Alabama Artists and Arts Organizations Awarded $218,000
Announcing Fellowship Recipients and Cultural Facilities Grantees

(June 4, 2021) At
its June quarterly meeting, Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded twenty-one
(21) Fellowship grants totaling $105,000 and four (4) Cultural Facilities grants
totaling $176,000 for a total of $281,000 in funding.

Fellowships are given to individuals
working in arts education, dance, design, media/photography, music, literature,
theatre, visual arts, and crafts. These awards recognize artistic excellence as
well as professional commitment and maturity, contributing to the further
development of the artist. Recipients may use funds to set aside time to create
art, improve their skills, pursue professional development, or do what is most
advantageous to enhance their artistic careers.

“Alabama is fortunate to have so many
artists from every artistic discipline creating exceptional work. Through Fellowship
grants, artists can enhance their practice and stay engaged with their
communities in meaningful ways,” said Jim Harrison III, Chair of the Council on
the Arts.

Cultural Facilities grants are awarded
for planning, design, or construction of an arts space. All projects must
involve top professionals with demonstrated expertise in urban and/or community
planning, architecture, landscape design, or historic preservation.

The Cultural Facilities grant program supports
organizations large and small to enhance spaces for arts creation and
presentation. In all cases where a grant is awarded, evidence of community
support is a key element.

“This important program continues to
provide support for adaptive reuse projects in communities across the state. This
year’s support includes the communities of Opelika, Harpersville, Atmore, and
Birmingham. All of these facility-oriented projects reflect important
initiatives that enhance spaces where arts programming will impact the
community and surrounding areas for years to come,” said Dr. Elliot Knight, Executive
Director of the Council on the Arts.

This round of grants will support
activity between October 1, 2021, and September 30, 2022.  


The Cultural Facilities program assists arts
organizations in building or renovating facilities and spaces for arts
activities. Funding is for the improvement of buildings and spaces dedicated to
the arts for the public of Alabama.

Klein Arts & Culture in Harpersville was awarded
a $30,000 design grant for the creation of a comprehensive design for Klein
Arts & Culture’s venues and 6-acre site to optimize visitor experience. The
project includes accessibility and HVAC additions, the installation of an
outdoor sculpture garden, as well as landscaping and hardscaping elements that
integrate all interior and exterior exhibition and performance spaces.

Sloss Furnaces Foundation in Birmingham was awarded a
$36,000 design grant for Sloss quarters renovations. The project will further the
foundation’s goal of creating a national center for metal arts. Funds will also
support structural renovations, establishing a studio/gallery for artists and a
community exhibition space, and aid in historically restoring buildings and configuring
outdoor spaces for events.

The City of Opelika was awarded a $30,000 construction
grant for Phase V renovation for the Southside Center for the Arts. The project
includes completing interior to adapt and repurpose the facility into a community
cultural center, with an emphasis on the performing and visual arts.

Pride of Atmore in Atmore was awarded a $75,000 construction
grant for the Strand Theatre Complex. The project is focused on the adaptive
reuse renovation of two historic facilities (Strand Theatre and Atmore
Hardware) as a theatre and multi-purpose, technological, educational, and
cultural arts venue.



Fellowships are grants
awarded to outstanding individual artists and arts educators in  Alabama who create important works of art and
make valuable contributions to the entire state.

Christopher ‘Wilder’ Adkins of Hoover was awarded a Music
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. An accomplished singer-songwriter, Adkins’ sound
is deeply rooted in the folk traditions of Appalachia. An always engaging
performer, Adkins was hand-selected to be a part of the ASCAP Foundation’s
Songwriter Showcase at the Kennedy Center. His song ‘When I’m Married’ can be
heard on Sirius XM’s the Coffeehouse.

Cordelia Anderson of Montgomery was awarded a Music Fellowship
in the amount of $5,000. Dr. Anderson is Assistant Professor in Vocal Studies
in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University. She
performed for the unveiling of the U.S. stamp of world-renowned opera singer
Marian Anderson, as well as the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS)
program in Graz, Austria. She was a Young Artist for Opera Las Vegas for two
full seasons. Dr. Anderson is also a performing participant of the Lauren
Flanigan Audition Bootcamp in New York City and recently toured internationally
to Spain and Croatia.

Keith Anderson of Madison was awarded an Arts Educator
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Anderson is the Director of Bands at James
Clemens High School. He received both his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the
University of North Alabama. Keith is regularly employed as an adjudicator for
band and percussion and is also a certified judge for the Alabama State Music
Performance Assessment. He currently serves as the Alabama Music Educators
Association Technology Committee Chair.

Javacia Harris Bowser of Fultondale was awarded a Literary
Arts Fellowship in Prose in the amount of $5,000. She is a freelance journalist, essayist,
columnist and the
founder of See Jane Write, a website and community for
women who write. Bowser studied journalism at the University of Alabama and the
University of California at Berkeley. Her work has appeared in USA Today,
Good Grit magazine, and The Birmingham Times. She currently
serves as curator of the Reckon Women Voices column for Reckon South, helping guide
Southern women in sharing their stories through personal essays.

