Chatham Arts Council awards JumpstART grants to 15 local artists

Pittsboro, NC – During the pandemic, emergency funding for artists and arts-workers has been essential. Now, the clouds are beginning to lift and emergency funding is shifting to a new phase of artist relief. The Chatham Arts Council (CAC) is excited to announce our new JumpstART Grant awardees– fifteen local artists and arts-workers. This grant is designed to help get Chatham County artists and arts-workers back to work by paying artists to make art–and to put the arts in the public sphere as we re-connect with one another in our public spaces.

“I think we are all feeling the need to emerge from a long, painful period of anxiety and uncertainty, and no group is more valuable than the artists in our midst in helping us find a fresh perspective,” explained Elisabeth Lewis Corley, JumpstART Grant Panel Member and CAC Board Member. “I was thrilled with the idea of creating a grant program specifically to say to Chatham County artists across the county: ‘We need your work. We need your energy, and we stand ready to support you.’ Among the applications we received were many that were strikingly simple, clearly articulated, touching, and deeply appealing. These artists will help us process what we’ve experienced, and these targeted funds are meant to spur new energy and, when possible, new creations, in celebration of new possibilities. We can’t wait to share some of the results in the fall.”

Grants range from $250 to $1,000 for individual projects, and $500 to $2,500 for collaborative projects. This year’s successful applicants are: JR ButlerTanja ColeSteve FaganBritt FloodJulia KennedyKate LaddBrenda LintonSarah McCombieStephan MeyersNancy Ann MooreAlexander PercyWill RidenourDolly SicklesWendy SpitzerBuffy Taylor.

“It’s always gratifying being recognized for our artistic efforts,” explained Alexander Percy, sculptor and recipient of the JumpstART Grant. “As an artist, being able to share with others my most vulnerable ways to express emotions, concerns, and idolatries has always been a passion of mine. When we accomplish moments like this, we realize it is worth it to go through all the struggles on our path that take us here. I feel extremely honored to be celebrated in the county I live in.”

Applicants were required to be performing, visual, or literary artists OR arts-workers living in Chatham County who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19 cancellations and closures. All grant recipients will participate in a public sharing of their art on Sunday, November 7. JumpstART Grants were awarded for artwork in sculpture, quilting, bench work, painting, visual and literary art, as well as music.

JumpstART is generously funded by Manbites Dog Theater Fund and Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.