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Arts Council Awards 14 Duke Energy Regional Artist Grants

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County has made 14 awards to local artists through its Duke Energy Regional Artist Grant program.  A total of $24,500 will allow the artists to further their artistic professional development through a specific project.

Award recipients include  Kate Carey (Literature/Davidson Co.), Mike Chamis (Film/Forsyth Co.), Amy da Luz (Theatre/Forsyth Co.), Owens Daniels (Visual Art, Forsyth Co.), Zach Deas (Craft/Davie Co.), Marianne DiNapoli-Mylet (Visual Art, Forsyth Co.), Nathan Ross Freeman (Film/Forsyth Co.), Kendra Harding (Music/Forsyth Co.), Cashavelly Morrison (Music/Forsyth Co.), Zach McCraw (Visual Art/Stokes Co.), David Petty (Storytelling/Forsyth Co.), Leo Rucker (Visual Art/Forsyth Co.), Jessica Singerman (Visual Art/Forsyth Co.), and Will Willner (Visual Art/Forsyth Co.).

Regional artist grants are available to artists working in the disciplines of music, film, literature, dance, visual art and craft and residing in Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties.  The program is sponsored by Duke Energy and supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

“We are especially pleased with the variety of artistic projects that these artists will be working on this year,” said Dara Silver, Grant Program Manager for The Arts Council.  “These awards are a way The Arts Council invests in our local creative entrepreneurs by helping them move forward a project so that they can leverage additional opportunities and commissions.”

Cashavelly Morrison is an American-Alt Country singer and songwriter whose debut album The Kingdom Belongs to a Child received the Independent Music Award for Best Alt Country Album.  This grant will support the completion efforts of their second album, Hunger.  “We’ve been writing and recording our second studio album for two years, and now because of this grant, we can complete the mixing, mastering, and printing to get it out into the world at a time when the songs will be particularly timely and culturally relevant. It’s support like this that makes the artistic dreams of working parents possible,” said Cashavelly Morrison.

Nathan Freeman is an award winning screenwriter, director, and filmmaker.  This grant will support the production of his next feature film, Gem, about an Archangel named Gem who is involved in a prophetic story of religions at war.  Nathan said, “This award is most appreciated and will support the film needs of Gem by helping to cover costs for the local hiring of costume and design and production artists.”

Jessica Singerman is an award recognized artist and received her MFA from the University of Delaware.  Her works are inspired by the poetry of nature’s changing color, light, and the passing of time.  This grant will allow her to obtain a professional photography and video equipment to support the marketing efforts of her works on her website, blog, and social media.  “This grant is an investment in the infrastructure of my career as a working artist.  It will help me to better document my work and to build my web presence.  Having an internet presence is vital for an artist because it allows them share their work worldwide.  Viewers are able to gain a deeper understanding of my work and process and it is a way to share that process with other artists who are still learning and exploring their craft.”

Winston-Salem, known as a City of Arts and Innovation, and Forsyth County have a robust arts community that enriches the lives of area residents every day and accounts in large part for the recognition they continue to receive as a great place to live, learn, work and play.  The Arts Council raises funds and advocates for the arts, sponsors events in conjunction with other arts organizations, promotes and funds arts education, creates cultural and learning opportunities, develops social capital and aids economic development.  Last year, The Arts Council made 98 awards totaling $1,699,500.


Zach Deas (Craft, Davie Co.) $1,000 – To apprentice with a luthier in order to learn new finishing techniques

Nathan Ross Freeman (Film, Forsyth Co.) $3,000 – To produce his feature film Gem about an Archangel named Gem who is involved in a prophetic story of religions at war

Kate Carey (Literature, Davidson County) $680 – To support writing residencies in order to complete her first novel, The Ginko Tree, about a small, private liberal arts college that is experiencing scandals, financial problems, and mismanagement

Cashavelly Morrison (Music, Forsyth Co.) $3,500 – To assist with CD and vinyl printing of their second album, Hunger

Kendra Harding (Music, Forsyth Co.) $1,000 – To compose and workshop a suite of original songs for beginner guitar students

David Petty (Storytelling, Forsyth Co.) $400 – To join the NC Story Telling Guild and the National Storytelling Network and attend guild workshops

Amy da Luz (Theatre, Forsyth Co.) $2,000 – To workshop and perform her original play, DEMBE, that centers around the complexities of international and interracial adoptions

Mike Chamis (Theatre, Forsyth Co.) $1,000 – To continue workshopping his play, Pied Piper, a musical theatre piece for children

Jessica Singerman (Visual Art, Forsyth Co.) $2,200 – To obtain professional photography and video equipment to support the marketing efforts of her artwork on her website, blog, and social media

Leo Rucker (Visual Art, Forsyth Co.) $2,050 – To attend the annual Portrait Society of America Conference

Marianne DiNapoli-Mylet (Visual Art, Forsyth Co.) $2,100 – To travel to DC & NY to conduct research her Go-Go Girls Project based on the Women’s Movements in the 1960’s and today

Owens Daniels (Visual Art. Forsyth Co.) $2,220 – To produce an original photographic works exploring issues within the LGBTQ community

Will Willner (Visual Art, Forsyth Co.) $2,050 – To create a new body of work using infrared photography on local landscapes

Zach McCraw (Visual Art, Stokes Co.) $1,300 – To create two new video art pieces focusing on the theme of identity

Duke Energy Regional Artist Project Grants provide financial support to committed, gifted individual artists and unincorporated groups in Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties.  Additional support comes from the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

For more information, please contact:

Dara Silver Senior Administrative Assistant, Special Projects, and Grant Program Manager 336.747.1426

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