The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s VIDA fellowships, Génesis Mancheren Abaj and Gretchen Hasse, and the winner of our fall fellowship for Black and/or Indigenous Writers, Maurice Moore. These residencies are designed to give writers time and space to explore their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.
Génesis Mancheren Abaj (b. 1992, they/them) is a non-binary, Queer, Kaqchikel actor, filmmaker and screenwriter, born and raised in New York City by way of Guatemala. Upon graduating from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2017, they have worked extensively within film: co-directing, editing, writing, producing, and more. Their written, produced and edited work has shown at Tribeca Film Festival, VR Arles Festival, Icaro Film Festival, Rooftop Films, as well as Open Society Foundation, Leslie Lohman Museum, Centro Corona and more. They are co-founder of Tierra Narrative, an independent production house that focuses on Central American art and cinema through programming and production, and En-Camino Media, a worker-owned production house that produces video and online educational content. Génesis is excited to be currently developing their first feature film, Dólar, at Cine Qua Non Storylines Lab. They look forward to further working on their script at SAFTA in Fall 2022.
Gretchen Hasse is a storyteller working in comics, collage, public art, moving images, and soon… robots. Gretchen is drawn to stories and images that describe perseverance and triumph through the resourceful re-creation of reality. She has exhibited work throughout Chicago, and her films have screened in New York City, Berlin, London, and computer screens everywhere. She curates with Agitator Artists’ Cooperative, where she is a founding member. Gretchen received a 2021 Make A Wave grant from 3Arts, and a 2022 Esteemed Artist Award from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Maurice Moore is currently a doctoral Performance Studies Candidate at the University of California-Davis. Moore’s works have appeared in Communication and Critical Cultural/Studies, Queer Quarterly Magazine, Decoded Pride, Confluence, and Mollyhouse. From 2011 to the present, the creative has exhibited at the Centre for Recent Drawing (C4RD) in London United Kingdom, Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento California, Calabar Gallery in New York NY, Medford Arts Center in New Jersey, Christina Ray Gallery in Soho New York, Mnemosphere Project in Milan Italy, Pence Gallery in Davis California, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro North Carolina.
Finalists for this fall’s fellowships included Jalen Mikal Smith, Hattie Hayes, Mary Rose Manspeaker, and Shipra Agarwal.
Applications are now open for our Spring 2023 residencies with fellowships for LGBTQIA+ writers and Black and/or Indigenous Identifying Writers.