Accounts from and about Linehan Artist Scholars Summer Research and Study Award Activities
Each year a select group of Artist Scholars receive Linehan support to do in-depth professional study, anywhere in the world. Scholars can receive up to $4000. Here’s a short overview of various research and study projects:
Byanca Morales Cabrera, Visual Arts, print media, ’24
This summer I had the opportunity of attending 3 workshop intensives at Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York from July 18th – August 5th. My workshops ranged from Non-Toxic Electro Etching, Silk Screen printing and bookmaking to Relief printing. I looked forward to learning a relatively new printmaking discipline like non-toxic electro etching, different to that of the traditional form of etching in printmaking; relying on toxic chemicals. In taking the workshop a new aspect of accessible printmaking was presented to me, learning that I could prep my own etching plates without the need for facilities with specific air ventilation systems quite literally blew my mind. All my classes exposed me to new techniques and approaches I had never thought of exploring. I hadn’t thought I’d fall in love with Printed Artist books and all its intensive process, but now I look forward to every opportunity to put those skills into use. With these classes I sought to combine both my Graphic Design and Print Media disciplines with what was taught and can say I was pleasantly surprised by how that improved and expanded my knowledge along with the bodies of work I produced through these workshops. I return from this summer study experience with a continued appreciation for educators/artist educators, and how much of an impact an educator can have on a person or group. Even within a class full of active artists an artist educator’s impact does not decrease. In the mission of sharing printmaking and design to students especially within the public education system, I plan to earn my Master of Arts in Teaching right after undergrad. I hope to not only be an artist in practice but an educator as well, just as I have been exposed to amazing educators that have taught me new skills. I hope to do so as well, whether it be in secondary or higher education.
Eme Chukwuma, Dance, 2023
The Linehan Artist Scholars Summer Research award provided me with support to study at the Gaga Lab Summer Intensive dance workshop, Moncalvo, Italy from July 18- 23, 2023.
I am a senior and with graduation quickly approaching it’s time for me to choose what I want to do with my life. I have always loved dance but after years of training I began to fall out of love with the artform. I did not plan on going to Italy in hopes of falling back in love with dance, I just wanted to feel the love I had for movement when I began dancing, in addition to learning a new technique and finding new ways to approach movement.
The Gaga Lab is described as an opportunity to research movement, while this was difficult and I felt that I was being challenged, the discovery of new movement along with the spiritual aspect of the technique really opened my eyes. As expected, I learned a lot and was reminded of my love for movement, and I found little bits of myself along the way. I always thought that my life was supposed to look a certain way because of culture and societies influence but this experience allowed me to grow out of that. As an artist I can now acknowledge that I was never supposed to fit in a box, trying to put myself in a box in order to prepare for the “real world” is a disservice to myself and whatever I choose to do with my life. I can and will continue to explore my love for movement in different places with different techniques.
Tawa Abiwa – Visual Arts, Graphic Design, ’23
Deven Fuller, Dance, ’23
This summer, I was fortunate enough to take a trip out to Los Angeles, California, and complete Millennium Dance Complex’s 2-month Certificate Program. From June 6th to July 30th, I was completely immersed in the most intense, true-to-reality, humbling dance experience of my life. Each week, I was required to take at least ten classes that were each an hour and a half long as well as two workshops that were an hour long. I had complete discretion over which genre of classes I wanted to take and which teachers I wanted to take from. With this freedom, as well as the ability to take more than the required number of classes for no extra fees, I took well over 100 classes this summer that directly assisted me in my journey to develop as a commercial dancer. Additionally, the connections I made and networking that I did whilst in L.A. is unspeakably helpful to my standings in the dance world now and after I graduate. Being that Millennium Dance Complex is quite literally one of the most famous dance studios in the world and that many people come from other countries to dance at Millennium, I met so many fellow dancers, choreographers, and teachers that I believe truly supported my progressions and will stay in contact with me for a long time. Overall, this summer was more than amazing for my dance career, and I feel so grateful towards Earl and Darielle Linehan for allowing me to have such a fruitful summer.
