Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

Art Ventures Celebrates Thirty Years With 18 Grants to Individual Artists in NE Florida

May 13, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – May 12, 2020 – Eighteen Northeast Florida artists are being recognized with Art Ventures grants of $3,500 each as The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida celebrates three decades of investing in our local cultural community. The individuals selected for the 2020 awards include visual artists, writers, composers, choreographers, musicians, and photographers chosen for their demonstrated talent as well as their aspirations to refine an aspect of their craft. The 18 awards being given in 2020 are the largest number of individual artist grants ever made in one year, and in conjunction with 12 awards being made to small arts organizations, fulfill the Foundation’s pledge to honor Art Ventures’ 30th anniversary with a record 30 grants.

“Months ago, when deciding to mark the historic Art Ventures milestone 30th anniversary by greatly increasing the number of grants made in 2020, our goal was to highlight the importance of investing in the local arts community,” noted Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation. “Little did we know when we made these plans that the COVID-19 pandemic would exact such a toll on local artists, and we are delighted we can help support this vital part of our cultural community. Their rich contributions to Northeast Florida are an important reason we love living here.”

These eighteen individual artists represent the largest multi-disciplinary pool of grantees in the initiative’s history, a testimony to the depth of artistic talent in Northeast Florida. They include:

Barbara Colaciello (writing/performance) is a well-known writer and performer in Northeast Florida, and the artistic director of BABS’ LAB, a performance and training center in the CoRK Arts District. The grant will fund a new work examining caregiving, women’s heart health, and the healing power of the arts. (Duval)

Richard Colado (music composition) is a Jacksonville-based songwriter and musician who hastoured throughout the U.S. and Europe and recorded with a variety of musical ensembles. The grant will help complete a recording of Bones, Colado’s original music with Northeast Florida themes. (Duval)

Laura Colomb (visual art) received her MFA from Boston University and has shown her work in numerous locations in Florida, Boston and New York. The grant will fund a solo exhibition in Syracuse, NY of new work depicting the complexities of Northeast Florida landscapes. (Duval)

Nancy Hamlin-Vogler (visual art) owns Eastern Sun Printworks and has run a successful greeting card company while pursuing a serious studio practice in St. Augustine. The grant will fund materials to showcase a new series of still life work, including an update to the artist’s website. (St. Johns)

James Joshua Hansbrough (film) is an award-winning filmmaker who operates his Jacksonville-based company, Birdman Filmworks. The grant will support post-production and marketing for his short film about autism, Hear Me. (Duval)

Rebecca R. Levy (choreography) is the co-founder and artistic director for Jacksonville Dance Theatre, the contemporary modern dance company, and also serves as the Director of Dance at FSCJ. The grant will support Levy in choreographing an original piece called Disorder, an evocative work about mental illness. (Duval)

Alisha Lewis(visual art) is a sculptor who recently launched a multi-platform initiative called Brown Girls Unite. The grant will allow Lewis to purchase a large studio kiln for a new body of work, Body Reclamation, which exploresthe complexity and humanity of African American women and girls. (Duval)

Roxanna Lewis (performing arts) is a Jacksonville-based director and choreographer whose work has been featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as on Broadway. Lewis’s grant will provide funding for her to train in cutting-edge film processes to document and circulate her work. (St. Johns)

JoAnne Maffia (music composition) is a St. Augustine-based sound designer, composer and percussionist/drummer who has created and collaborated on works throughout the USA and around the world. The grant will fund an immersive, collaborative project of original music, sound design and choreography to be performed around the country. (St. Johns)

Christina Mastrangelo (visual art) is a classical realist painter who studied at Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. The grant will support a series of 12 paintings featuring Jacksonville women for an exhibit at the Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra in 2021. (Duval)

Franklin Matthews (visual art) operates a studio in the CoRK Arts District, and also serves the community as a police officer. The grant will support expenses to prepare Matthews’s work for a traveling group exhibition called “IAM Residency’s Th3Rivers Project.” (Duval)

Aisling Millar McDonald (sculpture) has had work featured in numerous national and regional exhibitions. The grant will help fund a large-scale sculpture of steel called Surge, which symbolizes Jacksonville’s connectivity through its bridges. (Duval)

Bob Moore (music) is a composer of sacred music who has published more than 300 choral and instrumental works which are performed across the country. The grant will support the presentation of a concert of original work to be recorded for production. (Duval)

Ulysses Owens, Jr. (music) is an international Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and educator, and the founder of Don’t Miss a Beat, a Jacksonville arts after-school program empowering ‘At-Hope’ children. The grant will fund production costs for a live recording of the musician’s ensemble, The Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band. (Duval)

Ebony Payne-English (music) is a poet, educator and spoken word artist whose work has been showcased on local and national platforms. The grant will fund production and materials for a rhythm and poetry project called Kuongoza, which re-interprets the ways in which hip hop articulates the stories of black women. (Duval)

Theresa Segal (visual art) is a St. Augustine photographer, and a two-time Art Ventures award recipient who has resided in the historically African American neighborhood of Lincolnville for more than three decades. The grant will support a photographic examination of the neighborhood’s evolution culled from her archive of negatives to create an exhibit at the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center. (St. Johns)

Marisella Veiga (writing) is a St. Augustine writer who has published two books examining her experiences as a CubanAmerican. The grant will fund her next work by supporting gathering of oral histories to explore issues of assimilation and identity among Cuban Americans in North Florida, especially since they live outside the larger exile community in South Florida. (St. Johns)

Hurley Winkler (writing) has published numerous short stories, essays and articles and is completing her first novel, Plant Moms. The grant will allow her to contract with an editor to bring the original manuscript closer to publication. (Duval)


In addition to the individual artist grants, the Art Ventures initiative also supports small arts organizations. To date, nine art organizations have received 2020 Art Ventures grants, including: 5 and Dime Theatre, Clamour Theatre, tag! Children’s Museum, Limelight Theatre, Florida Chamber Music Project, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Jacksonville Dance Theatre, Hope at Hand, and Don’t Miss a Beat. Three additional grants will be made in the fall.

Art Ventures began in 1990 as a commitment to invest in local individual artists as well as small arts organizations— and has granted more than $1.3 million to more than 200 artists and 125 small arts organizations. Funding for Art Ventures Individual Artist grants comes from the Art Ventures Endowment, the J. Shepard, Jr. & Mary Ann Bryan Arts Endowment, the Anne and Sallyn Pajcic Art Ventures Endowment, the Independent Life Minority Arts Fund, and the Alynne Sharp Art Fund. Again this year, an additional contribution from the Baker Family Fund allowed The Community Foundation to award two additional individual artist grants. The Community Foundation Board of Trustees approved additional discretionary funding to be added to allow the Foundation to make a total of 30 grants to celebrate Art Ventures’ 30th anniversary.

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the state’s oldest and largest community foundation, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Created in 1964, the Foundation has assets of $482 million and has made approximately $550 million in grants since inception.

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