Round 17 (2024)

Salomé Benalcázar – Sus voces nos hilvanan/Their voices baste

Sebastien Boncy – Houston Loops & Lines

Liyen Chong & Eddie Garcia aka Inspire – Intergenerational Grief Work, Joy and Triumph

Farrah Fang & Urethra Burns –  The Future is Trans!: Amplifying The Next Generation of Trans & Nonbinary Voices

Ian Gerson – Invisible Landmarks

Erika Mei Chua Holum – Sahara Dust Residency

Ryan Hollaway & bowan.ya – a memes to cope with reality

Deniz Lopez – The Lilt: A Poetic Storyteller Series II

Morgan Newton – The South Got Something to Say

Anne Park – Korean Art: Minhwa

Katherine Trimm and Linda Brown – Art in the Dark

Trinity Stardust – Stardust Unions

The Peanut Collective – Check Out Artists at the Library

Xochipilli Collective – Now Accepting Donations

Meet the Jurors

Round 17 was juried by Tay Butler, Houston artist and 2023 Idea Fund recipient, Ekrem Serdar, Curator at Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo, NY), Connie Yu, Project Manager of The Velocity Fund (Philadelphia, PA).

“In the art world, we are encouraged to maintain tunnel vision and focus all of our energies towards individual success and opportunities. But I firmly believe it a duty to also serve your art community, whether as volunteers, jurors, educators or simply supporters.”

“It was a tremendous pleasure encountering the practices, concerns, and commitments of The Idea Fund grantees for 2024. The selection process was challenging; the applications were a testament to what a rich and affirming artistic community the city has. The grantees struck me with the breadth of their work, and I cannot wait to see their projects continue and come to fruition. I’m thankful to Diverseworks, Project Row Houses, and Aurora Picture Show for inviting me to be part of such a careful and considerate process.

“It was an honor to be a part of this regranting effort and decide collaboratively on a group of grantees who will extend their work into their communities with heart, humor, and responsiveness. From the applications, and our three organizational hosts, I learned more about Houston, the arts here, and the urgencies and textures moving the artists’ work. Though tough to choose from so many exciting, simmering ideas, I’m glad we can support a range of projects working towards a celebration of specific communities, experimentation amidst longstanding practices, and development of visual forms as containers for both research and play.”

Tay Butler is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Houston, Texas. He received his BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and recently completed his MFA in the University of Arkansas’ Photography program. After retiring from the US Army and abandoning a middle-class engineering career to search for purpose, Butler reignited a rich appreciation for Black history and a deep obsession with the Black archive. Using past and present images to create a historically-layered body of work, Tay reorients cultural material from the ever-growing Black experience.

Butler works with photography, collage, video, and sound exhibitions and installations. His solo exhibitions and installations include RE.Migrant I & II at Project Row Houses, Houston and We Are Still Searching at the Louise J. Moran Fine Arts Courtyard, Houston. Group exhibitions of his work have been featured at ArtPace, San Antonio, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and the Texas Biennial at Fotofest. Performance exhibitions include The Triangle, for The Idea Fund and CAMH, and Jefferson Pinder’s Fire and Movement for DiverseWorks, Houston. Butler’s awards include the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council, and First Prize in the 2019 Citywide African-American Artists Exhibition at Texas Southern University, Houston. He has collaborated with the Houston Rockets, Coca-Cola, and many others. Butler currently teaches Art & Design for San Jacinto College, Houston and has led both private and community workshops for The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, Virginia and Crystal Bridges Museum, Arkansas. Website:

Ekrem Serdar (he, him) is a curator, writer, and arts administrator. He is from Ankara, Türkiye. He is the curator at Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo, NY), where he is responsible for their exhibitions, public programming, and residency programs. He focuses on interpreting media art across practices, economies, and technologies, including non-fiction film, memes, video games, machine learning, sound art, cybersecurity, activist films, home movies, among others. Recent exhibitions and major projects include Jenson Leonard: Gland Prix; [Speaking in Foreign Language], and Punctures: Textiles in Digital and Material Time. During his tenure, Squeaky Wheel became certified by Working Artists and the Greater Economy, and launched the Workspace Residency program. The residency has supported projects that have been featured in the Whitney Biennial, The New York Times, the Toronto Film Festival, among other festivals, venues, and publications.

Previously, he was a co-founder of Experimental Response Cinema (Austin, TX), a micro-cinema that showed experimental film and video; and a writer and programmer of Küçük Sinemalar, a showcase of experimental moving image from Türkiye, taking place in Türkiye and abroad. His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Millennium Film Journal, 5harfliler, among other publications. He is the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (2017), a SAHA Fellowship with Independent Curators International (2017), and a Professional Development Fellowship for the Flaherty Seminar (2015).

Connie Yu is a writer and artist based in Philadelphia. Their practice takes place in poetry and printmaking, cooking and strength training, and takes shape from the administrative aspects of these data — asking the limits of work and its measure, measure and its work. Connie co-curates, edits, and publishes work by/for queer and trans Asian artists with their print collective FORTUNE, and tends to its small-scale risograph imprint Many Folds Press. They are currently the Project Manager of The Velocity Fund, a Philadelphia-based Regional Regranting Program that offers direct-to-artist grants. In this work, they are committed to sharing resources and asking questions that can make arts programs, grants, and projects more accessible, and attentive, to more people. Read Connie’s writing in the chapbook modest technologies, 1 thru 3 (Neighboring Systems, 2019), and in the online directory Conflicts of Interest.