leal, and bata de cola technique La Choni. These encounters will help enhance his choreographic abilities as he continues experimenting with queerness and gender performance within his flamenco aesthetic.

Kayva Yang, New York City, was awarded $4,000 to travel to Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN, Madison, Wisconsin, and the Lost Forty Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) of the U.S. Department of Natural Resources located in Itasca County, MN for 23 days. Yang plans to conduct creative research into the biodiversity, geopolitical history, and record sensory and memory experiences at the Lost 40, 114 acres of old-pine growth within the Chippewa National Forest. Research of this unique borealis forest area will support her development of a new site-specific performance work.


Brian Arnold, Minnesota, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Windhoek, Tsumeb, Etosha National Park, and Seringkop farm, Namibia and Nantes, Notre-dame-des-landes, and the Zone-a-defendre (Zad), France for 33 days. Arnold plans to explore land disputes in two different cultural contexts (occupation as resistance to development in La Zone-de-Défendre, France and occupation as indigenous land reclamation near Tsumeb, Namibia) as research for a documentary on the nature of land ownership struggles.

Shirley Bruno, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Haiti for 31 days. In preparation for a feature-length experimental film about women, family, and land in Haiti, Bruno will conduct research and collect individual stories, particularly from matriarchs, which deal with common generational land disputes that violently and deeply divide families across the Caribbean.

Ira Eduardovna, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Moscow, Russia for 21 days to conduct research around her familial legacy for a new video project centered on her family’s story of the Bolshevik revolution and the Perestroika.

Amitabh Joshi, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal for 30 days. Joshi plans to research the internationally infamous “Royal Hotel” in Kathmandu, Nepal and the role it played in Nepal’s transformation from a closed kingdom to a colonial fantasy land in the 1950s. He is working on a new film that features the Hotel’s rise to fame and it’s eventual demise.

Caroline Key, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Seoul and Gwangju, South Korea for 31 days. Key will research the false national media coverage and news suppression during the Gwangju Uprising (a historic revolt in 1980 against South Korea's militarized regime that sparked the nation’s democratization movement), as well as collect oral histories from surviving members of her family in Gwangju who witnessed the event.

Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil, New York City, were awarded $5,000 to travel to Northwestern Ontario for research and development on a feature film about the groundbreaking and turbulent life of legendary Ojibway artist Norval Morrisseau (1931–2007).

Stefani Saintonge, New York City, was awarded $4,520 to travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for 60 days. Saintonge’s trip will be a investigation of the punk kids of Port-au-Prince as research for the upcoming feature film Erzili. The film, titled after the voduo spirit family of Loa, will be an exploration of young Haitians as they embark on a road trip looking for one of the group’s mother, who is hiding somewhere in the north.

Xavier Tavera, Minnesota, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Santa Marta, El Banco, Santa Cruz Mompox and Barranquilla, Colombia for 15 days. Tavera will travel the Magdalena municipality in Colombia to study, document, conduct interviews and capture the migration of Cumbia music and the culture of this region. He is working on a new project about the Cumbia rhythm, a blend of African, Spanish and Indigenous sounds, which transcends Colombia as it has immigrated to Latin America and the world.


Mike Alberti, Minnesota, was awarded $4,844 to travel to Leavenworth, Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, Strong City, El Dorado, Wichita and Republic, KS and Beatrice, NE for 25 days. Alberti will take a 25-day car trip from Minnesota to Kansas to conduct extensive research in local history in support of his first book, a historical novel tentatively titled El Dorado.

Ama Codjoe, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa for 21 days. Codjoe will meet with the poet Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, visit the Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town, and reflect on: “In what ways can my poems variously render the inherent connections between the personal and the political, the public and the private?”

Heidi Czerwiec, Minnesota, was awarded $1,250 to travel to Phoenix, AZ for 4 days. Czerwiec will participate in the 2018 NonfictioNOW conference, to be hosted by Arizona State University.

Darrel Alejandro Holnes, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Panama City, Panama for 90 days. Holnes will interview family members in Panama about their experiences of Operation Just Cause (the US Invasion of Panama to remove General Manuel Noriega from power) as inspiration for a book of poems about Panama and family.

Jeremy Kamps was awarded $5,000 to travel to Guangzhou and Fujian provinces, China for 17 days. Kamps will experience cross-cultural immersion as a form of research to complete his novel Drawing Water.

Michael Kleber-Diggs, Minnesota, was awarded $1,500 to travel to Boston, Massachusetts for 4 days to interview relatives about his late father and complete research for a book-length collection of poems.

Jen Lue, New York City, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Beijing, China to conduct oral interviews with extended family members and to study Chinese Socialist Realist monuments in support of her Cultural Revolution memoir project.

Saretta Morgan, New York City, was awarded $4,295 to travel to Paris, France for 11 days. As a writer engaged with the influence of designed space on identity formation, Morgan study the archival papers of Charles-Ėdouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier), a leader of modernist architecture.

Junauda Petrus, Minnesota, was awarded $4,335 to travel to Port of Spain, Trinidad and St. George, Tobago for 18 days to research queerness, LGBTQ experiences, African spirituality and magic to inform her young adult novel exploring these intersections.

Glenda Reed, Minnesota, was awarded $4,856 to travel to Alameda and San Francisco, CA for 59 days. Reed will conduct research at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park Research Center and study navigation at the Maritime Academy with the hope of gaining an understanding of her personal history in a wider cultural context to elucidate her in-progress memoir.

Nicole Sealey, New York City, was awarded $3,660 to travel to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for 8 days. Sealey will visit the places of her childhood and take notes towards a series of prose poems inspired by those places as she remembers them and as they currently are, in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Erin Sharkey, Minnesota, was awarded $3,027 to travel to Buffalo, New York for 9 days to study the natural systems of an urban farm and to explore the migration history of African Americans to and through the Western New York region.

Saymoukda Vongsay, Minnesota, was awarded $5,000 to travel to Nong Khai, Thailand and Luang Prabang, Laos for 15 days. As an essential part of the refugee healing process, Vongsay will travel to Nongkhai, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos to retrace, reimagine, and record her family’s journey after the Secret War.