Alumni and Faculty Awarded 2023 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships

Carlos Barragán
September 29, 2023

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced the winners and finalists of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship program, and several Columbia alumni and faculty members have made the list. The fellowship has been administered for the past 38 years with leadership support from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program gives cash grants of $8,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, recognizing five disciplines per year on a triennial basis. This year, NYFA has awarded a total of $696,000 to 88 artists throughout New York State, in the following disciplines: Craft/Sculpture, Digital/Electronic Arts, Nonfiction Literature, Poetry, and Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. 

Recipients of the fellowship in the Nonfiction Literature category include Adjunct Assistant Professor Eliza Callahan ’22 (CC ’17), Writing alumna Ellyn Gaydos ’19, Adjunct Assistant Professor Lilly Dancyger, and Sociology Lecturer Suchitra Vijayan. Writing alumnae Beth Raymer ’08 and Montana Marie Ray ’12 are notable finalists. Adjunct Assistant Professors Emily Skillings ’17 and Emily Lee Luan, along with Chief Creative Officer of the University Seminars Office Summer J. Hart, have been named Poetry fellows, while Visual Arts alumna Farah Mohammad ’21 was awarded a fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts. Adjunct Assistant Professor Juan Hernández Díaz ’21 also received a fellowship in the Craft/Sculpture category.

The program is highly competitive, and this year’s recipients and finalists were selected from 4,244 applicants by discipline-specific peer-review panels. Since it was launched in 1985, the program has awarded over $35 million to 5,425 artists.

“This is the first ever award I have received for my work as a poet," said Skillings. In my work as an arts administrator, editor, and adjunct professor, I dedicate a lot of my time to others’ writing. It means so much to have my own practice as a poet acknowledged in this way. This grant is coming at a time when I am finishing my second book of poems and will help me find some space and time to dedicate to the final stretch.”

Michael Royce, NYFA CEO, said: “It is rare to administer a program with such a longstanding history of support that benefits so many individual artists. We’re thrilled to partner with NYSCA on such an impactful program for New York State artists and to be part of their creative journey. We wish them continued success in their careers, and the necessary time and space to realize their artistic vision.” 

Katherine Nicholls, Chair of NYSCA, added: “Artists are agents of change who contribute to the transformation and growth of our communities. Their work inspires us which in turn impacts our individual health and the vitality of the world around us. On behalf of the NYSCA Council and staff, we congratulate all the recipients of this year’s NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship and commend the New York Foundation for the Arts for their critical role supporting the creative and cultural workers of New York.”

You can see a full list of the winners and finalists here.