Fourteen Emerging and Mid-Career Artists Receive ASC Fellowships

Categories: News & Media
Emerging Creators and Creative Renewal Fellowships highlight ASC’s fiscal year 2021 investment of $435,000 in artists that contribute to Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s cultural community.
Four of the 14 recipients of 2021 ASC fellowships (from left): Alvin C. Jacobs Jr, Malu Tan, Sarah Ingel and Tony Arreaza.
Four of the 14 recipients of 2021 ASC fellowships (from left): Alvin C. Jacobs Jr, Malu Tan, Sarah Ingel and Tony Arreaza. Images by Nancy Pierce and Jon Strayhorn.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 1, 2021) – Fourteen creative individuals whose work is strengthening Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s cultural community will receive a combined $110,000 from ASC in order to refresh their creative energy.

Six emerging artists are recipients of $5,000 ASC Emerging Creators Fellowships, which supports creatives with evolving practices that are at a pivotal moment in launching sustainable careers in the creative sector.

Eight mid-career creatives are recipients of ASC’s Creative Renewal Fellowships, awarded to individuals who have been pursuing a career in the creative sector for at least 10 years and have been generating the majority of their income over the past three years through their work as a sole proprietor, creative entrepreneur or contract employee in the creative sector.

Both fellowship programs provide funds that recipients can use for research, instruction, conferences, apprenticeships, travel or other experiences that help them explore their creative journey.

The 14 fellowships awarded by ASC in 2021 is an increase from the 11 given in 2020. The fellowship funding caps ASC’s investment of $435,000 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s creative individual community in its 2020-21 fiscal year. More than 70 percent ($308,171) of that total went to support creatives of color, with nearly 47 percent ($202,706) to Black creatives, 17 percent ($75,015) to Latinx creatives, 5 percent ($20,450) to Asian-American creatives and 2 percent to Native American creatives.

This year’s ASC investments include:

  • $75,000 in support to 42 established and emerging artists in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region through Artist Support Grants, which support projects that further professional development amid the pandemic
  • $106,100 in Cultural Vision Grants to 19 artists for projects that directly respond to the community’s cultural interests
  • $143,900 in Culture Blocks funding to 25 creative individuals providing programming that makes arts and culture more accessible at the neighborhood level

“In what has been a challenging year for the cultural community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASC committed itself to awarding more fellowships to provide direct funding to creative individuals in our community,” said ASC Acting President Krista Terrell. “Supporting artists and creatives, both as they are starting out and during the midst of their careers, is vital to ensuring Charlotte-Mecklenburg remains a place where artists can pursue sustainable careers and where arts, culture and creativity builds strong communities and demonstrates innovative, relevant and transformative cultural expression.”

This year’s ASC Emerging Creators Fellowship recipients are:

  • Molly J. Brown, a musician, actor and educator who produces fringe musicals. Brown will use their fellowship to enroll in the Musical Writers Development Series, a 12-month program that starts with an initial script and ends with a production of the original work.
  • Sarah Ingel, a dance artist and performance maker who utilizes improvisation, choreography, theatre, costume, sound and space design to make dance and performance works for site-specific installations and stage. She will use her fellowship to explore new methods of digital performance making and create an interactive virtual performance depicting a mythological/ecological cycle of healing.
  • Holly Keogh, a visual artist who works in oils to create large figurative paintings. Keogh’s fellowship will support research, the exploration of materials and the development of photography skills to enable the production of a new body of work focused on memory and the role images play in the preservation of experience.
  • Malu Tan, a visual artist. Tan plans to use her fellowship to advance her technical skill and understanding of painting the figure in the environment with a goal of expanding and elevating work on her “When Nature Takes Back” series, which explores the concept of “nature taking back what was originally hers.”
  • Kenya K. Templeton, an educator and creative concentrating on presenting Black American Music on stages, online and in educational settings. Templeton will use her fellowship to expand her home studio and build a mobile classroom.
  • Tamara (Fákẹ́mi) Williams, a community arts activist and artistic director and choreographer for her arts organization, Moving Spirits, Inc. Williams’ fellowship will support research of the African American Ring Shout dance traditions.

The 2021 ASC Creative Renewal Fellowship recipients are:

  • Tony Arreaza, a musician who has worked for more than 20 years to expand Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Latin music scene as a guitarist and cultural events organizer. Arreaza will use his fellowship to record a full-length album that features local Latinx artists and highlights the diversity of Latin music styles created in Charlotte.
  • Kali Ferguson, a bilingual oral storyteller, poet, culture educator, teaching artist and musician who celebrates the cultures of the African diaspora and Latin America in her work. Ferguson will use her fellowship to develop her bilingual storytelling skills through studying with world-renowned Welsh-English storyteller Michael Harvey, a pioneer in the new field of professional bilingual performance storytelling.
  • Joanne Hock, a professional filmmaker who writes and directs feature length narrative and documentary film projects that address social issues such as racism, sexism, classism and religious intolerance. Hock will use her fellowship to travel to Poland and Bulgaria to research, journal, photograph and begin the adaption of a book into a streaming series for television.
  • Alvin C. Jacobs Jr, a photographer and image activist who documents issues of resistance and protest while preserving humanity during instances of photographic importance. Jacobs will use his fellowship to master new photographic methods and disciplines and explore alternative photographic processes.
  • Chris Miller, whose work involves ancient handicrafts, specifically blacksmithing and ornamental plaster. With the fellowship, Miller will step back and concentrate on creating his own work and further his knowledge of detail patterning within the metal.
  • Ramona Moore Big Eagle, an oral historian and storyteller from the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina. Moore Big Eagle’s fellowship plans are to use digital technology to take her work from an in-person only storytelling program to online programming.
  • Indrani Nayar-Gall, a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of personal studio practice, social activism and film. She will use her fellowship to take classes in video art and installation and use film archives to study the narrative-building techniques of master artists in the field in order to explore creative possibilities in time-based media.
  • Jason Woodberry, a visual artist whose work conceptualizes the potential, genius, voices, future and past of Black people through an Afro-futuristic lens. He will use his fellowship to lease a space for creating larger scale pieces and travel to Ghana to explore his paternal ancestry.

About ASC

ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.

ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Stay up to date on ASC news and happenings at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Contact Information
Bernie Petit