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Susan Van Pelt Petry Receives Raymond J. Hanley Fellowship Award from Columbus Arts Endowment

in Press Releases August 20, 2013 4 min read

Columbus, Ohio – Columbus dancer and choreographer Susan Van Pelt Petry will receive the $10,000 fellowship named in memory of former GCAC President Raymond J. Hanley, the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Arts Endowment announced today.

An anonymous panel of judges, along with the trustees of the Columbus Arts Endowment, chose Van Pelt Petry as the fifth recipient of the Raymond J. Hanley Fellowship, an award for an individual artist who has demonstrated an high level of achievement while working for at least five years in the visual arts, performing arts, literary arts or any other arts discipline. Fellowship money is awarded to the recipient without restriction, so the artist can use it to further his or her career as needed. The fellowship is administered by GCAC and supported through the Hanley Arts Fund of the Columbus Arts Endowment, created upon Hanley’s death in 2006.

The award will be presented at a private reception September 17, 2013 at the YWCA Ballroom.

Following a performing and touring career based in New York City, Van Pelt Petry spent a decade running her own company, Van Pelt Dance Ensemble, based in Columbus, presenting several premieres a year, conducting K-12 residencies, tours through the Midwest and to New York City, and commissioning composers and visual artists for collaborative works.  She was also a freelance choreographer, teacher, and performer, receiving grants, fellowships, and residencies from the Ohio Arts Council, GCAC, the Astral Foundation, and the Headlands Center for the Arts.  In addition to US tours with her company and her solo program “Just Susan,” she taught at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the Taiwan National University of the Arts, as well as serving as company teacher and rehearsal director for the Cloud Gate Dance Company based in Taiwan.

Van Pelt Petry co-founded the Alliance for Dance and Movement Arts in Columbus in the ‘80s and helped to develop the Third Avenue Performance Space in Columbus’ Short North.  She has served as President of OhioDance, Ohio’s statewide service organization, and has been treasurer of the national Council of Dance Administrators and on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Schools of Dance.  In addition to serving as a consultant and being on local, state, and national arts panels, she is on the advisory board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP).

Van Pelt Petry is Chair and Professor of the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University (OSU) since 2006.  In her seven years as chair, she has used her “choreographic thinking” to manage an era of significant change at OSU, including five deans and a new college structure, conversion from quarters to semesters and extensive site renovations.

The Department of Dance continues to be highly competitive in the nation with a less than 20% acceptance rate.  It is the fourth in the country to offer a PhD in dance, and alumni are performing in dance companies, off Broadway, starting their own companies and enterprises, touring Europe and teaching across the nation.

Prior to this appointment, she was Assistant Dean in the College of the Arts at OSU.  Other positions she has held include Associate Professor at Ohio University, Assistant Professor at OSU and visiting artist at numerous colleges and universities.

Always searching for ways to grow OSU’s connection to the immediate community, with the support of a private donor Van Pelt Petry developed the Columbus Dance Calendar to enhance the public’s accessibility to dance and to encourage the dance professional’s building of community. Under her leadership, the OSU Department of Dance has been involved in collaborating on community projects such as Dublin Arts Council’s site specific choreographic projects; and the department remains connected in to the arts community through ties with BalletMet, Columbus Dance Theatre, Feverhead, King Arts Complex, CAPA and the ColumbusCollege of Art & Design.

Van Pelt Petry earned a Master of Arts in dance from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in dance from Oberlin College.

Each year, the identification of a recipient is made based upon the panel of judges’ knowledge of individual artists working in the Columbus area and does not involve any application process. Based on the panel’s nomination of a recipient, the final award is approved by the Columbus Arts Endowment Board.

As President of the Greater Columbus Arts Council from 1985 through April 2006, Hanley helped to create a national image for Columbus as a city deeply committed to the arts.  The award honors his legacy.

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. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support of all our programs.

About the Columbus Arts Endowment: Created by past chairs of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Arts Endowment continues the spirit of advocacy and partnership GCAC has encouraged since its inception. Culture is the exclusive focus of the endowment, which is intended to supplement, not replace, existing broad-based philanthropic support. The Board of Trustees of the Columbus Arts Endowment consists exclusively of past chairs of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.


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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492