When the United States Artists (USA) philanthropic organization announced its 2019 USA Fellows in January, wood carver Michelle Holzapfel or Marlboro, Vt., was thrilled to learn she was among 45 artists and collectives selected. She would not only receive an unrestricted $50,000 cash award, but also soon meet her esteemed peers at a celebration event in Chicago where USA is based.
“I’m honored to be included as a 2019 Fellow with USA. It’s certainly always gratifying to be recognized for one’s efforts whenever or if ever that happens. I’m looking forward to the gathering in March It will be amazing to meet the other recipients and learn about their work,” Holzapfel told Woodshop News in February.
The $50,0000 cash award goes to artists and collectives working across various disciplines at any stage in their career through a rigorous nomination and panel selection process. Holzapfel was recognized in the Craft category.
Other categories include Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing.
The Fellowships encourage artists to use the funds for whatever they need, such as housing, medical expenses, debt reduction, or a much-needed vacation.
“We believe in artists and are honored to support and care for them in this way,” Deana Haggag, USA president and CEO, said in a statement. “Each Fellow is a reminder of the breadth of our cultural landscape, and the 2019 cohort is yet another testament to how much incredible work is happening across the country. From painters to podcasters to pop musicians, we’re lucky to have these artists reflecting our collective humanity and stirring the public’s imagination.”
For more information, visit www.unitedstatesartists.org.
This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue.