African Voices to Receive $100K Award from NEA’s American Rescue Plan!

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BRIC producer Desiree Rucker at Reel Sisters Scriptwriting Essentials & the Art of Writing Strong Female Characters, an innovative writing workshop for women co-presented with BRIC Media in NYC.

African Voices to Receive $100,000 Award from the National Endowment for the Arts as a part of the American Rescue Plan

AV Launches Membership Drive to Celebrate 30 Years of Service to NYC Artists & Match NEA’s Historic Support!


January 27, 2022 (BROOKLYN, NY) — African Voices Communications, Inc. is pleased to announce that we have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. African Voices is recommended to receive $100,000 to fund operations and facilities to fuel New York City’s recovery efforts. African Voices, an organization devoted to supporting art, literature and film by artists of color, celebrates our 30th Anniversary in 2022. The NEA’s historic investment in our infrastructure marks a milestone in our legacy as a leading arts institution during a challenging time.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as African Voices, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”  

In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“African Voices is proud that the NEA has included us in the American Rescue Plan as a representative of New York’s vibrant arts culture. The 2020 lock downs showed the world our artists were essential to keeping our spirits nourished and communities connected during a time when fear and anxieties were high,” said Carolyn A. Butts, African Voices Executive Director and Founder. “We brought families together virtually through artistic performances, film screenings, literary readings, creative workshops and community chats. Our arts community is America’s heartbeat and conscious.” 

In 2021, African Voices created a two-year COVID strategic plan with support from the New York Urban League’s Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund. The NEA award will help us create job opportunities for artists through our programs and retain staff while launching a historic membership campaign to build our resources. African Voices is revered for publishing one of the nation’s top literary magazines celebrating writers of African descent. Spelman College, a historic Black women’s university, acquired African Voices’ arts collection in 2021.

Board member Vera Sims with a young Harlem artist during a AV Get Your Read On! – Storytelling & Architecture workshop at Urban Assembly for Future Leaders supported by the West Harlem Development Corp and NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

African Voices is launching a membership drive during Black History Month to match the NEA’s $100,000 recovery grant. In honor of the organization’s 30th Anniversary the campaign will run from February 2022 through April 2023 — the organization was founded in 1992 and the first issue of issue of our literary magazine was published in April 1993.

You can donate and become a member through our ongoing Powered by People Campaign launched on GoFundMe:

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit

African Voices Communications, Inc. is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Community Trust, West Harlem Development Corp., New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, CLMP Amazon Literary Partnership, Humanities New York, Black Arts Future Fund, NAACP Roy Wilkins Fund, The Tom S. Detwiler Foundation, NYSCA LitTap Program, Council members Laurie Cumbo (35 C.D.), Farah Louis (45 C.D.) and Bill Perkins (9 CD, Harlem) and our loyal members. 



Founded in 1992, our mission is carried out through public programs, arts appreciation and the publication of African Voices magazine.  The magazine plays a pivotal role in helping writers and visual artists establish careers in art and publishing.  Our writers have published work in poetry and fiction anthologies while others have completed novels and memoirs.  The magazine reaches 35,000+ followers via our websites and social media network. African Voices has earned national respect among the literary community for publishing excellent fiction, poetry and artwork. 

African Voices has a history of providing leadership within the arts community.  Over the past 30 years, African Voices has published the works of over 4,470 emerging artists of color and presented more than 10,500 community programs to expand access to the arts. Each year, African Voices provides artistic services to 5,000 artists of color and young people throughout New York City and the tri-state area.


Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series is devoted to providing opportunities for women of color filmmakers; AV Readings, Performance & Workshop Series, a program that offers writing workshops for emerging artists and presents readings by established authors and poets; and Get Your Read On! (GYRO!),a literacy program that uses the arts to strengthen young people’s math, reading, writing and oral communication skills. 

Reel Sisters is the first Academy Qualifying Film Festival for narrative shorts devoted to women filmmakers. Reel Sisters is listed number 3 on Film Daily’s top 10 list of women-centered film festivals. Reel Sisters will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2022.  Reel Sisters is among the 63 Oscar qualifying accreditation festivals out of the over 7,000 worldwide film festivals.

For information on African Voices call 212-865-2982 or visit and


  1. Do u having writing classes starting in Feb. 2022. I called the number and left a message. No one reached out to me. When does the writing class start? Costs?

  2. I would like to apply to your programs and virtual classes, would you please email me a full list.

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