Thirty-nine writers, performers and composers received some very good news today: They are finalists for the 2009 Bush Artist Fellowships, which will be awarded in June to as many as 15 finalists.
The $50,000 fellowship is the largest artist grant in the Upper Midwest, according to a press release (pdf) from the St. Paul-based Bush Foundation. The finalists were selected from 414 applicants.
According to the Bush Foundation, the Bush Artist Fellowship has been a “life-changing award” for many recipients since the program started in1976: “Writer Patricia Hampl was able to finish her groundbreaking memoir ‘A Romantic Education’ while a fellow. During his fellowship, the late playwright August Wilson completed his second major play, ‘Fences,’ which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Kathleen Norris worked intensively on her book ‘The Cloister Walk,’ composer Ying Zhang produced his first American CD and photographer Paul Shambroom honed his negotiating skills to gain access to photograph nuclear installations for a groundbreaking project.”
This year’s finalists include author and poet Heid Erdrich, author Marya Hornbacher, and Dominique Serrand, former artistic director and co-founder of Theatre de la Jeune Lune. The complete list of finalists and their bios can be found here (pdf).
Fellowship winners will be announced June 8.