Salzburg Global and Kresge Foundation Provide Seven Travel Awards to YCIs

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Sep 24, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global and Kresge Foundation Provide Seven Travel Awards to YCIs

Scholarship scheme will promote exchanges from or to Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans Photo by Frank Vex on Unsplash

Salzburg Global Seminar has awarded seven travel awards as part of a scheme to deepen connections within the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

The funds have been made possible by The Kresge Foundation and will promote exchanges from or to Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Accepted proposals also involve Salzburg Global Fellows from Baltimore, Japan, Buenos Aires, and Adelaide.

Creating connections between the United States and Japan

Yu Nakamura, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will travel with her film crew from Japan to Lafayette and New Orleans to document Cajun food, culture, and history. Nakamura is hoping this exchange will provide her with insights on how to preserve traditional food cultures in Japan and Thailand. She will connect with fellow YCIs Samuel Oliver and Alphonse Smith.

Smith, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will also pursue a cross-cultural collaboration between the arts and culture communities in New Orleans and Japan. Traveling from New Orleans, Smith will begin his trip in Tokyo with the non-profit organization Ubdobe Japan, a health and welfare organization led by Salzburg Global Fellow Yuki Oka, who also attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program. Smith is hoping to lay the groundwork for dialogue, cultural exchange, and collaboration between Japanese and New Orleans artists related to health, welfare, and cultural innovation.

Another YCI from New Orleans will also visit Japan. Nicolas Aziz, who also attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will catch up with faculty member Hiroko Kikuchi and YCI Shuko Ebihara. Ebihara, who founded Kuriya, is working with young immigrants from the Philippines. Aziz will learn from Kuriya and apply his learnings working with immigrants in New Orleans. Aziz is also planning to visit the “Professionals in Schools” program in Tomioka to learn more about the impact of artists truly immersing themselves within communities.

Sharing stories from different cultures

Steven Fox, another 2016 YCI Forum Fellow, will work with Aziz for his project, “A Path to Memphis and New Orleans.” Fox will explore the historical and cultural connection of the French and Spanish cultures via Memphis and New Orleans. Fox has three goals: share research and analysis; write and share a book of poetry and photographs; and record and share a podcast with interviews.

Meanwhile, Jose Cotto, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2018 program, will travel to Baltimore to kick-start a project which focuses on the impacts of incarceration on families and communities. Cotto, from New Orleans, will create space for people connected to the prison system to share their stories. He will work with Salzburg Global Fellow Bilphena Yahwon, who also attended the YCI Forum’s 2018 program.

Film screenings and book fairs in Detroit

Mario Pozzi, from Argentina, will build on his previous experience and connections, curating and producing a selection of the 2019 Human Rights Film Festival of Buenos Aires Edition. Pozzi, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2017 program, will organize screenings both in Detroit and Memphis. Screenings will take place during the Freep Film Festival of Detroit (April 22-26, 2020) and under the Indie Memphis Nights format.

Before the first screening in Detroit, Sebastian Chuffer will organize a Future Filmmaker Workshop. Chuffer, who attended the YCI Forum’s 2016 program, will lead a workshop which teaches children about storytelling. Shots developed by workshop participants will premiere at the second Human Rights and Environmental Film Festival U.S. Tour and will be shown again in Memphis.

Staying in Detroit, Sanja Grozdanic will curate and host a free literary event during the Detroit Art Book Fair, a fair founded by YCI Maia Asshaq. Grozdanic, who is a member of the Adelaide YCI Hub, attended the Forum’s 2016 program, will meet new artists and writers to commission for her international art publication KRASS. Asshaq has previously written for KRASS, and Grozdanic hopes to include other YCI’s in the future.

All travel awardees will report on their activities and accomplishments by fall 2020.


The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected changemakers in “hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.