The Cultural Council created the Artist Innovation Fellowship Program for artists across all disciplines in order to honor and support the creative individuals who form the core of Palm Beach County’s cultural sector.
The Artist Innovation Fellowship is unique among professional development opportunities as it focuses on personal creative growth and the belief that an entire community will benefit through investments in creative individuals. The program is designed to address the pursuit of innovation in either existing avenues of creative expression or through the pursuit of new ideas and projects without the constraints of budgets or specific project outcomes.
The Artist Innovation Fellowship Program has expanded to now include funding for six $7,500 fellowships in 2022. Each fellow will have one year to complete his/her fellowship activities. The program culminates with an exhibition and performance showcase at the Cultural Council’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach in 2023.
Selected by a regional panel of discipline-specific arts professionals, applicants are evaluated according to: the quality of the applicant’s artistic work, the strength of their proposed fellowship activities and its relation to their work, and the intended impact on the applicant and his/her work. Fellowships are awarded to applicants who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence.
Through a generous grant from the Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, the Council awarded its first five $7,500 Artist Innovation Fellowships in 2020. For information on these inaugural recipients and their work, visit the 2020 Artist Innovation Fellowship page.
2022 Artist Innovation Fellowship Showcase
On Display: July 20 – September 9, 2023
Opening Reception: July 20, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Click Here to RSVP.
This summer exhibition features work from the 2022 Fellows made possible by this program, on display in the Council’s galleries through September 9. Read more about the 2022 Fellows, including their photos and stories about new work created with fellowship funds, below.
Meet the 2022 Fellows
Elizabeth who everyone knows as Beth has been living and working in Palm Beach County since 1990 when she first came to work for Theatre Club of the Palm Beaches. That theatre eventually became Florida Stage and in her time there, she had the opportunity to premiere 16 new plays and that cemented her dedication to the arts in Palm Beach County. Throughout Florida she has acted in numerous productions including Palm Beach Dramaworks, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Caldwell Theatre, Asolo, Riverside Theatre, Arts Garage, Theatre Lab, Mosaic, Actors’ Playhouse, City Theatre with Summer Shorts, Gablestage, Theatre Zone, Gulfshore Playhouse, American Stage, Theatre West, Royal Palm and Jupiter Dinner Theatres, Key West Theatre Festival, Women’s Theatre Project, and others. Beth has been nominated several times and received the Carbonell Award 4 times for her acting as well as the Frank Prize and a Silver Palm. For 30 years she called Lake Worth home and now resides in West Palm Beach. She thanks you, patrons of the arts, for giving her an artistic home and thanks the Cultural Council for making her next creative phase possible.
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Her project: “My project went through some changes, but I’m happy with where it is ending up. I chose four songs from four decades of the Great American Songbook and am interweaving the recordings I made of them with video from the time periods, world events from the ’20s through the ’50s.”
What the fellowship means to her: “When I first received the call that I got the fellowship, I was immediately thrust into imposter syndrome. Then that morphed into floundering as to how I could do what I wanted to do, and that segued into the epiphany that I am a collaborator at heart. Once I brought in other people to create with me, I knew where I was and got grounded again. This fellowship let me be a creator. It gave me the confidence to let my creative self take charge.”
“I am a self-taught artist born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s immersed in the cultural and civil rights movement of the time. My years of reading the works of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other cultural icons gave me an appreciation for my culture and desire to express it through my art. As a child I created collages and my greatest influence was Romare Bearden. When I began to create dolls in the early ’90s I saw them as another form of collage/assemblage. A few years after I began to create dolls I was exposed to the work of quilter Faith Ringgold. It was her work that enabled me to see quilting as a viable medium to tell the stories in my heart. Quilting is a medium that I am continuing to grow in both in my method of storytelling a techniques that I incorporate. I create art quilts, dolls, and mixed media works that tell the story of my heritage as an African-American. My work includes historic and cultural traditions from both America and Africa. Traditional and contemporary African textiles are used in my work. As well as textiles that I create by dyeing, sun printing and appliqué. I see my work as contemporary folk art.”
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Her project: “This project continues the theme of celebrating Black life and culture that has dominated my work. The art quilts, dolls, and mixed-media works that I’m creating reflect an expansion of my storytelling style. This work marries my signature style with new techniques and approaches that reflect my growth as an artist.”
What the fellowship means to her: “Receiving this fellowship has meant having the freedom, time, and opportunity to grow my art practice beyond what I had been able to do on my own. My ‘What if I…’ thought for my art practice has been given wings.”
Driven by a passion to create art through a unique vision and set of skills collected over the past two decades, Henriett Michel created her own mural and fine arts company. As a child in Budapest, Hungary, Henriett spent most of her time sketching the world around and within her. Recently, Henriett has been switching back and forth between figurative and large expressionist abstract paintings, while simultaneously creating figurative clay sculptures on the side. Her paintings are inspired by nature’s free spirit which she expresses through wild brush strokes using organic gestures and rhythmic vivid colors. Her figurative sculptures on the other hand, are inspired by and based on sketches she drew back in her childhood going back over 30 years ago. Her sculptures represent difficult personal relationships both past and present; the contemporary figures systemically convey the difficult and intense emotions of fear, degradation, shame, loneliness, and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
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Her project:“My project is focused on the transformative process inherent to mixed-media creations. I’ve always been interested in exploring different uses and combinations of traditional and nontraditional materials like resin, clay, cement, wood, wire, and glass. The fusion process itself—the way things give, take, and transform into something new altogether—fascinates me. I’m also combining 2D wall art and 3D sculpture mediums through the female subject to explore how these mixed materials and mediums communicate with each other and can influence different meanings within the subject itself.”
