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in Press Releases November 22, 2011 4 min read

Columbus, Ohio – The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) and theColumbus Film Council (CFC) are pleased to announce the recipients 2011 Media Arts Fellowship awards. The recipients were officially announced November 19 during an evening presentation of Movies+Mead, Animation and More 4 Adults. The event was presented by the Columbus International Film + Video Festival and Brothers Drake Meadery and took place at the Canzani Center on the Columbus College of Art & Design campus.

The following 2011 Media Arts Fellowship recipients were chosen from 39 applicants: Matt Meindl ($3,000), Tom Hayes ($1,000) and John Whitney ($1,000). Awards were based on the artistic merit of the work submitted.

The 2011 Media Arts Fellowship recipient bios:


Matt Meindl is a filmmaker and musician from Columbus, Ohio. His short films + videos are a bit of a contradiction, being both silly and serious, modern and vintage, distant and here. Meindl shoots primarily on small-gauge film formats and records his own soundtracks with twangy strings and virtual theremins (an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player). His work has screened at festivals and micro-cinemas throughout North America and Europe including the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Winnipeg’s Festival of Film + Video Art, Cucalorus Film Festival and the James River Festival of the Moving Image. He is the recipient of a 2011 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council and is a 2011-12 Media Artist in Residence at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Matt is currently working on Don’t Break Down, a shot-on-super 8 “documentary” about the hypothetical afterlife of garbage.


Originally from Vermont, Tom Hayes has been making films since he was a child, winning the Kentucky Educational Television Young Peoples Film Competition when he was 15.

As a young man he worked as a deck hand, shipping out of New York on cargo ships. While seafaring started as a strategy to pay for film school, trips into third and fourth world ports became a profound and transformative experience. Tom received a BGS degree with emphasis in cinema and philosophy from Ohio University in 1977. Since then Hayes has been running his own film production company, producing long form documentaries and providing production services on hundreds of commercial projects. For the last two decade his personal documentary work has focused on issues of identity.


Originally from Dayton, John moved to Columbus to study film at The Ohio State University. For the past 20 years he has been working in production for corporate as well as agency clients, all the while never giving up in his pursuit of a career in filmmaking. John has produced and directed films that have screened at film festivals across the country as well as the Independent Film Channel. His latest film, Eroded, recently won best film at the Harmony Ridge Film Festival and took home multiple awards at this year’s Underneath Cincinnati Film Festival. John, with Arbor Avenue Films, is now developing the feature film Sage Falls. The film will explore the struggles of a Midwestern family as they navigate through a society that is resistant to gay marriage. John lives with his wife Jennifer and son Kirk in Columbus.

GCAC’s Arts Fellowships program, established in 1986, recognizes outstanding Franklin County artists. Since the inception of the program, more than 140 artists have received awards in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, crafts, film and video, creative writing, music composition and choreography/movement arts. GCAC’s program is one of the few local fellowship programs in the country.

GCAC would also like to congratulate the finalists for the 2011 Media Artist Fellowship awards:

Pete O’Hare, Sean McHenry, Sam Javor, Colin McDonald, Phil Garrett and Scott Spears.

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 2011 recipients and finalists will be invited to apply for GCAC’s Dresden Artists Exchange. Artists who have participated previously in any GCAC exchange program are not eligible to apply.

Members of the 2011 Media Arts Fellowship panel who reviewed all applications and recommended the finalists and recipients were Jennifer Lange, curator of the Film/Video Studio Program at the Wexner Center for the Arts; Robert Banks Cleveland-based independent filmmaker; and Bernadette Gillota, a Cleveland-based artistic director. Kaveh Nabatian, an award winning filmmaker and musician from Montreal, selected the award levels for the recipients.

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. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus, Franklin County, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support.

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