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VPA Senior Grant – Past Projects

2020 Recipients

Photo: Caroline Moon
Photo: Caroline Moon

eli feier
Utopic Love in Melodic Memoriam

feier will spend the next months, quarantined in California, turning closets into makeshift studios, working on a debut album steeped in the traditions of hip-hop, R&B, gospel, and indie-pop and informed by their academic studies of sociology, poetry, fiction, climatology, and history. Through lyric and harmonic expression feier will tell their story of searching for love and belonging while multiracially black in a white world. In discussing their traumas, feier hopes to find healing, lessons, & love and allow listeners to do the same.

Photo: John Okhiulu
Photo: John Okhiulu

Natalie Johnson
Speculative Fiction During COVID-19

Natalie Johnson will spend the summer writing a speculative fiction novella, extending her creative writing journey at Stanford and engaging with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The world of her novella is also steeped in a pandemic, but unlike the coronavirus, this virus does not spread through contact with infected persons. Rather, it preys on people not living close enough together in large enough communities. Instead of necessitating widespread social distancing, this virus forces people into small, densely populated communes for immunity and survival, reshaping society for some and, for others, reinforcing the way the community has always lived.

Natalie seeks to develop a disciplined writing practice that will prepare her for a Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. She spent significant time during undergrad studying and writing in the genre of speculative fiction. Writing such a novella during this great social upheaval feels urgent and important to her.

Photo: Karis Will
Photo: Karis Will

Sara Carrillo
Creating the Archive of Patssi Valdez: Uncovering and Cataloging Works for a Retrospective

This project seeks to create a digital archive that will house multi-media artist Patssi Valdez’s oeuvre, some 300+ works, which are currently stored in her garage. Carrillo has worked closely with the artist over the course of a year, making studio visits and interviewing her. The majority of her work has been photographed and digitally uploaded to the artist’s personal computer, but none are easily accessible nor do the photographs have any useful archival information (size, date, provenance, medium) attached to them. Carrillo will create an archive that allows the artist to access her pieces and share them with educators, collectors, curators, etc. in an easy and accessible manner. Especially in the time of COVID-19, the artist’s digital library is their most valuable tool.

Photo: AnQi Yu
Photo: AnQi Yu

Starr Jiang
How to Bury My Father

Drawing from mythology and personal memory, How to Bury My Father is an imagination of Jiang's dad’s funeral where his dead body goes missing. Through ghost stories, mysterious prophecies, and a fairy tale gone wrong , this solo performance/radio drama attempts to fill in the gaps of a broken family legacy, revealing how the trauma left by the dead continues to violently ravage the living. The project builds on the productions Jiang did with Asian American Theater Project, where Jiang learned to use the theatrical medium to create the world we desire to live in. Academically, its foundations lie in the presence of queerness in non-Western contexts and the implications of female performance in song and dance.

Sabrina Wilensky 2018


Sabrina Wilensky (she/her)
Manager of Grants and Programs
Office of the Vice President for the Arts

Schedule a meeting (for students only)

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