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Greater Columbus Arts Council and Columbus Film Council Announce 2014 Media Arts Fellowship Award Recipients

in Press Releases December 4, 2014 4 min read

Columbus, Ohio – The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) and the Columbus Film Council (CFC) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Media Arts Fellowship awards. The recipients were officially announced November 22 during an evening presentation hosted by the Columbus International Film + Video Festival at the Canzani Center on the Columbus College of Art & Design campus.

The Arts Council and CFC would like to congratulate the 2014 Media Arts Fellowship recipients: Michael Polk ($3,500), Matthew Swift ($1,500) and Nicolette Swift ($1,500).

The Arts Council would also like to congratulate the 2014 Media Arts Fellowship finalists: Robert Derr, Phil Garrett, Eric Homan, Celeste Irving/Matt Irving, and Janet Parrott.

The awards, recommended in an anonymous review process by panelists, assist recipients in any manner they choose to support the creation of new works and/or the advancement of their careers. All 2014 recipients and finalists are invited to apply for the Arts Council’s Dresden Artist Exchange Program.  Artists who have participated previously in any Arts Council exchange program are not eligible to apply.

Members of the 2014 Media Arts Fellowship panel who reviewed all applications and recommended the finalists and recipients were Peter Balint, independent filmmaker and executive director at Independent Pictures in Cleveland, Ohio; Claudia Esslinger, independent media artist and educator from Gambier, Ohio; and Brian Plow, independent filmmaker and educator from Athens, Ohio. Sundance award winning cinematographer Rachel Beth Anderson selected the award levels for the recipients.

The 2014 Media Arts Fellowship recipient bios:


Michael Polk, from Parma, Ohio, graduated from The Ohio State University with degrees in Film Studies and History in 2012. Within a week of graduating, he began directing his feature-length debut “Making Mail.” The documentary exploring the world of mail art released in November 2014. Polk is currently in pre-production on two narrative short films, prepping a short documentary, and writing a feature-length narrative film. In between these projects, he will continue to create artist exposes to help gain exposure for the eclectic mix of creators in Ohio.


Matthew Swift is the Program Coordinator for The Ohio State University Film Studies Program where he provides advanced advising to students, is the productions lead for the Journal of Short Film, supervises the program’s internships, and teaches film theory. His background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in both Film Studies and Art History with a Minor focus in Fine Arts from the Ohio State University and an Master of Library and Information Science with a focus in digital collections preservation and access from Kent State University. In 2007, Swift  was inducted into the International Library & Information Studies Honor Society (BETA PHI MU). The majority of his personal artwork stems from a deep connection to the historical avant-garde and experimental movements of all art forms.


Nicolette Swift, a Columbus video artist, has been capturing life and creating videos for over 20 years. In 2005 she graduated from The Ohio State University with a double major in Art History and Film and Media Studies. As an undergraduate she discovered a love for working with archival materials. She obtained a Master of Library and Information Science with a focus in multi-media access from Kent State University in 2007. She has worked with individuals and local organizations form more than 13 years to create promotional and educational videos and materials as part of her freelance production company Nicolettecinemagraphics. Currently her personal projects include experimental video essays using found, archival, and cultural materials; these find a new life as moving image works.

The Arts Council’s Individual Artists Fellowship program, established in 1986, recognizes outstanding artists in Franklin County. Since then, over 210 awards, in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, crafts, film and video, creative writing, music composition, and choreography/movement arts, have been made. The Arts Council’s program is one of the few local fellowship programs in the country.

For more information contact Ruby Harper, Grants & Services director at

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. The Arts Council thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support of all our programs.

About the Columbus Film Council: The Columbus Film Council was founded in 1950, by the late Dr. Edgar Dale, Professor Emeritus of The Ohio State University and other professionals interested in promoting the use of 16mm motion pictures. Two years later, the Columbus Film Festival was born. Since its inception, the object of the Film Council has been to encourage and promote the use of 16mm motion pictures and, subsequently, media in all forms of education and communication, not only in the local community but throughout the world. During these many years of continuous operation, the Festival has honored thousands of film and video producers. The Festival has grown in scope, becoming international in 1972, in the late 80’s adding video, and in 1997 adding the CD ROM format. In 2004 the Festival added DVDs to its list of accepted formats.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492