What the fellowship means to her: “This fellowship has allowed me to focus on my growth as an artist by focusing on a single project without disruptions of other work due to the financial support awarded to me. I’ve also experienced the incredible gift of immense community growth in both size and support through this fellowship journey.”
Yvette is a Detroit, Michigan native who hails from a family of musicians, including a father who played guitar and a mother who played drums. Her general repertoire includes jazz standards, bebop, and Latin jazz. She performs internationally and has sat in several times with jazz orchestra The Cotton Club All Stars at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. She has also sat in with Latin music artist, Tito Puente, Jr., the late saxophonist David Fathead Newman, family members of Celine Dion, and band members of Spyro Gyra—Jay Beckenstein and Tom Schuman. Yvette resides in South Florida where she performs extensively, including performances at the Kravis Center, Boca Black Box, and the Cultural Council.
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Her project: “My project is a recorded tribute to bebop music. Upon learning the history of this subgenre of jazz, I realized that many of the songs composed during that era had no lyrics. Although I enjoy listening to bebop, I felt it would be fitting, as a vocalist and songwriter, to create lyrics for the songs that I selected for the CD. The art of adding lyrics to jazz songs that were recorded and performed as instrumentals is known as vocalese.”
What the fellowship means to her: “This is the very first fellowship that I have received. It is quite an honor to have the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County present me with the freedom of expression that will expand my knowledge and creativity in music.”
Shanique Scott creates choreography that infuses hip-hop, ballet, jazz, and lyrical movements to the latest contemporary gospel tunes. Her choreography is exhilarating and weaves together piercing, elliptical observations. A native of South Bay, Florida, Shanique has offered a program of master classes and workshops for young dancers that provide instruction and high-level performance. Scott also has brought her choreographic talents to a variety of prominent individuals and companies throughout the world. Scott conceptualized and administered a 7-week dance module for implementation in Palm Beach County public schools and community-based arts and general programs serving middle school aged youth, while facilitating workshops and seminars for local artists. She choreographs original works and trains dancers for performances at Prime Time, Inc.’s contracted sites in western Palm Beach County.
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Her project: “This piece is called Breathe. [It] comprises lyrical and modern choreography that is used interchangeably throughout the piece. Amid the pandemic and other challenges these past few years, this work has allowed me to ‘breathe’ again. Although [I was] a bit indecisive at times of what this piece of work would actually become in the end, all in all, it’s going well, and I am excited for the outcome.”
What the fellowship means to her: “Receiving this fellowship has allowed me to take time to explore the growth of my creativity. I can think, breathe, and create with ease during this process, in which normally I am accustomed to meeting deadlines. I am so grateful to receive such an honor.”
Carin Wagner graduated with a degree in Advertising Design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, winning their Angelo DiVincenzo Life Drawing award of a full term scholarship twice. Wagner works predominately in oil on canvas, with a message of environmental protection at its core. Currently she is photographing and painting the Vulnerable and Vanishing trees of the United States. This is a slow process as each painting takes many months, but the need to protect our trees is urgent. Carin has been an invited speaker at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Cornell Museum in Delray Beach, and the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County. Her work has been featured multiple times in American Art Collector magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, and Realism Today.
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Her project: “My journey to photograph and paint the endangered trees of the United States started about four years ago. Since then, I have had communication with scientists, botanists, ecologists, authors, science writers, arboretums, and so many wonderful people who care for and fight for the trees. It has been an enlightening experience. I have photographed 22 trees in wildly diverse locations, which will be represented in my ghost forest.”
What the fellowship means to her: “The Artist Innovation Fellowship provided the initial funds to bring the ghost forest to life on large silk banners. Most importantly, it has fostered the sense of support from my community that helps me to continue this very labor-intensive and hopeful process.”
Application & Selection Process
The Council offered free workshops in across Palm Beach County to provide information on building successful applications, the program timeline, grant-writing tips, and more. Applications were evaluated according to: the quality of the applicant’s artistic work, the strength of their proposed fellowship activities and its relation to their work, and the intended impact on the applicant and his/her work.
Fellowships were awarded to applicants who demonstrated a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment and artistic excellence. A regional panel of discipline-specific creative professionals evaluated the applicants and submitted their selections to the Cultural Council’s board of directors for approval.
2022 Selection Panel
- Gary Cadwallader
Director of Education and Community Management, Palm Beach Dramaworks, West Palm Beach
- Steven Caras
Renowned Dance Photographer, Guest Speaker, Arts Consultant, Philanthropist, and Educator
- Phillip Dunlap
Director, Broward County Cultural Division
- Jamnea Finlayson
Owner, JF Gallery, West Palm Beach