2008 Fellows Profiles

Nicole Beharie, actress
Nicole received critical acclaim for her first major film, American Violet. She has continued to build an impressive list of film and TV credits, including a co-starring role in the Indie film My Last Day Without You (screened for distributors at Cannes and other film festivals) and Shame (with Michael Fassbender), and she had a recurring role in the CBS series The Good Wife. She also worked with Pam Grier and Blair Underwood on a suspense thriller titled On the Seventh Day, co-starring with Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, T.R. Knight and Lucas Black, and she had a key role in the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42. She starred in the television series Sleepy Hollow (2013-2016) on the Fox network. She will appear next in the movie Jacob’s Ladder with Jesse Williams.  
Misty Copeland, principal
A Principal with American Ballet Theatre, Misty used her Fellowship to explore new avenues of dance with the Balanchine technique. She also gained a better understanding of choreography, and participated in workshops and seminars in arts leadership. Misty is ABT’s first black female Principal in twenty years. She joined the late musician Prince on part of his Crimson and Clover tour and appeared in the music video for the song. A great believer in the value of Boys and Girls Clubs, she was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2012. Misty has authored several books:  her memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina; a children’s picture book, Firebird; and the recently published Ballerina Body.  She served as a guest judge on the Fox network show So You Think You Can Dance.  She was also featured in ads for American Express, Coach, and Diet Dr. Pepper, and the “I Will What I Want” Under Armour campaign.  Misty served on President Obama’s Council on Fitness and Sports.  In 2015, she was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People” by TIME Magazine. Click here for more information on Misty Copeland.
André Holland, actor
In addition to his acclaimed work in playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays, André dedicated time to developing a solo show during a residency at the Ars Nova Theatre in New York; traveled to Florence, Italy to co-create a three-actor production of Romeo and Juliet, which was later performed at Classic Stage Company in New York; participated in workshops and readings with the Shakespeare Society, Red Bull Theatre, and the Alliance Theatre; and played a part in the FOX feature film Bride Wars and the title role in the independent film Sugar. He had a leading role in All’s Well That Ends Well, a production of New York’s Shakespeare in the Park; and had the part of reporter Wendell Smith in Brian Helgeland’s 42, a biographical movie about baseball player Jackie Robinson and the racial integration of Major League Baseball. André’s films include Black and White with Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, Selma with Giovani Ribisi, Tim Roth, and Oprah Winfrey; and the Oscar-winning Moonlight with Mahershal Ali.  He also co-starred opposite Clive Owen in The Knick, a series directed by Steven Soderbergh on Cinemax, and in season 6 of American Horror Story with Cuba Gooding, Jr.  He recently appeared on Broadway in August Wilson’s Jitney. He will appear in Ava DeVernay’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine.
Sarah Lane, principal
A Soloist with American Ballet Theatre, Sarah used her Fellowship to explore new avenues of dance with flamenco lessons in Spain. She also gained a better understanding of choreography and participated in workshops and seminars in arts leadership. As a teenager, Sarah won first place at the North American Ballet Festival in 2000 and 2001 and received the Capezio Class Excellence Award.  In 2002 she received the highest medal in the Junior Division of the Jackson International Ballet Competition.  During that time she also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as a presidential scholar in the arts.  Also in 2002, she won the bronze medal at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition and in 2007 she won a Princess Grace Award.  Sarah appeared as a dance double for actor Natalie Portman in the Darren Aronofsky-directed thriller Black Swan. In 2013, she performed in a dance video, On a Grass Field, which made its premiere at the 2014 Chain New York City Film Festival.  The video was created as a Fellowship-funded project of her ABT colleague Eric Tamm.  She is a co-founder of Ballet Mentor, an online mentorship service for dancers.  
Isabel Leonard, mezzo soprano
Now ten years into her professional career, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard has established herself as an audience favorite at the Metropolitan Opera. She has appeared at the Met as Miranda in the company premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by the composer; as Rosina in Bartlett Sher’s Barbière staging; and as Blanche de la Force in a revival of Dialogues des Carmélites. Recently, she performed at the Met as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  She also has performed with several other opera companies and orchestras, and in recitals. Other operatic roles include La Perichole by Offenbach, performed with L’Opera National de Bordeaux; Cenerentola in Fort Worth, Texas; and Cosi fan Tutte at the Salzburg Summer Festival. In August 2012, she made her company début in a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne. She received the Beverly Sills Artist Award in 2011 and the Richard Tucker Award in 2013.  A Grammy award winner for Thomas Ades’ The Tempest (Best Opera Recording), she also serves on the Board of Trustees at Carnegie Hall. Click here for more information on Isabel Leonard.
