Spring 2014 – RUBYS Grantees Announced!





April 22, 2014: The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) is pleased to announce the 13 artists selected for the inaugural Rubys Artist Project Grants. Awards from $2,000 to $10,000 were made to support artists that reflect a diversity of talent and creativity for projects including immersive theater, interactive media experiences, documentary film and musical composition.

The 2014 Rubys grantees in Performing and Media Arts are:

Carla J Brown headshot_sqCarla Brown, Catonsville: to support the documentary film about her grandparents, Everyone But Two: The Life, Love and Travel of Benjamin and Frances Graham, which traces the cross-country travel experiences of an African American couple in the 1960s and 1970s. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Brown_extended info



cazabon_headshot_sqLynn Cazabon, Baltimore: to realize Portrait Garden, a multi-part project based on work with long-term inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women and presented via interactive posters located throughout Baltimore-area commercial display spaces. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Cazabon_extended info




Graham Coreil-Allen, Baltimore: to create SiteLines, a series of sharable videos that explores the invisible sites and overlooked features of our everyday urban environment, and which will present a compelling portrait of Baltimore and its civic space potential. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_CoreilAllen_extended info



Dyer_headshot_sqEric Dyer, Baltimore: to support the creation of The Zoetrope Tunnel, a 9-foot tall by 20-foot long working walk-through sculpture whose interior animation describes the evolution of the bicycle, both in mechanical development as well as in social impact. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Dyer_extended info



Espey_headshot_sqRich Espey, Towson: for research and development of a new play, Tea with Nelson and Betsie, which explores the moment in 1995 when Nelson Mandela had tea with the widow of Prime Minister Hendrick Verwoerd (the “architect of apartheid”) in the all-white enclave of Orania, South Africa. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Espey_extended info



Grubbs_headshot2_sqCarl Grubbs, Baltimore: to write and arrange new compositions for The Inner Harbor Suite: Revisited, an audio tribute to Baltimore featuring saxophones, strings, group improvisation and ensemble performance. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Grubbs_extended info



Millionie-headshot_sqKel Millionie, Baltimore: to create an aerial theater production, Fight or Flight, that examines this human condition through the use of aerial movement, invented structures, intense choreography, soundscapes, sampled music and video projections. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Millionie_extended info



Montley_headshot1_sqPat Montley, Lutherville: to expand a one-act script into a full length play – Pope Joan II – which tells the story of an American nun who becomes pope and tries to transform the church into a liberal democracy. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Montley_extended info



Opare_headshot_sqKwame Opare, Baltimore: to choreograph, develop and produce the theatrical dance performance Triumph of Disruption, working in conjunction with, and featuring students from a local arts secondary school. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Opare_extended info



Porterfield_headshot_sqMatthew Porterfield, Baltimore: to support the development of Sollers Point, a feature film about one Baltimore man’s return to society after a period of incarceration. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Porterfield_extended info



Ricci_headshot1_sqGlenn Ricci, Baltimore: to produce The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe, an immersive, interactive theater experience that focuses on the women in Poe’s life and their influence on his fiction. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Ricci_extended info



Olivia_Robinson_portrait_sqOlivia Robinson, Baltimore: to support the creation of Near and Far Enemies, a media installation of large-scale electronic textile circuits that describes the relationship between racism, wealth and science. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Robinson_extended info



Smooke_headshot2_sqDavid Smooke, Baltimore: to compose A Baby Bigger Grows Than Up Was, an ensemble piece for a baritone singer, bass clarinet, trumpet and trombone that uses an alphabetical tale by the Baltimore writer Michael Kimball as inspiration. Download extended project information and artist bio here: 2014 RUBYS Grantee_Smooke_extended info




All of the artist projects begin immediately or are already underway and they will be developed over the course of the next 12 months. Each project includes opportunities for public engagement such as a performance, exhibition, reading or screening. Information on attending a public component of these projects will be announced on this web page.

The 2014 Rubys jury panels for the Performing and Media Arts were comprised of the following noted professionals:

  • Jenny Bilfield, President and CEO, Washington Performing Arts Society
  • Krista Bradley, Executive Director, Black Rock Center for the Arts
  • Ramona S. Diaz, documentary filmmaker and founder, CineDiaz, Inc
  • Adriel Luis, Curator of Digital and Emerging Media, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
  • O.F. Makarah, founder, Heritage Film Festival and co-founder, Freewaves film and media festival
  • Gesel Mason, Artistic Director for Gesel Mason Performance Projects and Assistant Professor of Dance, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Sky Sitney, Festival Director, AFI Docs
  • Karen Strittmatter Galvin, Assistant Concertmaster, North Carolina Symphony and co-founder, New Music Raleigh
  • Elena Widder, arts consultant and Vice President of Public Awareness, VSA

Full press release can be downloaded here: GBCA_RubysPR_Grantee Announcement

For full artist bios, project images, interview requests, or other questions, please contact:

Amy Burke Friedman at afriedman@profilespr.com or 410-243-3790; or

Sonja Cendak at scendak@baltimoreculture.org or 410-230-0200.


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