United States Artists announces winners of $50,000 grants


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Fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, architect Neil Denari, choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, filmmakers Charles Burnett and Renee Tajima-Pena, composer-musician Daniel Plonsey and photographer Anthony Hernandez are the Southern California winners of 2009 United States Artists grants, to be presented tonight at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

The unrestricted $50,000 grants are given each year to 50 artists in the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts and visual arts.


Citizens and legal residents of the U.S. are eligible for the privately funded awards, selected by a nomination process. This year’s award winners come from 18 states and range in age from 18 to 82. Among them are Hawaiian hula master Hokulani Holt-Padilla, Texas composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe and New York writer Sapphire, whose novel, “Push,” inspired the film “Precious.” Recipients in the visual arts category include Terry Allen of New Mexico, Dario Robleto of Houston and Vija Celmins, Joan Jonas and Kim Jones of New York.

The awards ceremony will pay tribute to Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad for their lead gift of $1 million, which has funded grants for 20 artists over the last four years, and the Miami-based Knight Foundation, which has donated $1 million to support artists who live in the 26 cities that have been home to Knight newspapers.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

Related: Recipients of United States Artists grants can get creative with spending them