The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County recently announced the recipients of its 2020 Artist Innovation Fellowship Program. Aligned with the Council’s mission to champion, engage and grow the arts in Palm Beach County, this new funding program was designed to honor and support the careers and artistic endeavors of creative professionals who comprise Palm Beach County’s cultural sector.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, the Council will award five $7,500 Artist Innovation Fellowships to the following creative professionals of various disciplines:

  • Amy Gross, visual artist (Delray Beach)
  • Anthony Burks, Sr., visual artist (West Palm Beach)
  • Donna Murray, choreographer/dancer (Jupiter)
  • Isabel Gouveia, visual artist (Lake Worth Beach)
  • Joshua Lubben, musician (West Palm Beach)

Artist Innovation Fellowship activities can include travel, exploration of new ideas, or pursuit of new or familiar avenues of artistic expression, apprenticeships, research or instruction now through May 31, 2021. The fellowship program will conclude with a group exhibition and performance event at the Cultural Council’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach in July 2021. This opportunity will allow the public an opportunity to see the results of this unique fellowship program. 

“Now more than ever, the Cultural Council believes that a strong cultural sector is necessary to our community’s economic vitality and quality of life,” said Dave Lawrence, the Council’s president & CEO. “We are thrilled to award Artist Innovation Fellowships to these five exceptional creative professionals from Palm Beach County. This fellowship program is an opportunity to think big, explore creative growth, and find new avenues of inspiration. As Palm Beach County continues to recover, investing in innovation, inspiration and creativity will benefit us all.”

Although fellows were selected earlier this year, the Council had to pause the announcement and quickly pivot to aid creative professionals who lost critical income from canceled gigs or shows due to COVID-19. This included the creation and launch of the Palm Beach County Artist Relief Fund to provide small grants to artists in immediate financial need.

“While my music and influence are steadily growing, these funds will allow me to record and produce a number of projects I’ve had to leave on the back burner, such as music/video projects of social justice and reform, environmental care and human purpose and dignity,” wrote Artist Innovation Fellow Joshua Lubben. “Along with covering studio and production costs, the fellowship would give me the opportunity to go beyond my backyard and respond to less-privileged people of our country. I would love to plan a pilgrimage to the more forgotten areas of our nation; bring my music into poorer farming communities, while also walking in their shoes in order to write, respond and advocate for them through a series of new songs and performances.”

Application & Selection Process
The Cultural Council offered free workshops in Belle Glade, Delray Beach, Jupiter and West Palm Beach prior to the application deadline, which provided information on building successful applications, specifics regarding the program timeline, grant-writing tips and more. Fellowships were awarded to applicants who demonstrated a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment and artistic excellence. The Council received more than 80 applications from all over Palm Beach County. A regional panel of discipline-specific arts professionals evaluated and selected applicants before being approved by the Cultural Council’s board of directors.

Fellowship Awards & Recognition
Recipients were announced last week at the Cultural Council’s first virtual Summer Performing Arts Series performance. A formal celebration of the fellows will be held at the Council’s Muse Awards on Thursday, January 14, 2021. 

For more information about the Artist Innovation Fellowship Program, visit palmbeachculture.com/AIFP