By Bernie Petit
For many local artists, Regional Artist Project Grants (RAPG) are launching pads to bigger things.
Each year, the Arts & Science Council (ASC), in conjunction with arts councils in Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, Rutherford and York (S.C.) counties, and with the support of the North Carolina Arts Council and Blumenthal Endowment, awards project grants to artists of varied disciplines throughout the greater Charlotte region.
And each year, grant recipients benefit because of them.
Past project grant recipient Donna Scott used her award to support “Alphasia,” her first film effort as an executive producer. The 40-minute narrative about a Charlotte actor who had to redefine his life after suffering a stroke at age 44 and losing his ability to read, write and talk won the audience award for Best Short at the Feel Good Film Festival in Los Angeles.
After receiving his project grant, Ethan Uslan moved on to star in the award-winning documentary “The Entertainers,” a feature film about a talented and unlikely group of ragtime piano players. Natalie Bork, meanwhile, used her grant to support studio rental during residency at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.
Dana Gingras has continued to make strides in his career as a public artist since receiving his project grant, while past recipients Thomas Haapapuro, Carmella Jarvi and Ruth Lyons have also become public artists of sorts – the three were selected to be part of the inaugural year of ArtPop, a program in which local artists submit their work to be displayed on available billboard space in the Charlotte region.
In 2015, 31 established and emerging artists will receive grants ranging from $695 to $2,000. The grantees were selected from 117 applicants, who requested a total of $196,358 for $50,290 in available funds. Recipients represent disciplines ranging from film to performing arts and from literature to visual art.
Here are the 2015 RAPG recipients:
Heather Freeman – $2,000
To purchase a fifth generation Makerbot Replicator to 3D print stop-motion puppets for a series of animations called “Terra Firma,” beginning with the short “Artemis.”
Sally Vacca – $865
To attend the New York “Story” Seminar with master screenwriting instructor Robert Mckee to study the craft of screenwriting.
Junious Ward – $2,000
To attend the Amherst Writers and Artists Residential Initial Leadership Training.
Brad Bailey – $890
To cover tuition for the 2015 Bass-Nature Camp at Wooten Woods in Only, TN.
Caroline Calouche – $2,000
To attend professional training at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) and Peridance Capezio Center.
Al Dunkleman – $1,950
To record his third album, titled “Cleveland County.”
Kali Ferguson – $2,000
To purchase a new computer.
Joanna Gerdy – $2,000
To attend the International Symposium for Directors/Theatre-makers in June 2015.
Christopher O’Neill – $1,907
To purchase a MacBook Pro for multimedia creation and integrated show control.
Arsena Schroeder – $1,008
To purchase a Fender Passport 500-Pro Portable Sound System for live performances.
Marina Shanefelter – $2,000
To purchase professional stage costumes for performances.
Seth Woodall – $1,250
To purchase the Adobe Production Premium to utilize Adobe Audition and After Effects to create better radio programs, facilitate the Genesis project, and create visuals for Sound Blanket.
Arlynn Zachary – $2,000
To purchase a MacBook Pro laptop.
Sean Busher – $2,000
To purchase a photography drone kit for expanding the creative possibilities in photo and video projects.
Ingrid Erickson – $1,164
To purchase archival paper rolls to create 4-6 large scale cut paper artworks featuring species being rehabilitated at the Carolina Raptor Center.
Holly Glasscock – $800
To attend the 2015 Plein Air Convention and Expo, which offers instruction, painting demos, mentoring and camaraderie with hundreds of top artists from around the world.
Peter Godshall – $2,000
To purchase a Wacom Cintiq Companion.
Clara Nguyen – $695
To cover the registration fee for an egg tempera workshop at Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Pecos, New Mexico.
Michelle Podgorski – $1,050
To purchase five rolls of Arches hot press watercolor paper for paintings.
Marek Ranis – $2,000
To cover the cost of studio rental to continue work on Arctic Utopia project.
Joyce Wynes – $2,000
To purchase a MacBook Pro.
Betsy Birkner – $2,000
To purchase a laptop computer.
Shaun Cassidy – $2,000
To purchase 18 sheets of metal to create a series of new sculptures.
Erika Diamond – $1,600
To purchase a new Bernina 1008 sewing machine.
Scott Farmer – $1,870
To purchase a Stihl 880 chainsaw with a 52 inch cutting bar to set up a chainsaw sawmill.
Allison Luce – $1,351
To purchase a slab roller for home studio to create larger and more sophisticated work.
Jonathan Pellitteri – $2,000
To purchase an Esab 280 MigMaster welder.
Maria Senkel – $700
To purchase a Deluxe Dust Collection System.
Hendrik van Vuuren – $2,000
To purchase a Rociprolap (ahands-free glass polishing machine) to help refine and simplify the polishing of large glass sculptures.
Mark Willingham – $1,240
To purchase a band saw to more efficiently re-saw lumber to be used in the building of Appalachian dulcimers.