2019 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Award Recipient

I’m thrilled to announce that I received an Emerging Artist Award to create the first two episodes of an original audio drama! The ceremony is this week, and I’m excited!

This grant is significant for me because it supports a transition I’m making from creating theatre on-stage to creating audio dramas. Audio dramas are often referred to as “theatre of the mind” – so I haven’t abandoned theatre all together (and I hope to act on-stage again at some point!). The Emerging Artist Award will fund the recording and producing of the first two episodes of a five part audio series telling the story of a woman’s spiritual journey and reckoning with her power to change the world. Believe it or not, it’s going to be a comedy…. or at least a tragicomedy. I’m currently hard at work on the MASTER BUILDER audio drama. As soon as that is underway, I’ll disclose more about this next audio project. Hurrah!

Many thanks to the North Carolina Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Anika James Foundation, and other partners and supporters who support the Emerging Artist Program. Big congratulations to the roster of recipients below! I’m thrilled to be in such good company.

Scroll down to see information about this week’s ceremony, as well as a link to the event if you’d like to join in on the fun!


Photo credit: Erin Bell of Bull City Photography



Please join us for the 35th Annual Emerging Artists Awards Celebration, and the presentation of The Ella Fountain Pratt Award for Lifetime Service to the Arts to Virginia Rand Bowman! This year, the Emerging Artists Program will award professional development grants and recognition to 18 exceptional artists. 

2019 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Award Recipients:

Derrick Beasley, Photography
Wesley Broome, Film/Video
ShaLeigh Comerford, Dance
Kristen DeGree, Prints/Mixed Media
Theresa Dowell Blackinton, Literature
Lana Garland, Film/Video
Julia Gartrell, Sculpture/Installation
Stephen Hayes, Sculpture/Installation
Karen Healy, Photography
Tamara Kissane, Drama
Ronald McGill, Jr., Drama
Renzo Ortega, Painting
Adam Palumbo, Literature
Gabriel Pelli, Music
Kimberley Pierce Cartwright, Craft
Michael Remedios Grigoni, Music
Wendy Spitzer, Music
Caitlyn Swett, Dance

Sharing their art during the presentation of awards:

“How to make a Sambo” monologue, by Ronald McGill, Jr.
“Seeds” Music Video Screening, by Rissi Palmer
“Made in France” Music performance, by Gabriel Pelli

After the program we will have the opportunity to visit with the award recipients during a delectable buffet and wine reception.

Please join us for this inspiring evening of entertainment and celebration!

The Emerging Artist Program is funded by the North Carolina Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Anika James Foundation, and other partners and supporters.

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Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Declaration of Love, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

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The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.

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Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.

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Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”

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ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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