6/13/2016 12:49:00 AM

ASCA Announces $257,500 in Fellowships and Cultural Facilities Grants and Celebrates 50 Years as an Agency


      Montgomery, Ala. – At its June meeting in Montgomery, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded sixteen fellowship grants including one arts administration fellowship totaling $80,000, and seven Arts and Cultural Facilities grants totaling $177,500, for a grand total of $257,500. Fellowship grants are awarded to individual artists and are based on merit of work, career achievement, professional development and service to the state. Arts and cultural facilities grants are awarded for planning, design or construction of an arts space. All projects must involve top professionals with demonstrated expertise in urban and/or community planning, architecture, landscape design or historic preservation. This round of grants will support activity taking place between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017.

      The arts and cultural facilities grant program provides support to organizations large and small in an effort to enhance spaces for arts creation and presentation. In all cases where a grant is awarded, evidence of community support is a key element. Al Head, Executive Director of the Council said, “In the past eleven years since the inception of the program for cultural facilities, the Council has provided support for diverse projects in communities from all parts of the state. This year’s support includes the communities of Elba, Mentone, Montgomery, Selma, Hartselle and Birmingham. All of these facility oriented projects represent important initiatives to enhance spaces where arts programming will involve all of the community.”

      Fellowships are grants awarded to outstanding individual artists from Alabama who create important works of art and make valuable contributions to the entire state. Dora James, Chairman of the Council emphasized, “Our state is fortunate to have so many artists from every artistic discipline producing works of the highest caliber.”

      Fellowships are given to individual artists working in arts administration, crafts, dance, design, media/photography, music, literature, theatre, and visual arts. These awards recognize artistic excellence as well as professional commitment and maturity. Recipients may use funds to set aside time to create art, improve their skills, or to do what is most advantageous to enhance their artistic careers.

      These grants are in response to applications submitted under a March 1, 2016 deadline and are awarded for the 2017 fiscal year beginning October 1, 2016 and extending through September 30, 2017.

      Dora James of Opelika chairs the 15-member Council which makes final decisions on all grants awarded. The next deadline for the submission of fellowship and arts and cultural facilities applications is March 1, 2017. For more information, visit www.arts.alabama.gov.

County

Grantee

City

Description

Program

Grant

Coffee

Foundation 154

Elba

Restoration Historic Elba Theatre

Design Arts

$30,000.00

Dallas

ArtsRevive

Selma

Phase III Carneal Cultural Center

Design Arts

$25,000.00

 

Martha Beasley Lockett

Selma

Arts Administrative Fellowship

Multi-Disciplinary

$5,000.00

 

Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation

Selma

Rehabilitation - Tremont School

Design Arts

$30,000.00

DeKalb

Mentone Arts & Cultural Center

Mentone

Construction of Cultural Center

Design Arts

$50,000.00

Jefferson

Birmingham Civil Rights Museum

Birmingham

Cultural Facilities Planning

Design Arts

$4,500.00

 

Jenny Fine

Birmingham

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

 

Alan Litsey

Birmingham

Theatre Fellowship

Performing Arts

$5,000.00

 

Branan Mercer

Gardendale

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

 

Jonathan Purvis

Birmingham

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

 

Shelia Rubin

Birmingham

Dance Fellowship

Performing Arts

$5,000.00

Lee

Carlton J. Nell

Opelika

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

 

Ash Parsons

Auburn

Literary Arts Fellowship

Literary Arts

$5,000.00

Madison

The Arts Council, Inc.

Huntsville

Grissom Town Center Renovation

Design Arts

$30,000.00


Chad Johnson

Huntsville

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

Montgomery

Doug Bristol

Montgomery

Music Fellowship

Performing Arts

$5,000.00

 

Christopher H. Greenman

Montgomery

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

 

Greg Thornton

Montgomery

Theatre Fellowship

Performing Arts

$5,000.00

 

Jacqueline Allen Trimble

Montgomery

Literary Arts Fellowship

Literary Arts

$5,000.00


Michael Medcalf

Montgomery

Dance Fellowship

Performing Arts

$5,000.00

Morgan

Hartselle Fine Arts Center

Hartselle

Bureleson School Windows

Design Arts

$8,000.00

Pike

Jerry Johnson

Troy

Visual Arts Fellowship

Visual Arts

$5,000.00

Shelby

Alan Goldspiel

Montevallo

Music Fellowship

Performing Arts

$5,000.00





GRAND TOTAL

$257,500.00

ARTS & CULTURAL FACILITY GRANTS

      ArtsRevive in Selma was awarded $25,000 in an art & cultural facilities grant for phase III Carneal Cultural Arts Center. The organization has done an excellent job completing previous projects connected with the restoration of this building. Arts Revive has taken a leadership role in downtown revitalization of Selma and their sequential projects to restore the Carneal Building is an example of what can be accomplished with vision, organizational leadership and fund-raising.