Angie Heyward, Music, clarinet, ’23
From mid-May to June, I took two in-person writing courses with the Redbud Writing Project in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Fiction 1 and Intermediate Fiction. Here, I found a thriving community of writers who helped me develop many skills in character, setting, revision, plot, structure, voice, narrative distance, manipulating emotion, pacing, and the short story form. I met people I never would’ve been exposed to outside of this program such as a tarot reader, a microbiologist, and a refugee volunteer. Together, we expanded our world view and supported each other. I was encouraged to make use of my music, creative nonfiction writing, and anything around me to strengthen my fiction.
From August 14th to 24th, I travelled to Philadelphia to expand and utilize my newfound knowledge for travel writing. Using my intermediate Mandarin, I was able to speak with local business owners and artists in Chinatown. I created a guide to local businesses in Chinatown that included their rich history and wrote articles on artist performances by Kun Yang Lin Dancers and street performers. While walking through the city, I also used my new surroundings to find inspiration for two creative nonfiction essays, and started a draft for a new short story set in Philadelphia.
As of the end of this summer, I have multiple pieces of writing in revision, a support system of writers, and a newfound belief in what I can accomplish. Developing my writing also coincided with developments in my performance of clarinet and arts administration. This journey has truly shown me there is no limit to my creativity and I’m thankful for all I was able to learn and experience.
Niya John, Theatre, ’24
Attending World Stage Design (WSD) 2022 in Calgary was an enthralling experience. Ten days surrounded by designers and technicians from all over the world was more educational and inspiring than one can imagine. For the first three days of the conference, I attended a workshop titled Training The Eye: Colour Palettes For Diverse Skin Colours. It was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. The entire idea of it was showing lighting designers how to use light to work with several different skin tones at once. It was done in collaboration with makeup artists and a costume designer. I found it very interesting not only for the content that was learned but to also see the makeup artist and costume designer work in real-time. Usually in theatre, most costumes work is done before rehearsal, before tech, and the people that everyone are always waiting on are the lighting and sound designers. To see these other areas do live work the lighting designers usually do was super interesting. I also attended many panels on topics ranging from diversity in design, to ecologically sustainable theatre, to youth theatre to disability-friendly theatre.
There were also multiple performances held throughout the conference. One of my favorites was on the first night. It was called Formations and told the stories of important women in the world of geology and scenography. Besides being incredibly well-written and informational, it was lovely to watch. There was a specific scene where one actress’s dress lit up and changed colors as she spun around the stage. And at another point, a video was projected onto a piece of cloth that two actresses were moving around with. The occurrence of WSD coincided with CITT so I was able to attend events from that as well. One designer that I had been planning to meet was Dinesh Yadav, a lighting designer from India. Not only did we meet and talk but we have had ongoing emails since the conference. He is also the President of the OISTAT (The International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians) Lighting sub-division which I hope to get more involved with.
This experience was absolutely life changing. Between the people I met, the things that I learned, and the opportunities that will come from it, I could not thank UMBC and the Linehan Artist Scholar Program more.
Henry Smith, Music, saxophone, ’24
This summer, I attended the Steinhardt Summer Jazz Improv and Composers workshop hosted at New York University; a pre-professional workshop that ran from July 11th through the 22nd. Through the workshop, I had the opportunity to play with world-class musicians Dezron Douglas and Jonathan Blake. I also was able to workshop, record, and perform my first original tune, entitled The Fifth Ideal. I met many amazing musicians my age from Brazil, Los Angeles, Israel and all over. The connections and friends I made this summer will definitely follow me into my professional future. I was also able to attend over a dozen sets of world-class jazz music at historic jazz venues like Smoke Jazz Club and the Village Vanguard. The insight I gained from hearing and playing with so many different musicians has given me a new perspective on music. I had the opportunity to meet and see some amazing musicians who I look up to, including Vincent Herring and Chris Potter. The music scene in New York is so incredible and because of my experiences this summer, I wish to continue my studies in New York at the graduate level once I leave UMBC. The experiences I had in New York have changed me both as a musician and as a person, and I will remember them for a long time.
