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Meet the 2017 NC Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Recipients


Nineteen artists living and working in North Carolina are recipients of the 2017 – 2018 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the categories of literature, musical composition and songwriting.

Artists receive a $10,000 fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

This recognition to artists in our state is one of the ways the N.C. Arts Council supports diverse and innovative arts to enhance the state’s brand and drive economic impact.

The Artist Fellowship Program operates on a two-year rotating cycle by discipline. Visual, film, video and craft artists, along with choreographers, will be eligible to apply for the next deadline of  Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Below is an alphabetical listing of the 2017 Artist Fellowship recipients:

Bryn Chancellor, Charlotte

Novelist Bryn Chancellor’s book, “When Are You Coming Home?: Stories,” won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and “Sycamore: A Novel,” received a pick of the week designation from Publisher’s Weekly. She received a 2015 Jentel Artist Residency, Banner, Wyoming; a 2014–15 Literary Arts Fellowship, Alabama State Council on the Arts; a 2004 David R. Sokolov Scholarship, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; and a 2004 Tennessee Williams Scholarship, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among others.

Wes Collins, Chapel Hill

Wes Collins’s skill with the guitar makes the most of his imaginative arrangements and nuanced control of cadence and phrasing, underscoring the subtlety and bite of his lyrics. Calling his music “guitar-driven folk-pop with teeth,” he credits many other singer/songwriters in his musical tent as inspiration, including Neil Finn, Gillian Welch, Bruce Cockburn, and Patty Griffin. That said, Collins is well on his way to establishing his own voice as one we should value.

Elisabeth Lewis Corley, Pittsboro

Author Corley’s work has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, New Haven Review,, BigCity Lit, Feminist Studies, Southern Poetry Review, and Carolina Quarterly. A great deal of her work in recent years has come out of wrestling with war, specifically her father’s experiences in Vietnam and the experiences of her family around his military service.

Mark Cox, Wilmington

Poet Mark Cox’s work includes “Smoulder, Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone, Natural Causes,” and “Sorrow Bread: Poems 1984-2015.” “Readiness,” a new book of prose poems, is slated for release in 2018. Cox has a 30-year publication history in prominent magazines, and has received a Whiting Writers Award and a Pushcart Prize, among others.

Angela Davis-Gardner, Raleigh

Author Angela Davis-Gardner received the first fellowship award granted to a writer of fiction by the N.C. Arts Council in 1982. Her two most recent novels, “Butterfly’s Child” and “Plum Wine,” had their inception in her life-long interest in Japanese culture and Japanese-American relations. Her other novels include “Forms of Shelter,” which won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and “Felice.”

Marc Faris, Weaverville

Weaverville composer Marc Faris’s training was grounded in the Euro-American canon today he is drawn to the music of the mountains, including ballad-singing, fiddle tunes, and folk dance compositions, which, as he says, “embody the history, sensibility, and ‘placeness’ of … rural and mountain areas.” This is his third N.C. Arts Council fellowship.

Patrice Gopo, Charlotte

Writer Patrice Gopo gathers reflections and images from her life, and looks for intersection points of the personal with the larger culture in which she exists for her writings. Her essays have appeared in a number of publications, including online in The New York Times and The Washington

Lindsey Ryan Horne, Charlotte

Charlotte’s Lindsey Horne has “written songs for as long as I can remember.” Whether writing her own songs, or composing work for an educational or commercial client, she draws on a stream of melody running through her mind, working and reworking the lyrics until she gets it right. Her own work often takes the form of piano-driven ballads.   

Allison Hutchcraft, Charlotte

Poet Allison Hutchcraft’s work appeared in the Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, The Cincinnati Review, Barrow Street, the Beloit Poetry Journal, American Letters & Commentary, West Branch, and other journals. She has been awarded scholarships from the Tin House Writers Workshop, Key West Literary Seminar, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and received a 2016 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

Alison Mauldin, Charlotte

Screenwriter Alison Mauldin has been a writer and producer of short films and promotional videos for organizations including Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte. She spent several years as a teaching artist for StageWorks Theatre/Creative Kids in Charlotte in addition to pursuing screenwriting. She was a fellow at the 2016 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive in Charlotte for her screenplay, “Youthless,” and made it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition for “Missy” that same year.

