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United States Artists Announces 50 USA Fellowships for 2010

NEW YORK, NY.- The national grant-making and advocacy organization United States Artists (USA) has selected 52 outstanding artists to receive 50 USA Fellowships for 2010, awarding them with unrestricted grants of $50,000. This marks the fifth year of the USA Fellows program and brings the total that USA has invested in living artists to $12.5 million since 2006. Chosen for the caliber and impact of their work, the USA Fellows for 2010 hail from 18 states and Puerto Rico, range in age from 32 to 71, and represent some of the most innovative and diverse creative talents in the country. They include cutting-edge experimenters and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, film and media, music, theater arts, and visual arts. The complete list of winners is provided below.

As it celebrates its fifth anniversary, United States Artists is also kicking off a $50-million endowment and capital campaign to fund the USA Fellows program in perpetuity. The organization announced that it has received lead gifts totaling $14 million from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, and Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation. Marking yet another profound investment in artists in America, USA also unveiled USA Projects, a new microphilanthropy initiative that harnesses the convening power of the Web to foster direct connections between artists and the public, catalyze new funding for artists, and bring original creative projects to fruition.

United States Artists officially announced this year’s USA Fellows at a celebration at Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City. The event featured appearances by past USA Fellows, including theater artist Anne Bogart, writer and performer Will Power, violin virtuoso Leila Josefowicz, visual artist Ann Hamilton, and musicians Michael Doucet and Evan Ziporyn, as well as USA Fellows for 2010 Martín Espada and Danny Hoch, among others.

The evening also honored USA’s founders, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, and the Rasmuson Foundation—which together contributed $22 million in 2005 to establish USA as a sustainable nationwide funding source for living artists.

The USA Fellows for 2010 represent a diverse spectrum of artistic practice, from cutting-edge video artists, to traditional basketweavers, socially conscious designers, award winning documentary filmmakers, and avant-garde choreographers. The honorees include prolific composer and jazz pianist Uri Caine (New York, NY); architect Teddy Cruz (San Diego, CA); conceptual artist Glenn Ligon (New York, NY); graphic designer David Reinfurt (New York, NY), creator of the MTA MetroCard touchscreen interface; emerging film director and screenwriter Tina Mabry (Los Angeles, CA); poet Martín Espada (Amherst, MA), known as the Latino poet of his generation; choreographer Trey McIntyre (Boise, ID); film director Ramin Bahrani (Brooklyn, NY), who directed the award-winning Man Push Cart; dancer Awilda Sterling-Duprey (San Juan, Puerto Rico); playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (New York, NY), writer of the TONY Award-winning In the Heights; Joyce Scott (Baltimore, MD), nicknamed the “queen of beadwork”; documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras (New York, NY), creator of a celebrated film trilogy about post-9/11 America; 1960s art pioneer Doug Wheeler (Santa Fe, NM); Gulf War veteran and ceramicist W. A. Ehren Tool (Berkeley, CA); visual artist Siah Armajani (Minneapolis, MN); and conceptual artist Mel Chin (Burnsville, NC).

Through a rigorous evaluation process, panels of experts in each artistic discipline selected the 52 winning artists (including one collaborative) from among 302 nominated applicants from 46 states. USA Fellowships are awarded to artists of all career stages who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their fields.

“In the last five years, United States Artists has made a lasting investment in our nation’s cultural heritage by putting $12.5 million directly into the hands of more than 250 of our finest working artists,” said USA Executive Director Katharine DeShaw. “USA is now expanding on its mission with USA Projects—a new microphilanthropy site where anyone can make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to support an artist—fostering the creation of new and impactful work one small gift at a time.”

“United States Artists was founded as a resource for artists across the country, and in just five years, it has succeeded in supporting them directly and promoting their contributions nationwide,” said Susan V. Berresford, USA Board chair and president of the Ford Foundation (1996–2008). “Now, we are well on our way to building an endowment to fund the USA Fellows program in perpetuity, ensuring that this national resource will always be here to support our nation’s greatest living artists.”

United States Artists | 50 USA Fellowships for 2010 | New York |

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