Vivian Crockett and Isabella Rjeille Named Curators of the Sixth New Museum Triennial, Plus Janelle Monáe, Glossier and QuestLove: This Week in Black Art and Culture

Above: Left: Vivian Crockett, Photo: Ciara Elle Bryant; Right: Isabella Rjeille, Photo: Vans Bumbeers

The New Museum appoints Vivian Crockett and Isabella Rjeille as curators of the Sixth New Museum Triennial in 2026. Janelle Monáe teams up with Warner Music Group/ Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund to expand the programs of her nonprofit, Fem the Future. Glossier’s 2023 Grant Program for Black-Owned Beauty Businesses is accepting applications. Questlove launches a publishing imprint, AUWA. Read more in This Week in Black Art and Culture. 

Vivian Crockett and Isabella Rjeille Named Curators of the Sixth New Museum Triennial

Vivian Crockett and Isabella Rjeille will organize the Sixth New Museum Triennial, which will take place in 2026, according to Lisa Phillips, the Toby Devan Lewis Director and Massimiliano Gioni, the Edlis Neeson Artistic Director of the New Museum, New York. 

Rjeille, from Brazil‘s Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) and the New Museum’s  Vivian Crockett are curating the first triennial to be held after a significant enlargement of the New Museum, created by OMA/Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas, is complete. 

Lisa Phillips said, “These two accomplished curators will bring a fresh perspective to the sixth edition of our signature program which is the only recurring exhibition in New York that spotlights a new generation of artists from around the globe.” 

Massimiliano Gioni added, “For the past 14 years, the New Museum Triennial has introduced to New York some of today’s most interesting artists … and we are thrilled for Vivian Crockett and Isabella Rjeille to curate the first edition in our expanded building. Isabella is the first international curator to be part of the Triennial and brings a wealth of experience from MASP, one of the most exciting institutions for modern and contemporary art.

“Vivian has just co-curated the New Museum’s critically acclaimed Wangechi Mutu survey and is part of a new generation of curators shaping the conversation about art and culture at large. Together Isabella and Vivian make for a great team to explore the art of tomorrow.” 

This distinctive New Museum program was established in 2009 and offers a crucial stage for young artists influencing the conversation about modern art. The most recent Triennial, “Soft Water Hard Stone” (2021), was organized by Margot Norton of the New Museum and Jamillah James of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 

It featured works by Gabriel Chaile, Cynthia Daignault, Jes Fan, Sandra Mujinga, Nickola Pottinger and Rose Salane, among other artists who reimagined conventional paradigms. Vivian Crockett began serving in 2022 as curator at the New Museum. She co-curated its groundbreaking solo exhibition, Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined (on view through June 4, 2023), and curated Doreen Lynette Garner: REVOLTED (2022) and Screen Series: Zahy Guajajara (2022). She currently is working on Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Prior to working at the New Museum, Crockett served as the Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, where she created an upcoming Ja’Tovia Gary exhibition and organized solo shows with Guadalupe Rosales and Jammie Holmes. 

Isabella Rjeille has been curator at Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand since 2019. Rjeille joined MASP’s curatorial team in 2016 as a curatorial assistant, and in 2018, was promoted to assistant curator as well as head of the editorial department. At MASP, she has curated monographic and group exhibitions, including Cinthia Marcelle: por via das dúvidas [By Means of Doubt] (2022), Maria Martins: Desejo imaginante [Tropical Fictions] (2021), Histórias Feministas: artistas depois de 2000 [Feminist Histories: Artists After 2000] (2019), Lucia Laguna: Vizinhança [Neighborhood] (2018), and Tracey Moffatt: Montagens [Montages] (2017). 

She currently is working on a monographic exhibition on Melissa Cody, opening at MASP in October 2023. Previously, Rjeille worked at the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo and served as curatorial assistant for the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, “Incerteza Viva” [Live Uncertainty] in 2016. 

Janelle Monáe Expands Her Nonprofit, Fem The Future 

American musical recording artist, actress, and model Janelle Monáe arrives on the red carpet for the global celebration of the film “Hidden Figures” at the SVA Theatre, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 in New York. The film is based on the book of the same title, by Margot Lee Shetterly, and chronicles the lives of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — African-American women working at NASA as “human computers,” who were critical to the success of John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission in 1962. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Janelle Monáe teams up with Warner Music Group/ Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF) to expand the programs of her nonprofit, Fem the Future, whose mission is to build a fem-forward future by creating opportunities for under-resourced girls and non-binary youth of color in music, the arts and education. 

The $150,000 grant will serve as a pilot for longer-term collaboration between the two organizations. “In partnership with the Social Justice Fund, we’re giving girls the chance to own their power—and change the world,” said Janelle Monáe. “The SJF grant will support Fem the Future as it develops programming for girls and non-binary youth and shines light on their talent—helping them build confidence, expand educational opportunities and make informed decisions about their bodies, their lives and their futures. A beautiful future begins with uplifting the next generation of artists, activists and freedom fighters.” 

Fem the Future’s programs are designed to give young women and girls the tools and encouragement they require to face the difficulties of growing up in underserved communities of color. It increases access and exposure to a wide range of careers by promoting and establishing after-school and summer enrichment activities. The nonprofit also supports organizations that provide access to the arts, music and leadership-development-focused pedagogies in an effort to have a positive impact on as many women and girls as possible. 