Anna Foshee of Birmingham was awarded a Dance Fellowship
in the amount of $5,000. Foshee is a working dancer, teacher, and choreographer
throughout the state of Alabama. She is an adjunct dance professor at Samford
University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She received her B.A.
from the University of Alabama and currently serves as artistic director of
Sanspointe Dance Company.

Kelsey Harrison of Birmingham was awarded a Media/Photography
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Harrison is a multidisciplinary artist and
award-winning storyteller. Harrison’s work engages diverse mediums and commonly
explores the following themes: creativity, Southern identity, memory, process,
change as certainty, the joy and conflict of human experience, natural
interconnectedness, and the ordinary made marvelous. She serves as a video
producer for Alabama Public Television and co-creator of the ongoing arts
documentary series Monograph.

Jahman Hill of Birmingham was awarded a Literary Arts
Fellowship in Poetry in the amount of $5,000. Hill is a poet, playwright,
director, professor, and co-director of The Flourish Alabama, an arts education
nonprofit. He
published a book of poetry Made from My Mother’s Ceilings in 2017.

In 2019, he wrote, produced, and starred in an award-winning one-person show, Black
, which played off-Broadway. Hill is an adjunct professor at the
University of Alabama,  where he received
Master’s degrees in Communications Studies and Women’s Studies and co-founded
the Alabama Student Association for Poetry.
He is also the founder and
director of Poetry University, an online poetry education organization. The
core of Hill’s creative work centers around “The Flourish,” or the idea that
Black people are infinitely possible beings.

Stacey Holloway of Birmingham was awarded a Visual Arts
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. She currently serves as the Associate
Professor of Sculpture at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition
to teaching, Holloway is an active national mixed media artist, sculptor, and
fabricator who works within various media, including drawing, printmaking,
sculpture, ceramics, and interactivity. Through the exploration of storytelling
and ethology, she creates work that communicates a universal societal

Elizabeth Hughey of Birmingham was awarded a Literary
Arts Fellowship in Poetry in the amount of $5,000. Hughey is the programming
director and co-founder of Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO), a nonprofit
literary arts center. She is the author of Sunday Houses the Sunday House
(University of Iowa Press) and Guest Host (National Poetry Review
Press). Hughey received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of
Massachusetts Amherst. She has been the recipient of poetry fellowships
from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

Kerri-Noelle Humphrey of Huntsville was awarded an Arts
Educator Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Humphrey is an educator at the
Academy for Academics and Arts. Her current research, Dancing the Diaspora:
Discovering the Influence of Traditional and Tribal African dance in the
History of African-American Social and Concert Dance in the Caribbean and the
United States
, explores the unintentional exportation of African/Africanist
movement during the slave trade and presents the findings as a middle school
dance education curriculum unit. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from
Howard University, an MBA from Barry University, and an M.A. in Dance Education
from the University of Northern Colorado.

Bryce Lafferty of Jacksonville was awarded a Visual Arts
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Lafferty is an artist and teaches drawing,
painting, and illustration at Jacksonville State University. His watercolor
drawings, that center on his interest in the natural world, are represented by
Momentum Gallery in Ashville, NC. His work has been juried into several
competitive national exhibitions. Lafferty received his MFA from the University
of North Texas in Studio Art.

Tara Stallworth Lee of Birmingham was awarded the Gay
Burke Memorial Fellowship in Photographic Arts in the amount of $5,000. An
artist and arts educator, Lee previously served as the Arts Education
Coordinator for Space One Eleven, a visual arts nonprofit. She received her
Bachelor’s in Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College. For nearly twenty
years, Lee has enjoyed traveling to Washington, D.C., to teach specialty art
classes to youth for The Smithsonian Associates summer camp program.

Leanna Leithauser-Lesley of Birmingham was awarded a Craft
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Leithauser-Lesley is an avid needlepointer
motivated by the power of jazz music, the perseverance of the civil rights
movement, and an intention to advance the perception of needlepoint as an art
form through the complexity of stitching portraits. She has exhibited her
distinct portraits in museums, galleries, and cultural art centers throughout
the U.S.

Charlie Lucas of Prattville was awarded a Visual Arts
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Lucas makes art in his studio in Selma and
is the descendent of several generations of artisans and craftspeople. His work
has featured in early, transformative exhibitions of Southern vernacular
artists, including the High Museum of Art’s groundbreaking 1988 exhibition, “Outside
the Mainstream: Folk Art in Our Time,” and “Souls Grown Deep: African-American
Vernacular Art of the South” at the Michael C. Carlos Museum during the 1996
Atlanta Olympics. Lucas’ work has been featured in numerous solo and group
exhibitions over the last four decades; it is in multiple books and catalogs,
including Charlie Lucas – Tin Man, published by the University of
Alabama Press. In December 2020, his work was acquired by the National Gallery
of Art in Washington, D.C.

