The AWAW grant program, which refers to a line in Virginia Woolf’s extended essay A Room of One’s Own (1929), was established in 1996 and has since awarded more than $6.5 million to 265 artists. The awards are annually given to “women-identifying artists over 40 years of age who have made significant contributions, while continuing to create new work, and who are each at a critical juncture in their practice,” according to the AWAW award announcement release.
Originally established to award 10 artists annually, donations have enabled AWAW to increase the number of recipients by four per year from 2021 to 2023. Millett and the other 13 winners will each receive an unrestricted prize of $25,000. Grantees work in media ranging from visual to performing arts to activism, and are selected from an applicant pool recommended by a distinguished panel of anonymous nominators, including artists, art historians, curators, and writers. See the full list of 2021 recipients at the official AWAW website.
Millett’s artistic process is “informed by taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing, and building, in order to discover the space where transitions occur and where stories of impermanence unfold,” per her official bio. Her works are inspired by Afrofuturism and honor traditions of abstraction, architecture, and domestic craft.
Millett has exhibited at museums including the New Museum, New York; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Oakland Museum; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Santa Monica Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; Barbican Gallery, London; and at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles.