PITTSBURGH, DEC. 13, 2021- The Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards honored six artists at tonight’s virtual ceremony, including choreographer and visual artist Staycee R. Pearl, named Established Artist, and multi-faceted musician Danielle “INEZ” Walker, named Emerging Artist. Chosen from a field of 170 public nominations, the Established and Emerging artists will each receive an unrestricted award of $20,000.
The Established Artist award recognizes an artist whose reputation in the field extends beyond the Pittsburgh region and who is respected and validated by a wide spectrum of peers. The Emerging Artist award honors an artist who is developing a body of work that is outstanding in both its current quality and potential for future growth.
Established Artists awardee Staycee R. Pearl is the co-founder and co-artistic director of PearlArts Studio and STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos, where she creates artful experiences through dance-centered multimedia works in collaboration with her husband and artistic collaborator, Herman Pearl. She received her initial dance training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and was an artist with University of Pittsburgh’s PITT ARTS program from 2006 to 2009.
Ms. Pearl co-founded PearlArts Studio in 2007, and in 2009 became its founding artistic director, connecting with creatives and arts supporters through artist residencies, informal showings, and movement and art workshops. Currently the dance program coordinator at the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Ms. Pearl premiered the National Dance Project-supported “CIRCLES” at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in October.
Emerging Artist awardee Danielle “INEZ” Walker has gained wide-spread attention for her singing, music production, drumming, and songwriting, as well as her expertise in audio mixing, mastering and engineering. She studied at Berklee College of Music, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional studies in music production in 2013.
Ms. Walker, who performs as INEZ, was named "Pittsburgh Music Artist of the Year" for 2020 by Pittsburgh's WYEP 91.3 FM radio station. She released her debut album “Voicemails and Conversations” in 2019 featuring the single “Clouds,” a collaboration with singer-songwriter Clara Kent. Ms. Walker is a teaching Artist with Trust Arts Education, a program of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and with YMCA Lighthouse Project.
In addition to monetary awards of $20,000 each, the Established and Emerging Artist awardees were presented with an award object co-designed by Studio Glass Company artist Daniel Buchanan and 2017 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards Emerging Artist recipient Sarika Goulatia.
Ms. Pearl and Ms. Walker were among a slate of six artists recognized for excellence and achievement in the arts at the event, including choreographer Theodore “Teddy” Alexander and visual artist and muralist Janel Young, who were both named Emerging Artist finalists, and multi-media artist and engineer Mikael Owunna, and poet and essayist Dawn Lundy Martin, who were both named Established Artist finalists.
Those attending the virtual event were treated to a multi-media dance performance by Slowdanger, an a cappella song by musician Geña, and a slam-poetry recitation by writer and performer Erin Perry.
The Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards is a shared initiative of The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Opportunity Fund and is one of very few such regional programs that provide direct philanthropic support to individual artists. The awards recognize the key role Ms. Brown, who was president of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust from 1986 to 2001, played in the revitalization of Pittsburgh’s downtown arts district.
The awards program is guided by a shared belief in artistic excellence, creative development and the need for continuous career advancement of Pittsburgh-based artists. To learn more about the awards, including a list of previous honorees, visit https://pittsburghfoundation.org/carolrbrown.