A cellist who has performed for the President. A silk painter whose flags of American currency were exhibited on Wall Street. An actor who won raves at the Public Theater for an electrifying performance as the rebellious son of a TV preacher. These rising talents are among the eight early-career artists chosen this year to receive $50,000 fellowships from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts.
In its 10th and final year, the program is awarding a total of $400,000 in 2017 fellowships to mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey; ballet dancer Cassandra Trenary; actors Ato Blankson-Wood and Ruibo Qian; visual artists Herman Aguirre and Emily Erb, and cellists Khari Joyner and Jia Kim.
In addition, the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children, which provides resources to underfunded urban and rural public elementary schools, announced 2017 grants totaling $450,000 to nine schools in Florida, Tennessee and New York. The schools, selected in consultation with non-profit regional partners, will use the funds for resources such as books and library upgrades, computers and technology, and theater and dance programs.
Including this year’s awards, the Leonore Annenberg Funds have awarded a total of more than $22 million over the last decade, including $6 million in arts fellowships, $7 million to public schools for educational resources, and $9.4 million in four-year college scholarships. For more information on this year’s arts fellows, read the arts fellows news release, and read more about past fellows here and here. For more about the schools selected this year, read the schools news release.