Delaney Debinski – Theatre ’21 took the Summer research award overseas to study stunt performance in England. She attended the British Live Action Stunt Training (BLAST) with the British Action Academy. This was a three day, 30 hour intensive course consisting of all things stunts- from basics in falling to free-falling from three stories above the ground onto a crash pad. The course was physically and emotionally draining, but Delaney learned so much about the safety protocols and specific coordinated movements required to deliver a believable stunt. Her favorite part of the course was learning to jump from a moving motorbike as if she had been hit by a car (she learned this with a bike, ramp, crash pads, many stacked cardboard boxes and a lot of body pads). Though Delaney has decided not to pursue stunt performance as a career, she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn this creative form of performance art abroad.
Louis Witt – Vocal Music Performance ’20 “I was able to attend the National Music Festival in historic Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore this past summer. Not only did the festival enhance my own skills as a musician, but I helped to return the favor by representing the first group of Voice Apprentices the festival has hosted. The National Music Festival has put on student orchestral concerts across the community of Chestertown, Maryland for the past ten years, but only in this most recent year has it held a program for undergraduate and graduate vocalists. I was one of those lucky thirteen who got to experience the coaching of Mr. Adrian Rosas and Mrs. Celine Mogielnicki, both alumni of the Julliard School. The majority of the other Voice Apprentices ended up being graduate-level students from across the United States; while this was intimidating at first, I ended up making friends and getting a lot of professional-level practice. I collaborated with pianists, received feedback at masterclasses, and sang in several concerts over the course of two weeks. I performed solo repertoire, from opera to art song, and added to the numbers of a local choir in a performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C major. I got the most out of my time in Chestertown during my one-on-one lessons with Adrian, who helped me become more aware of my voice as an instrument.
Katie Blake – Music Composition ’21 “The Fresh Inc. Festival, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha Wisconsin, was an amazing experience and opportunity for me. I composed a new piece for a chamber ensemble under the guidance of the faculty composers, and also collaborated with instrumentalist peers to prepare for the premiere. I participated in several workshops to aid the creative mind and build entrepreneurial skills to build a career in music. I learned a lot on the business side of contemporary music dealing with collaboration, outreach, ‘making it’, and furthering myself as a composer. The composers I met with helped me think about what I can do to make my works feel more complete, and they offered a lot of ideas to consider. I made good connections with a few and plan to collaborate with them at some point in the future. My flute, viola, harp trio composition was premiered at the Constellation Chicago, and we had a nice turnout of people. The violist from the ensemble that played my piece plans to play it again with another flute/viola/harp ensemble in a few months. He thought it was well put together and really enjoyed playing it. The festival was an amazing two weeks for me.
Christian Hartman – Music Performance ’20 “With a 2019 Summer Research and Study Award, I was able to attend the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. Mansfield is a very small, rural town in north central Pennsylvania, near the Allegheny Mountains. The campus I stayed in was quite literally in the mountains, and it allowed for a glorious view from my window every morning. At this three-week festival, I was part of a 70-piece orchestra comprised of professional musicians from all over the United States and abroad. We performed two completely different concerts per week, and the music was nothing short of demanding. Most of my days beyond the orchestra rehearsals were spent practicing music that I had to be able to perform well in five days. Our Friday night concerts were always at Mansfield University, and our Saturday concerts were at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. I gained an incredible amount of knowledge not only from my teacher, Gita Ladd (who is also my teacher here at UMBC), but also from the Maestro, Stephen Gunzenhauser, who is the soon-to-be conductor emeritus of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and is the fifth-most recorded conductor in America. His insight on the music we performed was invaluable and he really guided all of us along to create moving interpretations of the music.
My fellow student performers and I were also tasked with performing solo and chamber music on the side, mainly throughout the community. We put together educational concerts that were performed at local libraries, as well as providing music for a brunch at a local hotel. I can definitely say that I learned a lot from being with and playing together with my fellow students.
In short, I would definitely say that the experience I had this summer was amazing and I am grateful for the opportunity to have performed at this festival, as it really has informed me about what I want to do with my future as a professional musician.
Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Linehan from the bottom of my heart for supporting my endeavors as a musician, performer, and artist.
Isabelle Tabet – Theatre ’18 “During my summer internship at the Theatre at Monmouth in Monmouth, Maine, I have made many invaluable professional contacts and learned so much about the business of theatrical costumes outside of the academic setting. This company combines all of the things I love best about theatre, and after my experience this summer, I will hopefully return here for many summers to come. I have tackled period costumes, blood special effects, wig styling, insanely fast quick changes, and 60 hour weeks, and I feel like a much better artist for it. This internship was truly the best first professional step I could have possibly taken, and I am forever thankful to the Linehans for making this possible.”
