Posted in writers' worksheets

40 Days of Worksheets – Day 39

ramonagravitarWorksheet #39 – Your Artist Story

In 2015, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Endowment for the Arts began gathering artist stories. The NEA selected testimonials from writers, visual artists, musicians, performing artists, etc. from each state and put together a United States of Arts map. I was happy to represent Delaware with my artist story. Continue reading “40 Days of Worksheets – Day 39”

Posted in year in review

My 2017

PS_Summer_2017_Proof3-1-200x268It was a very good year….

A story published

A Pushcart Prize nomination

An essay about aging 

and my thoughts on midlife crisis in the Washington Post

A submission a day and a novel in a month

Conference fun

Crime Bake
Crime Bake, 2017

Retreat dinners and fellowship

Retreat dinner
Clare House, 2017

Readings

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Hockessin Book Fair, 2017

Activism

books-they-tell-our-stories-support-the-nea-neh

Mindfulness

Mindful tree

And my most beloved sprint friends.

sprint club at PW
Sprint club at Pennwriters

 

2017 was also a sad year…

I lost my friend Josh, who was funny and smart and a rascal, and who helped me research all things Delaware. Rainbo 2

I said goodbye to my father and wrote a tribute to him.

What will 2018 bring? We’ll have to see, and I hope we’ll share it together, either in person or virtually.

Happy New Year, my friends! May the next year bring only good things.

Posted in art and artists, artist fellowships, artist grants, arts and humanities, arts funding

I Heart the Arts

At the end of 2016, after the deaths of two writing colleagues, I wrote this:

Countries fall. Empires crumble. Buildings tumble down, and monuments wear away. People come, they go, they die. Only stories and dance and music and drama—only ART—remains in the world forever. Art is not required to be embodied by a physical thing. As long as we can move, sing, speak, act, and remember, we can pass along who we were, who we are, who we hope to be. Art is the ephemera that will last forever.

Art matters. Unfortunately, from time to time, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities come under attack for….well, simply existing. It is rumored that these agencies are about to be attacked again.

Today I will write about the NEA. Tomorrow, I will write about the NEH.

As an artist who has benefited from grant programming, of course I want to show my support and explain why arts, culture, and history matter to the world. I also run an arts-based business, so I have a very engaged and practical dog in this fight: I want to protect my livelihood. I want to save my job. Agencies like the Delaware Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts provide opportunities for artists and mentor the growth of young and emerging artists.

Here is the mission statement of the National Endowment for the Arts:

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.

And to learn about its history:

On September 29, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, creating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. To celebrate the agency’s 50th anniversary, we created this web section to highlight how the NEA has helped nurture the arts in the country and made it accessible to all Americans.

My own arts story is shared on the United States of Arts map. The red poster on my About page was created by the NEA to promote its 50th Anniversary celebration.

Please join me in supporting the National Endowment for the Arts. Contact your elected officials to let them know that art, history, and culture matter to you.

Yesterday, I went on a poster-making binge. If you’d like to save and share any of these posters to make your support public, please do:

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i-am-a-writer-i-support-the-nea

 

i-am-an-artist

 

imagine-life-without-music-support-the-arts

 

we-are-our-stories-support-the-nea

Posted in NaNoWriMo, novel writing, Writing Hour, writing inspiration, writing workshop

Coming Events and Workshops

2016-fall-eventsOne of the perks of being awarded a fellowship is the opportunity to offer free public readings and workshops. (And you have funds set aside for promotional postcards!)

The following are my coming events for October and November, 2016. Some require registration, but all are open to the public. Continue reading “Coming Events and Workshops”

Posted in author interviews, Delaware interest, grants

Fellowship Interview

DDoA 2016 banner

Each year, the Delaware Division of the Arts creates a page to highlight the 16 artists who are granted Individual Artist Fellowships. The IAF page features interviews with each artist by Christopher Yasiejko as well as work samples. You can read my interview with Christopher as well as the opening pages of my (then) work in progress, LEST I FORGET.

As always, I am grateful to the Delaware Division of the Arts, the State of Delaware, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their support of my work and the arts community.

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, fellow IAF recipient and poet Maggie Rowe and I will share our work with the public at the Judge Morris Estate, White Clay Creek Park, in Newark, Delaware. Built in the 1790s by the , it was the  home of distinguished federal judge Hugh Morris and is now a showcase in the 600-acre estate. Our reading will begin at 1:00 and will be followed by a reception for our friends and kind listeners.

Continue reading “Fellowship Interview”

Posted in arts and humanities

The United States of Arts

NEA 50 years

Happy Birthday, NEA!

50 years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, which created the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. These two independent federal agencies fund, promote, educate, and encourage communities to provide creative opportunities for projects and people devoted to our nation’s arts and humanities.

To celebrate its 50th birthday, the NEA invited artists throughout the country to share how their lives have been enriched by art. The interactive map United States of Arts shares those stories. I’m pleased to represent Delaware with Senator Chris Coons. Click on Delaware’s little icon (you can find it a little to the right of DC’s star) to see his video and read my story, or go directly to my page.

The NEA is the largest annual national funder of the arts in the country, and its support is granted to individual artists as well as through partnerships with states, arts agencies, and public and private organizations. The NEA’s grants promote dance, translation, visual arts, literature, music, opera, theatre, and media arts. Special initiatives include Poetry Out Loud and Blue Star Museums.

After I submitted my arts story for consideration, the NEA created the cool poster below using my opening quote. It was shared on social media, and I am sharing it here. I am honored and thrilled to appear on the United States of Arts map and to have a public opportunity to thank the NEA and the agencies it support for their encouragement and help. It is most appreciated.

cropped-nea-writing-hour-quote.jpg

Posted in artist fellowships, artist grants, Writing Hour, writing inspiration

Tell Your Arts Story

RamonaGravitarIn 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, and so created two agencies dedicated to the development and preservation of arts, culture, and history in the U.S.

On September 29, 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will celebrate their 50th birthdays. If you are an artist or historian, you are invited to be part of this celebration.

The NEA has issued an invitation to artists to share how art influences and inspires you, your family, your community. The project is called Tell Us Your Story. You can submit an essay, audio, video, and photos. In September, the NEA will begin posting stories on their website. Continue reading “Tell Your Arts Story”