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MacColl Johnson Fellowships award $25,000 to Local Composers

“We are providing the financial resources necessary to enable these composers to advance their work. We hope this rare gift of time and money will free them to invest in developing their craft." - Daniel Kertzner, Senior Philanthropic Advisor for Funding Partnerships, Rhode Island Foundation

Earlier this month, the Rhode Island Foundation announced that three local composers will receive what are considered to be among the largest no-strings-attached grants available to artists in the United States. The fellowships are intended to enable composers to concentrate time on the creative process, focus on personal or professional development, expand their body of work and explore new directions. 

Jeff Prystowsky, Jacob Richman and Kirsten Volness will receive $25,000 grants from the Foundation’s Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund. 

The finalists were Laura Cetilia, Francisco Pais, and Thomas Van Buskirk.

The awardees and finalists were selected by four esteemed out-of-state panelists:
Afa S. Dworkin - President & Artistic Director, Sphinx | Detroit, MI 
Jesse Elliott - Director, Bohemian Foundation Music District | Fort Collins, CO    
Ke-Chia Chen - Musical Studies Faculty, Curtis Institute of Music | Philadelphia, PA  
Pamela Z - Composer performer and media artist | San Francisco, CA 

Established in 2003, the MacColl Johnson fellowships rotate among composers, writers and visual artists on a three-year cycle. Over the years, the Foundation has awarded 39 fellowships totaling $975,000. Application and selection are managed by the Alliance of Artists Communities.