a young smiling womxn with hair in a ponytail looks off to the left

Jessica Belt Saem Eldahr

2022 Early-Career Research and Development Grantee | $2,500

A Mural Celebration of Iraq

This grant will allow Jessica to plan and develop a mural celebrating her community’s culture and presenting Iraqi Minnesotan heritage to the public in collaboration with the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project.

Jessica Belt is a nonprofit leader, creative producer, and arts organizer building community across international lines. Simply- she makes things happen in creative and cultural landscapes – orchestrating the ideas, resources, people, and funding to turn an idea into reality. Constantly on her mind and the thread through her work is South West Asia and North Africa, the region she has been privileged to homemake in for most of her life. Jessica spent her formative years in Palestine and Lebanon, and later called Egypt and then Turkey home. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with the Iraqi Minnesotan community for almost a decade, now. Jessica’s future home is Aleppo, the magical hometown of her husband. There is nothing she cherishes more than being a mom to their son, Baz.

Forecast has been offering early-career artist grants supported by Jerome Foundation since 1989. In addition to funding, Forecast is dedicated to providing professional development and learning opportunities designed to assist emerging artists as they experiment/ hone their practices, and cultivate careers in the field. Forecast mid- and early-career grants are designed to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.