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By this time next year, photographer Njaimeh Njie hopes to debut a new interactive multimedia exhibit that explores “the intersection of art and activism in Pittsburgh’s contemporary Black community.”

Though she says she still has much preparation work to do, she has the luxury of time, as she was awarded $10,000 as one of the selectees in the latest round of Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grants. In all, 12 artists and organizations received $170,000 in grant support from the partnership between the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments.

Since 2010, the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh partnership has awarded more than $4 million in grants to help build the careers of individual artists, to increase the sustainability of cultural organizations that focus on Black arts, to build community awareness of the Black arts sector, and to support efforts toward greater collaboration and the elimination of racial disparities within the larger arts sector.

This is the second time Njie has received an award. And she’s honored to receive it, especially since this project is so different.

“Oftentimes because artists and activists lead such public lives, it’s not always clear they even have these private lives. So, I’m looking at peeling back the layers on their work, of who they are as people and how that shapes the way they see the world and their work,” Njie told the New Pittsburgh Courier.

“As for a venue, because it’s an immersive experience, I’ll have to be more methodical about how people interact with space and how I tell a story than I would usually do with a still exhibition. But it’s so fresh and new that I have to take a step back and brainstorm who I’d like to do, reaching out to them, research…I plan on dedicating several months to it.”

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