Illinois Arts Council Agency Announces 2021 Artist Fellowship Award Recipients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2021

Chicago, IL - The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) is honored to announce the 2021 Artist Fellowship Award (AFA) recipients. The IACA AFAs are $15,000 awards to Illinois artists in recognition of their outstanding work and commitment within the arts. This year 24 Illinois artists will receive Fellowships totaling $360,000. Finalist Awards of $1,500 were also awarded to 10 Illinois artists for a total of $15,000. The Finalist Award category recognizes and encourages additional applicants who demonstrate considerable talent.

The AFA Program offered funding in 8 artistic disciplines. This year's Fellowship and Finalist Award recipients were selected from 377 Illinois based creative artists working in the disciplines of Choreography, Media Arts (category includes audio art, digital art, film, and video), Music Composition, Music Improvisation, Performance Based Arts, Poetry, Prose, and Scriptworks.

The IACA is proud to be the largest funder of individual artists in Illinois. These unrestricted awards support Illinois artists’ creative endeavors and artistic growth. The mission of the IACA is “To build a strong, creative, and connected Illinois through the arts.” Executive Director Joshua Davis-Ruperto, states, “It is important to recognize that Illinois’ artists contribute to the vital core of our communities and, as the challenges of the past year have demonstrated, are most essential to provide ongoing support to.”

The Artist Fellowship Awardees and Finalist range in age from their 30s through their 70s, hail from 14 different communities across the state including urban, suburban, and rural communities. They represent communities from as far north as the shores of Lake Michigan in Evanston, as far south as the watershed of the Big Muddy River in Carbondale, and as well as the heart of Illinois, Champaign.

Following are the Fiscal Year 2021 Artist Fellowship and Finalist Award recipients listed by discipline.

Choreography:
Bril Barrett of Chicago ($15,000), Ayako Kato of Chicago ($15,000) and C. Kemal Nance of Urbana ($1,500)

Media Arts:
Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero/Luftwerk of Chicago ($15,000), Salome Chasnoff of Chicago ($15,000), Peg Shaw of Mahomet ($15,000), Yuge Zhou of Chicago ($15,000), Daniel Nearing of Flossmoor ($1,500) and Calum Walter of Chicago ($1,500)

Music Composition:
Eric Mandat of Carbondale ($15,000), Victor Pichardo of Chicago ($15,000), Augusta Read Thomas of Chicago ($15,000), Dan Visconti of Algonquin ($15,000) and Igor Santos of Evanston ($1,500)

Music Improvisation:
Geof Bradfield of Chicago ($15,000), Kathleen Keane of Chicago ($15,000), Kendric Lewis of Calumet City ($15,000), James Sanders of Skokie ($1,500) and Matthew Ulery of Chicago ($1,500)

New Performance Forms:
Jenn Freeman of Chicago ($15,000), Adelheid Mers of Chicago ($15,000), Deke Weaver of Champaign ($15,000) and Brendan Fernandes of Chicago ($1,500)

Poetry:
Daniel Borzutzky of Chicago ($15,000), Rebecca Hazelton of Naperville ($15,000), Li-Young Lee of Chicago ($15,000) and Michael Robins of Chicago ($1,500)

Prose:
Rebecca Makkai of Lake Forest ($15,000), Mary Anne Mohanraj of Oak Park ($15,000), Valerie Vogrin of Moro ($15,000) and Eileen M Favorite of Chicago ($1,500)

Scriptworks:
Jo Cattell of Chicago ($15,000), Gloria Bond Clunie of Evanston ($15,000) and Jennifer Rumberger of Chicago ($1,500)

The following advisory committee members reviewed this year’s applications in the disciplines of:

Choreography: Julia Mayer, Chicago, IL; Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Washington DC; Christopher Walker, Madison WI

Media Arts: Kylos Brannon, Washington DC; David Burns, Carbondale, IL; Visda Goudarzi, Chicago, IL; Tania Khalaf, Denton, TX; Michael Metzger, Evanston, IL

Music Composition: Jonathan Bailey Holland, Arlington, MA; Jeff Kowalkowski, Chicago, IL; Alex Lubet, St. Paul, MN; Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Chicago, IL; Laura Schwendinger, Madison, WI

Music Improvisation: Bobby Broom, Evanston, IL; Juan Dies, Chicago, IL; Roosevelt Griffin III, Matteson, IL; Keri Johnsrud, Chicago, IL; Ron Perrillo, Tacoma, WA

New Performance Forms: Jeff Abell, Chicago, IL; Mark Jeffrey, Chicago, IL; Leslie Tamaribuchi, Los Angeles, CA; Peter Taub, Chicago, IL; Marianne Weems, Santa Cruz, CA

Poetry: Carolyn Aguila, Chicago, IL; Caitlin Doyle, Longwood, FL; Cristián Gómez Olivares, Novelty, OH; Mark Turcotte, Chicago, IL

Prose: Carolyn M. Alessio, Chicago, IL; Joseph Bruchac, Greenfield Center, NY; Jewelle Gomez, Oakland, CA; Daniel Libman, Oregon, IL

Scriptworks: Nicholas Bushman, Columbus, OH; Sandra Delgado, Chicago, IL; Eddie Sugarman, Western Springs, IL



ARTIST FELLOWSHIP AWARDS
The intent of the Artist Fellowship Program is to enrich and strengthen the state of Illinois by supporting accomplished Illinois artists who are the foundation of Illinois' creative environment. The Artist Fellowship Program recognizes exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career by providing awards to support continued artistic growth. The awards are non-matching Fellowships in unrestricted fixed amounts of $15,000.

To learn more about the Artist Fellowship Awards visit: http://www.arts.illinois.gov/AFA-Program

ABOUT THE ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL AGENCY
The Illinois Arts Council Agency was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council Agency are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts.

To learn more about the Illinois Arts Council Agency visit: http://www.arts.illinois.gov/

CONTACT: Encarnacion Teruel, Deputy Director - Artist Fellowship Awards, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Encarnacion.teruel@illinois.gov, 312-814-4991.

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Illinois Arts Council Agency | James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph, Chicago, IL 60601