Barry Gray, Burlington
Burlington songwriter Barry Gray takes his material from the events of his own life, recasting sometimes painful passages into melody and words that help him sort through his feelings. Like many musicians, Gray has paid the bills with a day job in another field, earning money as an upholsterer. Since 1995, he has played with the acoustic rock band Graymatter, and often contributed to other artists’ work as a vocalist or arranger.

Rebecca Gummere, Sugar Grove

Rebecca Gummere calls herself a “professional wonderer” to describe her calling as a writer of creative nonfiction. “Her essay, “Cooper's Heart,” dealt with the loss of her infant son, and was published in O, The Oprah Magazine, and will be included in the forthcoming anthology, “O’s Little Guide to the Big Questions,” to be published January 2018. Her stories, “The Transit of Venus” and “The Departure,” were each nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Travis Mulhauser, Durham

Writer Travis Mulhauser’s novel, “Sweetgirl” was named an Indie Next Pick and was one of Ploughshares Best Books of the New Year, longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Award, and was number two on Harper’s List of Best Debuts of Spring. It has since been published/translated in the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil. Mulhauser names Ron Rash, Lewis Nordan, Michael Parker, and Kaye Gibbons as his biggest influences.

Trace Ramsey, Durham

Author Trace Ramsey has written two books, “Good Luck Not Dying,” and “All I Want to Do is Live: A Collection of Creative Nonfiction,” which earned the 2016 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize from the North Carolina Literary Review. He received the 2015 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant in Literature from the Durham Arts Council.

Chris Rosser, Asheville

Asheville-based composer Chris Rosser is part of the trio Free Planet Radio where he and his fellow instrumentalists have traveled the world in search of new sonic possibilities. In addition to performing and composing, he has produced and engineered over 150 CD projects for other artists in his Hollow Reed Arts studio as well as composing music for national commercial spots and TV shows, such as Animal Planet, TLC, Oprah Winfrey Network, PBS, and others. This is the second time he has been awarded an N.C. Arts Council fellowship.

Eric Smith, Carrboro

Poet Eric Smith’s work has been published in the Indiana Review, The New Criterion, Southwest Review, and the Best New Poets 2010 anthology. He has received scholarships from Convivio and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and is a founding editor of the text-message poetry journal cellpoems.  

Julie Steinbacher, Raleigh

Writer Julie Steinbacher’s “The Pokémon Game” was a finalist for the 2016 James Hurst Prize for fiction. “Collectors” was a finalist in Beecher’s Magazine’s fiction contest, and “Chimeras” (originally published in Escape Pod, February 21, 2015) was recognized as a Notable Story in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016.

Lee Weisert, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill composer Lee Weisert thinks expansively about the potential of sound and the concept of music itself. Through his sound installations, he re-imagines the traditional spatial limitations imposed by our usual consumption of musical presentation, whether in concert halls or the virtual cocoons of headphones, and breaks open the experience on a geographic scale. Weisert has created four sound installations since 2008 as part of the Portable Acoustic Modification Laboratory, a collaboration he formed with fellow composer Jonathon Kirk.

Julie Zografos, Statesville

Screenwriter Julie Zografos’ feature length screenplay, “Dark Quarry,” is adapted from her poetry and tells the story of a defiant mute girl, and a boy, haunted by guilt after his brother’s death, struggling with loss, violence, and redemption in a North Carolina tobacco town in 1963. She received the Henry Hoyns Fellowship in poetry writing from the University of Virginia, where she studied and taught under U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. She’s also a Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Fellow, and received a B.F.A. in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.    

For more information on the North Carolina Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship program visit

About the N.C. Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’slongstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. We are an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in direct economic activity. We are a cultural pathfinder, sustaining diverse arts expression and traditions and investing in new innovative approaches to art-making. We are an arts education champion, cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens.

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