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Spring 2003

A textile artist takes his show on the road

ADA: Arts for All

ORBI to sponsor May ADA workshop

From the Director

Artist Fellowship winners announced

MAAF update

Reading Quilts

Strictly business

Are children being left behind?

Griffin wins national award

First Day

Bringing writers together

WV Writers annual conference

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation update

By Richard Ressmeyer

2002 Living Legacy Jazz Award

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) named saxophonist Jimmy Heath the 2002 recipient of its Living Legacy Jazz Award. The award recognizes living jazz masters who have made major contributions to the art form, especially in the area of education. Heath received the award at a February, 2003 ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Long recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist, composer and arranger, Heath has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years. In 1948, at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart and Erroll Garner. Heath has performed on more than 120 record albums, including seven with The Heath Brothers. Many of his 125+ compositions have become jazz standards. Maurice Peress conducted the premier of his first symphonic work, Three Ears, in 1988 at Queens College (CUNY).

Following 11 years as Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Heath maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. He has also taught jazz studies at Jazzmobile, Housatonic College, City College of New York and the New School for Social Research.

MAAF Tours 2003-2004

MAAF funds or sponsors a variety of performing arts tours throughout the region each year. MAAF Tours, a new initiative, features individual performing artists and groups. The 2003 season includes the following:

Leon Bates is a classical pianist from Philadelphia. He performs as a soloist or with chamber ensembles and orchestras. He also offers workshops, master classes and lectures to schools and community organizations.

Eileen Ivers is a Celtic fiddle champion who tours with her seven-piece band playing Celtic-based music infused with other music from around the world. She also conducts master classes and workshops.

The Second Hand is a modern dance ensemble of three men. Using their bodies and an assortment of costumes and props, they intertwine and meld into sculptural shapes. In addition to public performances, they provide master classes, workshops and lecture/demonstrations for all ages. West Virginia presenting organizations are participating in these tours.

In 2003-2004, fee support grants will be available to presenters for the following tours:

“Masters of Mexican Music” will explore four regional musical traditions from Mexico — the marimba of the south, the accordion conjunto of the Texas-Mexico border area, the Veracruz harp ensemble and the mariachi of Jalisco. The tour, developed by the National Council for Traditional Arts (NCTA) and MAAF, will travel throughout the mid-Atlantic region during March and April 2004. Educational workshops, master classes, community activities and specially designed K-12 programs will also be offered. For booking information, call NCTA 301-565-0654, ext. 14.

West Virginia’s own Bob Thompson will tour his jazz ensemble The Bob Thompson Unit (either quartet or quintet) in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia.

Aquila Theatre Company will tour the region during 2003-2004 with their production of Othello. The company stages classical drama in inventive productions with minimal props and sets. The tour will also have support from Arts Midwest’s Shakespeare in American Communities project.

The Virginia-based quintet QuinTango (two violinists, a cellist, a bassist and a pianist) performs tango music. Their repertoire includes early and classic tangos, tango waltzes, the “nuevo tango” music of Astor Piazzola and original compositions by Uruguayan composer Alejandro Muzio. Educational programs for schools will be available.

Inquiries about Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Performing Arts Tours should be addressed to Martha Dodson at 410-539-6656, ext. 116; the website is .

MAAF Creative Fellowships

Each year MAAF supports two artists from each of its member states to spend time at artist retreat centers or other artist-focused organizations that provide facilities to create new work. One of the two explores a specific discipline.

This year’s discipline is printmaking. The host centers are: Artists Image Resource, Pittsburgh; Brandywine Graphic Workshop, Philadelphia; Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museum, Richmond, PA; The Print Center, Philadelphia; Pyramid Atlantic, Riverdale/Silver Spring, MD; Rutgers’s Center for Innovative Print & Paper, Mason Gross School of the Arts, New Brunswick, NJ; Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY; and West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts.

West Virginia’s printmaker is Claudia Giannini of Morgantown. Educated at Moore College of Art, West Virginia University and Penn State, she has worked in museums for more than 20 years, including at the Smithsonian Institution, Birmingham Museum of Art and museums in Pittsburgh. She is urrently a grant proposal writer at the Mattress Factory museum of contemporary art in Pittsburgh.

Giannini has worked as an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center and is currently in residence at Artists Image Resource in Pittsburgh as part of a program for printmakers sponsored by MAAF. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US.

She uses a combination of photographic and printmaking techniques, along with other media such as collage and handmade paper, to create images that explore human connections to the natural world.

With support from MAAF, a second artist will receive a fully subsidized, one-month residency during 2003 at the multidisciplinary Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), a working retreat for artists, writers, and composers located in central Virginia.

The VCCA provides room, board and individual studios where artists can work without distraction. The VCCA hosts over 300 professional artists a year at its rural estate at Mt. San Angelo. The artists, who come from all over the world, are doing important or innovative work in their respective fields.

One West Virginia artist will be selected by competitive application. Writers, composers and painters may apply. Applications may be obtained from the VCCA web site, The deadline is May 15, 2003.

Inquiries concerning Mid Atlantic Artists’ Programs should be directed to Julyen Norman at 410-539-6656;

Performing Arts Touring Grants

Funded tours in the long-running ArtsCONNECT program include performances for public audiences as well as activities such as master classes, workshops and lecture/demonstrations. MAAF grants will support tours of the following artists or groups in the current season: Rennie Harris/Pure Movement, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Bombazo con Los Cepeda, Charlie Haden’s Nocturne Project, Urban Bush Women’s Night Girl, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Grupo Corpo, Aquila Theater of London/New York, Red Priest and Tangokinesis. WV venues for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet include Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg; Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Charleston; West Liberty State College; and West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon. Shepherd College presented the Aquila Theatre Company.

For more information on these tours, visit the MAAF web site ( or call the Foundation at 410-539-6656, ext. 110.

Richard Ressmeyer is on the board of directors of MAAF. The WV Division of Culture and History’s membership in this regional arts services foundation resulted in more than $90,000 in grants and services from MAAF to state arts organizations and the WV Commission on the Arts in FY 2002.