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Greater Columbus Arts Council Announces 26 Artists for 2024 GCAC Navigator Program

in Press Releases January 30, 2024 4 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) is thrilled to announce the second year of the GCAC Navigator program, an initiative that will help GCAC engage more deeply with our diverse community. Started in 2023, the GCAC Navigator program hires a group of Columbus-based artists each year to share resources and guide artists through GCAC grant and fellowship applications. The goal of this program is to increase outreach to new artists, especially those from historically marginalized or underrepresented communities.

For 2024, 26 individuals were invited to the Navigator program. Of those 26, 12 are new to the initiative and 14 are returning. These include practitioners in dance, literary, visual, theatrical, film, fashion and musical arts, and artists who speak English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Twi/Akan.

“With a total of 26 new and continuing Navigators, we have stunning array of talented artists who will be connecting with their community in multiple ways throughout the year,” said McKenzi Swinehart, grants and community engagement director. “Each Navigator takes their own approach to being an ambassador for GCAC: attending festivals and manning booths, hosting mini-workshops, being available online for artists to drop-in and ask questions, serving as facilitators for roundtables and focus groups, as well as attending countless one-on-one meetings. The GCAC Navigators are an extension of the team at GCAC and we simply cannot overvalue the work that they do every day on behalf of their fellow artists.”

The 2024 GCAC Navigators include:

  • Efua Amissah-Aggrey (she/her)*
  • Cynthia Amoah (she/her)*
  • Sayuri Ayers (she/her)
  • Gabrielle Burton (she/her)*
  • Nicholas D’Andrea (he/him)
  • Daza (he/him)*
  • Isaiah L. Harris (he/him)*
  • Kelly Hurlburt (she/her)
  • Krate Digga (he/him)
  • Dexter Komakaru (he/him)
  • Lawrence Tawneven Lemon (he/him)
  • Ana Lowe (she/her)
  • Dom Deshawn (he/him)*
  • Cody F. Miller (he/him)
  • Indigo Gonzales Miller (they/them)*
  • Sydnee Roberts-Crews (she/her)
  • Mary Skrenta (she/her)
  • Z. F. Taylor (he/him)
  • Prince Shakur (he/him)*
  • Cecelia Vasquez (she/her)*
  • Mitch Vicieux (they/them)
  • Lorii Wallace (she/her)
  • Moxy Martinez (they/them/he/him)*
  • Julie Whitney Scott (she/her)
  • Corey Williams (he/him)*
  • Helen Yee (she/her)*

(*Denotes new GCAC Navigators for 2024.)

GCAC Navigators are active artists in Columbus and have deep connections to the city’s artistic community, who can connect with members of historically marginalized or underrepresented communities.

“I believe there is so much power in artists coming together to share knowledge and resources to create supportive communities along our creative journeys,” said fashion designer Efua Amissah-Aggrey. “As a young artist navigating uncertainty and self-doubt, the role of artistic communities was crucial for my self-esteem and career. Now, I want to pay it forward. I want to be a GCAC Navigator to help emerging artists discover spaces where they belong, providing them with the resources and encouragement needed for success. My goal is to assure them that despite societal, familial or self-imposed doubts, their dreams are achievable.”

“As a producer/performer it’s very important to construct and provide platforms for artists who are like me – queer, Hispanic, differently abled – who may not easily have the support or exposure to the same opportunities as others,” adds DJ and producer Moxy Martinez. “I want to help build and reinforce these artistic platforms. I want to guide and create safe supportive spaces for others to explore their art by exposing them to the opportunities provided by GCAC. By doing this, we are strengthening our community and nurturing a new creative generation.”

“GCAC has been a transformative ally since I transitioned to full-time music,” said musician Dom Deshawn. “The support received through grants has been instrumental in bringing to life projects that would have remained unfulfilled without funding. … Last year, I assisted several friends in navigating their first grant applications. As a GCAC Navigator, I aspire to extend this guidance further, helping artists overcome barriers and fostering a thriving creative community.”

The Navigator program runs January through December 2024. Navigators are expected to engage with local artists and share GCAC grant opportunities, guidelines, workshops and other resources with their immediate community. They will be paid $4,000 for the year and are given an additional $1,500 to host artistic events, as well as free or discounted tickets to arts events and experiences, networking opportunities and more.

GCAC received 130 applications for the 2024 program. The application process for 2025 GCAC Navigators will open next fall. More details about the Navigators and the program can be found at

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, the Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492