Introducing | NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program Recipients and Finalists

Introducing | NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program Recipients and Finalists

NYFA has awarded $623,000 to 89 New York State artists.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the recipients and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program, which it has administered for the past 32 years with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The organization has awarded a total of $623,000 to 89 artists throughout New York State in the following disciplines: Fiction, Folk/Traditional Arts, Interdisciplinary Work, Painting, and Video/Film. This year’s recipients range in age between 26 and 77. Fifteen finalists, who do not receive a cash award, but benefit from a range of other NYFA services, were also announced. A complete list of the Fellows and Finalists follows.

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program makes unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, awarding five per year on a triennial basis. The program is highly competitive and this year’s recipients and finalists were selected by discipline-specific peer panels from an applicant pool of 3,071. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $31 million to more than 4,500 artists.


“Artists deepen humanity and help us to understand the world and each other through their work,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “We’re proud to collaborate with NYSCA to offer unrestricted grants to artists of all disciplines across New York State to support their artistic visions,” he added.

“We recognize that at the heart of the arts is the individual artist,” said Mara Manus, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts. “These grants provide artists in a multitude of disciplines with financial support so they can take risks and flourish in their work, fueling the creative capital of New York.”

Sejal Shah, a Fellow in Fiction from Rochester, NY, reflected on the award saying: “Receiving the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship means it is possible for me to teach less, worry (a little) less, and write more. It is allowing me to focus on the big picture and helps me to believe that what I am doing has value to someone other than me. As an artist, I feel freer to take risks with my work, to experiment, and to continue to write about gender, race, silence, and speech.”

Kim Brandt, a Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work from Queens, NY, shared the following about her fellowship: “Receiving a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship is a real gift—both a vote of confidence and a sigh of relief. On a practical level, it supports a continued commitment to my work by easing the financial burdens of its costs. For a contained stretch of time, I can pay for studio space and materials, take time away from my jobs, and travel for a residency with less worry and reduced stress. Yet to have my work recognized and acknowledged by NYFA and their panelist of arts professionals, peers, and colleagues, to be included in a roster of previous awardees whose work I’ve long admired and respected—this is the deeply meaningful support that doesn’t run out once the last penny is spent. This kind of support feeds and fuels long past the fellowship period, and its value is immeasurable and unlimited.”


Fellowship Recipients and Finalists by Discipline and County of Residence:

Fiction Fellows

Caitlin Cass (Erie)
Diane Chang (Queens)
Martin Cloutier (Kings)
Dana Czapnik (New York)
Nicole Dennis-Benn (Kings)
Eric Gansworth (Niagara)
Susanna Horng (New York)
Naomi Jackson (Kings)
Swati Khurana (New York)
Lisa Ko (Kings)
Marie Myung-Ok Lee (New York)
Haifa Lakshmi Koleilat (Rockland)
Lissette J. Norman (Richmond)**
Bino A. Realuyo (Queens)
Mike Scalise (Kings)
Jennifer Sears (Kings)
Sejal Shah (Monroe)
Kelli Trapnell (Kings)

Fiction Finalists    

YZ Chin (New York)
Adalena Kavanagh (Kings)
Yahaira Lawrence (Westchester)       

Fiction Panelists  

Roohi Choudhry (Kings)
Janet McNally (Erie)
Anne Panning (Monroe)
Edward Schwarzschild (Albany)
Cathie Wright-Lewis (Kings)       

Folk/Traditional Arts Fellows

Douglas Barr (Richmond)
Danielle Brown (Kings)
Moris J Cañate (Queens)
Helen Taylor Condon (St. Lawrence)
William Crouse Sr. (Cattaraugus)
Wafa Ghnaim (Kings)
Zhong-hua Lu (Rensselaer)
Potri Ranka Manis (Queens)
Tashi D Sharzur (Techung) (Essex)
Jake Shulman-Ment (Kings)
Salieu Suso (Bronx)**

Folk/Traditional Finalists

Martin Macica (Saratoga)
Halyna Shepko (Ulster)
Alicia Svigals (New York)  

Folk/Traditional Panelists  

Mary Tooley Parker (Westchester)
Blanka Amezkua (Bronx)
Naomi Sturm (Richmond)
Elinor Levy (Dutchess)
Carrie Hill (Franklin)

