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Archive for Saturday, February 28, 2009

Arts Commission awards won’t include money this year

February 28, 2009

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Ben Ahlvers thought the $1,000 grant he was going to receive from the Kansas Arts Commission would help pay for a residency this summer in Montana.

The Lawrence ceramist was one of those selected by the Arts Commission for this year’s Kansas Mid-Career Fellowships.

But this year, due to state budget cuts, there will be no money that comes with the fellowships.

“They’ll be getting a certificate,” says Christine Dotterweich Bial, program manager for community and artist partnerships.

Bial says the Arts Commission learned of the cuts in November and asked those who applied if they wanted to continue the selection process. Everyone said yes, according to Bial, and it could still look good on a résumé.

“It could be a jumping off point for other work,” she says.

In all, three artists were selected for Master Fellowships (which would normally come with $5,000), eight for Mid-Career Fellowships ($1,000) and five for Emerging Artist Awards ($250).

“It wasn’t a big deal,” says Ahlvers, who hopes to sell some art to pay for his trip. “But a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks.”

He adds: “It is an affirmation of what you’re doing by people who look at that stuff. Sure, the money would be nice, but it’s not purely one or the other.”

Others in Lawrence selected for honors were Patrick Suzeau (choreography), Master Fellowship; Lisa Grossman (visual and fine art) and Michelle Heffner Hayes (choreography), Mid-Career Fellowships; and Cory Hills (music composition), Emerging Artist Award.

All recipients will be honored during a reception Wednesday evening at the Hayden Office Building in Topeka. Ahlvers doesn’t think he can consume $1,000 worth of snacks at the reception.

“I’d sure like to try that,” he says. “That’s a lot of boxed wine and finger foods.”

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