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Current Miller Arts Scholars Award Recipients
Class of 2017

Elena Anderson

Elena Anderson, Drama

Rising Third-Year Award
A Summer at Michael Howard Studios (New York City)
I chose to come to the University of Virginia, and I have thrived in the liberal arts setting, pursuing a history major and Spanish minor in addition to my degree in Drama. However, as I approach my third year as an undergraduate in Drama, I realize there are certain limitations of time and opportunity that arise from not pursuing a specialized arts education. In the last year, I have come to the important conclusion that my skills as an actor are in need of more specialized training. Therefore, I am proposing a project involving six weeks of intensive study at the prestigious Michael Howard Studios in New York City.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Rising Fourth-Year Award
One-Week Intensive at the New York Film Academy
I am proposing a project that will allow me to attend a one-week intensive film-acting workshop at the New York Film Academy. The NYFA is recognized as one of the top film schools in the country and offers a variety of workshops, short courses and conservatory programs. The one-week acting for film workshop is an introductory course on the basics of acting on-camera, focusing on filmed scene study and audition technique classes and exposing students to the technical realities of working on a film set.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Casady Jackson

Casady Jackson, Studio Art

Rising Fourth-Year Award
5 large-scale paintings displayed at a self-curated gallery show
My proposal is a studio art project consisting of a series of 5 large-scale paintings displayed at a self-curated gallery show in the Comm School art galleryThe subject of the paintings is undecided, but I envision them to be personal and reflective of my experience at UVA. See attached art images sheet for reference.While I hope my work will be informed by artistic inspirations like George Bellows, James Ensor, Eric Fischl and others, I hope to discover and express my own “style” and artistic signature through this project. I plan to explore my relationship to painting in several specific areas: beautiful color making, expressive handling of the material, narrative storytelling, and simplified form making.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Anne Codd

Anne Codd, Studio Art

Rising Third-Year Award
Second-Hand Summer: A Narrative of Growth
An artist’s book is the ideal approach to encapsulate the idiosyncrasies of a unique, yet shared summer experience. Within a self-contained entity, I will employ numerous mediums to depict the quintessential images and memories of my consecutive summers in concrete, representational forms alongside more abstract creations. Further, a three-chapter organization of the book will facilitate exploration into the experience of each generation. I plan to employ drawing, water-based painting, printmaking, and papermaking techniques. I envision the pages of the artist’s book being filled with small, detail oriented watercolors, linoleum, and woodcut depictions of the Chesapeake Bay
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Anne Codd
Alexandra Chriscoe

Anne Codd, Studio Art
Alexandra Chriscoe, Studio Art

Rising Fourth-Year Award
Tutkimus: The Art and Culture of Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Jyväskylä through the lens of collaborative Print Media
For our joint Fourth Year Art Award, we will travel to Finland and Russia alongside our Printmaking professor, Dean Dass. We will travel from October 1st through October 11th to the Balkans to study the origins of printmaking as an art form. This exploration of art and culture will involve participation in the Graphica Creativa, the oldest international printmaking exhibition in the Nordic countries, in Jyväskylä, a university city 200 km north of Helsinki. Subsequently, we will take a bookmaking course with the graduate students at Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Elyssa Fonicello

Elyssa Fonicello, Dance

Rising Third-Year Award
Developing Leaders through Dance
With funds from an Arts Award, I would like to attend the Now & Next Dance Mentoring Workshop for college students from August 17-21. Now Next Dance is a non-profit based in Washington, DC that endeavors to teach creativity and leadership through contemporary dance. Their week-long summer program for college dancers provides many unique opportunities to develop skills as a performer, choreographer, and dance leader/educator. Each day of the program I will participate in a company-style class to strengthen technique and learn new repertory, followed by mentoring lunches and activities with middle school-aged dance students. I will then teach a modern dance class based on the Now Next Dance style to the middle school dance students. In addition, I will have the opportunity to network with dance professionals and to collaborate with my peers in the creation of choreographic works that will be presented at the culmination of the week.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Rising Fourth-Year Award
Catalyzing Policy Change through Movement
Having researched the connections between leadership and dance, I would now like to shift my focus to exploring the role of movement in the policy process. Dance can contribute to both issue advocacy and policy implementation by directly involving community members in the process of bringing about social change. For this grant project, I would like to explore a trajectory that has already been set forward by several dance makers, community leaders, and social activists dating back to the 1930’s and 40’s in the US. I plan to conduct in-depth research on dance artists and companies who are using movement to advocate for social change. Specifically, I am interested in the work of Anna Halprin, Liz Lerman, Dance Exchange, Axis Dance, Paloma McGregor, and Jennifer Monson. With funding from a Miller Arts Scholar Award, I will develop an advocacy campaign for a social policy issue specific to the Charlottesville and UVa community. The year-long advocacy campaign will include two movement workshops with members of the community that will serve as fodder for the creation of a choreographic work as part of the dance program’s spring concert.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Michael Giovinco

