Why This Matters: ASC believes that investing in the creatives that make Charlotte-Mecklenburg home benefits the region’s overall cultural climate.
By Bernie Petit
Creative individuals are essential to any vibrant, thriving cultural community.
They hold up the mirror that reflects the beauty and injustice that exists in our society and show us the possibilities found inside, outside and all around the box. They move us through their performances and push boundaries in their artforms in ways that inspire us to do the same in our lives.
If a city or region is only as good as its creative talent, then we are truly fortunate in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
It is in that spirit that ASC is proud to announce the four recipients of its inaugural Emerging Creators Fellowships and the seven recipients of its annual Creative Renewal Fellowships. These awards to Mecklenburg County-based artists are intended to provide them the time and resources they need to explore ideas, connect with professionals in their field and create new projects.
“ASC is committed to providing opportunities for the individuals that drive the creative vibrancy and energy found in Charlotte-Mecklenburg,” said ASC President Jeep Bryant. “We know supporting artists and creatives at all stages of their careers is essential to the role arts and culture play in shaping the future of this great community.”
Emerging Creator Fellowship recipients receive $5,000 grants and are individuals who show exceptional promise, have mastered the basic techniques in their field and are launching professional careers in the arts, sciences or history; Creative Renewal Fellowship recipients are awarded $10,000, have worked in the creative sector for at least 10 years and have generated the majority of their incomes over the past three years through their work as a sole proprietor, creative entrepreneur or contract employee in a creative field.
Fellowships can be used for research, instruction, conferences, apprenticeships, travel or other experiences that help the recipients explore their creative journey.
Inaugural ASC Emerging Creators Fellowship Recipients
- Meredith Connelly, a visual artist whose first public project, “Lights,” led viewers through a series of immersive light installations along a half-mile walking trail at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Connelly’s fellowship will help her support process exploration, new applied research and tools, and new concepts while expanding on current work for a sustainable full-time art career.
- Irisol Gonzalez, a visual artist whose work focuses on the intricacies of being an immigrant raised in the Southern United States by Latino parents. Gonzalez will use her fellowship to support the exploration and execution of a developing “Machismo” visual art series which focuses on sexism in Latin American culture.
- Angela Haigler, a writer and teaching artist. She will use her fellowship to support significant progress on an essay collection during a Solo Writers Retreat.
- Jay Smith, a voice instructor who turns people who want to sing into people who sing. His fellowship plan is to explore book publishing and distribution in order to publish a book he has written about learning to sing, personal philosophies on vocal technique and working with vocal students.
2020 ASC Creative Renewal Fellowship recipients
- MyLoan Dinh, a mixed media multidisciplinary artist who experiments with the physical deconstruction of materials, images, objects and texts to reconstruct personal experiences and narratives within the greater cultural context. Her fellowship plan is to travel to Vietnam and learn “Son Mai,” a traditional Vietnamese painting technique from local masters of the craft.
- Carmella Jarvi, an artist entrepreneur who transforms spaces and works with community around the theme of water. Jarvi will use her fellowship to explore new glass possibilities by visiting, taking classes and researching glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.
- Marcus Kiser, a multimedia artist who, in 2014, co-created “Intergalactic Soul,” a national exhibit utilizing art and technology to discuss social justice and experiences of black embodiment. Kiser will use his fellowship to explore genres of multimedia animation and augmented reality to reimagine public art/place making in Charlotte communities of color.
- Beverly Penninger, a documentarian, video producer and writer. Her fellowship will support continued work on a novel, mentorship through a master writing class and participation in an international writer’s conference.
- Sarah Provencal, a movement-based theatre director who makes work that is relevant now. Provencal will use her fellowship to teach less, create more and receive training and certification as an intimacy choreographer.
- Amy Rogers, a writer whose literary explorations bring into focus an understanding not only of our differences, but an awareness of our commonalities. Her fellowship will support exploration of food justice as a method for building cross-cultural understanding.
- Stacey Rose, a playwright passionate about generating new stories on the page for the stage. She will use her fellowship to develop a year-long new play initiative.