Today the Arts & Science Council announces the grant recipients for the Creative Renewal Fellowship program, launched in 2017. Creative Renewal Fellowships provide funds that recipients can use for research, instruction, conferences, apprenticeships, travel or other experiences that help them explore their creative journey.
Fellowships are awarded to mid-career creative individuals who have been pursuing a career in the creative sector for at least 10 years and have been generating the majority of their incomes over the past three years through their work as a sole proprietor, creative entrepreneur or contract employee in the creative sector.
The 2018 fellowship recipients are:
• Kojo Bey, cofounder of and lead drummer for the Sounds of Afrika Drum & Dance Troupe and founder of Drums 4 Life. Bey will use his fellowship to travel to the Hamana region of Upper Guinea, West Africa to work with elder drummers, recording their knowledge and techniques for a drum book he is creating to honor and preserve the legacy of these masters.
• Martha Connerton, dancer, choreographer and founder and artistic director of the eponymous dance company, Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works. Connerton will use her fellowship to work on a series of children’s books and pursue the creation of a movement theater piece exploring the interrelated nature of Arabic religious and political groups and Western culture.
• Jeff Jackson, a writer and editor whose debut novel, “Mira Corpora,” was selected as a finalist for the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Award. He will use his fellowship to study in Paris with acclaimed fiction writer Dennis Cooper. While in Paris, he’ll also immerse himself in the rare films of Philippe Garrel, studying the methods and approach of the mythic storyteller.
• Ruth Ava Lyons, a visual artist who’s bold and dramatic mixed media works are inspired by a variety of environments. Her fellowship plan is to enroll in a master underwater photography workshop in the Raja Ampat Islands, an Indonesian archipelago, to advance a new body of work dependent on research, advanced dive experience and underwater photography skills.
• Russell Smith, an oil painter who focuses his work on World War I aviation and American West scenes. Smith will use his fellowship to attend two workshops that will help him expand his technique and painting approach, as well as participate in the Shearer Artist Ride in South Dakota.