We have some exciting summer graduations to announce! Seven artists across three states have completed our A4A program in the past several months. Check out what they’re up to below, and stay tuned for the second part of our summer graduation series!
Lori Colombo, daughter of trumpet legend Lou Colombo, carries on the family musical talent as a jazz vocalist. Lori’s beautiful alto-mezzo voice creatively expresses a diverse jazz repertoire, drawing on a rich history of lyrics sung in multiple languages. With her A4A funds, Lori plans to produce an album available through physical copy and digital download. In addition, she plans to ramp up her marketing strategy through new promotional materials and create a more robust online presence. To keep up with Lori, head to her Facebook!
Fred Israel, a New York City-based musician, is known for his enthusiastic spirit of experimentation, inspiration, and artistic accessibility. Fred’s business supports and circulates the musical compositions of artists who blur traditional boundaries between classical, electronic, jazz, and popular styles. Fred and his musical collaborators also mix sounds found in ordinary environments, electronically generated/sampled sounds, and both traditional & experimental instruments. Fred’s latest project includes the continuation (and conclusion) of a large-scale orchestra ensemble project began at last year’s International Composer Residency, which will premiere at this year’s session! With his A4A investment, he plans to expand visibility through new marketing materials and enhance the technical capabilities of his services through upgraded software and instrument maintenance. For more, visit Fred’s website!
Melisa Tien, a playwright and screenwriter based in NYC, has been writing professionally for theater since she graduated Columbia University in 2009 with an MFA in playwriting. Melisa has had plays produced/developed in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baton Rouge, and Mumbai. She is recent inductee of New Dramatists, an organization dedicated to assisting playwrights develop their work. Melisa plans to use her A4A funds to produce her most recent theater project, Yellow Card Red Card, an experimental play that explores the world of girls’ youth soccer in Cameroon. Thanks to a fully-funded Kickstarter and workshops sponsored by the Puffin Foundation, the play has been invited to the 2015 Women Playwrights International Conference in Cape Town, where it will be directed and read by South African theater-makers! Melisa hopes to complete this work and also author a pilot for television by the end of 2015. Stay tuned and head to Melisa’s website to keep up with all her fantastic projects!
Muffy Brandt, a Rhode Island-based artist, is taking the fashion world by storm with her outrageous prints and unique style! Muffy makes original textile surface designs that are hand-printed onto clothing for all ages. She recently incorporated home decor, jewelry, fine art prints, and other accessories into her already diverse brand of products. What began as a small tote bag business quickly became a full-time endeavor; now she has a thriving Etsy and web shop, and her work is also sold in brick and mortar stores in Maine, Iowa, Oregon, California, Hong Kong, and Japan. Muffy will use her A4A investment to move into her own studio and printshop to establish a larger, professionally equipped work space. Check out Muffy’s fabulous designs on her Etsy and her website!
Erik Dalzen, a visual artist based in New York City, works with photography, painting, drawing, and artist books. Erik’s work concerns itself with the ineffable, the vague, and the unknown. He blurs spatial boundaries where the dimension flattens out and the second dimension appears to swell. Through playful mingling of reality and fiction, the work opens up to transitory states, suggesting and embracing the unknown. Erik will be attending two upcoming residencies to work on his next project: the MacDowell Colony and Skowhegan, as well as a fellowship with the Aaron Siskind Foundation. After the recent success of his project Commodities, Erik is taking a hiatus to work on a series of absurd video performances and faux instruction pieces entitled Best Most Ever. With the assistance of his A4A funds, Erik plans to hire another staff member to his team who will assist with his online web shop and manage his web presence. Keep up with all of Erik’s dynamic projects at his website!
Matt Lorenz is a Massachusetts-based musician and the sole creative force behind the Suitcase Junket. Matt is a nationally touring, slide-guitar playing, throat-singing one-man-band! Using his innovative junk-percussion constructions and self-taught throat singing, he brings a fresh style to the deep well of the American musical traditions of folk, rock, blues and storytelling. This year, Matt released his third album Make Time and three music videos of singles from the album. He continues his national tour this year, so be sure to check for dates in your area! Matt will use his A4A funds to invest in vital sound and documentation equipment. To keep up with Matt and the Suitcase Junket, head to his website, his Facebook (for on-the-road updates!) and check out his newest music video below!
Congratulations, A4A-ers! We’re sad to see you leave, but we can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!