United States Artists (USA) is thrilled to announce Maori Karmael Holmes as the recipient of the 2023 Berresford Prize, USA’s annual award honoring cultural practitioners for their significant contributions to the advancement, wellbeing, and care of artists in society. As a curator, filmmaker, and writer, as well as founder and Chief Executive & Artistic Officer of BlackStar Projects, Holmes’ dynamic career emphasizes the porous boundaries between artmaking and organizing, illuminating how the creation of new paradigms for supporting artists can be an artistic practice in and of itself.
Across filmmaking, curating exhibitions, organizing film and performance programs, and writing about the field, Holmes’ practice is grounded in this sense of worldbuilding, imagining alternative frameworks for storytelling, collaboration, and being in community with one another. In 2012, she founded BlackStar Projects, an organization dedicated to fostering new platforms for Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and media artists. Over the last decade, participants and collaborators have lauded the thoughtfulness, intentionality, and artist-centered approach represented in BlackStar’s programming, most notably the acclaimed BlackStar Film Festival, opening its 12th edition this summer.