On the heels of their performances of Sing Out Strong: Remembered Voices, a musical commemoration of the overwhelming number of lives lost to the pandemic since the beginning of 2020, Cerise Jacobs and her activist opera company, White Snake Projects (WSP), are pleased to announce the award of a three-year grant from the Mellon Foundation designed for just the kind of purpose Sing Out Strong embodies so effectively: “to support visionary artists in their desire to combine a long-enduring art form and experimental technologies into contemporary narratives on behalf of a broadly diverse public.” The company plans to deploy the funding – totaling $750,000 – to build strong administrative leadership, augment its music staff, deepen its network of relationships with long-term social justice partners, and continue the industry-leading technological innovation that, while prominent before the pandemic, has taken center stage in the digital performance environment to which WSP has adapted with outstanding success. Perhaps most immediately, the grant will facilitate the hiring of the company’s first Managing Director, who will produce the 2022-23 season.
“It’s hard to put into words what this grant means to us. It goes without saying that it’s transformative, but what does that really mean? It means we can hire our first employees, ever; have our first season, ever; pay collaborators fair fees; give our artists more resources; reach deeper into our communities; pursue work which will not generate financial returns, but which is so necessary and vital to us as human beings living in the complex interstices of the current world. Yes, this grant is transformative. But the most important thing to say is thank you, Mellon Foundation.”