Delaware Division of The Arts Announces 2019 Individual Artist Fellowship Awardees

Wilmington, Del. (January 14, 2019) – Twenty Delaware artists are being recognized by the Division for the high quality of their artwork. Work samples from 136 Delaware choreographers, composers, musicians, writers, folk and visual artists were reviewed by out-of-state arts professionals, considering demonstrated creativity and skill in their art form. The 20 selected fellows reside throughout Delaware including Bear, Bridgeville, Claymont, Dover, Frankford, Lewes, Middletown, Newark, and Wilmington.

Awards are given in three categories – $10,000 for the Masters Award, $6,000 for the Established Professional Award, and $3,000 for the Emerging Professional Award – and Fellows are required to offer at least one exhibit or performance during the upcoming year, providing an opportunity for the public to experience their work.

“Individual Artist Fellowship grants provide the recognition and exposure that artists need to successfully promote their work,” said Paul Weagraff, director of Delaware Division of the Arts. “The financial award allows them to pursue advanced training, purchase equipment and materials, or fulfill other needs to advance their careers.”

The work of the Fellows will be featured in a group exhibition, Award Winners XIX, at the Biggs Museum from June 7 to July 21, 2019. Selections from Award Winners will travel to CAMP Rehoboth in August and early September and then Cab Calloway School of the Arts during September and October.

The Masters Fellowship is open to differing artistic disciplines each year. In Fiscal Year 2019, Masters Fellowship applications were accepted in Literary and Media Arts from artists who had previously received an Established Professional Fellowship. In addition to exemplifying high artistic quality, Masters Fellowship applicants must demonstrate their involvement and commitment to the arts in Delaware and beyond. Listed below are the Delaware Division of the Arts 2019 Individual Artist Fellows and three Honorable Mentions.

Billie Travalini has been awarded this year’s Masters Fellowship in Literature: Fiction. Travalini, an internationally award-winning writer and educator, teaches English and creative writing at Wilmington University. She has taught creative writing to encourage critical thinking at youth detention centers statewide, which led toTeaching Troubled Youth: A Practical Pedagogical Guide, an award-winning book with an important message on the human condition. In addition, she has taught poetry and playwriting at various Boys and Girls Clubs. In 2014, Travalini received the Governor’s Award for the Arts for her extensive career and work in education. Travalini, co-founder and coordinator of the Lewes Creative Writers’ Conference, is currently working with Fort DuPont to have the children of Governor Bacon remembered by serving the children of today. Her passion for creative writing has led her to “promote the need to include everyone in the conversation.”

2019 Individual Artist Fellows

Masters Award ($10,000)

NameCommunityArtistic Discipline
Billie TravaliniWilmingtonLiterature: Fiction

Established Professional Award ($6,000)

NameCommunityArtistic Discipline
Susan BenarcikWilmingtonVisual Arts: Works on Paper
Shawn FaustBearVisual Arts: Painting
Don FosterDoverLiterature: Fiction
Daniel JacksonClaymontVisual Arts: Photography
Shelley KelleyNewarkFolk Art: Music
Leslie Hsu OhMiddletownLiterature: Creative Nonfiction
Chet’la SebreeMiddletownLiterature: Poetry
IVAWilmingtonMusic: Solo Recital

Emerging Professional Award ($3,000)

NameCommunityArtistic Discipline
Jenifer Adams-MitchellFrankfordLiterature: Fiction
Kevin J. CopeNewarkMusic: Solo Recital
Kaitlyn EvansLewesVisual Arts: Crafts
Matthew GlickClaymontVisual Arts: Works on Paper
Geraldo GonzalezWilmingtonFolk Arts: Visual Arts
Karen Hurley-HeymanNewarkLiterature: Poetry
Mary-Margaret PauerBridgevilleLiterature: Creative Nonfiction
D.H. RegnierNewarkMusic: Composition
Gregg SilvisNewarkVisual Arts: Sculpture
G.W. ThompsonLewesVisual Arts: Painting
Shannon WoodloeWilmingtonVisual Arts: Photography

Honorable Mention

NameCommunityArtistic Discipline
Howard EberleLewesVisual Arts: Works on Paper
Jane MillerWilmingtonLiterature: Poetry
Jim SaltNewarkLiterature: Fiction

To contact an individual artist, please email or call: Roxanne Stanulis, Program Officer, Artist Programs and services, or 302-577-8283.

The next deadline for Individual Artist Fellowship applications will be Thursday, August 1, 2019 by 4:30 p.m.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit or call 302-577-8278. Image: 2018 Award Winners exhibition at the Biggs Museum. Painting (right) by Thomas del Porte, 2018 Established Professional, Visual Arts: painting                  

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