By Bernie Petit
Regional Artist Project Grants (RAPG) do more than help artists attend professional development experiences or purchase/rent a piece of equipment.
The grants keep artists working.
“I’m working on a project today that is a direct result of winning that grant,” said Dana Gingras, an RAPG recipient last year.
The Mooresville sculptor received $2,000 to purchase an air compressor. The purchase not only made the creation of his large scale outdoor pieces easier, but it allowed him to create a new series of woodwork.
It caught the attention of The Haen Gallery in Asheville, which has since featured his work. Other galleries followed suit.
“My career really took a jumpstart just by buying one piece of equipment, which is crazy,” he said.
Every 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.
This year, 30 established and emerging artists will receive grants ranging from $240 to $2,000. The 2014 grantees were selected from 86 applicants, who requested a total of $146,369 for $50,000 in available funding. Recipients represent seven counties and disciplines from film to performing arts and literature to visual art.
The support the grants provide for individual artists is meaningful, said Gingras, 36.
“You work and you’re trying to balance paying your bills, buying materials, keeping up all your materials,” he said. “For younger artists, sometimes that’s difficult.”
For experienced artists like trumpet player Bill Averbach, a project grant meant getting his music to people that needed to hear it.
After moving from Austin, Texas, to Charlotte eight years ago, he formed the band Bam-Jazz. He learned about ASC two years later and applied for, and received, his first project grant, used to produce a demo recording.
“It made it a lot easier to get work,” said Averbach, granted $1,080 last year to purchase a small, portable sound system. “Now we play all over the area, not just Charlotte, but we play a lot in Charleston, Savannah, all over North and South Carolina, some in Tennessee and some in Virginia, which is all the result of this.”
Here are the 2014 RAPG recipients:
Bart Trotman – $2,000
To purchase a professional video camera.
Rustam Sheridan – $2,000
To purchase a Canon 6D camera.
Saran Almond – $1,900
To purchase an HD camera.
Tommy Nichols – $1,985
To purchase the new Canon 70D DSLR camera.
Derek Selles – $2,000
To purchase new computer and camera package.
Claire Ritter – $2,000
To rent a recording studio/engineer to record, edit, and master 12 newly composed works.
Brianna Smith – $395
To attend Lecoq Master class in NYC with the end goal of using training to create an original performance piece in Charlotte with Brenda Giraldo based on the stories of immigrants.
Robert Lutfy – $850
To attend Double Edge Theatre’s Winter Intensive in Ashfield, Mass.
Oneaka Mack – $1,800
To attend the Youssouf Koumbassa’s Dance & Drum Workshop in Guinea, West Africa, for three weeks in January 2014.
Gerald Gurss – $2,000
To purchase a new computer for composing.
Sy Arden – $2,000
For rental of a 12-by-12 feet workspace with available bathroom and WiFi for eight months.
Jeremy Vess – $2,000
For a three day recording session at Gat3 Studios in Charlotte.
Shelli Johnson – $2,000
To attend a Master Class at Hedgebrook, a rural retreat in Washington state.
Grace Ocasio – $240
To attend a writers’ conference.
Jefferson Fortner – $2,000
To attend the Kenyan Playwright Conference / Playwrights Workshop in June 2014
Victoria Moreland – $700
To purchase a new Dell Inspiron 660 desktop computer to enable her to complete the final draft of her first novel.
Indrani Nayar-Gall – $2,000
To take a one-on-one master class with Jennifer Page of Cape Fear Press to master the Photogravure technique and the solar photo etching printmaking processes.
Laurie Schorr – $1,950
To cover the cost of attending a wet plate collodion workshop with France Scully and Mark Osterman at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y.
Taylor Thomas – $1,211
To cover the cost needed to attend the 2014 Winter Residency in Printmaking and Letterpress at Penland School of Crafts.
Giuliana Riley – $2,000
To purchase photographic equipment package.
Denise Torrance – $1,541
To purchase a vertical electric steamer to permanently set dyes into silk and other tolerable fabrics.
Kevin Shank – $1,960
To coordinate with the Cuban Oficina del Historiador to return in May 2014 for 14 days and continue documenting the city of Havana and its people, their struggles and other historical locations outside the city.
Chrys Riviere-Blalock – $1,650
To attend ‘The Structure of the Visual Moment’ professional development workshop with Stuart Shils.
Laura Sussman-Randall – $552
To purchase an entry level DLSR camera and intervalometer to produce time lapse videos documenting the creation of large scale drawings.
Ron Philbek – $2,000
To purchase refractory materials (high duty and insulated fire brick) to build a 60 cubic feet propane fired pottery kiln.
Stephen Owen – $2,000
To purchase a 48 inch carriage type chainsaw mill.
Julie Wiggins – $2,000
To purchase an electric kiln for continued growth and development of her ceramic work and the after school outreach program she runs with Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools.
Susan Lambert – $1,365
To hire local craftsman to form a ‘sewing circle’ to complete the three-dimensional pieces requiring sewing and wiring.
Kit Kube – $1,940
To purchase a horizontal band saw.
Penny Overcash – $2,000
To purchase a new computer.