February 27, 2008

Faculty members win Illinois Arts Council grants

by Andrea Hahn

David Rush

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Three Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty members are among the 52 in the state to receive awards from the Illinois Arts Council for 2008.

Pinckney Benedict, a professor of creative writing in the English department, and David Rush, a playwriting professor in the theater department, both received Artist Fellowships, a $7,000 grant. Jacinda Townsend, assistant professor of creative writing in the English department, won a $700 finalist award.

The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, named in total 38 fellowship winners and 14 finalist awards for 2008, handing out $266,000 and $9,800 in grants, respectively. The grants recognize outstanding work and commitment within the arts, according to IAC descriptions of the grants.

The Artist Fellowships Program recognizes 12 artistic disciplines. The IAC funds fellowships in a rotating cycle. This year, the program focused on choreography, crafts, ethnic and folk arts, media arts and new performance forms as well as prose writing and playwriting. There were 496 applicants total. Juries for each discipline select the fellowship and finalist winners.

Other art disciplines eligible for fellowships and finalist awards in alternating years are: interdisciplinary/computer art, music composition, photography, poetry and visual arts.

Jacinda TownsendPinckney Benedict