ArtsAccelerator Grant

What is ArtsAccelerator?

ArtsMemphis is pleased to offer six $5,000 ArtsAccelerator Grants in 2020 to visual artists living and working in Shelby County. The ArtsAccelerator Grants are incentive grants for visual artists who are at a critical juncture in their careers and are intended to deepen and expand artistic work to advance the grant recipient’s artistic accomplishments.  The ArtsAccelerator Program supports artists working in any media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, installation art, performance art, video art, or social practice.

The ArtsAccelerator Program enables ArtsMemphis to demonstrate the value of visual artists’ work to our region by supporting working artists in their artistic practice.  We believe this program contributes to the vitality of our artistic community and helps Memphis attract and retain a vibrant creative class.

Funding decisions are made by a panel of judges living and working outside of Memphis & Shelby County. The panel of judges is identified by members of the ArtsMemphis’ Artist Advisory Council. Information on this year’s judges is below.

ArtsMemphis values inclusion and equity.  When evaluating applications, judges will be instructed to consider historically underserved populations.  Minimally two of the six ArtsAccelerator Grants, will be awarded to artists of color.  Also, minimally one of the artists awarded a grant will be an emerging artist.

In FY21 we supported artists through the Artist Emergency Fund

The FY22 ArtsAccelerator Grant timeline has not yet been determined.

An update on the grant timeline will be determined in late 2021.


To make sure you receive the latest information on grant opportunities for artists, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@ArtsMemphis) and subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the SUBSCRIBE button at the bottom of this page and select “GRANTS FOR INDIVIDUALS” when registering.


2020 ArtsAccelerator Grantees

Karina Alvarez

Karina Alvarez obtained a PhD in Art (2015) from the University of Guanajuato and a Master of Fine Arts (2009) from Ecole Superieure d´Art de Grenoble, France. Karina Alvarez´s work is a multidisciplinary exploration combining video, sound production and drawing. She applies cutting edge technologies by using software micro-controllers and integrated sensors to create generative environments to produce an inquiry into the spaces used in her work.

Funlola Coker

Funlola Coker is Nigerian by birth.  She moved to Memphis, TN in 2007 and has since called it home.  She is a jeweler and metalsmith working from her home studio. In 2011, Coker received a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in Art History from Memphis College of Art.  She is fascinated by history, the evolution of culture and storytelling. Coker’s current work explores her experience as an immigrant. The sense of losing her identity and blending into a new society so completely that her culture feels lost and forgotten, almost like a past life.  She translates these ideas into jewelry and tangible objects, drawing from rituals surrounding loss and mourning.  

Amber George

Amber George is an Illustrator/ Painter , nesting in East Memphis. Her work is comprised of an array of allegories from black American folk religion and mythological stories she grew up reading. She draws inspiration from nature, folk magic, and anything with feathers or scales.

Johana Moscoso

Johana Moscoso is an artist originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She lives and works in Memphis, TN. Her Oeuvre explores co-narratives of South American and North American cultures. She incorporates a variety of mediums such as performance, fiber, sculpture and video into installations that express her interest in gender roles, culture, and migration.



Katrina Perdue

Katrina Perdue is a textile artist and maker living and working in Memphis, Tennessee. Her love for hand stitching has grown over the past twenty years from first learning machine sewing, quickly followed by hand knitting, to most recently building a full time studio practice focusing on the art and impact of mending and repair.

Najee Strickland

Najee Strickland, 29, is a visual artist born and raised in Memphis, Tn. Art has always been apart of Najee's life, from his moms colorful and bold interior design to his dads custom clothing designs. He started out drawing colorful stick figures at the age of six. While being inspired by cartoon networks like ‘Nickelodeon’ and newspaper comic strips in the ‘Commercial Appeal’, his art and skills escalated by the age of thirteen. Practicing with different medias such as: oil & chalk pastel, acrylic, and oil based paints; his style of art transitioned by the ages of fourteen through seventeen by simply drawing and painting detailed images of people.


2019 Grantees

Meet our 2019 ArtsAccelerator Grantees

Sharon Havelka

Sharon Havelka was born and raised in Memphis, TN and graduated with a BFA from Memphis College of Art in 1994. She has been continually producing art in multiple media, honing the skills of painting, quilting, bookmaking, and sculpture. She has also been an ICU RN for the past 10 years. As both an artist and a nurse, she combines the physiology of the human body and brain with the elements and meanings of art. For example, she conveys circulation with color, perfusion with light and dark values, and breath with composition and negative space. She mixes recycled materials with found objects, like her family’s old clothes with sidewalk treasures. She also uses egg yolk and matcha tea for paint, and coffee, black tea, or onion skin to stain. She creates forms that evoke both the imaginary and the biological fusing craft, science, and art.


Jed Jackson

Jed Jackson was born in Fayetteville Arkansas in 1954. A long time Professor of Painting at the University of Memphis, Jackson has been painting, exhibiting and teaching for more than 50 years. Paintings by Jed Jackson have been exhibited in New York, London, Rennes, France, Amsterdam, Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis and many other cities in America and Europe. During his creative career more than 15 fellowships and grants have been awarded to Jackson including the Arts/Midwest NEA in 1992 and The Tennessee Arts Council Individual Artists grant in 2006.


Chuck Johnson

Chuck Johnson is currently the Adjunct Professor of Art at the University of Memphis and has taught at the Memphis College of Art, Rhodes College and Prince George's Community College in Largo, MD. He has exhibited his work in many exhibitions locally, nationally and abroad.


