Gap Fund Update

YaYa Horne: Gap Fund Artist Profile

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The Village launched the Emergency Gap Fund for Philadelphia’s Black Working Artists in April 2020 to support Philadelphia’s culture bearers, visionaries, connectors and creative entrepreneurs with unrestricted grants of $500 during the pandemic. These profiles showcase a few of the remarkable creators that make Philadelphia the city we are proud to call home.

Curator YaYa Horne helps artists thrive as the founder and event producer behind Philly artist agency Tiny Room for Elephants.

“My creativity is connecting artists with resources through events, collaborations and my space at Cherry St. Pier. I vet artists partly through the Tiny Room for Elephants festival, a 30-day celebration of art and music. Visual artists paint the space together for 2 weeks, and then we celebrate their work for 3 days with bands, DJs, rappers.” 

Community is at the heart of the festival, Yaya says. “We break up the art cliques. We push artists to try new things, and when they take risks and find new creative styles, that’s the best part of it for me.” 

This year’s festival was scheduled to be the biggest one yet. “This year we had 150 artists scheduled, a month of programming and $50,000 in sponsorships.” 

After the COVID-19 shutdowns, YaYa chose to cancel the festival and bring it back at full size next May. “To hit send on that letter was the hardest thing I ever had to do. And every time I sat down to write it I started to cry.” 

YaYa is finding energy and hope in building TRFE’s community online, and continuing to act as a connector for artists. “I get e-mails and text messages every day from artists I was working with. People are creating and I feel the responsibility to showcase that. That’s the purpose of having your community – to lift you up when you think you can’t keep moving.”  

Thanks to the Gap Fund, YaYa says, “I’m able to breathe a little bit, pay urgent bills. You really wanted to give creatives this money. You made it so there was nothing that was prohibitive and that was really appreciated.”

Follow Tiny Room for Elephants on Instagram for updates on exciting digital content, including live visual art and music performances.