Creative Writing and Translation Graduate Students and Alumni Receive Artists 360 Awards
Clockwise from top left: Jane Blunschi, Robin Bruce, Willi Carlisle and Karstin Johnson.
Mid-America Arts Alliance has announced the recipients of the 2021 Artists 360 Awards. Two current graduate students and two alumni of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the Department of English have been awarded project grants. Their proposed projects focus on poetry, prose and podcasting/media.
Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, is a three-year pilot program that provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the greater Northwest Arkansas area.
Grants include learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and build sustainable careers, creating a network of leading regional artists.
M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and Translation student and alumni recipients of project grants are:
First-year M.F.A. student and poet Robin Bruce will develop Songs for Gordon, a scored audiobook based on her manuscript of poetry and essays, Dear Gordon, using a variety of instrumentation including cello, classical guitar, piano and singing.
Fourth-year M.F.A. student Karstin Johnson, who writes of her work in poetry, "Each poem I write inherently protests the marginalization of the arts. In a patriarchal society that sees women as inferior, resisting patriarchal conventions through writing is revolutionary."
Jane Blunschi ('16) will complete work on Stigmata, Specifically, a collection of essays in which the role of queerness and spirituality in the formation of identity is explored, with pieces focused on body image, addiction, sobriety, fertility, marriage and divorce.
Willi Carlisle ('15) will produce A Folksinger's Almanac, a series of podcasts and live performances featuring field recordings, interviews and folksongs from Arkansas and around the world. A Folksinger's Almanac will focus on rural, queer and outsider voices.
In addition to this year's award winners, Artists 360 recognized the outstanding finalists for student grants, including second-year poet Elizabeth Muscari.
The new Fellows are Jennifer Beasley, Eunjoo Cho, David D. Christian, Kathy Comfort, Nathan Kemper, William F. McComas, Ashlea Bennett Milburn and Kelly Sullivan.
Researchers studied the Loess Canyons ecoregion to quantify the effects of prescribed fires designed to kill invasive species and restore grasslands and grassland birds.
This year's recipients include Lonnie Powers, Dalton Person, KenDrell Collins, Col. Conley Meredith, Kandice Bell, Autumn Tolbert, Rose Law Firm and The Law Group of NWA.
Three professors will work with Little Rock on place-based strategies to reduce violence. The project will focus on Stephens Elementary and the broader community around it.
Alumna Hannah LaReau-Rankin knows it's essential to weave the arts into early childhood and elementary education and would like to see more creativity incorporated into older students' curriculum, too.