Lacy Mitcham Veteto

Lacy Mitcham is a 3D artist who received a Masters of Fine Arts in 2018 from University of Memphis. Her work is focused around the human body from a female perspective, representing it abstractly as an import-export system, using many materials to achieve this purpose including textiles, wood, metal, ceramic, and wire through methods of sculpture, wearable art, and installation. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis in the Department of Art teaching foundations courses, the Fashion Merchandising department, and at Rhodes College Department of Art and Art History, teaching sculpture. Lacy is also an Emerging Artist with Young Arts Contemporary and an Emerging Designer for Memphis Fashion Design Network.


Aisha Raison

Aisha Raison is a filmmaker/photographer and poet who has used both skills as a multimedia artist and activist in the Memphis area. Raised in Ripley, Tennessee in the Spiller Hill neighborhood, she credits her parents for the exposure of Womanism, jazz and art at a young age: it was her father who taught her photography at 3 and her mother who gave her books and art outside of her small town. Since 2016, Aisha has merged her imagination, poetry and vision into award winning films such as Girls Like Me: a self/love story and Dancin' to the Blue Moon as well as using her skills as an activist photographer throughout the city of Memphis, a mentor with groups such as Hattiloo Theatre's Write On Speak Out and tour guide with Slavehaven Underground Railroad Museum.


Juan Rojo

Juan Rojo was born in Valladolid, Spain in 1977. He graduated from the University of Salamanca (Spain) with a degree in Fine Arts and he obtained his Masters degree in painting and video at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is represented in Spain by Rodrigo Juarranz Gallery and by Jay Etkin Gallery in the United States. He has exhibited extensively in the USA and Europe and he is currently living in Memphis, Tennessee.

2018 Grantees

Meet our 2018 ArtsAccelerator Grantees

MB is a Texas native performance & interactive installation artist.  With a BA in Art History and a BA in Religious Studies from Rhodes College, MB has continually explored the origins and functions of creativity & community.  Confronting moments of contention, confusion, and chaos, MB curates opportunities for others to get involved, becoming co-creators of a shared experience.  The approachable yet agitating nature of their work is meant to encourage compassionate investigation of all experiences we

might encounter or create.  


Maritza Davila is Professor of Fine Arts at the Memphis College of Art and the head of printmaking, where she has taught drawing and printmaking since 1982. Professor Davila has exhibited around the world and has works in collections in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. She has received awards in the U.S., Puerto Rico and France. Her work is included in collections at the National Library Madrid, Spain, National Library of Paris France, Museum of Art and History at the University of Puerto Rico, National Library of Congress in Washington DC among others.  She is the owner of the Atabeira Press studio and has collaborated with poet Kay Lindsey and visual artist Indrani Nayar-Gall from India on various art projects. She was also visiting artist at University of Bilbao, Spain in 2011. Residencies include Taller ACE in Buenos Aires Argentina on 2011 and the University of Illinois Normal Editions, on 2016.



Wilbert Mays is a musician and performance artist currently based in Memphis, TN. Wilbert's work explores corporeal romanticism, sonic extremes, and the dissolution of genre.  Through his project Cities Aviv, Wilbert has garnered critique from outlets such as the The New York Times, The Commercial Appeal, Pitchfork, The Fader and Wax Poetics. In recent years, he has held solo performances in Memphis at The Brooks Museum and TOPS Gallery. The end of 2017 saw him on a lengthy performance exhibition in Europe, with performances at Praha: Forum For Architecture and Media in Brno, Czech Republic as well as Theater Bremen in Bremen, Germany among others.  In 2015, Wilbert collaborated closely with filmmakers Mati Diop and Manon Lutanie to score their short video piece "Liberian Boy." After its opening at Treize Galerie in Paris, France, "Liberian Boy" went on to be shown at spaces in New York, London, and Los Angeles.  Wilbert is currently focused on multiple upcoming projects including Total Works which he started last year. Total Works is a creative house that operates with attention to output from experimental and outsider artists. 


Andrea Morales is Peruvian-born (1984), Miami-bred and Memphis-based: after years of existing in spaces heavy with the constructs of socioeconomic binaries, her work moves with the hope of observing the things in between. A decade in community newspapers taught her to value both the ceremonial and the mundane while a graduate education in visual storytelling at Ohio University helped her think about giving that life off the printed page. As an independent photographer in the Delta South, Andrea focuses on editorial work through a journalistic and documentary lens.





Catherine Patton is a photographer from Memphis, TN. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. After working behind the camera in her classes, she became fond of the composition and creation of images. However, her interest in more artistic expression led her from shooting video to a strong interest in still photography.  In her work, Catherine looks for elements that present her subjects honestly and vulnerably in an effort to establish an empathetic relationship between her subject and her viewer. Ultimately, she hopes that her work evolves to inspire further introspection, unearth inspiration, and create meaningful conversation.  Catherine is intrigued by and works to create photography that challenges her to see beyond an image.  Catherine’s work has been published in The Commercial Appeal (print and digital), The Memphis Flyer (digital) and CNTRABN Magazine (print and digital publication by The Collective). She has also presented her work at the Orange Mound Gallery at Fiber: A Tribute to Black Femininity, an art exhibition by The Collective. Her work will also be shown in The Collective’s residency exhibition in April 2018.

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact our Grants and Initiatives Department:

Tracy Lauritzen Wright, Chief Operating Officer [email protected]

Colleen Chandler, Grants and Initiatives Manager [email protected]

ArtsMemphis (901) 578-2787


Sign up for our newsletter to receive announcements related to all of our funding opportunities.


ArtsMemphis is a registered Non-Profit Public Charity.

One Gift Helps 80 Arts Groups and Artists

Donate Today