Dayton-area artists receive excellence awards from Ohio Arts Council

Matthew Talley and Countess Winfrey at play in DCDC's presentation of "The Littlest Angel" in December. Winfrey is among five local artists and 75 around the state to receive an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. CONTRIBUTED

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Matthew Talley and Countess Winfrey at play in DCDC's presentation of "The Littlest Angel" in December. Winfrey is among five local artists and 75 around the state to receive an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. CONTRIBUTED

Five local artists are among 75 Ohio artists to receive monetary Individual Excellence Awards courtesy of the Ohio Arts Council.

Members of the Ohio Arts Council board’s executive committee met Feb. 8 and approved $375,000 in grant funding to be awarded this year. Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of a creative artist’s body of work that exemplifies their specific discipline and advances the larger artistic community. These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.

Applications were accepted in the disciplines of choreography, criticism, fiction, music composition, non-fiction, playwrighting and poetry. Each award is $5,000.

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In addition, funding is awarded through an anonymous, open panel review process focused on the basis of exceptional merit of an artist’s past body of work.

The local winners are:

Ashley Bethard - Dayton - Non-fiction

Andrew Graff - Cedarville - Fiction

Audrey Hackett - Yellow Springs - Poetry

Quentin Sledge - Dayton - Choreography

Countess V. Winfrey - Dayton - Choreography

“Ohio is a creative state, and we are fortunate that a wealth of talented artists call it their home,” said Donna S. Collins, executive director of the Ohio Arts Council, in a release. “The Ohio Arts Council is proud to support the outstanding artistic accomplishments evidenced by this year’s Individual Excellence Award winners.”

Bethard is editor of the Dayton Daily News and chief content officer for Cox First Media.

For more information about the Ohio Arts Council’s grant programs, visit oac.ohio.gov/grants.

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