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. 4 fellowships will be awarded in Music and Theatre and Dance. Artists may only apply in one category (Music or Theatre and Dance). Submissions are currently not being accepted. Applications for the next round of fellowships will open in spring 2020.

2020 Performing Arts Fellowship Recipients

Music | Michael Gould | Cody, WY

Michael Chikuzen Gould lived in Japan from 1980 to 1997 and studied shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo Flute) under renowned masters Taniguchi Yoshinobu and Yokoyama Katsuya. He earned a “Shihan” (Master of Shakuhachi) in 1987 and was given the name “Chikuzen.” In 1994, he became one of only a handful of non-Japanese to hold the title of “Dai Shihan” (Grand Master of Shakuhachi). After returning to the U.S., Michael taught Zen Buddhism and Shakuhachi at the University of Michigan, Oberlin College, and Wittenberg University. A full-time shakuhachi teacher, he now offers private lessons in person and via webcam, multi-day intensive retreats for groups and individuals, and group workshops. 

Rooted in tradition and personal experience, Michael is known for his innovative and effective teaching techniques, his personalized sound, and his skill at communicating about both history and spirituality through shakuhachi. He has students in 12 different countries and from all over the United States, ranging from beginners to shihan-level.

Michael has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Japan, Canada, and Australia. In addition to performing solo and with traditional Japanese ensembles, Michael has collaborated with artists from other musical traditions, including Taiko drums, Chinese harp, pipe organ, violin, and percussion. He appeared in the world premiere of the opera “Madame Butterfly” using Japanese instruments, performed Karl Jenkins’ “Requiem” with the Metropolitan Detroit Chorale, and provided the music for the Dance Company of Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan in a presentation of the works of Mary Cassatte. He has recorded seven albums (solo and collaborations), produced one DVD, and co-authored two shakuhachi scorebooks. Michael lives in Cody, Wyoming, near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

Theatre & Dance | Marsha Knight | Laramie, WY

Marsha Fay Knight (MFA University of Utah) is a Professor at the University of Wyoming where her primary responsibilities lie in the teaching of ballet and pointe technique, historical dance, choreography, and dance pedagogy for over 35 years.  Marsha’s early training began in Richmond, VA, with continued training at the University of Utah under Willam Christensen, Toni Lander Marks and Li-Chou Cheng. Full-evening productions include Coppélia, Pulcinella, and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth and additional musicals.  Marsha’s contemporary ballet, Of a Mind, was selected for presentation at the Kennedy Center through the adjudication process of the American College Dance Association.

Marsha directed the 8th production of The Nutcracker this past December; a Department of Theatre and Dance offering that takes place every fourth year.  The ballet involves 115 cast and crew members and the UW Symphony Orchestra in five performances including an elementary school show and outreach workshops.  

Conceived/directed by Knight and produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance in April 2018, Six Songs from Ellis is a full-evening dance/theatre piece composed of oral histories of immigrants and refugees who passed through Ellis Island. A subsequent tour reached ten Wyoming communities with 29 related workshops and presentations.  All content was edited from the Oral History Collection at Ellis Island. Compilation was the result of Marsha’s 2016-17 sabbatical research in NYC and seminal production. Additional sabbatical activity included establishing plans with Dance Theatre of Harlem as Eminent Artists in-Residence at UW Fall ’17, teaching in NYC at Ballet Academy East and Dance Theatre of Harlem’s School, and continuing research in Baroque and Renaissance dance practice.  She observed a month of classes at the Moscow Arts Theatre May 2017, as well as at the Vaganova Ballet Academy, St. Petersburg.  She observed a month of classes at the Moscow Arts Theatre May 2017, as well as at the Vaganova Ballet Academy, St. Petersburg.  

Marsha served on the Executive Committee of the American College Dance Association as VP for Nominations and Elections from 2012-2018.  She is the 2018 recipient of UW’s President’s Speaker Series and a recipient of a 2018 Governor’s Arts Award from the Wyoming Arts Council. marshafayknight.com for information and content, Six Songs from Ellis

Music | Nicole Lamartine | Laramie, WY

Nicole Lamartine strives in every musical experience to illuminate meaning and impact of the commonalities of being human.  As Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wyoming, she leads the Collegiate Chorale, The UW Singing Statesmen and the Happy Jacks, and teaches conducting and studio voice. Her choirs have been honored to sing at several national and regional conferences, and she is a recognized expert in females conducting male choirs.  An active performer, she has sung with Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Colorado Bach Ensemble. She has won the University of Wyoming’s highest teaching award, the Ellbogen Award for Meritorious Classroom teaching and served the American Choral Directors Association as President of the Northwestern region. She holds world, national, and state records in powerlifting, demonstrating that creativity is intertwined with strength of body and mind.

Theatre & Dance | Kathleen Vreeland | Cheyenne, WY

For ten years, Kathy Vreeland served as artistic director and choreographer to the dance company that she founded, Ballet Wyoming, which was originally formed as Ballet 7220 in Laramie, Wyoming. Prior to this, she was a professional dancer in Dallas, Las Vegas, Denver and Ft Collins. She owned Laramie Dance Center from 2005-2015. She has choreographed over 30 original works including her unique versions of Peter and the Wolf, Little Mermaid, Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Ballet Wyoming. She currently is founder and Director of her professional contemporary ballet company in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Reformation Dance Company. She has choreographed all original works for this company including Four Seasons/Shadows, Star Tributes, Side Show, and Bach to Rock. In addition to choreography and artistic director duties, Kathy currently teaches ballet in Cheyenne and guest teaches all along the front range.

Honorable mentions were awarded to William Conte of Casper and Cameron Fehring of Riverton in the theatre and dance category. Dusty Nichols of Jackson received an honorable mention in the music category.

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

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

Grant Information

Deadline: Varies
Amount: $3,000
Contact: Taylor Craig
Apply Here