Originally published April 15, 2012
The August Wilson Center for African American Culture has announced its 2012-2013 August Wilson Center Fellows. Established in 2009, the annual cash awards support the needs of African-American artists and artists of African descent living and working in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
This year’s August Wilson Center Fellows are: Nikki Young, Media Arts; Joshua Wilder, Theatre; Bridgette Perdue, Music and Interdisciplinary Performance; Nathan James, Theatre; and Marlana Vassar, Visual Arts.&nbs
Through the fellowships, local artists will have new venues to create and present their own works of art, pursue individualized career advancement, participate in collaborative creative and marketing projects, strengthen community connections, acquire financial services and collect a regular stipend.
“The mission of the AWC is to preserve and present experiences of African-American culture, articulated through the media of theater, dance, music and visual arts. The primary audience of our presentations is the African-American community of Western Pa. But within this large population, our most important constituency is African-American youth. Our Fellows program serves as a two-way portal of information from the AWC to this youth population and for cultural information from this population, back to the AWC. The Fellows program helps us to fulfill our mission as it also provides us with cultural raw material from which to create additional cultural artifacts” explains co-executive director of the Center Sala Udin.
The fellowships are awarded for approximately one year. The stipends provide artists with an economic freedom to focus on their individual practices over the year exploring, experimenting and developing their work more fully.
The selections were made through a two-phase peer review process involving preliminary and final selection panels comprised of regional arts professionals and August Wilson Center Artistic Directors. Fellowships may be awarded at any stage of the artist’s career—from early to mature.
Eligible artists may work in any of the following disciplines: music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literary arts and interdisciplinary mediums. An average of five fellowships are awarded annually.