Meet the 2020 Alumni Artist Support Initiative Awardees

As a result of the pandemic and its impact on campus activity, Mason Arts at Home emerged as a valuable option to extend our programming into the virtual realm and continue engaging with the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) community. One of the ways in which Mason Arts at Home served those closest to CVPA was the Alumni Artist Support Initiative, a concerted effort to assist our alumni during a time of uncertainty and financial constraints.

Since March, the Alumni Artist Support Initiative awarded seven grants for the creation of digital content, as well as funds for commissioning new work. Most awardees in the digital content category were featured as part of the Spring 2020 Mason Arts at Home program schedule. These included:

Rebecca Wahls, School of Theater 2011

Rebecca and Becca in Space
An original, comedy sketch web series about two astronauts who are stuck in space

Zachary Wilcox, School of Theater 2015

Tangier Island is Sinking: A discussion with the Playwright  
A conversation moderated by Kevin Murray, Interim Director of Mason’s School of Theater, about Wilcox’s process to create and research his play, which was awarded the 2019 Young Alumni Commissioning Project.

Tangier Island

Tangier Island

Leila Mire, School of Dance 2018

Dance, Politics and Gender: An Exploration of New Work with Leila Mire
A conversation that explored orientalism in dance, the artistic process behind Mire’s new piece, and its focus on gender politics as seen through the iconic Scheherazade

Brandon Showell, School of Music 2014

A Celebration of Alumni Singer-Songwriters
A livestreamed concert of Motown and pop classics

Caroline Weinroth, School of Theater 2016

A Celebration of Alumni Singer-Songwriters
A livestreamed concert of original compositions from Weinroth’s band, Cinema Hearts

Brandon Showell logo

Brandon Showell and Caroline Weinroth in A Celebration of Alumni Singer-Songwriters

Kwanza Gooden, Film & Video Studies 2013

A conversation and screening of the short film Token, along with co-writer and producer Andrea Lewis. 

Kwanza Gooden

Kwanza Gooden

Paul Chinen

Paul Chinen

Paul Chinen, School of Music 2014

Dr. Paul Chinen will be presenting a living room concert and digital masterclass featuring Alyssa Morris’ Collision Etudes for solo oboe, followed by an opportunity for viewers to ask questions live. The Collision Etudes are a set of six short programmatic etudes inspired by 6 pieces of art by female American painters.

Commission of New Work Grantees

These include three alumni, whose creations are still in development and will be premiered in the upcoming 2020/2021 season:

  • Julianne Kannan, School of Dance 2018
  • Patrick Foit, School of Music 2017
  • Taylor Pasquale, School of Dance 2017

Congratulations to this remarkable roster of 2020 Alumni Artist Support Initiative Awardees!