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Arts Council Selects 2022 Neighborhood Arts Connections Fellows for Near East Side

in Press Releases April 4, 2022 2 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Neighborhood Arts Connection fellowship for Near East Side projects. David Harewood will receive a $5,000 grant for a community resource and theater performance event; Shelbi Toone will receive a $10,000 grant for her “Aminah is My Art Teacher” project, which includes an artist roundtable, events for seniors and youth, community workshops and a collaborative artwork installation.

David Harewood is a theater director, producer and writer living in Columbus. He has directed or produced over 20 productions, and has been a nominee for Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable’s “Excellence in Direction of a Musical” and winner of “Excellence in Direction and Outstanding Production of a Play” twice. In addition to his own creative work, Harewood is a community advocate, helping organize food drives, protests, marches, campaigns, and performance projects throughout the Near East Side.

Harewood’s project, a one-day community resource and performance event, mixes a community resource fair with a reading of a work-in-progress docudrama based on testimonies gathered during the first year of the Columbus Police Accountability Project. The roughly 90-minute performance will be part of a community resources drive that includes voter registration, housing, drug rehabilitation and other health resources as provided by a coalition to be built from various social, political and community organizations with which he has affiliated over the course of the last decade.

Shelbi Toone is a seasoned creative professional with more than a decade of experience as an entrepreneur, project manager and community arts educator. Born and raised in Columbus, she is committed to art that amplifies the voice of the community and is an active arts advocate with a multi-faceted range of skills. Recently, Toone led All People Arts to partner with community initiatives and collaborative programming with organizations like Franklin Park Conservatory, The Ohio State University and more. She also is an active ambassador of the Deliver Black Dreams campaign of Columbus, serving as artist activist and local muralist.

Her project, “Aminah is My Art Teacher,” is an art proclamation and movement to honor the legacy of the Near East Side creative hero Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. This three-part project will have residents actively participate in creating art that will be a part of a final collaborative art piece. A historic conversation about the art history of the Near East Side will be conducted with video documentation to share the living stories of the Near East Side artists past and present. The project will include custom sketchbooks accompanied with Near East Side bookmarks, art history activities and artist stickers for the community and youth participants.

A jury consisting of Near East Side residents and community leaders, along with an Arts Council Board representative, selected the two fellows. The neighborhood projects will be completed between April and September of 2022.

The Neighborhood Arts Connection fellowship is designed to celebrate a specific neighborhood by inviting resident artists to create participatory arts experiences there. In 2022, the Neighborhood Arts Connection fellowship celebrates two neighborhoods: the Near East Side and Linden. The next deadline is for Linden neighborhood projects is Aug. 15; this fellowship is sponsored by Crane Group.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners and the Ohio Arts Council.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492