Artists 360 Announces Second Year of Artist Awards

Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, announces the twenty artists receiving project and student grant awards. With these twenty artists, the Artists 360 cohort grows to forty, and the program contributes further to the prosperity of the arts community in Northwest Arkansas. Project grants range in discipline from literary, performing, and visual arts, ranging from mixed media to photography to sculpture, and more. Students are recognized during post-secondary education and encouraged in building sustainable practices. The Walton Family Foundation grant to M-AAA, recommended by Steuart Walton and Tom Walton, allows Artists 360 to provide $7,500 to project grantees and $1,500 to student artists, as well as professional development services for all awardees.

Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance, said, “It is a great privilege to work with and connect artists who are taking inspiration from the rich creative ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas right now. As we welcome the second cohort of Artists 360 awardees, we are invigorated by the breadth of their projects and talents, and we look forward to building deeper networks and skills for all involved artists.”

Traci Rae Manos is a folk singer-songwriter from the Ozark foothills who has performed for audiences in the USA, UK, and Germany. She says, “Art is an interaction. What I love about the Artists 360 program is that it is establishing a community of artists in Northwest Arkansas who can learn together, inspire one another, and even collaborate on future projects. There is so much talent tucked away in this northwest corner of the state. Artists 360 is infusing the local art scene with much-needed resources, as well as giving artists a platform from which to share our work. My Artists 360 grant will allow me to record my first album since 2006.”

Artists 360 is a three-year pilot program that will serve a total of sixty individual artists from the Northwest Arkansas area by 2021. These selected artists will receive cash awards, in addition to professional development support services. The first professional development convening will take place October 4–6, in Bentonville.

The following practicing artists, organized by discipline, were awarded project grants of $7,500. Click each artist’s name for a bio, project description, and images.

Literary Arts: Keely Brice, Megan Downey, Rodney Wilhite

Performing Arts: Amos Cochran, Simone Cottrell, Crescent Dragonwagon, Rachel Lynett, Traci Rae Manos, Lia Uribe

Visual Arts: Craig Colorusso, Robert P. Gordon, Danielle Hatch, Zora Murff, Loring Taoka

The following artists, organized by discipline, were awarded student artist grants of $1,500. Click each artist’s name for a bio and images.

Literary Arts: Samuel Binns, Peter Mason

Performing Arts: Mahshid Iraniparast

Visual Arts: Ashley Gardner, Ziba Rajabi, Samuel Rivera Lopez

For the second year in a row, there was a strongly competitive applicant pool. Artists 360 wishes to recognize the outstanding applications of a number of finalists. The following were named as finalists for project grants: Alisa Amor, Jane Blunschi, Adrienne Callander, Dylan DeWitt, Rebecca Drolen, Adam Hogan, Pete Kinkel-Schuster, and Kat Wilson. The following were named as finalists for student artist grants: Patrick Font, Anthony Kascak, and Penny Molesso.