Kerry Madden-Lunsford of Birmingham was awarded a Literary
Arts Fellowship in Prose in the amount of $5,000. Madden-Lunsford is the author
of Ernestine’s Milky Way, a picture book published by Schwartz &
Wade of Random House, which was selected as the State Book of Alabama at the
National Book Festival in Washington D.C. in 2019. She wrote the Smoky Mountain Trilogy for
children, which includes Gentle’s Holler, Louisiana’s Song, and Jessie’s
, published by Viking. Her book, Up Close Harper Lee, made
Booklist’s Ten Top Biographies of 2009 for Youth.
Madden-Lunsford is an
associate professor of Creative Writing at the University of Alabama at

Burgin Mathews of Birmingham was awarded a Literary Arts
Fellowship in Prose in the amount of $5,000. Mathews is a writer, radio host, and
teacher. His specialty is character-driven creative nonfiction steeped in
history, music, and a deep-rooted sense of place. The University of Alabama
Press published his oral history of musician and educator Frank “Doc” Adams (Doc:
The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man
). That project led to Mathews’ current
book-in-progress, Magic City, which is a narrative history of Birmingham’s influential but unsung
jazz tradition
. His writing has appeared in Southern Cultures, No
, WELD, Living Blues, The Old-Time Herald, Bluegrass
, the All Music Guide, Alabama Arts, and Birmingham
. Mathews’ weekly
radio show, The Lost Child, broadcasts both locally and online on
Birmingham Mountain Radio.

Celestia Morgan of Birmingham was awarded a Media/Photography
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Morgan’s photographs have been exhibited in
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American, Birmingham
Museum of Art, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Her recent
exhibitions include the National Public Housing Museum’s “Undesign the Redline”
in Chicago, Illinois; Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s New Southern Photography
curated by Richard McCabe in New Orleans, Louisiana; Crystal Bridges Museum of
American Art’s “All or Nothing” in Bentonville, Arkansas; and Birmingham Public
Library’s “Food is Work” (commissioned by the Southern Foodways Alliance). Publications
include New York Times, LensScratch, New Southern Photography,
Southern Foodways Alliance Gravy magazine, and ArtNet News.

Noel Newquist of Harvest was awarded an Arts Educator
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Newquist is a National Board Certified
Teacher (NBCT) in the area of early to middle childhood visual arts. He
received his Bachelor’s in Art Education from Flagler College and Master’s in Educational
Theory and Practice from Arkansas State University – Jonesboro. Newquist is a
passionate arts advocate in his community, exhibiting student artwork, painting
murals, and volunteering at arts events. Through his YouTube channel, Mr.
New’s Art Class
, he teaches and inspires viewers from across the globe.

Scott Peek of Waverly was awarded a Design Fellowship
in the amount of $5,000. In 1991, Peek and two longtime friends moved to
Waverly, Alabama, renovated a 1930s cotton warehouse, and co-founded Standard
Deluxe – a design and silkscreen print shop. Peek has been the sole owner of
Standard Deluxe since 1998, garnering recognition from the national design
community and clients including David Carson Design, Charles S. Anderson
Design, Print Magazine, Rural Studio, Central Park Summerstage, and Souls Grown
Deep Foundation. Peek has created spaces, experiences, and art that foster
community and honor the homegrown, do-it-yourself values of Alabama. His work
is centered on radical hospitality, the celebration of good music, and the
ongoing quest to uncover possibilities through creative design.

Kelley Schoger of Tuscaloosa was awarded a Theatre Fellowship
in the amount of $5,000. Schoger is an actor, director, movement specialist,
and nationally certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. She is Assistant
Professor of Movement and Acting in the graduate and undergraduate theatre
programs at the University of Alabama. Previously, Schoger performed
professionally in New York City, including MCC Theater, La Mama, and Mabou
Mines. She has created two original works of physical theatre, “Her Destined
Port” and “Beauty, Identity, Release,” which have been performed nationally and
internationally, including at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in
2019. Schoger holds an MFA in Theatre/Movement Pedagogy from Virginia
Commonwealth University and a B.A. in Theatre from Virginia Tech.

Melissa Yes of Birmingham was awarded a Media/Photography
Fellowship in the amount of $5,000. Yes grew up in Huntsville and keeps her
studio in Birmingham. She is an active member of the art community, working as
an educator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and as co-director of a
contemporary art nonprofit, Vinegar.

These grants are in response to
applications submitted under a March 2, 2021 deadline and are awarded for the
2022 fiscal year (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022).  

The Council is a body of fifteen members
appointed by the Governor for six-year terms to help promote the arts statewide
and makes final decisions on all grants awarded.

The next grant application deadline is
September 1, 2021.
Applications accepted will be for arts in
education grants, project grants for organizations, and Folk Arts
Apprenticeship requests.
The application
portal for the next round of Fellowships and Cultural Facilities grants will
open on January 1, 2022.

For more information about
the Alabama State Council on the Arts, visit



About Alabama
State Council on the Arts

The Council on the Arts is the official state
agency for the support and development of the arts in Alabama. The Council
works to expand and preserve the state’s cultural resources by supporting
nonprofit arts organizations, schools, colleges, units of local government, and
individual artists. Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track
record of enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism, and
overall quality of life in all regions of the state. Alabama State Council on
the Arts receives an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and additional
funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


Perri Hubbard

Communications & Public Relations


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