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Illinois Arts Council Announces 2024 Artist Fellowship Award Recipients

Press Release - Wednesday, May 01, 2024

The Illinois Arts Council (IAC) is honored to announce the 2024 Artist Fellowship Award (AFA) recipients. The IAC AFAs are $15,000 awards to Illinois artists in recognition of their outstanding work and commitment within the arts. This year the IAC awarded 17 Illinois artists with Fellowships totaling $255,000. Finalist Awards of $1,500 were also awarded to 13 Illinois artists for a total of $19,500. The Finalist Award category recognizes and encourages additional applicants who demonstrate considerable talent.


IAC Executive Director, Joshua Davis-Ruperto states, "Individual artists fuel our state's creativity, communities, and economy. They tell stories, spark conversations, pass on traditions, and provide inspiration. IAC Fellowship Awards acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in Illinois. The 2024 IAC Fellows were selected for their remarkable artistic practice and their commitment to Illinois' communities - both within their specific regions and discipline at large.  The IAC congratulates each of these extraordinary individuals." 


"These artists represent the highest levels of craft for their respective disciplines, and I'm proud to uplift their work through IAC's Fellowship Awards," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I look forward to seeing how they will continue to represent their communities across Illinois and grow their work, and I congratulate each of them on the award."

The Artist Fellowship Program offered funding in 7 artistic disciplines. This year's Fellowship and Finalist Award recipients were selected from 302 Illinois-based creative artists working in the disciplines of Ethnic and Folk Arts, Crafts, and Visual Arts which includes Visual-Based Arts (Installation, Mixed Media, Painting, Graphic & Drawing), Photography, and Sculpture.

The Council is proud to be able to provide Illinois artists with unrestricted funds in these awards that will support their creative endeavors and artistic growth. The mission of the Illinois Arts Council is "To build a strong, creative, and connected Illinois through the arts." The Agency recognizes that Illinois' artists are an essential component of the social fabric and economic vibrancy of the state.

The Artist Fellowship Awardees and Finalists are representative of the diversity found in the arts across Illinois and represent a diversity of age, gender, and geographic locations. Illinois communities represented include Alton, Berwyn, Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago, East St. Louis, Lombard, Mahomet, Milan, River Forest, Rockford, Skokie, and Urbana.

For brief bios on 2024 Artist Fellowship Awardees visit:

Following are the Fiscal Year 2024 Artist Fellowship and Finalist Award recipients listed by discipline.

Kira Dominguez Hultgren- Chicago - $15,000
Jade Yumang - Chicago - $15,000
Nicole Davis - Milan - $15,000
Jose Santiago Perez - Chicago - $1,500
Betsy Youngquist - Rockford - $1,500

Ben Grosser- Urbana - $15,000
Elise Holowicki - Lombard - $1,500

Reggio McLaughlin - Chicago - $15,000
Michael J. Miles - Chicago - $15,000
Emily Hooper Lansana - Chicago - $1,500
Jose L. Ovalle - Berwyn - $1,500

Kelly Kristin Jones - River Forest - $15,000
Bradley Temkin - Skokie - $15,000
Robert Chase Heishman - Chicago - $1,500
Libby Reuter - Alton - $1,500
Fern Logan - Carbondale - $1,500

eliza myrie - Chicago - $15,000
Max Guy - Chicago - $15,000
Jade Williams - Chicago - $1,500
Danielle and Kevin McCoy - East St. Louis - $1,500

Natalia Villanueva Linares - Chicago - $15,000
Susan Giles - Chicago - $15,000
Monica Rezman - Chicago - $1,500
Claire Lieberman - Bloomington - $1,500

Pugs Atomz - Chicago - $15,000
Frank Trankina - Chicago - $15,000
Olivia Petrides - Chicago - $15,000
Patrick Earl Hammie - Champaign - $15,000
Laurie Hogin - Mahomet - $15,000
jina valentine - Chicago - $1,500

The following advisory committee members reviewed this year's applications in the disciplines of:

Melissa Leandro, IL; John Miller, IL; Bobby Scroggins, KY; Aram Han Sifuentes, IL

Christopher Blake, IL; Emil Polyak, PA; Özge Samanci, IL

Krithika Rajagopalan, CA; Kim Nguyen, NJ; Matthew Meacham, IL

Meg Duguid, IL; Rozalinda Borcila, IL; Allison Lacher, IL; Triton Mobley, MA

Crista Dix, MA; Abbey Hepner, IL; Noritaka Minami, IL; Jason Reblando, IL

Melissa Pokorny, IL; Edra Soto, IL; Jeff Stevenson, IL; Dana Turkovic, MO

Susan Klein, IL; Michael Wille, IL; Mark Krisco, IL

The intent of the Artist Fellowship Program is to enrich and strengthen the state of Illinois by supporting accomplished Illinois artists who are the foundation of Illinois' creative environment. The Artist Fellowship Program recognizes exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career by providing awards to support continued artistic growth. The awards are non-matching Fellowships in unrestricted fixed amounts of $15,000.

The Illinois Arts Council was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state's public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency's programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

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