The 2016 Voice is a Muscle $10,000 Grant for an Oregon writer of color was awarded to:
poet, activist, and playwright Anya Pearson, from Portland, Oregon.
Of her work, Anya says, “I believe in pushing the boundaries of what theater can or should be. Why can’t a play be part poetry, part dance, yet still theatrical and still be called theater?
As an actor, a lot of times, I am at the mercy of others, having to fit into the stories that they want to tell, even if I long to see better representations of myself and my people on stage. As a writer, I strive to present complex and multi-faceted portrayals of African-American life that aren’t easily classified and that don’t shy away from taboo subjects. Because that’s what excites me. That’s what drives me.
It is my dream to change the world with this project. To empower other survivors to stand up and say enough is enough. To start a movement, to fight back against the insidiousness that is rape culture in our society. I am a political writer because as a black woman in America, there is no way to divorce myself from the politics of race and gender, especially after this current election. This play is me, through and through. It is my voice. It is what I have to say, as an artist, as a woman, as a survivor.”
We are thrilled to support Anya and help her work grown in the world.
Because we believe in creating community support for working artists in real life, right now ways, we are equally thrilled to offer a year’s worth of creative support to the three other finalists: from left to right: kiki nicole, Hanifah Abioto, and Rios de la Luz. To that end we offer free workshop opportunities with Corporeal Writing, or financial aid for any other creative workshops a finalist might want to attend to grow their work, free editing and writing evaluations for finalists who desire further feedback, free production and/or co-facilitation support for writers whose work is ready to be performed, and publication and reading opportunities. Because we are nothing without each other.
We'd also like to recognize eight more semi-finalists:
manuel arturo abreu