BOSTON—Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture announced that five local artists have been selected to receive the City of Boston’s second round of Artist Fellowship Awards.
One of the winners this year is Indian American Shubha Sunder, who grew up in Bangalore, India, and currently lives in Jamaica Plain.
Ms. Sundar is a writing instructor at GrubStreet whose prose has appeared in places like Lenny Letter, The Bare Life Review, Crazyhorse, Narrative Magazine, and Michigan Quarterly Review. Two of her stories were named as notable in The Best American Short Stories 2016 anthology.
In 2016 Ms. Sundar was also named a Mass Cultural Council Fellow. Other distinctions include the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize, Narrative “30 Below,” and awards from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and from The Corporation of Yaddo.
Building off of the City’s record-breaking investment in individual artists, each artist was awarded a $10,000 unrestricted grant to help advance their careers.
“The artists selected in this round of the Artist Fellowship Awards are a reflection of Boston’s extremely diverse creative sector,” said Mayor Walsh. “Boston is proud to be home to so many talented individuals, and we’re excited to recognize their contributions to our city in this way.”
Mid-career Boston-based artists across all disciplines were invited to apply for the award, which aims to recognize exceptional artistic work and help recipients continue their work in Boston with success. The City received 192 applications, and selected the following four other Artist Fellows: Maya Erdelyi-Perez,
Billy Dean Thomas, Paloma Valenzuela and Alexander Davis.
The Fellows will work with the City on one public event showcasing their work. This year for the first time, due to the many exceptional applications received, the City also awarded $1,000 grants to five finalists: Rob Gibbs from Mattapan, Maria Finkelmeier from West Roxbury, Krysten Hill from Roslindale, Stephen Hamilton from Roxbury, and Tory Bullock from Mission Hill.
“As we work to ensure that local artists can thrive in the City of Boston, it’s so important to have programs like this that support artists creative contributions to our city,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture. “We’re excited to invest in these artists and give them the opportunity to use this grant in whatever way is most meaningful to them.”
A selection committee comprised of individuals representing a variety of artistic disciplines and local arts organizations reviewed the final round of applications and selected the five Artist Fellows and five finalists. It included former Artist Fellow Dariel Suarez of GrubStreet, Scott Wheeler of Emerson College, Lyndsay Allyn Cox of Boston Center for the Arts, Andrea Blesso of Boston Center for the Arts, Marian Taylor Brown of Arts Connect International, former Artist Fellow Michelle Fornabai, former Artist Fellow Jason Palmer of Berklee College of Music, Rene Dongo of Zumix, Vicky Rodriguez of CraftBoston, Catherine Morris of BAMS Fest, and Deidra Montgomery of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
“The City of Boston Artist Fellowship had a big impact on my writing career,” said former City of Boston Artist Fellow Dariel Suarez. “It not only provided a confidence boost, but it allowed me the flexibility to focus on new projects and continue developing as an artist in the city I now call home. I hope the new fellows will be as excited as I was about the prospect of personal artistic growth in this wonderful community thanks to the award.”
The Artist Fellowship Award is part of the City’s $200,000 FY20 investment in sustaining key grant making programs for individual artists. In addition, the City is investing $250,000 for the Boston Artist in Residence Program, providing operating funds for two full-time staff positions in the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and investing an additional $400,000 to enhance the Boston Public Library and its local branches.