Michael Giovinco, Drama

Rising Third-Year Award
Interactive Technology, Lighting, Perception, and the Actor
Interactive technology has begun a sweeping sensation among different art forms. It has, in many ways, created a crossroads between the disciplines. Theatrical groups like Enra, a Japanese dance troupe, have begun using advanced video tracking software and projectors to have the dancers control the environment around them with their movement. Many groups use varying forms of motion tracking to nail down lighting cues, to control projected images, to warp sound effects, and more. This list is growing every day.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Rising Fourth-Year Award
The Circus and Devised Performance
My proposed project is to craft and perform a devised, movement-based circus show with the advice of Associate Professor Marianne Kubik after taking classes this summer at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. I specifically trust Professor Kubik’s guidance because of her extensive knowledge in movement direction and devised performance. Over the course of the next school year, I will rehearse and stage this show with the help of the Moonlight Circus Group in Charlottesville. Funds from this grant would go towards supporting classes, purchasing equipment for practice and performance, and towards supplies for making costume and set pieces.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Kingston Liu

Kingston Liu, Dance

Rising Third-Year Award
Training and Research on Funk-style Dance
In this project, I will focus on honing my Hip Hop dance techniques and interview professional Hip Hop dancers in Beijing, China. While I have been deeply involved in the Urban Dance crews and community in my time at the University of Virginia, I haven’t had much exposure to the Hip Hop dance scene due to diminishing popularity of Hip Hop dance in America. However, the Hip Hop presence in Beijing is still strong, and the fact that various world-renown Hip Hop dancers live in Beijing makes it an ideal place for me to hone my skills and accumulate knowledge about Hip Hop.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Aspen Miller

Aspen Miller, Drama

Rising Fourth-Year Award
10,000 Leagues Under the Narrative Sea
I aim to explore and experiment with the effects that varying narrative media has on storytelling. My areas of inquiry are: Can media interact to change or enhance a narrative? Can different media influence how individuals receive and internalize a story differently? Or do they receive it based off of their individual life experiences? Do media factors influence the audience’s response to a narrative? To explore these issues, I will tell the story “Big Wave and Little Wave” in four different ways using audio design, visual design, movement through dance, and finally as a written piece. I will survey to evaluate the audience’s experience of each mediated version of this story, and make a film about the project built around the audience responses of medium effectiveness.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Susan Xie

Susan Xie, Studio Art

Rising Third-Year Award
Learning Limits
In the next year, I propose to learn the tradition of photography, from its historical inception to its modern day value. My primary goal is to document my learning process. I will gather information through formally practicing the art and experimentally researching its uses. I plan to study pinhole photography in Italy this summer, take an additional course on film photography in the fall, and conduct independent research on digital photography next spring. However, learning a new art form is a sweeping statement and requires limits such as in time, space, and content. Although I trade-off perspective by limiting my scope, I view these limits as necessary secondary goals that filter and make sense of information. Without these filters, I may learn nothing meaningful at all from the abundant pool of information I foresee accumulating. In a sense, my learning process mimics the camera. I will deliberately set specific limits, like exposure time and aperture, and choose the focus through certain lenses to record information.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Rising Fourth-Year Award
Two Weeks to Create Colorado Landscapes
In my fourth year as a Miller Arts Scholar, I hope to further my studies in photography through two workshops in landscape photography and bookmaking at Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado from Aug 8th to Aug 19th 2016. A $4,240 Fourth Year Award would allow me to build on my Third Year Award, which introduced me to the art of photography.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Class of 2018

Luc Cianfarani

Luc Cianfarani, Music

Rising Third-Year Award
Attending the 2016 Washington International Piano Festival
Classical music is an industry. In order to progress in this competitive industry I need to start making connections and entering competitions that will allow me to advance my career. I believe that receiving a $1500 arts award to attend the Washington International Piano Festival will not only allow me to grow as a musician, but also enable me to meet world renowned pianists and compete against my peers from all over the world.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Alexandra D'Elia

Alexandra D'Elia, Dance

Rising Third-Year Award
A Dança Portuguesa
With assistance from the Miller Arts Scholars Third Year Arts Award, I will spend the spring semester of 2017 studying abroad in Lisbon at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), through a language and culture program with CIEE, and I will conduct research on the different dance styles taught and practiced in Portuguese culture. I will take dance classes at a studio called STEPS: escola de dança e artes do espectáculo. STEPS offers dance classes in many different dance styles: Kizomba, Semba, Funaná, Eastern and Indian dance, Tango, Tap Dance, Forró, Samba, Salsa and Cuban Music. What interests me about this diverse group of classes is that each dance style is unique to a specific Portuguese territory.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Wesley Diener