      Birmingham Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham was awarded $4,500 in an art & cultural facilities grant for the first step in planning for a cultural arts facility. Thoughtful planning by the BCRM has a dedicated area set aside for the arts. The museum current serves some children who would otherwise not have access to the arts and could reach even more with the space proposed.

      Foundation 154 in Elba was awarded $30,000 in an art & cultural facilities grant for design and restoration of the historic Elba Theatre and to operate it as a performing arts center. By restoring this historic landmark the downtown of Elba will continue its revitalization.

      Hartselle Fine Arts Center in Hartselle was awarded $8,000 in an art & cultural facilities grant for window replacement in Burleson School, a historic building. This step will make the building weatherproof until other restoration plans can be drafted. This facility will be a place to showcase stage productions, art classes, community events and an art gallery.

      Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation in Selma was awarded $30,000 in an art & cultural facilities grant for architectural design and renovations to Tremont School. This building is important to the community and having it used as a performing arts and cultural facility will enhance quality of life for citizens in the area.

      Mentone Cultural Arts Center in Mentone was awarded $50,000 in an art & cultural facilities grant for construction of a cultural arts center that will enrich the community through exhibition, performance and arts education spaces. This facility will also serve as a resource center for area artists and cultural events.

      The Arts Council, Inc. in Huntsville was awarded $30,000 in an art & cultural facilities grant for a renovation of Old Grissom School, a well-recognized landmark in Huntsville. The renovation has strong support from the city, the Arts Council and local arts groups. The school reflects a model partnership that will help to create a vibrant center for the arts.

FELLOWSHIPS

      Doug Bristol of Montgomery was awarded a music fellowship in the amount of $5,000. His fresh and experimental compositions fill a niche in the area of music for lower brass instruments. Bristol composes for professional musicians as well as young emerging musicians and has a broad audience appeal.

      Jenny Fine of Birmingham was awarded a visual arts fellowship in photography in the amount of $5,000. Her work is deeply rooted in Alabama and explores memory and relationships through a lens of southern symbology. Fine’s core work is photography , but she has masterfully integrated installation and performance art into her exhibitions. 

      Alan Goldspiel of Montevallo was awarded a music fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Goldspiel’s compositions exhibit a variety in thematic melodies that are well suited for musicians and audiences. His work is imaginative and explores new musical ideas.

      Christopher H. Greenman of Montgomery was awarded a visual arts fellowship in crafts in the amount of $5,000. Greenman creates beautiful, rustic Asian-inspired ceramic forms that reflect his study of ancient ceramic traditions; a knowledge that he willingly shares with his students and community.

      Chad Johnson of Huntsville was awarded a visual arts fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Johnson’s work delves into deep issues of southern identity, but his use of bright colors and non-traditional materials such as sequins and glitter combine to form beautiful compositions that create space for dialogue with the underlying issues.

      Jerry Johnson of Troy was awarded a visual arts fellowship in design in the amount of $5,000. Johnson’s work reflects images that are sophisticated and well-crafted due to his skillful computer detailing. He actively collaborates with another Alabama artist to produce work that is educational as well as artistic.

      Alan Litsey of Birmingham was awarded a theatre fellowship in the amount of $5,000. His work as a playwright reflected characters that were colorful and three-dimensional with well-timed dramatic incidents. The language used was intelligent, yet very accessible. As a theatre educator, Litsey is a seasoned playwright and qualified to develop his next theatre project covering human trafficking.

      Martha Beasley Lockett of Selma was awarded an arts administrative fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Over the years, Lockett has demonstrated a clear commitment to arts administration and community culture development. Using her fellowship funds, Lockett plans to attend leadership training through the National Arts Strategies program. The NAS program offers opportunities to explore issues that impact growth and efficiency of a community arts organization and to explore how community arts development can be used as a vehicle to bring about substantive change within a community. Lockett is the Executive Director of ArtRevive in Selma.

