The Pittsburgh Foundation

The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation announce fifteen grants to region’s artists

Awards Totaling Over $220,000 Will Support Artists Throughout Region

Pittsburgh, July 15, 2013  – The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation have awarded grants to fifteen artists and organizations during the second funding cycle of Investing in Professional Artists, a program jointly sponsored by the foundations.

Applications to the new program were received from 142 individuals and organizations from twenty-three cities and towns throughout the region.  A peer panel comprising regional and national experts from a variety of artistic disciplines reviewed applications and made awards to thirteen artists and three organizations based on work quality and the potential of the proposed project to advance an artist’s career. Grantees include established and emerging artists working in visual arts, multimedia, dance, music, theater and literature.   A complete list of grants appears below.

“The quality and diversity of the projects is very impressive – well ahead of what any of us would have expected after only two years of this program” said Heinz Endowments President Robert Vagt.  In the breadth of these projects – from one artist who is composing a large-scale musical for jazz orchestra to another who is producing  a sound-art tour on the theme of gun violence in a city neighborhood – Pittsburgh’s reputation for having one of the richest arts scenes in the country is reaffirmed.”  

Investing in Professional Artists is a multi-year program whose goals are to support creative development of professional artists in the region; create career advancement and recognition opportunities for artists; encourage creative partnerships between artists and local organizations, and increase the visibility of working artists in the region’s cultural life.

“Pittsburgh is nationally acclaimed for its vibrant and diverse arts community,” said Grant Oliphant, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s President and CEO. “Providing opportunities and support for our local artists will contribute significantly to the continued enhancement of our region’s cultural programs benefitting our community now and for future generations.”

National Panelists included Susan V. Booth, the Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia; Cornelius Eady,  a poet, professor at Notre Dame University, and co-founder of Cave Canem; Laura Faure, director of the Bates Dance Festival held at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine; Lauren Haynes, assistant curator and artist-in-residence program coordinator at The Studio Museum in Harlem; Lewis Nielson, a composer, conductor, and professor and chair of the Composition Department at Oberlin Conservatory of Music; and Xaviera Simmons, an artist and lecturer in sculpture at Yale University.

Regional Panelists included Marty Ashby, Executive Producer of MCG Jazz; Jennifer Keller, professor in the Department of Dance at Slippery Rock University; Louise Lippincott, Curator of Fine Arts at The Carnegie Museum of Art;  Bill Nunn, an actor; Diane Samuels, a visual artist; and Michael Simms, poet and Founding Editor-in-Chief of Autumn House Press.

New applications for grants to be awarded in 2014 will be accepted later this year.

Creative Development Grants awarded:

  • Tammy Ryan ($10,000) To support the completion of the first draft of a new play inspired by Molly Rush, Founder of the Thomas Merton Center.   
  • Nina Sarnelle ($10,000) To support the creation of three socially-based performance works. 
  • Jasmine Hearn ($8,000) To support the development of a series of site-specific contemporary dance performances. 
  • Ricardo Robinson ($8,150) To support the creation of a sound-art tour on gun violence in the Garfield neighborhood titled “Ringside Ring Out.”
  • Kim Beck ($10,000) To support the creation of a series of drawings titled “Brownfields, Greyfields, and Greenfields.”
  • Joy Katz ($10,000) To support the creation of a poetry manuscript on white American identity titled “Frayed.”  
  • Jan Loney ($10,000) To support the acquisition of new skills in glass working through one-on-one training with a master glass artist.    
  • Daniel Luchman ($10,000) To support the development of a collection of sculptural artifacts and lyrical essays titled “Replica of the Universe.”    
  • Ben Opie ($10,000) To support the completion and rehearsal of a large-scale musical composition for Jazz orchestra.     
  • Dorion Barill ($10,000) To support the completion of a series of drawings and a short film on the region’s history and landscape.           
  • Kenneth Brill ($9,189) To support the production of an interactive light and sound installation titled “Plume.”  

Grants to Organizations for Artist Residencies:

  • Balafon Pittsburgh ($35,000) To support an artist residency with djembe master drummer Fode Moussa Camara.         
  • Pittsburgh Cultural Trust ($35,000) To support an artist residency with Jeffrey Carpenter to develop an immersive theater production.    
  • ArtUp ($35,000) To support an artist residency with Palestinian artist Bashar Alhroub in preparation for the exhibition, "Sites of Passage."