Press Release  January 17, 2018

United States Artists Announces 2018 USA Fellows

Courtesy United States Artists

United States Artists is among the largest providers of unrestricted support to artists working and living in the United States.

Forty-five artists and collectives across nine disciplines receive $50,000 unrestricted awards

For Immediate Release (CHICAGO, January 16, 2018) - United States Artists (USA) is pleased to announce its 2018 USA Fellows. This year, 45 artists and collectives across nine creative disciplines will receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards. The Fellowships honor their creative accomplishments and support their ongoing artistic and professional development, however the recipients choose to spend them.

USA Fellowships are awarded to artists at all stages of their careers, and from every corner of the United States, through a rigorous nomination and panel selection process. Spread across all creative disciplines including Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing, the Fellows represent a broad cross-section of the best of American arts and letters. To date, USA has distributed over $22 million to a diverse group of more than 500 artists and collaboratives.

USA’s 2018 Fellows were selected by a panel of experts in each discipline, then approved by the organization's board. They were drawn from a peer-nominated pool of over 500 outstanding applicants. This year’s Fellows come from Alaska and Puerto Rico, from New Mexico and Maine, and everywhere in between. Among their number are luminaries in their fields and rising stars, emerging voices and long heralded experts. What unites them is the profound respect of their peers and the excellence of their work. The full list of this year’s Fellows is below.

The unique feature of the Fellowships is its unrestricted nature -- artists may use the funds for whatever they need, be it medical expenses, housing, their artistic practice, or anything else. This flexibility allows Fellows the financial freedom to take risks and push their careers forward in ways that might not otherwise have been possible.

Among past awardees are film director and writer Miranda July, composer David Lang, novelist Annie Proulx, playwright David Henry Hwang, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and visual artist Kara Walker.

"I could not be more thrilled with the 2018 USA Fellows, or with the tremendous artistic output, and potential, they represent,” said United States Artists President & CEO Deana Haggag. “They produce some of the most moving, incisive, and powerful artistic work in this country, and it is our privilege to honor them. Collectively, they are a reminder of the beauty produced by hardworking artists on a daily basis, too much of which is often overlooked.”

"Our 2018 USA Fellows represent the remarkable breadth and depth of the American cultural landscape", said United States Artists Board Chair Steven H. Oliver. “We are thrilled to be able to make these awards possible and to provide a windfall to help support artists so that they can continue to be keepers of our collective humanity."

The 2018 Fellowship Awards were made possible by: Anonymous, Sarah Arison, Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Peter D. and Julie Fisher Cummings, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Fred and Eve Simon Charitable Foundation, Paul and Annette Smith, Windgate Charitable Foundation, Helen Zell, and the United States Artists Board of Trustees.

USA’s 2018 Fellows are:

Architecture & Design
Norman Kelley (Carrie Norman, Thomas Kelley) – Architects & Designers – Chicago, IL
Amanda Williams – Public Artist – Chicago, IL

Julia Galloway – Potter – Missoula, MT
Tony Marsh – Ceramicist – San Pedro, CA
Martinez Studio (Wence Martinez, Sandra Martinez) – Weaver & Painter/ Designer – Sturgeon Bay, WI
Warren Newton Seelig – Sculptor – Rockland, ME
Patti Warashina – Ceramicist – Seattle, WA

Oguri – Dancer & Choreographer – Venice, CA
Okwui Okpokwasili – Performer & Choreographer – Brooklyn, NY
Allison Orr – Choreographer – Austin, TX
Bill Shannon – Performance & Video Artist – Pittsburgh, PA
Amara Tabor-Smith – Dancer & Choreographer – Oakland, CA

Starlee Kine – Podcaster & Writer – Brooklyn, NY
Terence Nance – Artist – Brooklyn, NY
Elaine McMillion Sheldon – Filmmaker – Morgantown, WV
TNEG (Elissa Blount Moorhead, Arthur Jafa, Malik Sayeed) – Filmmakers – Baltimore, MD, Los Angeles, CA

Terence Blanchard – Trumpeter & Composer – New Orleans, LA
Amir ElSaffar – Multi-Instrumentalist & Composer – New York, NY
Ruthie Foster – Singer & Songwriter – Atlanta, GA
Tania León – Composer & Conductor – Nyack, NY
Danilo Pérez – Pianist & Composer – Quincy, MA
Toshi Reagon – Musician – Brooklyn, NY
Wayne Shorter – Composer – Los Angeles, CA
Somi – Vocalist & Songwriter – New York, NY
Tyshawn Sorey – Composer & Musician – New Haven, CT

Theater & Performance
Luis Alfaro – Playwright – Los Angeles, CA
Lileana Blain-Cruz – Theater Director – New York, NY
Las Nietas de Nonó (Lydela Nonó, Michel Nonó) – Performance Artists – Trujillo Alto, PR
Tarell Alvin McCraney – Writer – Miami, FL
My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, Alexandro Segade) – Performance Art Collective – New York, NY & Los Angeles, CA
Mary Kathryn Nagle – Playwright – Tulsa, OK

Traditional Arts
DY Begay – Textile Artist – Santa Fe, NM
Sonya Kelliher-Combs – Mixed-Media Artist - Anchorage, AK
Dawn Nichols Walden – Basketry Fiber Artist - Vulcan, MI

Visual Art
Cassils – Multidisciplinary & Performance Artist - Los Angeles, CA
Abigail DeVille – Installation Artist – Bronx, NY
Vanessa German – Sculptor & Citizen Artist - Pittsburgh, PA
Pepón Osorio – Installation Artist - Philadelphia, PA
Ebony G. Patterson – Painter & Mixed-Media Artist - Lexington, KY
Dread Scott - Multidisciplinary Artist - Brooklyn, NY
Cauleen Smith - Multidisciplinary Artist – Los Angeles, CA

Molly Brown – Poet & Essayist - Sweet Briar, VA
Lucas Mann – Writer / Literary Nonfiction - Providence, RI
Fred Moten – Poet & Cultural Critic - New York, NY
Susan Muaddi Darraj – Writer / Fiction – Phoenix, MD

ABOUT UNITED STATES ARTISTS Founded in 2006 by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson, and Prudential Foundations, USA is among the largest providers of unrestricted support to artists working and living in the United States. To date, USA has provided more than $22 million in the form of unrestricted $50,000 awards directly to more than 500 artists working in all disciplines and at every career stage. For more information on the 2018 USA Fellows, visit

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