WHAT IS A PERFORMING ARTS FELLOWSHIP?
Performing Arts Fellowships are $3,000 unrestricted awards of merit that are given in honor of excellence in the artist’s field. They are juried by noted professionals in the field based on appropriate media samples and artist statements. Four fellowships are awarded in Music and Theatre and Dance. Artists may only apply in one category (Music or Theatre and Dance). Submissions are not currently being accepted. Applications for the next round of fellowships will open in spring 2021.
Aaron Davis | Music | Jackson, WY
Aaron Davis // 2020 AaronDavisMusic.com Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, vocalist and producer Aaron Davis is chiefly known as co- founder of longtime alt-folk/country-blues band Screen Door Porch and in recent years, for his eclectic solo ramblings and the accompanying project Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine. He’s also a studio engineer-producer-session player at his own Three Hearted Recording Studio in Hoback, Wyoming. Davis works the lesser-worn corners of the American musical fabric through an unconventional lens. From “searing slide guitar” (Country Weekly) echoing gritty Southern blues à la Duane Allman, to a patchwork of story folk and acoustic roots, pensive alt-country, and improvisational 70s-influenced rock, Aaron has been described as a “truly phenomenal songwriter” (Americana UK) with “a particularly interesting approach that mixes poetry, groove and roughness” (Lonestar Time). Aaron is self-taught on electric, acoustic & resonator guitars, banjo, lap steel, harmonica, mandolin, pedal steel, bass, and cigar box percussion, resulting in an unorthodox fingerstyle. The range of his original material has been chronicled across nine albums, including his 2019 solo album, The Meander, and the four albums of “grooving electrified porch music” with Screen Door Porch. According to Vanguard Records executive and critic Bill Bentley, “Screen Door Porch transformed roots music into something much larger—a down home goodtime vibe,” while The Austin Chronicle noted that the duo “lends an easy Western flair to their more prominent native influences of North Carolina and Kentucky, a combination that goes down as smoothly as top-shelf bourbon.” Screen Door Porch founded the multi-act WYOmericana Caravan Tour, a grassroots tour collective of Wyoming songwriters which The New York Times called “a traveling concert circus.” Aaron’s songs have landed in various projects including films, commercials, documentaries, podcasts, and network television. He has shared bills with many of his heroes—Wilco, Willie Nelson, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Buddy Guy, Sam Bush, Brian Wilson, James McMurtry, Steve Earle, and Hayes Carll. This has led to theater, club and festival stages including South by Southwest, Treefort Music Fest, Magic City Blues Fest, and Sawtooth Music Festival.
Anne Mason | Theatre & Dance | Laramie, WY
Anne Mason founded Relative Theatrics in 2013, a non-profit theatre organization with a mission to bring thought provoking theatre to the Laramie Community. Taking artistic risk, Relative Theatrics provides a community gathering space where thoughts can be exchanged about society, culture, and the power of creativity. Anne has produced, directed, appeared in, and/or designed over 25 productions with the organization. As the RT Producing Artistic Director, Anne was a Governor’s Arts Award Nominee in 2019 and was selected as one of Laramie’s top 20 Under 40 Young Professionals in 2016. Anne holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Wyoming. In addition to her work with Relative Theatrics, she has worked as a freelance actor, director, theatre educator, and voiceover artist. Anne has worked professionally with Missoula Children’s Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus, California Musical Theatre, Capital Stage Company, Snowy Range Summer Theatre, The University of Wyoming, Sans Facon, and others. Anne is currently advancing her training by studying intimacy choreography and coordination from Theatrical Intimacy Education. She is honored to be the recipient of the 2020 Performing Arts Fellowship and thanks Wyoming Arts Council for their incredible support!
Abby Webster | Music | Wilson, WY
Abby Webster is a singer-songwriter living in Jackson, Wyoming. She began her musical career in college, when she became the organ player for an indie rock band called Mr. Norway. Active in the local music scene of Springfield Missouri, Webster gradually started singing backup vocals and playing keys in a few different bands as a hobby. She later began using GarageBand to write and record her own songs. Her initial attempts at songwriting were angsty, comedic retaliations against a musician ex-boyfriend. However, that pursuit soon developed into something more authentic. She recorded her first collection of solo piano songs in 2008, which was later released as an EP called Drunk & Pretty. Since then, she has released two more EP’s, and two singles. Having written poetry from a young age, Webster’s songs are informed by her own life, and are typically propelled by lyrics and raw emotion. Originally a pianist and drummer, she has added guitar and baritone ukulele to her repertoire in recent years. In addition to her solo work, she has participated in a project called Ski Lift since 2010. You can find her music on iTunes and Spotify. Her first full-length album, Polyphony, will be out this fall.
Luke Dakota Zender | Theatre & Dance | Jackson, WY
Luke Dakota Zender is an artist, dancer and movement director interested in cultivating relationships between bodies and states of consciousness. He finds the meaning of life in movement and wants to share his perspective with as many people as possible. Originally from Wyoming, he was shaped by mountains and expansive open range, each integral to his understanding of art and culture. Performance, when approached with that expansive quality, can transcend how we understand the world. As an artist and storyteller, Luke seeks to use multiple mediums and invites the art of collaboration into his process in an effort to find a more universal experience, cultivating collaboration and community.
Honorable mentions were given to Patrick Konesko of Laramie and Gina Patterson of Jackson in the category of Theatre & Dance. Andrew Wheelock of Laramie received an honorable mention in the category of music.
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
2017 Music Composition: Ron Coulter, Casper; Theatre & Dance Performance: Rachel Holmes, Jackson;
2018 Music Composition: Ben Markley, Laramie; Leif Routman, Jackson; Beth Vanderborgh, Laramie; Dr. Mark Elliot Bergman, Sheridan
2019 Music: Michael Gould, Cody, WY; Nicole Lamartine, Laramie, WY Theatre & Dance: Marsha Knight, Laramie, WY; Kathleen Vreeland Cheyenne, WY