Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency Award Deadline Set for March 15, 2016

The deadline to apply for the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency award is set for Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

This is the second cycle for the grant that honors Ms. Regan's four decades of leadership as executive director at the N.C. Arts Council and her long-held beliefs in the importance of the contributions of artists and the transformative potential of creativity to community life.

The Community Artist Residency pairs artists with members of a community to develop a project that develops from their interaction. The innovative program elevates the importance and value of artists to community life. Funds for the program will provide $12,500 for the residency to support planning and implementation costs related to the proposed project.

Artists in all disciplines are eligible to apply for the Tuesday, March 15 deadline.

Two years ago, Dillsboro book artist Frank Brannon received the inaugural Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency Grant for a project to revitalize the Cherokee language through his artistry as a letterpress printer.

For his project, Brannon worked with moveable type cast in the Cherokee syllabary for use in letterpress printing not only in his own studio,SpeakEasy Press, but also in printmaking courses at Southwestern Community College in Swain County. The 83-character syllabary, a set of written symbols representing the syllables of speech, was developed by the Cherokee leader Sequoyah in the 1820s. Brannon says it is now at risk of being lost as a spoken language.

Over the past year, Brannon held a series of public workshops where participants from both the Cherokee and surrounding communities produced letterpress prints of animals with their names in both English and Cherokee. The prints were accompanied by participants' observations and comments about the animals. They were compiled into an edition of handmade books, Animal Tales, now in the collections of the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee. In addition to the workshop series, Brannon also hosted a lecture from multi-media installation artist, Luzene Hill, whose artist book Spearfinger (letterpress in Cherokee syllabary) was produced in collaboration with his SpeakEasy Press.

Applicants for the 2016-17 community artist residency will propose an up to one-year project that engages a North Carolina community in a meaningful way involving targeted groups in extended activities and culminating in public events and/or the creation of artwork(s) sited in public settings. Projects may address local or regional issues, or be exclusively aesthetically focused, but should not focus primarily on school-age children as the audience.

Examples of projects include choreographers working with community members to create a dance work commemorating a local event; writers collaborating with immigrants to tell the stories of their journeys; public artists designing solutions to environmental issues in partnership with local water and public works departments, and so forth.

Initial proposals must demonstrate a clear project idea, articulate achievable goals, and summarize the applicant's qualifications and interest in the project. Finalists will be invited to interview and be asked to provide more detailed plans, including proposed partnerships, a timeline and budget for implementation of the project, desired outcomes, and additional sources of support or fundraising strategies, as necessary.

To learn more about the program and to apply for the March 15 deadline, visit our website at http://www.ncarts.org/Grants/Grants-for-Artists/Mary-B-Regan-Community-Artist-Residency.

About the North Carolina Arts Council

The North Carolina Arts Council works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning. The Arts Council accomplishes this in partnership with artists and arts organizations, other organizations that use the arts to make their communities stronger and North Carolinians-young and old-who enjoy and participate in the arts. For more information visit www.ncarts.org.