Delaware Division of the Arts Announces 2023 Individual Artist Fellowship Winners

Delaware Division of the Arts

WILMINGTON, DE — Seventeen Delaware artists are being recognized by the Delaware Division of the Arts for the high quality of their artwork. The Division received work samples from 118 Delaware musicians; writers; and folk, media, and visual artists. The work samples were reviewed by out-of-state arts professionals who considered the demonstrated creativity and skill in each artist’s respective art form. Seventeen artists were awarded fellowships in the following categories – two, Masters; seven, Established; and eight, Emerging. The seventeen selected fellows reside throughout Delaware including Bridgeville, Claymont, Felton, Harrington, Lewes, Newark, Smyrna, and Wilmington.

Awards are given in three categories: $12,000 for the Masters Award, $8,000 for the Established Professional Award, and $5,000 for the Emerging Professional Award. 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 recognize Delaware artists for their outstanding work and commitment to artistic excellence,” said Jessica Ball, 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 last three years have proven difficult for many artists, and thanks in part to Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. The Division of the Arts is pleased to be able to allocate additional funds to increase the size of the gifts for 2023.  In addition to these increased gifts, the Division was able to award a second Masters Fellowship Award.”

The Masters Fellowship is open to different artistic disciplines each year. In 2023, Masters Fellowship applications were accepted in Visual Arts and Folk 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.

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The DDOA 2023 Master Fellow in the field of Visual Arts Photography is B. Proud.  B. Proud is a commercial and fine art photographer and has exhibited her work in solo and group shows around the globe. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and faculty at the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York. B. Proud’s recent work is a series of socially conscious documentary projects focused on the LGBTQ+ community. “First Comes Love” is a traveling exhibition of portraits, stories, and videos of couples in long-term relationships. The project’s hardbound book received two publishing gold medals. “Transcending Love,” focuses on transgender and gender non-conforming couples across the country in an attempt to further acceptance of a community deserving of understanding and fundamental human rights. Proud has received grants from the B.W. Bastian Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, The University of the Arts, and the Delaware State Arts Council. Her work is included in the Weeks Gallery, Jamestown, NY, Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Delaware Art Museum, Eastman Kodak, Haverford College, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and private collections. Learn more at

The DDOA 2023 Master Fellow in the field of Folk Art: Oral Literature is TAHIRA.  TAHIRA, is a nationally recognized storyteller and performing artist, who boldly blurs the lines between storyteller, singer/songwriter and musician. Whether performing her original works or her vast repertoire of stories from the African oral tradition, she brings to her audience messages of courage, hope, and spiritual strength. Blending, song, poetry and story in a high-energy performance, TAHIRA captivates and enthralls audiences in schools, libraries, festivals and social services organizations nationally and internationally. TAHIRA says she has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Her childhood passion for words has led to her mission to use storytelling and music to empower young people to think critically, choose wisely, and believe fervently in their ability to succeed. She spells her name with all capital letters as a reminder of the enormous responsibility she has to use her gifts to be of service to her community. Learn more at

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Listed below are the Delaware Division of the Arts 2023 Individual Artist Fellows:

2023 Master Fellows

  • B. Proud, Visual Arts: Photography, Wilmington
  • TAHIRA, Folk Art: Oral Literature, Claymont

2023 Established Fellows

  • Joyce Barbagallo, Literature: Fiction, Wilmington
  • Ron Meick, Visual Arts: Sculpture, Wilmington
  • Michael Miller, Folk Art: Music, Felton
  • Mary Pauer, Literature: Creative Nonfiction, Bridgeville
  • Christopher Penna, Literature: Poetry, Newark
  • Lauren E. Peters, Visual Arts: Painting, Wilmington
  • IVA (Emily Tepe), Music: Contemporary Performance

2023 Emerging Fellows

  • Jill Althouse-Wood, Visual Arts: Painting, Wilmington
  • Bryant (Tee) Bell, Visual Arts: Painting, Dover
  • Liz DeJesus, Literature: Creative Nonfiction, Wilmington
  • Constanza (Cony) Madariaga, Visual Arts: Painting, Wilmington
  • James Morgan, Media Arts: Video/Film, Harrington
  • Charlese Phillips, Visual Arts: Interdisciplinary, Smyrna
  • Kim Hoey Stevenson, Literature: Fiction, Lewes
  • Anne Yarbrough, Literature: Poetry, New Castle

The next deadline for Individual Artist Fellowship applications will be Monday, August 1, 2023 by 11:59 p.m.

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