Chatham Arts Council Awards JumpstART Grants to 10 Chatham Artists
Grant Designed by Artists for Artists to Put the Arts in the Public Sphere
Pittsboro, NC—Chatham Arts Council’s JumpstART grant was born out of the pandemic–a program with a two-fold benefit: getting Chatham County artists and arts-workers back to work, and displaying that work for free to the public right here in Chatham County.
“JumpstART was originally a one-year-only kind of program–a bridge from deep pandemic to cautious re-opening. But engaging in JumpstART exposed needs that continue to exist,” says Artistic Director Cheryl Chamblee. “A springboard that pays artists to make new work for our community to experience–especially right now as we’re all working to find our equilibrium–is recovery for both artists and for Chatham residents.”
This year, grants range from $250 to $1,000 for individual projects, and $500 to $1,500 for collaborative projects. We are thrilled to announce ten Chatham County artists have been awarded grants: Alexander Percy, JR Butler, Brenda Linton, Caleb McLaurin, Julia Kennedy, Diali Cissokho, Tanja Cole, Virginia Ralston, Taz Halloween, and Stephan Meyers aka Breadfoot.
Long-time Arts Council collaborator and artist, Stephan Meyers aka Breadfoot, described the grant this way– “Chatham Arts Council’s JumpstART grant, for me, is more than just a little something to grease the wheels and pay some bills. It’s a we-believe-in-you-and-your-crazy-dreams green light go!”
Two-time recipient Alexander Percy will be creating a set of pure silver jewelry, including a necklace, bracelet, and ring with his JumpstART grant. “I am one of the blessed artists who was able to obtain the grant for the second year in a row. I am so grateful to Chatham Arts Council for empowering me and my skills.”
This year’s JumpstART project theme is Equilibrium. All artists’ projects will engage with the concept of equilibrium in some way.
Musician and first-time grant recipient Taz Halloween had been percolating on a recording project all through the pandemic, and even had many of the songs already written, but when pondering the equilibrium theme, she got inspired in a new direction. “Deciding to go fresh, with ‘Equilibrium’ being the key, the portal just opened wide. Subjects that weighed heavy on my heart, on the world’s hearts, just gushed out of my scribbling pen, onto new pages, into my rusty voice, onto instruments. Being awarded the grant from the Chatham Arts Council folks gave me SO much more than money. Somehow, they believe in me. This ‘granted’ a renewed belief in myself.” Like the other JumpstART artists, Taz looks forward to sharing her work in a Chatham Arts Council public showing later this season.
Chamblee adds, “The late, great Tommy Edwards used to say that if you shake a tree in Chatham County, an artist or a musician falls out. We want to shine a light on our artists for the public benefit. We’re working hard to enable access to the arts for folks all over Chatham. JumpstART opens one more window for Chatham residents to experience the arts in the public sphere without heading out of the county to do it.”
In addition to the Equilibrium theme, recipients are required to be professional performing, visual or literary artists or arts workers financially impacted due to COVID-19 cancellations and closures, rising costs-of-living, or other economic challenges. They must also reside in Chatham County and participate in a public sharing of their projects at a Chatham Arts Council event this season.
ABOUT THE CHATHAM ARTS COUNCIL
The Chatham Arts Council nurtures creative thinkers in Chatham County. We do this in two ways: we invest in artists, and we educate kids through the arts. In its fortieth year as a nonprofit arts agency, Chatham Arts Council’s flagship programs include Meet This Artist, Go See This, artist grants, and the Arts for Resilient Kids Initiative – serving more than 4,500 children this year. Chatham Arts Council is proud to partner with the North Carolina Arts Council, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, Chatham County Schools, and numerous Chatham arts organizations, human resource nonprofits, and local businesses. For more information, visit www.ChathamArtsCouncil.org.
CONTACT: Andrea Akin, Marketing/Public Relations Leader of the Chatham Arts Council, firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-548-5762