Minnesota State Arts Board

St. Paul, MN. 2017.

Artist Initiative Grant

The Artist Initiative grant program is designed to support and assist professional Minnesota artists at various stages in their careers by encouraging artistic development, nurturing artistic creativity, and recognizing the contributions of individual artists to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota.

Grants will be awarded for projects that will enhance or expand the applicant’s artistic skills or process, and advance the applicant’s career by helping the artist generate greater visibility with and exposure to potential audiences.

McKnight Foundation

Minneapolis, MN. 2015.

Artist Fellowship for Writers

The Loft Literary Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers in Creative Prose and Children’s Literature (Older Children). The fellowships are judged by prominent American authors and editors, and the winners, all from Minnesota, are awarded $25,000 each. The judges this year were LeAnne Howe (Creative Prose) and Editor Connie Hsu (Children’s Literature). The Loft received 119 qualified Creative Prose applications and 34 qualified Children’s Literature applications. This year’s recipients are creative prose writers Susanne Aspley, Shannon Gibney, Josh Ostergaard, and Susan Power. The recipient in Children’s Literature is Kelly Barnhill.

Shannon will spend her fellowship year working on a family memoir, tentatively titled LOVE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC: MAKING AN AFRICAN/AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY.

To read article on Minneapolis Community and Technical College website about Gibney’s award, click here.

Bush Foundation

St. Paul, MN. 2005.

Artist Fellowship

Bush Artist Fellowships provide artists with significant financial support that enables them to further their work and their contribution to their communities. Fellows may decide to take time for solitary work or reflection, engage in collaborative and community projects, embark on travel or research, or pursue any other activity that contributes to their lives as artists.

Artists may use the fellowship in many ways—to explore new directions, continue work already in progress, or accomplish work not financially feasible otherwise. Annually, the Bush Artist Fellows program supports up to 15 artists at any stage of their life’s work from early to mature. Grants are made in eight categories that rotate on a two-year cycle. In 2005, fellows received $44,000 each for fellowships that may last from 12 to 24 months.

Carnegie Mellon University

H&SS Alumni Study/Travel Award. 1997 to 1998. Pittsburgh, PA..

An award of $10,000. Designed year-long independent research experience in Ghana. Traveled through West Africa conducting interviews, library, and anecdotal research for collection of fiction. Story topics included women’s experiences in witch camps, Russian-Ghanaian marriages, life in a Liberian refugee camp, and African-Americans’ struggle to relocate in Ghana.


Carnegie Mellon University Department of Modern Languages

Travel Award. 1996. Pittsburgh, PA.

Studied at the School for International Training Culture and Development program in Bolivia. Attended Bolivian politics, economics, culture, and language classes. Completed a project in anthropological fiction.


Hurston/Wright Foundation

Washington, D.C. 2002.

Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers — First Prize

The Hurston/Richard Wright Award™ for College Writers has been established by novelist Marita Golden to honor excellence in fiction writing by students of African descent enrolled full time as an undergraduate or graduate student in any college or university in the United States.

There is one first place award of $1,000, and two finalist awards of $500 for the writers of the best previously unpublished short story or novel excerpt.

Indiana University

Chancellor’s Fellowship. 1999 to 2002. Bloomington, IN.

A University-wide award given to a student with exceptional academic promise. It is a five-year financial package, consisting of a one-year fellowship and four years of a departmental graduate assistantship.

NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics)

Third Place, National Competition, Original Essay. “Man or Beast? A Portrait of the African American in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” 1992. Nashville, TN.

ACT-SO conducts annual academic competitions for students in grades nine through 12 in NAACP branches throughout the country. The current procedure is for participating braches of the NAACP to hold local competitions in various categories. The top local winners then compete with the winner from other cities at the national ACT-SO finals during the NAACP convention.


National Society of Arts and Letters

Literature Award. 2000. Bloomington, IN.

First place award in the annual literature competition for the short story, “Her Black Man.”

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