Interdisciplinary Work Fellows

Noel W Anderson (Queens)
Kim Brandt (Queens)
A.K. Burns (Kings)
Tyler Coburn (Kings)
Ayana Evans (New York)
Allison Janae Hamilton (New York)
Kathy High (Rensselaer)
Sue Jeong Ka (New York)
Baseera Khan (New York)
Mary Mattingly (Kings)
Christie Neptune (Kings)
Ernesto Pujol (Columbia)
Elise Rasmussen (Kings)
Aki Sasamoto (Kings)
Kuldeep Singh (Kings)
Tiffany Smith (Kings)
Tattfoo Tan (Richmond)

Interdisciplinary Work Finalists  

Keren Benbenisty (New York)
Kameelah Janan Rasheed (Kings)
Aida Šehović (New York)    

Interdisciplinary Work Panelists

Matt Bua (Greene)
David Court (Ulster)
Glendalys Medina (New York)
Rachel Fein-Smolinski (Onondaga)
Jaimie Warren (Kings)       

Painting Fellows

Samira Abbassy (New York)
Maria Berrio (Kings)
Gabe Brown (Ulster)
Tom Burckhardt (New York)
Ginny Casey (Kings)
Elizabeth Colomba (New York)
Lisa Corinne Davis (Kings)
Lydia Dona (New York)
Donise English (Dutchess)
Derek Fordjour (New York)*
Clarity Haynes (Kings)
Vera Iliatova (Kings)
Julian Kreimer (Kings)
Joel Longenecker (Dutchess)
Kathryn Lynch (Kings)
Sangram Majumdar (Kings)
Tracy Miller (Kings)
Patrick Neal (New York)
David Opdyke (Queens)
Paul Pagk (New York)
Luisa Rabbia (Kings)
Gretchen Scherer (Kings)
Emily Mae Smith (Kings)
Michael Stamm (Kings)
Amy Talluto (Ulster)
Leslie Wayne (New York)
Deborah Zlotsky (Albany)

Painting Finalists

Jordan Casteel (New York)
Clayton Schiff (Queens)
Don Voisine (Kings)

Painting Panelists

Julia Whitney Barnes (Dutchess)
Franklin Evans (New York)
Elliot Green (Columbia)
Sarah McCoubrey (Onondaga)
Mie Yim (Kings)    

Video/Film Fellows

Abbesi Akhamie (Kings)
Jessica Beshir (New York)
Ira Eduardovna (Kings)
Fernando Frias de la Parra (Kings)
Brent Green (Ulster)
Devin Horan (Kings)
Haisi Hu (Kings)
Hannah Jayanti (Kings)
Steffani Jemison (Kings)
Ekwa Msangi (Kings)
Shayok Mukhopadhyay (Westchester)
Iva Radivojevic (Kings)
Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli (Kings)
Lynne Sachs (Kings)
Fern Silva (Kings)
Sasha Wortzel (Kings)      

Video/Film Finalists

Melanie Crean (Kings)
Case Jernigan (Kings)
Nikyatu Jusu (Kings)   

Video/Film Panelists

Justin Ambrosino (Richmond)
Zia Anger (Columbia)
Shirley Bruno (Kings)
Megan Roberts (Tompkins)
Bhawin Suchak (Albany)

*Deutsche Bank Fellow
**Gregory Millard Fellows made with the support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Click here for more information about the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program.


Funding Support

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are administered with leadership support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional funding is also provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), Deutsche Bank, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and individual donors.


Images, from above: Maria Berrio (Fellow in Painting ‘18); In a Time of Drought, 2016, collage with Japanese papers and watercolor paint, 60”x72”; Haisi Hu (Fellow in Video/Film ‘18), New York After Rain, 2017, claymation and cel animation (still); Kim Brandt (Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work ‘18), Untitled, 2014, Performance, Presented at The Kitchen, NYC, Photo Credit: Paula Court; Tashi D Sharzur (Techung) (Fellow in Folk/Traditional Arts ‘18), Semshae, Heart Songs, Performance for Tibetan children, Tibet House, NYC, 2013, Photo Credit: Kurt Smith

Amy Aronoff
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