WeImprovise! is a work in progress, proof of concept, & labor of love. Find Out More.

United States Artists Announces 50 USA Fellowships for 2010

United States
Artists in Design, Literary, Media, Performing, and Visual Arts Across the Country Each Receive $50,000 Award

Marking its Fifth Anniversary, USA Also Announces $14 Million in Endowment Gifts And Launches New Microphilanthropy Site Connecting Artists and Arts Lovers

Live-Stream Broadcast of Celebration and Performance Tonight at 8 pm EST

New York, NY, December 7, 2010 — The national grant-making and advocacy organization United States Artists (USA) has selected 52 outstanding artists to receive 50 USA Fellowships for 2010, awarding them with unrestricted grants of $50,000. This marks the fifth year of the USA Fellows program and brings the total that USA has invested in living artists to $12.5 million since 2006. Chosen for the caliber and impact of their work, the USA Fellows for 2010 hail from 18 states and Puerto Rico, range in age from 32 to 71, and represent some of the most innovative and diverse creative talents in the country. They include cutting-edge experimenters and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, film and media, music, theater arts, and visual arts. The complete list of winners is provided below.

As it celebrates its fifth anniversary, United States Artists is also kicking off a $50-million endowment and capital campaign to fund the USA Fellows program in perpetuity. The organization today announced that it has received lead gifts totaling $14 million from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, and Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation. Marking yet another profound investment in artists in America, USA also unveiled today USA Projects, a new microphilanthropy initiative at www.unitedstatesartists.org that harnesses the convening power of the Web to foster direct connections between artists and the public, catalyze new funding for artists, and bring original creative projects to fruition.

United States Artists will officially announce this year’s USA Fellows at a celebration tonight at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City with a live performance starting at 8 pm EST. The event will feature appearances by past USA Fellows, including theater artist Anne Bogart, writer and performer Will Power, violin virtuoso Leila Josefowicz, visual artist Ann Hamilton, and musicians Michael Doucet and Evan Ziporyn, as well as USA Fellows for 2010 Martín Espada and Danny Hoch, among others. The public and the press are invited to follow via live stream at www.unitedstatesartists.org/2010event

The evening will also honor USA’s founders, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, and the Rasmuson Foundation—which together contributed $22 million in 2005 to establish USA as a sustainable nationwide funding source for living artists.

The USA Fellows for 2010 represent a diverse spectrum of artistic practice, from cutting-edge video artists, to traditional basketweavers, socially conscious designers, award winning documentary filmmakers, and avant-garde choreographers. The honorees include prolific composer and jazz pianist Uri Caine (New York, NY); architect Teddy Cruz (San Diego, CA); conceptual artist Glenn Ligon (New York, NY); graphic designer David Reinfurt (New York, NY), creator of the MTA MetroCard touchscreen interface; emerging film director and screenwriter Tina Mabry (Los Angeles, CA); poet Martín Espada (Amherst, MA), known as the Latino poet of his generation; choreographer Trey McIntyre (Boise, ID); film director Ramin Bahrani (Brooklyn, NY), who directed the award-winning Man Push Cart; dancer Awilda Sterling-Duprey (San Juan, Puerto Rico); playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (New York, NY), writer of the TONY Award-winning In the Heights; Joyce Scott (Baltimore, MD), nicknamed the “queen of beadwork”; documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras (New York, NY), creator of a celebrated film trilogy about post-9/11 America; 1960s art pioneer Doug Wheeler (Santa Fe, NM); Gulf War veteran and ceramicist W. A. Ehren Tool (Berkeley, CA); visual artist Siah Armajani (Minneapolis, MN); and conceptual artist Mel Chin (Burnsville, NC).

Through a rigorous evaluation process, panels of experts in each artistic discipline selected the 52 winning artists (including one collaborative) from among 302 nominated applicants from 46 states. USA Fellowships are awarded to artists of all career stages who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their fields.

“In the last five years, United States Artists has made a lasting investment in our nation’s cultural heritage by putting $12.5 million directly into the hands of more than 250 of our finest working artists,” said USA Executive Director Katharine DeShaw. “USA is now expanding on its mission with USA Projects—a new microphilanthropy site where anyone can make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to support an artist—fostering the creation of new and impactful work one small gift at a time.”

“United States Artists was founded as a resource for artists across the country, and in just five years, it has succeeded in supporting them directly and promoting their contributions nationwide,” said Susan V. Berresford, USA Board chair and president of the Ford Foundation (1996–2008). “Now, we are well on our way to building an endowment to fund the USA Fellows program in perpetuity, ensuring that this national resource will always be here to support our nation’s greatest living artists.”

About United States Artists

The founding of Los Angeles-based United States Artists in 2005 was prompted by the Urban Institute’s 2003 study, Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structures for U.S. Artists. This groundbreaking report found that while 96% of Americans appreciate the arts, only 27% believe that artists contribute to the good of society. With a mission to invest in America’s finest artists and illuminate their value to society, USA annually awards 50 USA Fellowships totaling $2.5 million to exceptional artists in the performing, visual, media, and literary arts. Past USA Fellows include visual artists Kara Walker and Catherine Opie, cartoonist Chris Ware, designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (of Rodarte), performing artist Meredith Monk, jazz composer Jason Moran, ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and the writer Sapphire.

