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Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship

Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship applications will open in summer 2024.

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About the Program

What would you do if you were given $10,000 to go in search of creative inspiration? Since 1999, the Arts Council, with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., has invited 500+ central Indiana artists and arts administrators to do just that. They use their two-year Creative Renewal fellowships to travel, go to workshops and retreats, and have other fulfilling experiences.

Meet the 2022-2023 Creative Renewal Arts Fellows

Congratulations to these 40 artists and arts administrators who were selected by a national panel of arts professionals to receive grants.  

Jerry Lee Atwood


Jerry will visit the studios of other embroidery artists around the U.S, interview them and document these visits for a potential book.

Josh Betsey


Josh will travel to Mexico City to visit artist collectives. He’ll participate in workshops about screen printing, collage, and other forms of image-making.

Carol Ann Carter


Carol plans to participate in two residencies: One for ceramic arts in Maine and the second in international design in the south of France.

Richard Clark


Rich will take his modern digital camera to India and study the historic technique that busker street photographers have used since the mid-1800s.

Deonna Craig


Deonna will explore some of the most ancient rock art in the world and immerse herself in the culture, history, and presence of petroglyphs.

Shannon Forsell

Arts Administrator

Shannon, the CEO and artistic director of The Cabaret, will spend time in the rainforests of Belize and enjoy nature and birdwatching. She’ll also attend a meditation retreat in the North Carolina mountains and discover what her “next act” will be.

Ellie Garvey


Ellie will travel to Hawaii to research a children’s book. She’ll base the storyline on experiential observation of children performing an ideal task: rainbow hunting.

Sherry Hong


Sherry will study the evolution of the art and craft of violin-making, and look at how modern instruments can connect music and the performing arts.

Lori Wolter Hudson

Arts Administrator

Lori, the artistic director of The New Harmony Project, will research and start to write a musical about her great aunt, Gertrude ‘Cleo’ Lythgoe. Known as “The Bahama Queen,” Gertrude was a rum runner during prohibition.

April Knauber


April will reconnect with her heritage by traveling to the Philippines to explore her culture and environment and recharge her sense of identity.

Susannah Koerber

Arts Administrator

Susannah, chief curator and research officer at the Indiana State Museum, will study historic photographic processes and use her learnings to create artwork that offer new ways of thinking about place, memory, and history.

Willard Johnson


Willard will explore his childhood roots in Egypt and reconnect with the sights, sounds, and smells that first inspired him as an artist. While there, he’ll attend a ceramic and tapestry workshop.

Oreo Jones


Oreo will explore the capital city of Kathmandu (Cat-man-doo) in Nepal and take a trek around the southern Himalayas. He’ll meet up with local musicians and artists and study the sounds of their culture.

Clare Longendyke


Clare will travel to Bali to participate in an intensive study and performance of traditional Balinese music.

Sabra Logan


Sabra will take a wellness journey to learn about plant-based foods that can address cancer prevention, and attend several retreats. She also hopes to visit a Kente (ken-tay) cloth master weaver and have a cloth made for her.

Eduardo Luna

Arts Administrator

Eduardo, the founder of Arte Mexicano en Indiana, will create a small shelter in his backyard for personal meditation, arts creation, and relaxation.

Manon Voice


Manon will write a collection of poems about the agriculture expertise, foodways, and practices of African-Americans that have been damaged by colonialism. She’ll also use the poems to organize workshops.

Sedalia Marie


Sedalia will attend an expressive sound therapy retreat in San Diego. She also hopes to travel to Morocco, Spain, Tanzania, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Washington D.C.

Ronan Marra

Arts Administrator

Ronan, artistic director at Storefront Theatre, will take time to focus on his writing and write a new play about gun violence, the lack of gun control, and the gun lobby.

Chantel Massey


Chantel will take a spiritual pilgrimage by following in the footsteps of American writer and activist James Baldwin. She’ll also travel to New York City and France.

Dani Oglesby


Dani will travel the U.S. and abroad to meet other hair artists and learn new ways of expression through hair art. She will become certified in PsychoHairapy, an international movement promoting mental health through hairstyles.



Pep-C will go to an international break dancing competition in Korea and learn new techniques for her own dance practice. She will visit Texas and California to train on Breakin’ techniques.

