Hilltop to be featured by artists who received fellowship by GCAC

Luka Weinberger works on a mural.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) announced Victoria Frye, Mathew Marrash, Greg Phelps, Luka Weinberger, and Karen Weston as the first round recipients of the 2023 Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship. The program awarded two $10,000 grants and two $5,000 grants for four artists’ projects designed in the featured neighborhood Hilltop, and one $5,000 grant for Artcar parade costume decorating and exhibition in Clintonville (Greg Phelps).

Hilltop projects include a mindfulness yoga and sound therapy program (Victoria Frye), an interactive cyanotype photography day (Mathew Marrash), an art exhibit and workshop series held at the Highland Youth Garden (Karin Weston), and an outdoor lending library and mural in partnership with Third Way Café (Luka Weinberger).

“With $35,000 going directly into the hands of Columbus-based artists to support their aspirations for public art in their neighborhoods, we hope to create a unique opportunity for grassroots community engagement,” said Kimberly Cole, grants and community engagement manager. “The Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship catalyzes creativity in our city’s citizens, and evokes stimulation for environmental, social and intrapersonal beautification.”

Applications for the Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship were scored and deliberated by a jury of community leaders that live and/or work in the featured neighborhood. This round’s jury included:
•Kayla Davis: Greater Hilltop Area Commissioner and nonprofit executive director
•Alan Jazak: Westgate homeowner, entrepreneur and Hilltop Arts Collective board member
•Philip Kim: Hilltop resident, musician and multi-organizational board member
•Nancy Rhynard: realtor and economic development researcher for Hilltop Business Association
•Spencer Stultz: artist/designer of Whimsical Black Girl and Hilltop resident

“I’m grateful to have participated as a juror for GCAC’s Hilltop Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship,” said Philip Kim. “And I’m thrilled for the positive impact that these projects will bring to the Hilltop. Especially in this tumultuous time, arts and culture are vital to the health of a community. These projects offer important opportunities for neighbors to build relationships, learn from each other and collectively heal. I applaud GCAC for their investment in the Hilltop community.”

Launched in 2021, the Neighborhood Arts Connection fellowship is designed to annually celebrate specific neighborhoods, as defined by the Columbus Area Commission’s website, by inviting artists residing in the neighborhoods to create participatory arts experiences.

Previous programs have focused on the South Side, Near East Side and Linden neighborhoods. There is one more round of Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowships in 2023, due on Oct. 2 and focused on the Northland neighborhood.

Full guidelines for the fellowships can be found at gcac.org/grants-services/guidelines.

For more information on the Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship, contact Kimberly Cole at kcole@gcac.org or (614) 221-8622.

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