City of Santa Monica Grants Artist Fellowships to Diverse Voices

Nothing is more important to the landscape of the arts than the process of art making. Santa Monica’s Artist Fellowship program is among the most robust, city-based individual artist support grants in the U.S. The City of Santa Monica is pleased to announce that this year two Santa Monica artists will receive $20,000 fellowships:

Dan Kwong: Veteran performance artist, writer, and visual artist.
D’Lo: Tamil-Sri Lankan queer/transgender performer and writer, and

“At a time when artists are being called upon to bring messages of hope, this award makes it easy to address the climate, with the aim of creating more understanding and compassion,” said artist D’Lo.

Additionally, three local artists will receive $4,000 Artist Project Fellowships: Choreographers Christine Suarez and Jacob Jonas, and novelist Mark Sarvas.

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Now in its eighth year, the Artist Fellowship program recognizes artistic excellence, nourishes the production of new work from the world-class visions and voices of Santa Monica’s rich diversity, and reinforces our community’s high regard for creativity and innovation.

“Artists are a vital part of the ecosystem that makes Santa Monica a vibrant city. These fellowship awards are a celebration of the artists who enrich our lives and strengthen our community,” said City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Manager Shannon Daut.

The program launched in 2010 as a complement to the City’s arts organizational grant programs, in accordance with Creative Capital, the City’s cultural plan. Award amounts are designed for impact in an arts community that must sustain itself in the context of the City’s high cost of living.

“I am deeply honored, and very excited about the possibilities [the Fellowship] creates for me to continue working on my documentary/art video,” says Kwong.

The 34 (and counting) recipients of the award are among the City’s most creative and innovative artists, and include filmmaker Meena Nanji, visual artists Analia Saban, Alex Donis and Phyllis Green, choreographers Rudy Perez and Lionel Popkin, theatre/film auteur Patrick Kennelly, and novelists Charles Yu and Laila Lalami, among many others.

The year’s award panel included Mecca Vazie Andrews, dancer, choreographer and musician; Tomas Benitez, former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics and L.A. County Arts Commissioner; Irene Borger, author and Director of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts; and Lorne Buchman, President of Art Center College of Design.

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