ArtsInk News & Updates                       May 2018
Toshiko Akiyoshi Named BNY Mellon Jazz 2018 Living Legacy Award Honoree

MAAF has announced that pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi will be honored with the BNY Mellon Jazz 2018 Living Legacy Award in a special ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, October 19, 2018. The BNY Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award honors living jazz masters from the mid-Atlantic region who have achieved distinction in jazz performance and education. 
The 2018 event will include a reception including music from a local youth jazz group, the Award ceremony, and admittance to the Kennedy Center's 9:00pm Jazz Club performance featuring the BNY Mellon Jazz 2017 Living Legacy awardee Odean Pope.

Toshiko Akiyoshi is a Japanese jazz composer/arranger, bandleader and pianist. Her work has been performed by the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and Portland Symphony. Toshiko realized a long-time dream in 1996 when she completed her autobiography Life With Jazz. Among the many honors she has received are the Shijahosho, the Japan Foundation Award, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosetta, the Asahi Award, and New York City's Liberty Award. Toshiko is a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and her recordings have received a total of 14 Grammy Award nominations.
Poetry Out Loud 2018 Names Champion!

Nine students pose on a sidewalk outside of Lisner Audirorium.  The student in the back holds up a Poetry Out Loud sign.

Poetry Out Loud 2018 took place April 23-25, 2018 at Lisner Auditorium in
Washington, DC. Janae Claxton of South Carolina was crowned the 2018 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Nicholas Amador of Hawaii took second and Hope Stratman of Nebraska was third.
In addition to the recitation contest, the 2018 program once again included the original composition component, Poetry Ourselves, with guest poet Jamaal May acting as the Poetry Ourselves judge. Lauren Haiar of Wyoming won the award for best original written piece and Gage Gramlick of South Dakota won for best spoken word piece.
Poetry Out Loud annually involves over 300,000 students from schools across the U.S. Students compete at the school, various regional, and state levels before one students from each state progresses to the National Finals in Washington, DC each spring. MAAF produces the three days of events that make up the National Finals competition.

Photo: The nine Poetry Out Loud finalists: front row (l-r) Maria Modi Tuya (ND), Vera Escaja-Heiss (VT); middle row (l-r) Matias Coss Hernandez (PR), Kiara A. Jones (KY), Sophia Weinzinger (AZ), Xiadi Zhai (MA), Hope Stratman (NE), Janae Claxton (SC); back row, Nicholas Amador (HI). Credit: James Kegley.
MAAF Board Meeting and Alan Cooper Leadership Award

Last week, MAAF welcomed board members and state partners from across the region to our annual two-day May board meeting in Baltimore. On Thursday, state partners met with Tom Simplot and Andi Mathis from the National Endowment for the Arts for an update and then joined in a discussion of advocacy and casemaking led by Jessica Ball of the Delaware Arts Alliance, Nicholas Cohen of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, RenĂ©e Margocee of the Tamarack Foundation, and Ann Marie Miller of ArtPride New Jersey. 

On Friday, in addition to the work agenda, MAAF board members were treated to a discussion on Current Perspectives on the Presentation of Folk and Traditional Arts and Culture featuring Amadou Kouyate, a West African musician and tradition bearer, and Guha Shankar, Folklife Specialist from the American Folklife Center. The conversation centered on the importance of listening in the development of new programs and strategies and making sure community is at the center of the work.

The highlight of the two days, was the presentation of the inaugural Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award to Michael Royce, of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Mr. Royce's accomplishments were celebrated at a special dinner at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where he was presented with the Award and a piece of art glass created by Anthony Corradetti. 

Photo: MAAF Board Chair Scott Johnson, Executive Director Theresa Colvin, Michael Royce, Alan Cooper. Credit: Jess Porter.

Welcome Ian!

Last week, MAAF welcomed our new Deputy Director for Programs, Ian Tresselt. Ian will be responsible for all aspects of Foundation programs, including development and management, research, evaluation, and budgeting. 

Ian's most recent position was Managing Director for Everyman Theatre, a regional theatre located in Baltimore, where he helped lead an $18m capital campaign to relocate the company from its longstanding home to a new landmark facility in the downtown cultural district. He left Everyman in 2015 to pursue a joint MBA/MA degree from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the Maryland Institute College of Art which he completed in 2017. Previous to his move to Baltimore, he was the Director of Theatre Operations for the New Victory Theatre in New York City, a multi-discipline performing arts center that presented international companies along with education programs.

Credit: Teresa Castracane

Pennsylvania Presenters Conference

Firepit in foreground with hotel buildings encircling. Dark blue night sky with stars.
The PA Presenters Spring Conference will be held June 5-7, 2018 at the Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, PA. Join your colleagues as they  celebrate season successes and set their sights on new opportunities ahead. Professional development, interactive networking, good food, great friends....all in a beautiful outdoor venue. In addition to a variety of useful professional development sessions, this retreat-style conference will host new Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Executive Director, Karl Blischke, as its keynote speaker. For full information and links, check out PA Presenters latest newsletter. 

Quick Links:

  • Do you write about contemporary visual art? Apply now for Creative Capital's Arts Writers Grant Program. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded in the categories of articles, blogs, books, and short-form writing. Deadline: May 21st, 2018.
  • The Alliance for California Traditional Arts has opened applications for its Apprenticeship Program. Californian folk and traditional artists must apply with a master artist, and will receive a stipend to cover a period of six to twelve months of dedicated study with the master. A public performance, exhibit, or lecture will complete the intensive learning period. Deadline: June 29, 2018.
  • Apply now for the Writing for Justice Fellowship from PEN America. The program intends to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration. Fellows of any genre are allowed to apply and will receive an honorarium of $10,000. Deadline: July 1, 2018. 
  • Apply now for the Our Town grant program from National Endowment for the Arts. The program supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities through the arts. The funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Applicants can receive support for projects that build knowledge about creative placemaking or arts engagement, cultural planning, and design projects. Deadline: August 9, 2018.
  • Individuals working in the creative arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or mathematics are invited to apply for the  Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Stipends of up to $77,500 will be awarded for individuals to pursue projects in their fields. Deadline: September 13, 2018.