Theatre Alumni and Faculty Receive 2023 Artists 360 Awards
Clockwise from top left: Heider Lyn Alsdorf, Adrienne Dawes, Sarah Loucks and Lacy Post.
The Department of Theatre is pleased to announce four winners of the Mid-America Arts Alliance 2023 Artists 360 Award: alumni Adrienne Dawes, Sarah Loucks and Lacy Post, and faculty member and dance lecturer Heidee Lyn Alsdorf, who received the Community Activator Grant Award.
The Mid America Arts Alliance Artist 360 program is made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation and gives artists from the greater Northwest Arkansas area a platform to succeed and grow. The program aims to highlight the talents of Northwest Arkansas by providing grant funding and professional development opportunities in all artistic disciplines, in the counties of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Sebastian and Washington.
Over the last six years, the program has awarded grants to 138 artists and awarded $1 million to Northwest Arkansas artists since 2018.
This year the program awarded 25 grants, including 14 practicing artist grants, six student artist grants and five community activator grants, in addition to the $25,000 creative impact award.
"The Department of Theatre is continually impressed by the quality of theatre artists we've been able to attract and even more impressed by the initiative, tenacity and passion they exhibit. Recent M.F.A. graduates Lacy Post, Adrienne Dawes and Sarah Loucks, along with new faculty member and dance lecturer Heidee Lyn Alsdorf, have all been recognized by the 2023 Artist 360 Awards," said Michael Riha, Department of Theatre chair.
"This award comes at a critical point in my career where I'm fresh out of graduate school but still not yet settled into professional work as a playwright and screenwriter," says Dawes, a practicing artist grant recipient from Fayetteville. "I'm grateful for M-AAA funding to support my project (a screenplay adaptation of my play Hairy & Sherri) and to offer a way for me to employ local actors in its development. This single award actually helps sustain multiple artists at once and gives everyone within this year's Artists 360 cohort opportunities to build community and share resources."
Adrienne Dawes is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and teaching artist originally from Austin, Texas. Her plays have been developed/ produced across the United States as well as English Theatre Berlin. Dawes received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and studied sketch comedy and improv at the Second City Training Center. She recently staffed on an upcoming Hulu/ABC Signature limited series (EP: Ellen Pompeo).
Funds from the grant will help support Dawes with equipment upgrades, a self-guided development process that will incorporate strategies from her experience as a theatre artist, and submission fees to help promote her work.
Heidee Lyn Alsdorf is a dance-theatre artist from Northwest Arkansas, holds a B.F.A. in dance from U of A Little Rock and an M.F.A. in physical theatre from Accademia dell'Arte (IT/DE/CZ). They are a somatic practitioner with a certificate in Embodied Social Justice from Transformative Justice and certification in Dry Massage Therapy from Oligenesi (IT).
Alsdorf's artistic work is largely defined by collaborative, sight-specific performance art. Their Artists 360 project, entitled "inHABIT," is a multimedia dance incubator that culminates as a dance-event on the Razorback Greenway trail. The project is a performance that is structured as a game, intentionally distributing agency amongst its players, opening space for dialogue and disrupting conventional ideas around dance.
Lacy Post is a director, performer and teaching artist committed to making work that questions assumptions and embraces the complexities of the human experience. She is passionate about making art cheap and accessible. Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Post holds an M.F.A. in theatre directing from the U of A and a B.A. in theatre from Bard College.
Her work has been featured locally at Trike Theatre and the U of A, and in New York at The Brick Theater, The Living Gallery, Silent Barn, Medicine Show Theater, All People's Community Garden and many basements, rooftops and kitchen tables. Her project titled "Blue Spots: A Road Trip," is a collage of conversations, a play about getting lost, growing up, grief and the need to follow that voice that tells you when it's time to go.
Sarah Loucks is a playwright and theater maker based in Fayetteville. Loucks resided in Austin, Texas, where she produced her plays in theaters, parking lots and DIY spaces. She studied Grotowski technique with Double Edge Theatre and was a participant in the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory in Bulgaria.
She often writes about class, labor and American entropy. Her project "Automated" is a new play in development that investigates the coming transition to automated trucking within the transportation industry. The story follows a female trucker named Brenda after she loses her job to automation. Distraught by the loss of her livelihood, she drives the highways of America, contemplating how to create meaning within her life when everything she has worked for has been stripped away.
"These incredibly talented artists represent all that is magnificent about the arts," Riha said.
"We look forward to their continued contributions, creativity and talent."
Kati Rod, a double major in international business management and agricultural business, was able to experience a study abroad opportunity at the U of A's Rome Center that gave her a new perspective on history.
Jensen is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the U of A who specializes in medical devices and experimental cardiovascular surgery.
Dave Pratt, an authority on sustainable agriculture and profitable ranching, will give a presentation on "Three Secrets For Increasing Profit: Economy vs. Finance" at 3:30 p.m. March 14.
Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, Nair came to the U of A to study Arabic, Middle East Studies and Asian Studies.
The Division of Research and Innovation is hosting an annual workshop for untenured faculty who are considering early career grant proposals.