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Greater Columbus Arts Council Launches New Fellowship and Residency in Honor of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson

in Press Releases December 4, 2019 3 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council), in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) and with support from community leaders, launched the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship and Residency, two new programs that will honor Columbus artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson and support African American professional, visual artists. In 2020 both programs are made possible with the financial support of Loann Crane.

The Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship is locally focused and provides an unrestricted grant to an African American professional visual artist residing in Franklin County.

In 2020, the 90-day fellowship includes a $15,000 award, several community outreach activities (facilitated by Arts Council staff) and the opportunity for a public presentation and/or exhibition.

The residency is nationally focused and provides an African American professional visual artist residing in the United States the opportunity to live and work in Robinson’s soon-to-be-restored Shepard community home, and to devote dedicated time to creating art within Robinson’s home studio.

In 2020, the 90-day residency will include a $2,500 award, a stipend up to $5,500; lodging and studio access is provided free as part of the residency. Community outreach activities (facilitated by Arts Council staff) are required and artists will have the opportunity for a public presentation and/or exhibition.

“Aminah cared a great deal about mentoring the next generation of African American artists,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Arts Council. “I think she would approve of how we are honoring her legacy and the gift she has given to our community.”

Robinson was born in 1940 in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Poindexter Village, a new federally funded apartment community. From an early age, she absorbed the stories of her elders about historic Columbus neighborhoods and about the family’s ancestral roots in Africa.

Throughout her life, she documented these stories in her art and journals, in order to pass them on to future generations. Her work is grounded in the African concept of Sankofa—the importance of understanding the past in order to move forward. Robinson’s diverse body of work is about building bridges and making connections between the past and present, America and Africa, and the physical world and the world of spirits.

When she was 17, she moved with her family to the Shepard neighborhood on the near east side of the city. She eventually purchased her own home in that same neighborhood and lived there the rest of her life. When she died in 2015, Robinson left her estate, including her house, to the Columbus Museum of Art. Since that time, CMA has worked diligently to catalog the artist’s incredible collection of artwork and collaborate with the Arts Council and the Columbus community to decide how her estate could best be used to support African American professional visual artists—resulting in the newly opened fellowship and residency.

The capital campaign to raise funds for the restoration of Aminah’s home also was launched officially today. Local attorney Larry James will spearhead the fundraising effort to renovate Robinson’s home for the residency, with contracting and construction work guided by Mark Corna and Aaron McDaniel of BluePrint Investments.

The fellowship and residency are annual programs. Applications are now open for each and each will be juried by a committee that will include representatives from the Shepard and Poindexter neighborhoods where Robinson lived, CMA and the Arts Council. The fellowship jury will also include an artist or arts educator familiar with Robinson’s work and history, while the residency jury will include esteemed artists or curators from across the country.

The application deadline for the fellowship is Feb. 3, 2020 and the fellowship period is March 2-May 31, 2020.

The application deadline for the residency is March 9, 2020 and the residency will take place  Aug. 17- Nov. 15, 2020.

For complete guidelines for both programs go to:

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

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

Mission of the Columbus Museum of Art: To create great experiences with great art for everyone.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492