Maia Schechter – Dance ’18 “Everything is going so well here. The program is almost complete and I feel like I have grown so much since my start. Currently I am rehearsing for the Broadway Dance Center showcase and taking class. I have now completed 4 mock auditions which have served as preparation for future auditions. Before each mock, we are expected to print our head shot and resume and research the choreographer and casting agent that will be present at each mock. We have had agents from Bloc Talent Agency, Clear Talent Agency, MSA, and Lucille DiCampli Artist Representation and choreographers like Warren Carlyle, Rachelle Rak, Joanna Numata and dancers from Parsons Dance. In each mock we are given feedback and I have been lucky enough to have been offered an agent from Lucille DiCampli’s Agency. In addition to the mocks, I have been lucky enough to become close with dancer and choreographer Phil Orsano. I hope to continue my training with him after the program.”
Sarah Miller – Visual Arts ’18 is documenting a traditional Afro-Brazilian festival in the small Brazilian town of Regência, one of the many areas devastated by the largest mining dam spill in global history. She spent a month documenting the impacted areas with a recent UMBC alum (Andres Camacho) and is now in post- production mode, transcribing interviews and editing images. In November, Andres and Sarah will present the project at a workshop at Georgetown University. While that project is in post- production, Sarah will be in Rio de Janeiro collaborating with a team of researchers from the US, England, and Brazil. This is the first year of a four year project to research the affordable housing complexes being constructed in the center of Rio (most of the city’s poor is otherwise marginalized much like many cities).
Ariana Seidman – Music ’17 is currently studying in the Opera Studio at College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinatti. A typical day for begins with movement class at 9 am.Then we go to Italian Language class for 2 hours. After that we get a lunch break and then have a master class. The rest of the day is filled with some combination of private lessons or coachings and scene rehearsals. “I will be performing in an Aria recital tomorrow and on the 30th we have a scenes performance. I’ve attached a picture of me singing in a master class”
Justyna Kurbiel – Visual Arts ’18 took an online animation class on Animation Mentor. It is a 6 week course where a small group of students become comfortable with Autodesk Maya’s interface, attend live Q&A sessions, and complete animation assignments using Animation Mentor’s rigs. “My professor, Jack Parry, was very supportive and encouraging. I now have a greater understanding of professional quality 3D animation and I feel more comfortable taking on my own project that I will use to apply to Pixar and Dreamworks internship programs.”
Stephen Johnson – Music ’18
In June 2016 Stephen was at the New York University participating in a film scoring workshop that the university holds in partnership with ASCAP. Stephen created and recorded his own score to film scenes under the guidance of accomplished film composers.
Emily Eaglin – Visual Arts ’17
Emily created Marylandia, a new sketch comedy web series that stands on the shoulders of recent greats like Key & Peele, Saturday Night Live, and (of course) its namesake, Portlandia. The goal? To create a satire with relevancy & bring light to local issues such as the Baltimore Uprising, national issues such as casting & stereotypes in the industry, and global issues such as gender rights. We have a mission of promoting education, representing the underrepresented, and bringing each episode full circle by financially giving back to local charitable causes that have to do with the episode’s theme. Our Second Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQAOKhpsMFA
Grace Davenport – Theatre Design ’16
Grace took two courses in a summer program at the University of Stirling. “I’m having a lot of fun and learning a lot about the properties of light (in my photography class) and the properties of art (in my psychology of art class). For instance, did you know people read their surroundings right to left, because that’s the way they were taught to read words? And a few centuries ago, theatre artists used a series of mirrors and light in order to create a kind of early hologram to depict ghosts on stage?” Grace also visited London and went to a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Sarah Schmitz – Dance ’17 in Italy. “This week I’ve been taking some Gaga, which is new for me. It’s very different from what I’m used to, but I think it’s probably beneficial for me. I’ve also been taking a breath and movement class which is very interesting and incorporates singing and movement, some ballet and jazz technique, and theater dance.”