Tomorrowland Projects Foundation Award

The Tomorrowland Projects Foundation supports artistic, multi-disciplinary team collaborations and artist-driven projects that expand awareness of issues affecting society-at-large, and considers award-planning funds to develop new technology, research, and installation art.  

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to announce the inaugural recipients of the Tomorrowland Projects Foundation Award, which is administered by NYFA. This year’s winners, Aroussiak Gabrielian and Alison B. Hirsch, received a cash award of $7,000 to help support their Memorial to Black Lives project. The project examines the future of memorialization and addresses the processes of loss still in-progess. 

Tomorrowland Projects Foundation was created in 2016, and seeks cutting-edge projects that communicate strong, aesthetic, and socially-relevant concepts as well as projects that bring electronic media to new audiences. Its founding board members include Artist Nina Yankowitz, who serves as the Foundation’s President; Architect Barry Holden; Film Editor Ian Holden; Artist and Professor Dr. Ellen K. Levy; Film Producer David Becker; and Artist Jon Nazareth.


Memorial to Black Lives will reflect on the lives lost and dehumanized and a serve as a call to action to prevent future injustices. The national issue will be localized through a neighborhood-scale intervention where the memorial is discovered and experienced via a georeferenced mobile app that guides the visitor through the neighborhoods of the city to sites of state violence as well as historic black insurgency. These sites, which exist without any palpable trace of traumatic pasts, will trigger the smartphone to overlay the textual accounts of the events that occurred there. The intention of the project is to catalyze a broad national conversation on the validity of Black life, attempting to literalize the Black Lives Matter goal of “taking the hashtag off of social media and onto the streets.” It is anticipated to be realized by 2020.


Aroussiak Gabrielian is a speculative designer with training in architecture, landscape architecture, and the cinematic practice of world-building. Her research utilizes expanded cinematic media to develop new ways of reading and visualizing the spatial, situational, temporal, and tactile phenomena of landscape to interpret and structure sites.

Alison B. Hirsch is a landscape designer and an urban historian-theorist. Her design interests focus on public histories and politics of urban settlement, as well as how corporeality and human movement can inform the design process. She explores the potential of preservation as a tool for social and community sustainability and development, and is an Assistant Professor at USC School of Architecture.


Tomorrowland Projects Foundation President Nina Yankowitz is a visual artist who has played an active role in the art world since the late 1960’s. During the last two decades, she’s expanded her practice to include creating video projections addressing climate change and projects that deal with prevailing cultural topics such as religious intolerance, stolen oil or water, and the stature of women in the world. Collaborating with technology and data scientists, she has infused interactive technology and other social networking tools into her art installations. This technology empowers spectators to be active participants in framing their explorations and finding relative, unique, experiences.

Image: Work-in-Progress Screenshot of an Early Concept Study, Memorial to Black Lives, Courtesy: Aroussiak Gabrielian and Alison B. Hirsch