Ohio Arts Council Awards Athens Artists Individual Excellence Awards

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On April 20 the Ohio Arts Council board met publicly and approved Individual Excellence Award recommendations for state fiscal year 2016. State-wide, 75 $5,000 Individual Excellence Awards were approved totaling $375,000. There were 392 applications received for a total request of $1,960,000.

On the list of seventy-five 75 statewide recipients were three College of Fine Arts faculty members and two alumni, representing the fields of choreography, music composition, and playwriting.

Dance Division faculty Zelma Badu-Younge, professor of dance, and Ani Javian, visiting assistant professor of dance, were recognized alongside alumna Megan Pitcher, (B.F.A. 02’) the Artistic Director of Meglouise Dance in Cleveland, for achievements in the field of choreography. The OAC recognized the music composition of Brian Harnetty (Ph.D. 14’) of Columbus, an alumnus of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts, and Distinguished Professor of Theater/Playwriting Charles Smith, for advancements in the field of playwriting.

Competitive applications focused on the merit of past artistic work, combined with an open panel review conducted by nationally recognized professionals, ensure that only the most exceptional individuals receive funding.

“While the money is nice, the recognition from a panel of national judges is always encouraging. I plan to use this award to finance research on a new play I’ve been considering about the systematic and disproportionate impact of our justice system on the lives of young, and sometimes not so young, African American men,” said Charles Smith, a previous recipient in 2008, who was very happy to hear that he received the award again.

These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond, and come with a monetary award of $5,000 per recipient. This funding cycle was open to applications in choreography, criticism, fiction/nonfiction, music composition, playwriting, and poetry. Applicants from the fields of crafts, design arts/illustration, interdisciplinary/collaborative & performance art, media arts, photography, visual arts 2D, and visual arts 3D will be accepted Fall of 2016, and awarded in the Spring.