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Greater Columbus Arts Council Announces Second Round of 2023 Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowships

in Press Releases November 9, 2023 3 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) is pleased to announce Rick Borgia, Sam Corlett, Mark Hampton, Baba Jubal Harris, Charlotte McGraw, Chineze Okpalaoka, Melissa Vogley Woods and Julie Whitney Scott as the second-round recipients of the 2023 Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship. Each artists’ project will receive a $10,000 grant.

Launched in 2021, the Neighborhood Arts Connection fellowship is designed to annually celebrate specific neighborhoods, as defined by the Columbus Area Commission’s website, by inviting artists residing in the neighborhoods to create participatory arts experiences. Previous programs have focused on the South Side, Near East Side and Linden neighborhoods. In 2023 the applications were open to all neighborhoods, with the Hilltop being featured in round one and Northland featured in round two.

The awarded projects are:

  • Rick Borgia’s project in Northland is an arts and music fair designed to celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood through a mix of artists and makers, dance, spoken word, live music and local businesses.
  • The Clintonville Community Learning Project from Sam Corlett facilitates local artists and performers to provide creative learning experiences at a street-level within the community.
  • Mark Hampton proposed a jazz and arts concert on the Far East Side, featuring music from Synergy Jazz and original artwork by Hampton, hosted in a local park.
  • Baba Jubal Harris will host a heartbeat drum circle on the South Side, a gathering of drummers, dancers, artists, community leaders, educators and families.
  • Charlotte McGraw proposed a series of community creature workshops on the West Side, taught by McGraw and Columbus artist/gallery owner A.J. Vanderelli.
  • Chineze Okpalaoka’s project, titled Truth, Be Told and focused around Olde Towne East and King-Lincoln Bronzeville, is a series of interactive, creative workshops focused on storytelling and portraiture.
  • Melissa Vogley Woods’ project is a community-designed mural installed on the brick facade of the Parsons Avenue side of 700 Bryden in Olde Towne East.
  • Julie Whitney Scott’s proposal focuses on northeast Columbus and is titled I Was Once You & You Will Be a Better Me. The project will use performing arts to bridge the gap between parents/guardians/grandparents and their children/grandchildren.

“My neighborhood, and this city, are filled with such rich history – so many stories that have yet to be heard, and deserve to be told,” said Chineze Okpalaoka. “Through the Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship, I hope to leave my city the gift and inspiration to begin recording our personal and collective stories – for posterity and for art’s sake.”

“Receiving financial support from the Greater Columbus Art Council not only empowers us to nurture our artistic aspirations and bring our vision to life, but also allows us to wholeheartedly appreciate the precious time, ideas and hard work generously contributed by our community,” added Melissa Vogley Woods.

Applications for the Neighborhood Arts Connection Fellowship were scored and deliberated by a jury of neighborhood and community leaders that live and/or work in the featured neighborhood. This round’s jury included:

  • Judith Cockrell
  • Alice Foeller
  • Jenny Leal
  • Alicia Ward

Full guidelines for the fellowships can be found at

For more information on community funding, including guidelines and upcoming deadlines, go to or contact the Grants & Community Engagement team at or (614) 224-2606.

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

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492