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The Jerome Foundation supports artists in Minnesota and New York.

2023 Jerome Hill Artist Fellows Announced

9 theatre artists have been awarded fellowships.

ST. PAUL, MINN.: The Jerome Foundation has announced the grant recipients of the third round of the 2023 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships program, with 54 fellowships going to early-career artists based in Minnesota and New York City. Among that cohort are 9 artists in the fields of theatre, performance, and spoken word.

“Approving fellowship grants is a highlight of the year for the board of the Jerome Foundation. This year’s cohort again represents a thrilling social and aesthetic range of artists,” Jerome Foundation board chair Kate Barr said in a statement. “Through its central support of artists at early stages in their careers, this program continues the legacy and practice of Jerome Hill himself in an exciting way.”

Each fellow is awarded $50,000 over two years to create new work, advance artistic goals, and promote professional development. Fellows are also offered one-on-one coaching and peer gathering opportunities through the MAP Fund’s Scaffolding for Practicing Artists program. An additional 18 artists have been awarded smaller one-year grants.

The Jerome Foundation has identified fellows in the fields of dance; literature; music; visual arts; theatre, performance, and spoken word; technology-centered arts; combined artistic fields; and film, video, and digital production. Theatre, performance, and spoken word fellows include Jeesun Choi, Donte Collins, Sxr Om Dxtchxss-Davis, Nazareth Hassan, Tish Jones, Lea Kalisch, Sam Kebede, and the duo of Tidtaya Sinutoke and Isabella Dawis. Additionally, nicHi Douglas, Yuliya Tsukerman, and Shayok Misha Chowdhury have been awarded one-time $10,000 grants.

Jeesun Choi. (Photo by Eric Johnston.)

Choi is a transnational Korean playwright, librettist, and physical theatre artist. She is currently a librettist fellow at the American Opera Project, a member of EST/Youngblood, a member of Usual Suspects at New York Theatre Workshop, and an affiliated artist at New Georges. She will use her fellowship to craft stories about the joy and agony of the human condition in the context of (im)migration and diaspora.

Donte Collins. (Photo by Trevor Sweeney.)

Collins is an Afro-surrealist blues poet, playwright, and movement artist who was named the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of St. Paul. They are an alum of TruArtSpeaks and have received awards from the Dramatists Guild Foundation and the Academy of American Poets, among others. They will continue developing the choreopoem Mercy as part of their fellowship.

Sxr Om Dxtchxss Davis.

Dxtchxss-Davis is a playwright from Minneapolis. They are a 2016-17 Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center and infuse the world of their plays with the rhythms and cultures of North Minneapolis and Afro-Cuban spiritual traditions. They will use their fellowship to create stories that reflect Black life in America.

Nazareth Hassan.

Hassan is a writer, director, and musician who works in performance, sound, and image-making. Their performance score Untitled (1-5) was published by 3 Hole Press, and they are the resident dramaturg at the Royal Court Theatre. They will use their fellowship to work on their plays Bowl EP and VANTABLACK and to continue working on Untitled (1-5).

Tish Jones. (Photo by Roosevelt Mansfield.)

Jones is a writer, educator, organizer, and cultural producer from St. Paul. She is the founder and executive director of TruArtSpeaks and delivered the TEDxMinneapolis talk “Spoken Word as a Radical Practice of Freedom.” She will use her fellowship to research, write, produce, and publish her first poetry manuscript.

Lea Kalisch. (Photo by Sy Chounchaisit.)

Kalisch is a Swiss Jewish singer, actor, and creative producer who makes multicultural, multilingual art. She has worked in hip-hop and comedy through the US and Switzerland and was the 2020 recipient of the Omanut-Zwillenberg Prize for Swiss Jewish artists. Kalisch will use her fellowship to work on her film/play project Tango—A Prayer for Two.

Sam Kebede. (Photo by Sub/urban Photography.)

Kebede is a first-generation Ethiopian/Eritrean American writer, actor, and comedian. His award-winning play ETHIOPIANAMERICA premiered at Victory Gardens Theatre and was produced by Definition Theatre. He will use his fellowship to develop his comedy variety game show Lack History.

Tidtaya Sinutoke (photo by Wanwanat Saengthong) and Isabella Dawis (photo by Sarah Morreim).

Thailand-born, New York-based composer Sinutoke and Filipina American librettist Dawis are the co-recipients of the Fred Ebb Award for musical theatre songwriting and the Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award. Their work has been supported by the American Theatre Wing and Musical Theatre Factory, among others. They will use their fellowship to work on their musical Half the Sky, their chamber musical Sunwatcher, and their children’s opera Little Dugong and Her Seagrass Song.

The Jerome Foundation was founded in 1964 by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill. The foundation honors Hill’s legacy through multi-year grants to support the creation, development, and presentation of new works by early-career artists.

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