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MacColl Johnson Fellowships Award $25,000 to Three RI Composers

Rhode Island composers Shawn Greenlee, Bevin Kelley and Peter Bussigel have been awarded $25,000 fellowships by the Rhode Island Foundation through the Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund. The program is considered to be one of the largest no-strings-attached awards available to composers in the United States. The Alliance of Artists Communities has managed the application and selection for the awards since 2011.

The fund provides three artistic fellowships each year, rotating among composers, writers and visual artists on a three-year cycle. The $25,000 awards enable artists to concentrate time on the creative process, focus on personal or professional development, expand their body of work and explore new directions. With this latest round of grants, the Foundation has awarded $750,000 to 30 composers, writers and visual artists.
“These fellowships provide the considerable financial resources necessary to enable artists to invest in honing their craft,” said Daniel Kertzner, the Foundation’s vice president for grant programs. “They echo the value the MacColl Johnsons placed on the role of the arts in the community.”

The 2015 MacColl Johnson awardees are:

  • Peter Bussigel, a current artist-in-resident and visiting lecturer at Brown University, is interested in "exploring the musical space revealed by new technologies." He will use his award to construct new instuments and fund rehearsals space and festival performances. “Rehearsal time is a luxury in the last-minute world of DIY performance technologies. The time and space to practice with these new systems is often overlooked, but, with a dedicated rehearsal process, performances can move past technological novelty and develop into compelling musical experiences."

  • Shawn Greenlee, an assistant professor of Foundation Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, will use his award to compose new work for traditional Korean music instruments.  "My intention is to also seek future funding that will lay the groundwork for my new works to be performed in the United States and to facilitate continued collaborations with Korean performers.”

  • Bevin Kelley a freelance composer, as well as sound design and audio producer, will use her award to travel and present new works throughout the country. “The desire to explore musical technology in an expressive and engaging way is what drives my work... This Fellowship will allow me to take on more ambitious projects and to promote and establish performances of new works for my theatrical music-based electro-acoustic chamber ensemble, The Traveling Bubble Ensemble."

You can read more about 2015 Awardees and find more information about applying for the next round of funding, which will be awarded to writers, here:


Rhode Island Foundation

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit