The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded $15,000 in Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) funding to support the work of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.
Housed at Illinois State University, Obsidian is a publishing platform that includes a journal, online gallery, web features, programs, and more. Obsidian will dedicate the NEA funds to the Obsidian Legacy Project, which will support the presentation and publication of the upcoming special journal issue Heirloom: Preserving HBCU Futures. Guest edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Heirloom will allow Obsidian to expand its readership and better connect with historically Black colleges and universities.
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have sustained spaces that nurture and value the creative, intellectual, and economic growth of Black students from throughout the diaspora, noted Editor Duriel E. Harris. “Obsidian recognizes that these historic institutions produce some of the most gifted Black artists and thinkers today,” said Harris. “We are excited to work with HBCUs as these historic institutions have been and continue to be vital to the survival of Black people and Black arts and letters.”
Obsidian’s project is among more than 1,000 receiving nearly $25 million during this first round of funding in the NEA’s GAP funding category.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Obsidian is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”
For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov.
For more information on Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, please visit https://obsidianlit.org/.