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A promotional graphic including photos of the 2024 CCDI Artists/Scholars-in-Residence. The two images include portrait shots of Dr. Allie Martin and Maya Freelon.
The 2024 CCDI Artists/Scholars-in-Residence include Dr. Allie Martin and Maya Freelon.

Meet the 2024 Connecting Communities Digital Initiative Artists/Scholars-in-Residence

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The Library of Congress is excited to share that two artists have been selected for the latest Connecting Communities Digital Initiative (CCDI) awards for its Artist/Scholar-in-Residence opportunity. The 2024 awardees will develop projects that offer creative methods of engagement with Library’s digital collections.

A promotional graphic including a photo of 2024 CCDI Artist/Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Allie Martin.
Dr. Allie Martin is a 2024 CCDI Artist/Scholar-in-Residence.

Dr. Allie Martin (Hanover, New Hampshire)

Project: Sampling Black Life: Soundscapes and Critical Intention

Allie Martin is an ethnomusicologist and artist from Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is currently an assistant professor at Dartmouth College in the Music Department and the Cluster for Digital Humanities and Social Engagement. Her work is attuned to questions of race, sound and power. Her forthcoming first book, Intersectional Listening: Gentrification and Black Sonic Life in Washington, DC, explores the relationships between race, sound, and gentrification in the nation’s capital. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the Society for American Music, and the American Musicological Society. Martin is the director of the Black Sound Lab at Dartmouth College, a research environment dedicated to amplifying Black life and decriminalizing Black sound through digital practice.

Martin will work on Sampling Black Life: Soundscapes and Critical Intention, a soundscape and community engagement project, during her CCDI residency. Sampling Black Life will utilize Library of Congress digital collections to create soundscape compositions—short sonic vignettes that layer sounds from the Library’s digital collections with field recordings and composed music—that explore the sounds of Black life in depth. During her residency, Martin will develop and codify a methodology, “sampling with critical intention,” to create soundscape compositions with items from the Voices Remembering Slavery, Chicago Ethnic Arts Project, and Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals collections. This methodology argues that recordings of Black life should be approached with critical attention to their context, provenance, and the historical and contemporary significance of working with them. Sampling Black Life will culminate in several community listening sessions, where Martin will unpack the soundscape composition layers and invite conversation about how we can listen more fully to Black life. As hip-hop celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023, Martin’s work will utilize sampling, a hip-hop technique and technology that reverberates across a range of musical genres, to encourage critical reflection on the contents of the Library’s digital collections as well as imaginative uses of their sounds.

She will receive $73,676.75 for her project.

A promotional graphic including a photo of 2024 CCDI Artist/Scholar-in-Residence, Maya Freelon.
Maya Freelon is a 2024 CCDI Artist/Scholar-in-Residence.

Maya Freelon (Durham, North Carolina)

Project: Whippersnappers: Recapturing, Reviewing, and Reimagining the Lives of Enslaved Children in the United States

Maya Freelon is an award-winning visual artist whose work was described by the late poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” Her artwork was featured on the cover of Walter Magazine, Garden & Gun magazine and Luxe Interiors + Design. Cosmopolitan Magazine called her one “of the most badass female artists in the biz”  and Miami New Times selected her as one offive Young Artists to Watch During Miami Art Week. She completed commissions for Google, Cadillac and the NC Museum of Art and her monumental sculptures have been exhibited around the world, including the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building and the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar.

Freelon will produce Whippersnappers: Recapturing, Reviewing, and Reimagining the Lives of Enslaved Children in the United States, an interactive art exhibition, during her CCDI residency. Freelon will use archival photographs from the Bess Lomax Hawes collection, as well as other photographs from the Library’s digital collections, and contemporary photographs, to create new artwork focused on Black children born in America. During her residency, Freelon will reprint high-resolution photographic images and transform them into commemorative and unique works of art using a variety of mixed-media. By remixing the Library’s digital collections, Freelon plans to celebrate the innocence, beauty, and resilience of Black children. Through a reworking and reimagining of the archival images of Black children born into slavery and juxtaposing them with contemporary images, Freelon’s work will open up space to think about the power and ethics of photography, from the 1800s to today, simultaneously offering new ways to visualize and honor Black childhood.

She will receive $89,962.25 for her project.

CCDI is part of the Library’s Of the People: Widening the Path program with support from the Mellon Foundation. This four-year program provides financial and technical support to individuals, institutions and organizations to create imaginative projects using the Library’s digital collections and centering one or more of the following groups: Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and other communities of color from any of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and its territories and commonwealths (Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands). Learn more about CCDI here.

For more about the Library’s historic Of the People initiative, click here. To learn about the next round of awards, subscribe to the Of the People blog here.


  1. Congratulations all around!
    Looking forward to these projects.

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