Wesley Diener, Music

Rising Third-Year Award
FAVA: Immersion in French Opera, Art Song, and Language
I am applying for an Arts Award to travel to Perigeuex, France and participate in the Franco-American Vocal Academy program, where I will sing a full opera role and work intensely on French music and language. The Franco American Vocal Academy (FAVA) centers its mission on performance opportunities for young singers.  While there are many summer opera programs that offer similar opportunities for technical training, FAVA distinguishes itself with a valuable combination of technical achievement, immersive language instruction, and most importantly, significant performance opportunities. 
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Vivien Fergusson

Vivien Fergusson, Dance

Rising Third-Year Award
Bates Dance Festival
This year, the Bates Dance Festival will be offering classes from a variety of dance disciplines including modern, ballet, jazz, afro-modern, Spiraldynamik, Pilates, yoga, and contact improvisation. There will also be more academically based courses on choreography, movement and writing, the business of dance, film and media, and natural body systems. Classes will be taught by extremely gifted faculty that are powerful forces in their respective corners of the dance community, and they will be accompanied by live musical artists.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Emma Lewis

Emma Lewis, Studio Art

Rising Third-Year Award
Study of Tangible Dialogue
Communicating meaning through an artistic work is difficult for all artists. How can one translate a personal idea that seems innate, obvious, and pure to another? As an artist that relies heavily upon memory for works, I often think about how I can speak clearly and simply in my art despite personal symbolic connections I wish to incorporate in the piece. Exemplifying this idea, I often connect aphasia and artist purpose. Aphasia, a neurological disorder caused by damage to the language center of the brain, prevents affected individuals from finding and saying the accurate words to express a clear idea. I have the intent, however, the idea in its tangible form does not have the right language.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Josephine Miller

Josephine Miller, Music

Rising Third-Year Award
Speech Pathology In Practice: Vocal Health and Vocal Myths in Todays Singers
This summer of 2016, I would like to put into use my two majors: Speech Language Pathology and Music (vocal performance). I plan on shadowing a Speech Pathologist in Yorktown, Virginia, Ann Cyptar, who focuses mostly on patients with vocal health issues (singers, actors, etc.) and occasionally with patients suffering from head and neck cancer. To further my studies, I would also try to shadow a few other speech pathologists who work primarily with patients suffering from more common speech disorders and stroke patients. In an effort to truly understand the usefulness and importance of Speech Pathology in practice as a singer, I will also be attending two vocal workshops/performance opportunities. The first would be the Classical Singers Workshop at Peabody University from July 6-10 in Baltimore, Maryland. The second would be participating in the Bethesda Summer Music Festival in Bethesda, Maryland from June 20 to July 3.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Julian Sanchez

Julian Sanchez, Drama

Rising Third-Year Award
Drama Abroad: A Personal Exploration of British Classical Acting Pedagogy 
I am proposing to use the Arts Award money to help fund my studies at one of two of Britain’s most esteemed acting institutions: the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), or the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). I leave the possibilities open between the two because I’m not sure which one I will get into, but I assure you they are both very worthy programs in their own right.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Braelyn Schenk

Braelyn Schenk, Dance

Rising Third-Year Award
Apples and Oranges
I am interested in finding bridges between music and dance, exploring their capability to interpret physical and cultural landscapes, and through that, codifying a methodology that allows dancers and musicians to enter into a deeper understanding of their relationship to each other, to place, to physical spaces, and to the past.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Micah Watson

Micah Watson, Drama

Rising Third-Year Award
Black Entertainment Television Networks Internship
I plan to intern with Black Entertainment Television Networks. As a Programming Intern, I will have the opportunity to create original programming, act as an on-set production assistant and study with the Writing Team. I will be able to be a part of the creative process of the television industry from beginning to end. Specifically, I will be under the tutelage of Senior Vice President, Connie Orlando in New York, New York.  It is important that I learn the systems of the television and film industry so that, in the future, I will know the best ways to share my art.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)

Yuchen Xie

Yuchen Xie, Studio Art

Rising Third-Year Award
A Study of Chinese Seal Carving
During the summer of 2016, from early July to late August, I plan to officially enroll in the course with the artist every week and meanwhile I’ll spend a considerable amount of time exploring the art of seal carving by myself. I’ll go to exhibitions with my teacher and connect to other seal carving artists. I’ll read the history of this art form to study the styles of renowned artists and examine their techniques to develop my style. I will write up an analysis based on my study and I will have ten carved seals of different styles. I’ll also explore different materials. For instance, I’ll try harder stones instead of the relatively soft bloodstone.
(Original Proposal) (Project Outcome)