“It is a joy to partner with Janelle Monáe and Fem the Future in their groundbreaking work,” said Lorelei Williams, executive director, WMG/BFF SJF. “As a cultural icon and catalyst, Janelle embodies liberation in her music and across all of her creative platforms, including Fem the Future. With the fall of Roe v. Wade and the rise of anti-LGBTQI+ bills, the fight for gender justice is more crucial than ever. Our bodies and our freedom are at stake. This grant will enable Fem the Future to scale up its programming; elevate the power and brilliance of Black girls and non-binary youth; and ensure greater access to life-changing opportunities.” 

The Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund investments focus on education, arts and culture and criminal justice reform with the belief that work in these areas will aid in dismantling structural racism and advancing equity and justice for all people. Since the Fund’s launch in June 2020, the organization has committed over $25M to organizations on the frontlines of change. Gender justice is a key throughline across all SJF grant pillars and over 80% of SJF grantee partners are led by women of color in the U.S. and internationally. 

“On behalf of Fem the Future, we are beyond thrilled to partner with the WMG/BFF SJF,” said Christina Shareef, Fem the Future board chair. “This partnership represents a powerful opportunity to increase access and opportunities for women and girls of color in music, entertainment and the creative arts. By giving them the tools to succeed academically and professionally—and amplifying their voices and perspectives—we can spark lasting change in their lives. I am confident that together, we can make a real difference, and I am excited for all the incredible things we will achieve.” 

Glossier’s 2023 Grant Program for Black-Owned Beauty Businesses 

As part of Glossier’s continued investment in diversity, equity and inclusion in beauty (and beyond), the brand announces the launch of its third Grant Program for Black-Owned Beauty Businesses, committing $300,000 and doubling down on mentorship provided by Glossier team members towards six visionary businesses in the U.S. The Grant Program will provide financial support by way of grant money, access to Glossier’s expertise in areas relevant for the specific grantee, such as supply chain or product development, and exclusive access to Glossier’s network including venture capitalists, C-Suite executives and past grantees. 

In 2022, Black founders raised only 1% of all venture capital funding—a disappointing decrease from the 1.3% raised in 2021. Despite the fact that Black consumers make up over 11% of the U.S. beauty market—spending over $6.6 billion on beauty annually—Black-owned brands only capture 2.4% of revenue in the overall beauty market. Since the Grant Program’s inception in 2020, Glossier has partnered with 30+ founders leading 26 innovative beauty brands, with Grant Program alumni such as Range Beauty, Young King, and Luna Magic appearing on Shark Tank, and Skimdo winning an Allure Best of Beauty Award. 

Grantees such as Golde and Eadem also have gone on to national retail distribution. Applicants must be beauty brands with physical beauty products (not service providers, salons or spas) that are seeking support and resources and are available to participate actively in four months of programming. Grantees will be paired with a Glossier executive advisor for mentorship, have access to business programming on topics ranging from supply chain to product development to influencer marketing, participate in 1:1 meetings with functional experts across the Glossier team, connect with alumni grantees from previous years, and receive support from Glossier’s community of partners like Shopify and Google. 

The application window is open now through April 11 at 12:00 a.m. EDT. Click here to apply. Applicants will be notified in June 2023. 

Questlove Launches Publishing Imprint 

Wes Washington, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the Roots’ longtime drummer and co-frontman, has announced the launch of AUWA Books through MCD, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The AUWA is “devoted to finding inspiring new stories and connecting readers to lost voices,” and it will publish both fiction and nonfiction works. With Alexis Rosenzweig as senior vice president and editorial director, and Malaika Adero and Ben Greenman serving as executive editors, Questlove will serve as AUWA’s publisher and editor-in-chief. 

The bird-call noise made popular by Prince in songs like Baby I’m a Star and Eye No serves as the inspiration for the name of the imprint. The imprint’s first book, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), named for the Sly and the Family Stone hit and written by the legendary Sly Stone, will be released on Oct. 17. The memoir is co-written by Ben Greenman. It tracks Stone’s rise from the heights of stardom in the late 1960s to his long decline and virtual disappearance from the music scene. 

“For as long as I can remember, folks have been asking me to tell my story,” said Sly Stone. “I wasn’t ready. I had to be in a new frame of mind to become Sylvester Stewart again to tell the true story of Sly Stone. It’s been a wild ride, and hopefully, my fans enjoy it too.” 

“We are embarking on this new imprint with Questlove with great excitement,” FSG president and publisher Mitzi Angel said. “Questlove’s vision and many talents will add tremendously to our list, and we can’t wait to publish our first book on the AUWA imprint with Questlove this fall, Sly Stone’s much-anticipated memoir …” 

“I have been writing books for over a decade,” added Questlove, “so it seemed like a natural step to publish them too. I’m very excited about AUWA Books, from the books we have lined up to the books we haven’t discovered yet. Let’s take it to the page.” 

In addition to being a Grammy Award-winning co-founder of The Roots, Questlove is a prolific writer. He has authored a number of books, including Mo’ Meta Blues, Creative Quest, and Music Is History, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. Additionally, he was the author of the Grammy-nominated audio books Music Is History and Creative Quest. The Rhythm of Time, his debut picture book, will be available on April 18. 

Other books by AUWA to be published include Questlove’s Hip-Hop Is History (2024), co-authored with Ben Greenman, the first book by TikTok user and podcaster Drew Afualo (2024), Josh Luber’s Building the Hype Economy (2025), and Derrick Palmer’s Handbook for the Revolution: The Essential Guide for Workplace Organizing (2025).

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