Grant #499

Reclaim and Redefine: The Artist and the Art

May 2, 2022

At the Ibom International Art and Book Festival, a Celebration of Nigeria’s Extraordinary—and Sometimes Overlooked—Diversity

The popular image of the artist is of a person alone—creating in solitude. But the best artists know that collaboration and exchange are essential parts of the creative process. And some have access to better and more supportive networks than others. The Ibom International Art and Book Festival was founded to offer that kind of environment to global minorities whose culture, language, and heritage are sometimes misrepresented in the broader culture—both in Nigeria and around the world.  

Festival director Kate Ekanem-Hannum explains it like this: “If you’ve been shouting and no one is hearing, Ibom International Art and Book Festival is where you shout and someone stands and says, ‘I hear you, and oh, I see you too. And wait, I see you for who you are, not who I was told you are.’”

This summer, in Uyo Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, the festival will bring together more than 2,000 writers, poets, musicians, artists, dancers, filmmakers, actors, students, and entrepreneurs to learn from and inspire each other. Participants will attend panel discussions, book chats, exhibitions, screenings, and workshops. Our grant will help fund workshop materials—from art supplies to notebooks—so that the stories shared at Ibom can spark new and needed works of art. 

Category: Community, Culture, Education, Empowerment, Media, Writing



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders