Six Minnesota artists with disabilities have been awarded 2018 Emerging Artist Grants of $2,000 each by VSA Minnesota. The 22nd annual awards, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to create new work. Selected from 37 applicants, grantees are:
Name City Medium
D. Allen, Minneapolis — poetry, essay
John Lee Clark, Hopkins — poetry
Mike Harris, Jr., Minneapolis — painting
Harrison Halker Heinks, Edina — photography
Chris Juhn, Burnsville — photography
Shelia D. Nelson, St. Paul — photography
The grants were awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. Artists who scored highest in artistic quality and career received awards. Four grantees are first-time Jerome grant recipients; two are previous recipients. Members of the panels included:
Writing and Performance Panel:
Asher Edes, Minneapolis – ASL interpreter, experience with several arts groups
Howard Lieberman, Stillwater – storyteller, past Fringe Fest & Patrick’s Cabaret boards
Marcie Rendon, Minneapolis – writer of plays & children’s books
Elizabeth Windnagel, Mpls. – performing artist with several music and theatre groups
Beth Wright, Minneapolis – writing coach, editor, and publishing consultant
Visual Arts Panel:
Tacoumba Aiken, St. Paul – artist, arts administrator, educator, community activist
Heather Bunch, Minneapolis –performer/teacher at Interact, Transatlantic Love Affair, Kairos
JM Culver, Minneapolis – visual artist
Christopher E. Harrison, Brooklyn Park – public artist, designer, arts educator at Walker Art Center
Seitu Jones, St. Paul – artist, muralist, set designer, environmental artist
From 1996 to 2018, 138 grant awards have gone to 106 individuals, including 28 repeat winners, 72 Visual Artists, 34 Writers, 23 Performers or Composers, and 9 Multi-Media Artists.
The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905-1972), seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. It makes grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City. It is affiliated with the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.
VSA Minnesota is a nonprofit organization working to make the arts accessible to people with disabilities. It offers accessibility assistance and arts opportunities for individuals and arts organizations.
More information about each recipient will appear on VSA Minnesota’s website shortly.