Arts Services Inc. and the Buffalo Jewish Federation have announced the inaugural recipients of the “Made in Buffalo – Cheryl Stern Performing Artist Fund,” named for Buffalo native Cheryl Stern. Erie County residents Melissa Kate Miller, Gaitrie Subryan, Anthony Alterio and Jeanne Vuich were chosen by the selection committee to receive funding toward their current artistic projects.
The “Made in Buffalo – Cheryl Stern Performing Artist Fund” was created in response to the support connected to Stern’s turn in “From Buffalo to Broadway: Waiting in the Wings,” supported by the Buffalo Jewish Federation. Stern, who is a Broadway, TV and film star, came home to host and perform in this show she created and directed, which included Broadway and local performers. ASI stated, “The incredible dearth of local talent involved in the production inspired a desire to raise funds to continue to develop and promote local performing artists.”
Miller is an accomplished singer/songwriter. The support from this award will enable her to record and produce three songs co-written with local musician Kenny Hawkins.
“This grant means less time working to fund my work, and more time creating it,” Miller said. “Every song I write or co-write requires a village of skilled artists to move from conception to production; and every dollar spent strengthens the village.”
Subryan’s project, titled “Speak Up, Speak Out,” is a multidisciplinary work that addresses the topic of domestic violence through dance and spoken word. It is currently in production to be streamed virtually later this month.
“It is an honor to be named as a ‘Made in Buffalo’ grant recipient,” Subryan said. “This grant means that as an artist I can continue to learn and grow to focus on the skills needed to enhance my craft.”
Alterio, a dancer and choreographer, will build a unique prop for his new work titled “WHIRL.” The prop, an office chair that is suspended above the floor, will premiere in December.
Vuich will produce a staged reading of her play, “My Transcript from Syracuse,” which explores the struggles of a first-generation college student and the resulting family dynamics.
The artists and their funded works will be featured at a public celebration in August.