      Michael Medcalf of Montgomery was awarded a dance fellowship in the amount of $5,000. His choreography structure is clear and dynamic in shape and design. His performers appear to be skilled, expressive and aware of content. Medcalf demonstrates an ability to capture major works of recent years on film for use in professional and academic settings.

      Branan Mercer of Gardendale was awarded a visual arts fellowship in crafts in the amount of $5,000. Mercer’s work is very focused, modern and fresh. His body of work reflects a very consistent, cohesive and compelling control of clay and glazes.

      Carlton J. Nell of Opelika was awarded a visual arts fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Nell’s large paintings blur the lines of realism and abstraction. His current work is a departure from his previous work with small canvases. The new work introduces Nell’s skillful use of texture and clever mastery of light in his paintings.

      Ash Parsons of Auburn was awarded a literary arts fellowship for fiction in the amount of $5,000. Parsons specializes in young adult fiction and just published her first novel, Still Waters with Penguin/Random House and has another one Flying, Not Falling, forthcoming in 2017. Parson writes with authority in a strong, authentic voice that appeals to young adult audiences. She was recently selected as a PEN Literary Award Winner for the Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship.

      Johnathan Purvis of Birmingham was awarded a visual arts fellowship for photography in the amount of $5,000. His work utilizes gum bichromate printing, a nineteenth century photographic process. Portraits from around Alabama are combined with experimental processes to create unique compositions. 

      Shelia Rubin of Birmingham was awarded a dance fellowship in the amount of $5,000. As the artistic director of Natyananda, she teaches, choreographs, and performs Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form of India. Rubin has a long track record of high accomplishment and plans to develop major new work.

      Greg Thornton of Montgomery was awarded a theatre fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Thornton’s professional work is unparalleled in the discipline of theatre. His career achievement and artistic prowess indicates his ability to break through to new levels in his career.

      Jacqueline Allen Trimble of Montgomery was awarded a literary arts fellowship in poetry in the amount of $5,000.  Dr. Trimble is the chair of the department of Languages and Literature at Alabama State University.  Her work, which explores themes of race and gender, has been characterized as “poetry of witness,” a genre of social and public engagement.  A collection of her poems is scheduled for publication by New South Books in November of 2016.

A 50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE

      In addition to the quarterly business meeting to address policy issues and approve grants, Thursday night was reserved to celebrate the Council’s 50th anniversary at a reunion dinner for past and current Council members and staff. A revolving photo-expose reflected faces and events dating back to the creation of the Council in 1966. A Council history was compiled and presented to the alumni gathered, along with a Senate Resolution sponsored by Senator Tom Whatley from Opelika. The Resolution in part recognized the Council’s 50 years of support for all of the arts and artists in Alabama highlighting the significant emphasis on arts education, maintaining a nationally recognized folk arts program, providing matching grants to hundreds of organizations statewide for programming in the visual, performing and literary arts. These programs included concerts, exhibitions, festivals, community plays and diverse in-school presentations. The Resolution also noted the Council’s support of Alabama artists through fellowships, award programs, employment through grant-funded projects, residencies in the classroom, apprenticeships and a wide range of promotional activities.

      The evening celebration and program was capped off with a series of reflections by Al Head, the Council’s Executive Director for the past thirty-one years, eight past Council chairs and other past and current Council members. The 70 individuals in attendance all played a significant role in the successful history of the Council and the growth of all of the arts in Alabama over the past fifty-years.

      Dora James of Opelika stated, “Over the last fifty years, the agency in partnership with many arts groups, educational institutions, other governmental entities, and thousands of creative individuals have worked together to enhance the quality of life and cultural landscape in Alabama.”

      The Alabama State Council on the Arts was created by Executive Order No. 29, on April 8, 1966 by Governor George C. Wallace, stating that "The practice and enjoyment of the arts are of increasing importance to the personal welfare of the people as a vital aspect of our cultural heritage and as valued means of expanding the scope of our educational programs."

      Legislative Act No. 551 established the Alabama State Council on the Arts and was signed into law by Governor Lurleen B. Wallace on September 8, 1967, thereby creating an official State Arts Agency as required by the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities by Act No. 1065. 

      The Alabama State Council on the Arts is the official state arts agency of Alabama. The staff of the Council, directed by Al Head, administers the grants programs and provides financial assistance in arts planning and programming. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

For more information, please contact Barbara Reed at 334-242-4076, ext. 223 or visit our website: www.arts.alabama.gov.