Meet The 2022 Artist Innovation Grantees

Broward Cultural Division’s Artist Innovation grant provides direct funds to professional and established artists of all disciplines for new and experimental art projects. 

The program is designed to encourage risk-taking, exploration of artistic pursuits, career advancement, interactivity, and sustained commitment to artistic work.

Selected artists are required to produce an event that is free and accessible for the community. Learn more about the 2022 selected grant recipients and their projects below. 

Awards are provided in partnership with the Community Foundation of Broward. To learn more about the Artist Innovation grant and the upcoming cycle application workshops and deadline, visit

Cathleen Dean

Cathleen Dean is the city producer for the Miami/Fort Lauderdale 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) which challenges local filmmakers to create four-to-seven-minute films in only 48 hours. In her first year producing, she received a producer award  for having “turned around” the project.  During her span as a producer, she was selected to showcase at the Cannes Film Festival as a featured part of the Short Film Corner.

Project: Water is Our Medicine

A film documentary on the history of segregation, violence, protest, and resistance of African American’s access to swimming in Florida’s sandy beaches. This film explores the stories of five people during a pandemic, working through their trauma and stress by utilizing the pristine beaches of Broward County.

wade in the water


Apia (Carolina V. Garcia / b. 1977, Chile) is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in Pembroke Pines. Her work is the result of emotional introspection about life and what surrounds her, rescuing from within what she calls Conscious Happiness and bringing those images to life through her work. her work also focuses on human resilience through projects that go from abstract to realism and from 2D to real-size installations through a series of miniature portrait paintings.

Project: Exaggerations of History

As an avid miniaturist, she produced “Exaggerations of History,” which is an art exhibition of 100 miniature portrait paintings of female artists throughout history. Using a QR code, viewers can see the painting in more detail with audio that narrates a short biography of each artists’ life and their most famous works. The exhibition is on view at Coral Springs Museum of Art through April 22, 2023. 

Marielle Plaisir-Audrat

Marielle Plaisir is a multi-media artist who works across a variety of disciplines – from painting to drawing, sculpture, and performance – to create intense visual experiences that explore her French-Caribbean heritage against the backdrop of Postcolonialism. Through her practice, she examines the issues of race, class, and the concept of social domination, perpetrated by colonialism and slavery. 

Project: The unbearable lightness of being

On view at Hollywood Arts/Culture Center, February 18 – May 21, 2023, is a series of art works that utilize layered renderings and backlighting to sharpen, soften, or diffuse certain areas of the composition – creating an element of illusion of magnification that occurs as the viewer moves in front of the piece.

image from the In the Malediction of Cham series
John Sandell

John Sandell

John Sandell is an architect and educator. In 1976, he began his formal architectural training at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, which included studying abroad in Florence, Italy. In Florence, he studied under Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, co-founder of Superstudio, and later returned to Cal State to work alongside Toraldo di Francia as a visiting professor. In the interim, he attended graduate school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art under the direction of Daniel Libeskind. 

Project: Rethinking the Public Landscape: Public Furniture at the Intersection of Poetic Function and Civic Need

This project proposes an exploration of new forms of seating elements (benches and chairs) for outdoor public places. Twelve ergonomically adaptive sculptural prototypes will be designed and built for a gallery exhibition with one full scale prototype for the public to engage with in an outdoor setting. The project aims to reexamine the form of seating elements in public places with the goal to expand the scope of meaning and how they might reshape one’s understanding of public spaces.

Bench designed by John Sandell

Nerissa Street

Nerissa Street is an award-winning arts educator and media producer who collaborates with communities through transformational storytelling. She also helps Black women amplify their voices through podcasting. She has over 15,000 hours of performance and speaking experience across the globe and has been heard at TEDx, SXSW, NPR, and on broadcast radio.

Project: Building Black (O)Utopias (during Juneteenth for Joy)

An immersive experience created for Juneteenth by collecting, remixing, broadcasting, and performing histories of joy lived and experienced in Broward’s Black communities. The project included a site-specific installation publicly built on Juneteenth and was deconstructed by the audience.

African American woman

About the Community Foundation of Broward

The Community Foundation of Broward, founded in 1984, helps individuals, families and businesses create personalized charitable Funds that support game-changing philanthropy. As a grantmaking public charity, we provide leadership to find solutions to issues that matter most to Broward County residents. Through endowment, they work to build permanent philanthropic resources that tackle Broward’s challenges today and forever. 

Support has been provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: 

Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund

Louise and Rudi Dill Charitable Fund 

Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund