Wyoming Arts Council

Performing Arts Fellowships


Performing Arts Fellowships are awards of merit that are given in honor of excellence in the artists’ field. They are juried by noted professionals in the field based on appropriate media samples and artist statements. The format of the 2017 fellowships is new with a total of 4 fellowships to be awarded. 2 fellowships will be given in the category or Music; applicants may apply either in Composition or in Performance, and 2 fellowships will be awarded in the category of Theatre and Dance; applicants may apply in either Creation or in Performance. Artists may only apply in one category (Music or Theatre and Dance).

The Wyoming Arts Council is pleased to announce the 2017 Performing Arts Fellowship recipients. The Fellowship recipients and honorable mentions were selected by two jurors: Alex Komodore, a Denver-based guitarist and chair of the guitar program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Gerry Hansen, an educator, director and choreographer based in California.

Two honorable mentions in Music were awarded to Aaron Davis (Jackson) and Beth Vanderborgh (Laramie). Two honorable mentions in Theatre & Dance were awarded to Taylor Kath (Rock Springs) and Doug Reitinger (Sheridan).

2017 Performing Arts Fellowship Recipients

The Music Fellowship in Composition was awarded to Ron Coulter of Casper. Ron is Instructor of Percussion and World Music at Casper College and has presented at more than 90 colleges and universities internationally. He has toured internationally appearing in 49 U.S. states, Europe, Canada, and Japan with artists such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Four Aces, Sean Jones, Linux Laptop Orchestra, Al Martino, Sandy Duncan, Bolokada Condé, Music from China, Youngstown Symphony, Wyoming Symphony, Tatsuya Nakatani, Michael Zerang, and Tone Road Ramblers, among others. Ron has presented at numerous conferences including: ISIM, PASIC, NIME, JEN, LiWoLi, BMC3, CMS, a.pe.ri.od.ic, Futurisms, Soundlines, RadiaLx, Athena Festival, and the JVC and Montreal Jazz Festivals. He is co-founder of the Percussion Art Ensemble, Drm&Gtr, duende entendre, Marble Hammer, and founder of the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series. Additional interests include noise, intermedia, interdisciplinary collaboration, and organizing Fluxusconcerts. As a composer, Ron has created more than 300 compositions for various media.

Photo Credit: Don Turner, DPTurner Photography

The Music Fellowship in Performance was awarded to Sharon Martinson of Laramie. Sharon first picked up the banjo as a young girl while on the front porch of her grandparent’s house, but she didn’t start playing it until nearly the end of her PhD studies. Her ecology research took her to the mountains and coasts of California where she joined other musicians and formed The Littlest Birds.  Three years ago, she returned to settle in Wyoming, closer to family and her daughter who attends UW. Deeply interested in the history of the instrument, and old songs and recordings, Sharon uses that as a base from which she continually reinvents Americana banjo music with a new-meets- old-sound. Her fourth album, Phoenix Rising, will be released summer 2017. She will slowly be sharing this album by performing in every state, playing for people who generally have difficulty coming to concerts.

The Theatre & Dance Fellowship in Creation was awarded to Jennifer Deckert of Laramie. Jennifer is a native of St. Louis, Missouri where she began her training with Alexandra Zaharias. She received a BFA in ballet performance from University of Utah, performing with Character Dance Ensemble, Eastern Arts Ensemble, and Utah Ballet.   She continued to perform with Utah Ballet and choreograph for department productions as she received her MFA in ballet teaching, choreography, and research. Jennifer was then invited to join Roxey Ballet, under the direction of Mark Roxey. While with Roxey Ballet she had the opportunity to further develop her performing, teaching, and choreography skills while performing and showcasing her choreography in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and surrounding areas. Jennifer is also an active member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and has been invited to present and teach workshops on dancer wellness and kinesiology throughout the world. Jennifer is currently an Associate Professor at University of Wyoming where she teaches advanced ballet and pointe technique, dance kinesiology, yoga, dance history, and modern dance technique.

The Theatre & Dance Fellowship in Performance was awarded to Rachel Holmes of Jackson. Rachel started her formal training at the Anneliesse von Oettingen School of Ballet and the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, OH studying classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and African. Upon taking a workshop with Elisa Monte, she decided that she was the person she wanted to dance for and when a position became open she auditioned. She spent five years with Elisa Monte Dance performing the company’s signature works and being a creative tool for new work. During her time with the company she visited Jackson Hole as a performing artist, and would go back yearly to perform, teach, or set work on Contemporary Dance Wyoming. In 2014, Babs Case, Artistic Director of Dancers’ Workshop and Contemporary Dance Wyoming, offered her the position of School Director and a place within the professional dance company. Ready to get out of New York and try something new, she accepted the offer. She is currently in her third season with Contemporary Dance Wyoming.

Previous Performing Arts Fellowship Recipients

List of Previous Recipients


1990 Beth McIntosh (musician); Lisa Morgan (choreographer); Ron Steger (scenic design); Eugene Zenzen (musician)

1991 Jewel Dirks (composer); Gary Smart (musician); Britton Theurer (musician); Patricia Tate (choreographer)

1992 Chris Kennedy (musician); Randy Milligan (actor); Margaret Stalder (choreographer); Lucy Woodman (composer)

1993 David Dundas (scenic designer); Pamela Glasser (musician); The Grizzlies (musicians); Terry Yazzolino (storyteller)

1994 Tom Empey (theatre director); Kevin S. Hart (musician); Larry Hazlett (light design); Ann Panalsek (choreographer)

1995 Rebecca Hilliker (theatre director); Gary Smart (composer); Theodore Lapina (musician)

1996 Janet Griffith (musician); Jewel Dirks (composer); Patrick Brien (theatre director)

2002 Music Composition: Dave Brinkman (composer), Laramie; Jeff Troxel (composer), Powell

2003 Theatre & Dance Performance: Bob Berky (theatrical clown/mime), Jackson; General McArthur Hambrick (dancer), Laramie

2004 Music Performance: Judd Grossman (singer/guitarist), Jackson; Scott Turpen (saxophonist), Laramie

2005 Theatre Direction, Choreography & Stage Design: Barbara “Babs” Case (choreography), Jackson; Ken George (set design), Casper; Marsha Knight (choreography), Laramie

2006 Music Composition: Christian Erickson (composer), Gillette; Anne Guzzo (composer), Laramie

2007 Theatre & Dance Performance: Kema Jamal (dancer), Cheyenne; Jodeen Tebay (dancer), Jackson

2008 Awards on one-year hiatus

2009 Music Performance: Anne Sibley (singer/musician), Jackson; Theresa Bogard (pianist), Laramie

2010 Theatre Direction, Dance Choroeography and Stage Design: Larry Hazlett  (lighting designer), Laramie; Carrie Noel Richer (film director & choreographer), Jackson; Babs Case (choreographer), Jackson

2011 Music Composition: Anne Marie Guzzo (composer), Laramie; Jeff Troxel (singer/songwriter), Powell

2013 Theatre & Dance Performance: Lawrence Jackson (dancer), Laramie; Natalia Duncan (actor), Jackson. Interview with Natalia Duncan.

2014  Music Performance: Madelaine German, Jackson; Miss “V” the Gypsy Cowbelle, Thermopolis

Grant Information

Deadline: Varies
Amount: $3,000
Contact: Rachel Clifton
Apply Here