Thursday, September 29, 2022


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Eight Chicago Artists Selected for Fellowship to Showcase Chicagoland Direct Cash Policies

Dr. Eve L. Ewing Joins Economic Security for Illinois as Creator in Residence  

Chicago — Eight Chicagoland artists have been selected to receive Economic Security for Illinois’ “Power of Cash Narrative Change Fellowship.” The fellowship aims to reshape the narrative around direct cash solutions and promote economic justice. Selected fellows will produce works to be featured in a large event during the summer of 2023. 

“We could not be more excited to welcome Dr. Eve Ewing and our artist fellows to partner with us and our community members. Artists are world-makers. These artists’ contributions will help envision a world where guaranteed income and direct cash policies are widely-available, and families have the means to both survive and thrive. Rather than embrace harmful cultural narratives about who is “deserving” of support, their work will be rooted in human stories of dignity and self-determination,” said Harish I. Patel, Director of Economic Security for Illinois, an organization that builds collective power and drives policy solutions that aim to make Illinois’ economy the most equitable and inclusive in the country. 


From a pool of over 150 artists across a wide variety of disciplines and mediums, eight were selected. The selected artist fellows and their mediums include:  

  • Damon A. Williams and Daniel Kisslinger (AirGo), Audio/Podcast

  • Anwulika Anigbo, Photography 

  • D. Alexander, Performance Art

  • Fantasia Graham, Paint/Portraits 

  • Jade Williams, Prints/Collages

  • Sean Sankalp Raju, Documentary Film

  • David Johnson, Video 


The fellows are joined by nationally renowned scholar and writer Dr. Eve L. Ewing, who helped advise during the creation of the fellowship. Dr. Ewing will take the role of Creator in Residence at ESIL. Produced by artist fellows Daniel Kissinger and Damon A. Williams of AirGo, Ewing will host an eight-episode podcast called “Guaranteed” exploring what cash makes possible for people in their lives, relationships, and communities. The podcast is expected to air in Spring of 2023. 


“I'm so eager to see what this diverse array of artists will have up their sleeves. Storytelling and creative production are integral parts of any lasting social change, and ESIL is leading the way here by putting artistic partnerships at the center of an ambitious policy agenda,” said Dr. Eve L. Ewing, scholar, author, and Creator in Residence at Economic Security for Illinois


Direct cash policies and guaranteed income demonstrations have taken root in Illinois in the past three years, amounting to over $200 million in cash payments to families. Such programs include the City of Chicago and Cook County’s direct cash transfer programs and guaranteed income pilots


To inform their project, fellows will be encouraged to engage with both the recipients and program staff from various Chicagoland guaranteed income demonstrations, including:


Funding and strategic partnership during the creation of the project were generously provided by Builders Initiative. 


“We are thrilled to support this timely and purposeful Fellowship. It will bring together artists and the arts community to shift thinking and awareness on the importance of creating a more equitable economy for all. ESIL’s efforts demonstrate the power of art as action, a critical part of  Builders Initiative’s mission of building a more humane and healthy planet,” said Caitlin Casperson, of Builders Initiative. 

Additional details about the fellowship can be found at


Economic Security for Illinois builds collective power to advance policy solutions that make Illinois’ economy the most equitable and inclusive in the country.

Copyright © Economic Security for Illinois 2022

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