Announcing the 2022 Artpreneur Award winners

Dear Campus Community,

Today, I am pleased to announce our 2022 Artpreneur Awards to support creative projects and enterprises by five current students and 10 alumni.Since its inception in 2017, the UNCSA Artpreneur Initiative has provided graduating college students and alumni the opportunity to receive funding to support their creative works and enterprises deemed to be of the highest merit, artistic excellence and innovative potential. Congratulations to the five members of the Class of 2022 who were announced at our Celebration of Excellence earlier today as recipients of the Artpreneur Grants for Graduating College Students. They include Rachel Cozart, School of Dance; Jenna Cusack, School of Filmmaking; Billie Feather, School of Music; Houston Odum, School of Design and Production (D&P); and Marina Zurita, School of Drama. These students will receive $2,500 each.In addition to these current students, I am pleased to announce 10 alumni who also will receive Artpreneur Awards.The Alumni Artpreneurs of the Year are Ayo Jackson (H.S. Dance ’96, B.F.A. Dance ’99), a multidisciplinary artist and artist-activist, and Gregg Mozgala (H.S. Drama ’96), founder and artistic director of The Apothetae, a theater organization producing plays that explore and illuminate the disabled experience. These alumni will receive $20,000 each.New this year are the inaugural Artpreneur Launch Grants, which provide support for creative start-ups and creative projects that recent alumni are developing. These alumni winners are Jackson Baker (B.F.A. Drama ’21), Emily DeForest (B.F.A. Drama ’17), Tij D’oyen (B.F.A. Drama ’17), Tramaine Rapheal Gray (B.F.A. D&P ’20), Nile Harris (B.F.A. Drama ’17), Asia Jones (B.F.A. Filmmaking ’21), Alex Avril Klein (M.F.A. Filmmaking ’18), and Hannah Myers (B.F.A. Drama ’18). These alumni will receive $5,000 each.UNCSA defines an Artpreneur as an artist who reaches beyond existing disciplines, technologies, constructs and processes to effect change they wish to see in the world, through their creative practice. This year’s grants will help support such projects as diverse as a web series, live art experiences, interactive art spaces, an improvised choreographic happening, a new animated kids’ show, a documentary film, portable and on-demand location recording, pop-up storytelling performance series, devised theater research, and more. Several of the projects are interdisciplinary, with students and alumni working across genres and/or outside of their main discipline, and several involve teams of UNCSA alumni working together.The Artpreneur grants underscore an important aspect of the training at UNCSA, which is to unlock the creative potential of our student-artists. The incredible alumni and students receiving these grants this year represent the boundless possibilities for an arts education at UNCSA. I am particularly proud that we are supporting recent graduates with inaugural Artpreneur Launch Grants, helping aid them in the nascent stages of their careers and allowing them to think big and be bold as they develop as artists and leaders.The Artpreneur Initiative is administered and supported by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, with additional support from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, and Margaret Scales and Graydon Pleasants.For more information about the incredible projects and enterprises planned by our students and alumni and supported by the Artpreneur Awards, please see the press release.Sincerely,Brian Cole Chancellor

April 27, 2022