Teresa Reynolds


Through DNA testing, Teresa will explore the ethnic roots of her father, who was adopted, and those of his adoptive parents, tracing back to the slave trade. She will also immerse herself in the music and culture of Puerto Rico, where her mother was born.

Ben Rose


Ben will spend several weekends at the historic black lake cabin community of Fox Lake and attend the 2023 American Black Film Festival.

Greg Rose


Greg will visit Black art spaces along the “chittlin circuit” to learn what it takes to build a grassroots art community centered on Black and brown artists. 

Eric Salazar


Eric will travel to La Ciudad de México to learn about Norteño music from Mexican folk musicians. He also plans to experience Día de Muertos in the city that his late grandfather grew up in.

Yemisi Sanni


Yemi will travel to West Africa to further develop her textile artistry and storytelling and explore the traditional processes that are still used in contemporary practices. She’ll attend retreats and workshops, and meet with curators and other textile artists.

Chris Saunders


Chris will immerse himself in the hills, horses, and history of the West by attending a 10-day Working Ranch Experience in Montana.

Jordan Flores Schwartz

Arts Administrator

Jordan, the producing director at Fonseca Theatre, plans to improve her health and fitness through yoga and swimming. She’ll also visit a good friend in the U.K. and reconnect with family in Texas.

Andrew Scott


Andrew will attend conferences, festivals, and classes to further explore the craft of visual storytelling in comics.

Alicia Sims


Alicia will visit places that connect her to her Afrocentric roots, including stops along the Civil Rights Trail. She plans to write the sequel to her book, create her first EP, and re-establish her signature look.

Gregory Smith

Arts Administrator

Gregory, senior conservation scientist at Newfields, will spend time in Israel's Galilee region, revisiting sites that he helped excavate 25 years ago. He also plans to visit museums throughout the country.

Israel Solomon


Israel will visit places that have strong arts scenes to learn about what’s happening in the larger art world. In New York City, he will check out museums, galleries, and arts communities.

LaShawnda Crowe Storm


LaShawnda will study with leaders, spiritual teachers, and mystics within West African spiritual traditions. She also plans to expand her textile skills.

Gwen Sunkel


Gwen will travel to observe how other cultures mourn, honor, and celebrate the dead–from Zulu funeral traditions in New Orleans to Norse burial sites in Iceland. She’ll develop a new hour of comedy around the human relationship to death and dying.

Jared Thompson


Jarden will unplug from his work in Indy by spending time at a communal farm just outside of Asheville, N.C.

Too Black


He’ll tour prestigious libraries around the world to explore their architecture and dig through their archives to replenish his knowledge and creativity.

Sharon Weyser


Sharon will travel to Vienna, Austria, to work with the country’s premier Vienna horn maker and have her own horn made. She’ll also take lessons with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera.

Julia Whitehead

Arts Administrator

Julia, CEO and founder of the Kurt Vonnegut Library & Museum, will interview Rabbis Sandy and Dennis Sasso to explore their history. She’ll also travel and hike; and make a short film.

Michele Wood


Michelle will trace her Indiana Avenue heritage and DNA by traveling to Africa, Jerusalem, Eastern Europe, Mississippi, and Georgia.

2022-2023 Creative Renewal Panelists

Five arts professionals met in Indianapolis to review fellowship applications and make recommendations to the Arts Council’s Board of Directors for final approval:

Alice Escher, associate professor of dance, Tulane University
Kipp Kobayashi, Los Angeles-based visual artist
Quanice Floyd, executive director, National Guild for Community Arts Education in New York City; Co-founder, Arts Administrators of Color Network
Anthony Tognazzini, fiction writer and Oberlin College professor 
Calida Jones, Hartford, Conn.-based violinist, music educator and consultant

Read the 2020-2021 Fellowship Stories

2020-2021 Creative Arts Renewal Fellowship
Discover the renewal journeys of nearly 40 local visual artists, poets, authors, dancers, and musicians.

“This fellowship reminds us to dream big. I wouldn’t have pursued my dream to the end without this uplifting belief in me.” - 2020-2021 Fellow

For more information, please contact the Arts Council grants department at (317) 631-3301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Arts Council of Indianapolis is committed to working with the arts and cultural community to cultivate a sector that serves, celebrates, and values every resident of Indianapolis. We envision a city where engagement in the arts is not pre-determined by socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. We believe in a full creative life for all.

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