I am thrilled and humbled to announce that I have been named as one of two composer recipients of a $10,000 fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council to support creative development and the creation of new work.  From the press release:

Raleigh, N.C. — Eighteen artists living and working in North Carolina are recipients of the 2011–2012 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the categories of poetry, prose writers, songwriters, composers, playwrights and screenwriters. 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. Since the program’s inception in 1980, more than 500 artists have received awards.
The Artist Fellowship program operates on a two-year rotating cycle by discipline. Applications will be accepted this fall for visual art, craft, film/video and choreographers.

I have won composition contests before, but never a full-blown artistic fellowship.  The NC Arts Council’s program is one of the more generous in the country, which I’m sure has benefited all of the recipients across time, and thus the cultural wellness of the state.  I hope to use the fellowship to make my first big moves towards being more of a jazz/post-jazz composer and bandleader.  I’d love to do a big collaborative, community oriented project, or delve into some serious training and artistic development with an album at the end.  It’s too early to promise any deliverables, but the vote of confidence has certainly inspired me to turn towards a side of myself that is informed by, but often takes a backseat to, my work with The Beast and Orquesta GarDel.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart, North Carolina!