USA Fellows for 2010

Architecture and Design

Teddy Cruz, USA Ford Fellow, San Diego, CA
Greg Lynn, USA Hoi Fellow, Venice, CA
David Reinfurt, USA Rockefeller Fellow, New York, NY

Crafts and Traditional Arts

Jeremy Frey, USA Ford Fellow, Princeton, ME
Matthias Pliessnig, USA Knight Fellow, Philadelphia, PA
Joyce Scott, USA Glasgow Fellow, Baltimore, MD
Michael Sherrill, USA Windgate Fellow, Hendersonville, NC
W. A. Ehren Tool, USA Berman Bloch Fellow, Berkeley, CA
Jennifer Heller Zurick, USA Rasmuson Fellow, Berea, KY


Miguel Gutierrez, USA Prudential Fellow, Brooklyn, NY
Dayna Hanson, USA Oliver Fellow, Seattle, WA
Deborah Hay, USA Friends Fellow, Austin, TX
Trey McIntyre, USA Wynn Fellow, Boise, ID
Bebe Miller, USA Ford Fellow, Columbus, OH
Awilda Sterling-Duprey, USA Rolón Fellow, San Juan, Puerto Rico


Charles Bowden, USA Rockefeller Fellow, Las Cruces, NM
Martín Espada, USA Simon Fellow, Amherst, MA
Khaled Mattawa, USA Ford Fellow, Ann Arbor, MI
Brighde Mullins, USA Brooks Hopkins Fellow, Los Angeles, CA
Susan Steinberg , USA Ziporyn Fellow, San Francisco, CA
Greg Tate, USA Ford Fellow, New York City, NY
Doug Wright, USA Donnelley Fellow, New York, NY


Natalia Almada, USA Ford Fellow, New York, NY
Ramin Bahrani, USA Ford Fellow, Brooklyn, NY
Almudena Carracedo, USA Prudential Fellow, Brooklyn, NY
Cherien Dabis, USA Rockefeller Fellow, New York, NY
Barrett Golding, USA Rasmuson Fellow, Bozeman, MT
Anne Lewis, USA Booth Mattsson Fellow, Austin, TX
Tina Mabry, USA James Baldwin Fellow, Los Angeles, CA
Laura Poitras, USA Rockefeller Fellow, New York, NY


Uri Caine, USA Walker Fellow, New York, NY
Gabriela Lena Frank, USA Walker Fellow, Oakland, CA
Rob Ickes, USA Cummings Fellow, Franklin, TN
Guy Klucevsek, USA Collins Fellow, Staten Island, NY

Theater Arts

Julie Archer, USA Ford Fellow, New York, NY
Gabriel Quinn Bauriedel, Dan Rothenberg, and Dito van Reigersberg, USA Knight Fellows, Philadelphia, PA
Carlyle Brown, USA Friends Fellow, Minneapolis, MN
Danny Hoch, USA Ford Fellow, Brooklyn, NY
Quiara Alegría Hudes, USA Fontanals Fellow, New York, NY
Rajiv Joseph, USA Rockefeller Fellow, Brooklyn, NY
Gerard Stropnicky, USA Lowe Fellow, Danville, PA

Visual Arts

Siah Armajani, USA Knight Fellow, Minneapolis, MN
Dara Birnbaum, USA Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz Fellow, New York, NY
Mel Chin, USA Kippy Fellow, Burnsville, NC
Renée Green, USA Simon Fellow, San Francisco, CA
Glenn Ligon, USA Guthman Fellow, New York, NY
Mary Lucier, USA Gracie Fellow, Cochecton, NY
Allison Smith, USA Friends Fellow, Oakland, CA
Anna Von Mertens, USA Simon Fellow, Peterborough, NH
Doug Wheeler, USA Mohn Fellow, Santa Fe, NM
Previous Entry
First Micro-Philanthropy Website for Artists Launched by United States Artists

USA Projects at www.unitedstatesartists.org connects people with artists and raises tax-deductible contributions for original work in the performing, visual, media, and literary arts. Los Angeles, CA, December 7, 2010 — United States Artis …

‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology‘ New, Definitive 6-CD Box Set With 200-Page Book Out March 29th, 2011, On Smithsonian Folkways
Next Entry
‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology‘ New, Definitive 6-CD Box Set With 200-Page Book Out March 29th, 2011, On Smithsonian Folkways

December 7, 2010 — Seven years in the making, ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology‘ will be released by Smithsonian Folkways on March 29th, 2011. The six-CD box set traces the turning points of this 20th-century tale through its legendary innov …

Patreon Logo, Become A Patron

Help support WeImprovise! for as little as $5/€5/£5 per month via Patreon Patreon.