Michelle Mola, dancer
Since receiving her fellowship, Michelle has choreographed and performed several new works by her dance group, The Troupe; danced a solo part in new choreography by Aszure Barton at the Bolero Theater in Santa Barbara, Calif.; taught a workshop on improvisation at Peridance Center in New York City; volunteer-taught movement classes at the International Refugee Committee for children and teenagers from over 21 different countries; continued to take ballet lessons; and completed a residency at the Yard Dance Colony on Martha’s Vineyard. In 2015, Michelle appeared as Madame in Jack Fever’s Chambre.  
Richard Mosse, photographer
TIME Magazine published a 6-page photo essay (“The Tunnel Economy of Gaza,” October 2009) showcasing photographer Richard Mosse’s work in the tiny coastal territory, as well as a 14-page essay (“The Tent Cities of Haiti,” May 2010) in which he captured the devastation from the January 2010 Haiti earthquake. Richard’s travels also have taken him to Iraq, Australia, Thailand, and Argentina. He followed these trips with “The Fall,” an exhibition at Jack Shaiman Gallery in New York City in which he showcased photography undertaken as a Leonore Annenberg Fellow. The work involved shooting with infrared film in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He later continued the work as a Guggenheim Fellow.  Richard’s work is now part of the permanent collection at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. In 2013, Richard represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale which he describes as “one of the greatest honours possible, for an artist.”  In 2014, he won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.  In 2017, Richard won the 7th Pictet Prize award for his work ‘Heat Maps  Click here for more information on Richard Mosse.
Jeremy Strong, actor
Jeremy was trained at Yale, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. As a Leonore Annenberg Fellow, Jeremy began to build a larger and more diverse audience for his work. He had pivotal roles in the Broadway production of Robert Bolt’s classic A Man for All Seasons; in the Off-Broadway production of Theresa Rebeck’s new satire Our House, and the lead role in the LCT3 production of a new play, The Coward, for which he received a Lortel nomination for Best Actor; and a lead role in the movie Robot & Frank, which also starred Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler, Peter Saarsgard, Jeremy Sisto, and James Marsden. After participating in numerous workshops and readings, and auditioning in Los Angeles, he branched out from his theater-based work to film, playing opposite Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Elijah Wood, and Adam Brody, among others, in The Romantics. He played an aide to the sixteenth President in Lincoln; he performed as Thomas in Zero Dark Thirty; and he appeared as Lee Harvey Oswald in Parkland. His most recent films include Time Out of Mind with Richard Gere, The Judge with Robert Downy, Jr. and Robert Duvall, Selma with Tim Roth and Cuba Gooding, Jr., Black Mass with Johnny Depp.  
Dan Visconti, composer
Dan was a recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, providing him with the opportunity to associate with other artists, architects, curators, scholars and musicians in a creatively challenging environment. Dan completed commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra and Albany Symphony as well as a new work, Drift of Rainbows, commissioned by the Scharoun Ensemble. His first CD, Lonesome Roads, was released in December 2012 under the Bridge Records label. Recordings of his music are also available from Naxos and Fleur de Son Classics. His compositions have been honored with the Rome Prize and Berlin Prize fellowships, Bearns Prize from Columbia University, Barlow Prize, and Cleveland Arts Prize; awards from BMI and ASCAP, American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Society of Composers, and the Naumberg Foundation. He has also been the recipient of artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Copland House, Lucas Artists Program at Villa Montalvo, and Virginia Commission for the Arts. Dan curated performances of his music at the Nuova Consonanza Festival and composed a new choral work for premiere at Rome’s historic Church of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienze. He completed a multi-year residency with opera companies including Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre St. Louis, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, and the Metropolitan Opera as recipient of the Douglas Moore Fellowship in American Opera. For his ongoing concert initiatives that address social issues through music, Dan was awarded a TED Fellowship in 2014. In addition, he was selected as the California Symphony’s Young American Composer in Residence. This three-year program (2014-17) will enable him to collaborate with Maestro Donato Cabrera to create, rehearse, premiere, and record three major orchestra compositions. In 2016, Dan was appointed artistic advisor to Astral Artists in Philadelphia in the effort to develop each artist’s unique vision and values and support classical music’s next generation of change-makers. Click here for more information on Dan Visconti.
Jeff Williams, sculptor
Sculptor Jeff Williams was a recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome where he spent a highly productive year — honing his skills as a draughtsman, producing a series of impressive drawings, and creating computer models for several projects.  In addition, he developed a series of installation pieces and collaborated in a number of group arts projects.  Jeff is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of Texas at Austin
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